Published on June 9th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Expedit Island

Materials: Expedit 2×4 bookcase, Vika Amon table top, casters from hardware store, screws, anchors, drill/driver with bits


1) Construct the bookcase according to instructions.

2) Turn case horizontally and add casters to whichever side you want to be the bottom. We used 2.5-inch casters, and put two locking ones on the long side. We used short drywall anchors to set the caster screws more securely, since the Expedit case is essentially hollow.

3) Carefully flip the whole piece over and mark where you want the top to sit. We decided on a 4-inch overhang on one side, 10 inches on the other. Anchoring the Vika firmly to the Expedit, carefully drill up through the top Expedit cubby and just into the Vika. Be very carefully not to drill entirely through the Vika. We used eight screws, two in each cubby.

4) Remove the Vika insert a short drywall anchor into each hole (make hole larger if necessary). Realign with holes on Expedit and run a 2.5-inch screw up into the anchor.

The whole thing went together in less than two hours, cost around $140 including casters, screws and anchors, and is absolutely perfect for its intended use. If we were to do this project again, we’re probably use one of the solid wood table tops so we wouldn’t have to worry about water damage.

~ Kim, Oregon

More hacks on IKEAHackers.net

Play kitchen and market stall
Lack tables to floating shelves

The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

23 Responses to Expedit Island

  1. inger says:

    I built this for my home office, and it’s awesome! I would recommend one mod: add a third pair of casters in the middle to reduce the risk of sag. (IKEA stuff isn’t exactly made of hardwood, ya know?) :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I was wondering how to adapt this idea for a smaller VIKA table top. I don’t have the room for the longer top and was considering using just one EXPEDIT shelf. I am going to do some more research, but it is an awesome idea and exactly what I was looking for!

  3. Kim, Oregon says:

    MT–The Expedit is laminate with corrugated cardboard honeycomb inside and wood along the edges. Very easy to drill, just be careful you don’t go all the way through. Wrap masking tape around the bit to act as a stop. Use plastic anchors in the drilled holes so the screws won’t pull out. Daughter has been using her island for some eight months now and it still looks new. An alternative to the wood flooring idea would be a solid wood top such as the Vika Biske.

    A. Miles Davis–I’m not sure I understand the 2×2 vs 2×4 concept since this hack required neither, but good on you for taking the initiative and making this idea your own. :-) Is your name really Miles Davis? Awesome!

    Anon 01:54–Of course he wants to go to Ikea. Everybody wants to go to Ikea! Now get out there and build that island!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This has solved all my problems!! I have been searching for an inexpensive way to build/buy an island that looks good that I can have in my rental for over a year!! this is perfect! Now to convince my partner he wants to go to ikea this weekend…

  5. We liked the concept, but felt it was a little too tipsy with a small child in the house. instead of a 2×4, we got two 2x2s and then braced them in a T pattern. along the top half of the T we painted a piece of plywood with chalkboard paint and screwed it in to serve as backing for the expedit and drawing area for our daughter.

    instead of wheels, we used some metal feet.

  6. mt says:

    Hi! Did you have any problems drilling through the Expedit? We are looking at trying something similar, but with wood flooring made into the top. My husband is concerned that drilling through the Expedit will cause it to basically crack because it isn’t solid wood.


  7. Kim, Oregon says:

    Annette–Personally, if I were to do this project again, I would use the Vika Bikse top. Pine is a soft wood and will acquire stains, dents, and cut marks much easier than the birch. The Biske is also a few inches longer, allowing for more of an overhang on the end and a better balance aesthetically.

  8. Annette says:

    The Vika Amon Table top(fiberboard) has a mass of 27 pounds. I was wondering if it would be a good idea to use a Vika Furuskog(pine) that has a mass of 39 pounds.(plus 12lbs) I’m not sure it will make a difference, but I would prefer to use the pine because it will last longer. What do you think?

  9. Kim, Oregon says:

    With the 2.5-inch wheels, the island comes in right at 35 inches tall. I think 36 is standard US counter height. The chair is from Target. It is 24 inches at the seat, also standard height for a counter stool.

    Thanks to everyone for the positive comments! :-)

  10. Anonymous says:

    SO cool. My husband and I are in the market for an island (or really in the market for an idea of one to make). Is that an ikea chair? Trying to think of what chairs would be the right height.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is a great idea! I love the extra idea of putting two of these together with latches. I think that would make a great kitchen table (if you had the space for 2). Then you can add the drawers on the bottom to store extra plates, etc.!

  12. Pat says:

    I think you, and this, is simply brilliant :)

  13. Rox says:

    This is fantastic. I’ve been using my kitchen island as my desk rather than using my office. What I wanted was an island-height surface with plenty of space to spread out my work (I either like to sit at a bar stool or stand), plus I need storage space underneath. This is a perfect solution, and so much better than the ideas we were coming up with ourselves. Thank you!

  14. ddgiant says:

    I love it, one of my favorite hacks thus far. I think I am going to try 2 of them, when I do not need them I will have them against the wall, but when I Ned them I will put some latches on them to make a large table out of it.
    Thanks for the design and great idea.

  15. Laurel says:

    This is very clever, and so economical! This is also a great solution for a small kitchen that does not have room for one of those huge monster islands, and it is still very functional. Great work!

  16. Ulrike says:

    I like that a lot. Very nice!

  17. Houston says:

    This is a ridiculously cool setup. Might have to bookmark it and save it for a rainy day at Ikea.

  18. kirby says:

    my mom is the awesomeness behind this hack and i’m the lucky beneficiary (but oy, my kitchen is a mess in that picture)… we were concerned about it tipping but i’ve tried leaning on it the overhang (and i’m a big kid) and it doesn’t budge. worst problem i’ve had is that my two cats like to push the pink storage boxes out and play in them. :)

  19. Kim, Oregon says:

    Putting the casters as far to the outside edge as possible cuts down hugely on the wobble potential.

    And wow, major proofreading fail all over those instructions. Sorry….next time it’ll be better! :-)

  20. Anonymous says:

    I was thinking about the same thing. Very nice though

  21. Anonymous says:

    I often wonder about the overhang. If a kid eats at the table, and presses down on the overhang, doesn’t the whole thing wobble? Just wondering for future reference in case I want to make one!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Brilliant. Great job w/ this!

  23. Anonymous says:

    LOVE IT! Two thumbs up in a circle!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Back to Top ↑