Published on October 15th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Stacked EXPEDIT "built-in" bookcases

Materials: (3) 2×2 EXPEDIT bookcases, (3) 2×4 EXPEDIT bookcases, wall-mounting hardware, (2) long pieces of 2×4 lumber, shims, base & crown moulding, mitre saw, paint (color matched to match EXPEDIT shelving) & paint supplies, nail gun with finish nails, PJAS baskets, LEKMAN boxes (red) **** plus a TON of other IKEA items to create a kid’s playroom (RIBBA picture ledge for books, SNOIG wall lamps, DUKTIG kitchen, KRITTER chairs, STUVA bench as a table, GRUNDTAL wall racks & caddies, etc.)


1. Assemble the EXPEDIT bookcases.
2. Start from the bottom corner, mount the first 2×4 bookcase to the back wall, ensuring that it’s level by adjusting brackets. We used 2x4s under the bookcases to raise it up enough so the base moulding wouldn’t overlap with the bottom shelf.
3. Mount the top right 2×2 bookshelf, ensuring that it’s level with first bookcase by using shims and adjusting brackets.
4. Mount the next 2×4 bookshelf, again using shims and adjusting brackets to ensure it’s level with the bookshelves already installed.
5. Continue with remaining bookshelves – it can be fairly time consuming depending on how straight your walls are. (ours aren’t!)
6. Measure and use the mitre saw to cut the moulding pieces to fit the bookcases. Paint the moulding to match EXPEDIT (warm white).
7. Attach the moulding to the bookcases using a nail gun with finish nails. Touch up if needed with joint compound and more paint.
8. Fill to your children’s delight!

~ Kristi, Arlington, VA

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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".

12 Responses to Stacked EXPEDIT "built-in" bookcases

  1. Ula says:

    Could you tell me whether it still stands? Do you have any tips you can share after years since it’s been built?

  2. cianne says:

    how did you secure the 2×2 expedit cube to the 2×4 shelf? Is it sitting on carpet? we are concerned that this would not be safe. Ikea said they don’t recommend. This would be for a playroom for children.

    • MaryHS says:

      Hi Cianne, The directions say they stood the first layer of cabinets on 2x4s so that the shelving units would start above the baseboard and could be pushed up exactly to the wall. Then they attached all cabinets to the wall with brackets. IKEA has to worry about people who stack cabinets and trust in gravity to hold things in place — but that’s really not safe. Especially with energetic kids!

  3. linda says:

    What brand and color of paint did you use?

  4. Dave says:

    What was your nail gun pressure at? I’m paranoid about cracking the facing on the shelves. Did you also use any adhesive/glue?

  5. Lombris73 says:

    this is great.. can you cut the drywall and slide the shelves deeper into the wall to create more space in the room. You can finish the edges with some sort of quarter round or something more modern. Has anyone done that?

    • Anonymous says:

      That would be difficult because you have wall studs every 16 inches.

    • Anonymous says:

      In addition, there is no “backing” on the EXPEDIT shelving, so you would see the unfinished insides of the wall.

      When you say, “finish the edges”, so you mean adding a quarter round strip, or are you talking about shaving the edges off the shelving? The shelving pieces aren’t solid wood (or even solid), so I wouldn’t recommend cutting into them. The thicker, outer pieces are actually hallow core, and fairly easy to “bust” through the walls, which I did trying to assemble one and didn’t realize there was an object on the floor where I was placing it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is a pretty sweet setup!

    All I can think of is taking the 2×2 shelves out, attaching a bunkbed ladder and making that space into an awesome loft bed.

  7. This is probably my favorite build. I long for a standard closet so I can replicate this. Beautifully done!

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is a fantastic idea and totally safe as it is built in.
    I love this room.

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