Published on December 11th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Ombre Expedit

Materials: Expedit TV Storage Unit and 5 Lekman Boxes

Description: In addition to the IKEA items, I used the following:

-5 pieces of plywood cut to 13″ x 13″ squares
-5 inexpensive wooden drawer knobs (purchased on ebay for about $0.50 each)
-5 small cans of wood stain in varying shades
-1 can of varnish to seal the stain
- several tubes of heavy duty expoxy

Required tools (beyond those provided by IKEA):

- drill
- paintbrushes

I loved all of the storage provided by the Expedit TV storage unit and loved the opportunity to use some of that storage for display (books, etc). However, since I live in a small apartment, covered storage is premium as it allows me to stuff and hide! I didn’t want to spend the extra money the doors or other covered storage options offered by IKEA for the Expedit cubes. I also wanted a way to tie the piece into my existing living room layout which includes a lot of wood and darker colors. I considered baskets but decided I wanted something more formal than baskets.


I went with the white Expedit to brighten the room up a bit, but didn’t want it to feel out of place. I decided to cover the fronts of the less expensive Lekman boxes with wood panels to hide the contents and tie the piece together with the rest of the room.

Best part of this was it was inexpensive option (even less so if you stain them all one color) and didn’t require lots of fancy tools which is good because I have the basics, and no room for fancy saws, work tables, etc.

1. Stain the plywood squares (which I asked the hardware store to cut for me). I used two coats on each. Let dry for at least 8 hours to ensure they are no longer sticky.

2. Apply 1 coat of clear varnish. I used a water based one that I had over the oil based stain and it worked fine. Let dry for 24 hours to ensure everything is totally dry.

3. Drill a hole in the center of each of the Lekmans at the height you’d like to have the knobs. Doing it separate from the wood allows you to use the hole as a guide for drilling the wood and just makes it easier.

4. Use (a lot of) the epoxy to attach the plywood to the front of each Lekman. It took more glue than I’d anticipated (repeat trips to the store). Let dry 24 hours with some weight on them. I put them with the plywood to the ground and piled books inside.

5. Once the epoxy has dried, using the drill, extend the hole drilled into the plastic through the plywood. Attach knobs.

Voila. Simple. Inexpensive. Easy to do with limited space and tools. And I think it gives the whole piece a much more finished look.

~ Heather

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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".

6 Responses to Ombre Expedit

  1. Heather says:

    Sorry it has taken me so long to respond…I had no idea there’d actually be follow up questions!

    The plywood was just standard cheap stuff they had the hardware store. I had them cut to 13″x13″.

    And no, I didn’t sand the front of the plastic to get a better bond. That might have helped save me from the return trips to the store for more epoxy but I went with the extra adhesive option :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is the perfect solution for me. How thick was the plywood you used, and did you need to sand the surface of the plastic to get a better bond? Thanks.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is exactly what I need! How thick was the plywood and what dimensions did you cut it to? Thanks.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Awesome, this looks fantastic!
    I’d like to try this
    but how thick should the plywood be?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m the original poster on this and I just bought this about a month ago at my local Ikea. I don’t know where you are but they are still out there…

  6. Anonymous says:

    ah, the 5×5 tv expedit, now discontinued.
    i wanted that one too
    but was forced to buy the new 4×5 tv expedit :)

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