Published on April 2nd, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Mother Hubbard’s Expedit Cupboards

Materials: Expedit Bookshelf (5X5 Cube) 1 1/2 sheets MDF Knobs from Lowes

Description: After seeing the $35/each price tag on the Expedit cupboard inserts at Ikea, we decided to DIY a version out of 5/8″ thick MDF.

I wanted to fill the bottom two rows with cupboards, so we (my husband) cut out 10 squares that fit perfectly in the cubes. (He cut them a sixteenth of an inch smaller on all sides than the exact size of the square so it wouldn’t be such a tight squeeze).

Then we cut out two rectangular-pieces for each square, laid them together as shown in the picture, and nailed the fronts to their sides with four nails. We filled and sanded the nail holes and then painted everything with some leftover cream we had from our walls (we felt cream would match Ikea’s “white” better than pure white, and I was happy with the results).

Then we drilled holes for the knobs in the direct center of each square. We made sure the knobs were pretty sturdy as they each need to be tough enough to carry the weight of each insert when taking it in/out of the cube.

They work perfectly for getting things in the cubes here and there, but they probably aren’t the most functional for constant everyday use I would say. They also probably aren’t the easiest things for small kids to maneuver as they are a bit weighty, (though my kids love playing with them). They work perfectly for our purposes. (I use it in a craft room/office, so it just hides boring things like file boxes and extra craft supplies). And it looks great too!

The MDF was $30, and we all ready had the left-over paint, and the knobs were $50. So $80 total for ten cupboards with custom knobs, and it would have been $350 for ten of Ikea’s inserts, and then I still would have had to buy custom knobs for the same look. We are very happy with it!

See more of the Expedit DIY door inserts hack.

~ Pam Heggie, Alberta, Canada

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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".

7 Responses to Mother Hubbard’s Expedit Cupboards

  1. Really great hack. I hate the plastic boxes that Ikea sells to fit these, which are not built to last at all. And they don’t have nearly the look yours does. Great construction photos. Thanks

  2. Joanna NL says:

    It looks very nice

  3. PamH says:

    Hey guys! Thank you!! :) No, it’s not a drawer for sure…it is definitely just a facade to hide mess…or just not “cute” stuff. :) The metal baskets were from eBay…I just kept searching “metal locker baskets” until I came across these one day..in all colors, and they were about $17 each I think? It was probably at least a year ago now that I ordered them but they may still be there!

  4. Ryan says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    Looks very nice. Where did you find the metal baskets?

  6. Heather says:

    Great work! The finished product looks very professional and I love the way you saved money instead of buying the inserts at IKEA.


  7. Anonymous says:

    So this isn’t really isn’t a drawer, per se, but sort of a facade in order to hide the mess behind it…? Just making sure I’m not missing something.

    Regardless, it looks great. Love the clean lines and the way you’ve organized the entire unit! Great job!

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