Published on May 27th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


2×2 + 2×4 + 4×4 = My re-structured Expedit

Materials: 3 Expedits (a 2×2, a 2×4 and a 4×4), wood drill with stopper, some extra 6mm-dowels, Japanese saw, wood glue, 4 metal brackets, 2 perforated metal plates, 2 clamps

Description: I always liked the “thick-outer-thin-inner-shelves”-structure of the Expedit but wasn’t too fond of the regularity of it … and neither the fact that everybody immediately recognized the Expedit as such.

I found inspring hacks here like the “Expedit reshuffled” and the “Expedit to the ceiling” and I thought, I’d like some combination plus some modifications the best. So I bought 3 Expedit shelves, a 2×4, a 4×4 and a small 2×2.

I used the smallest just to get 4 extra case boards: 2 as delivered and 2 extra by sawing up the long middle case board into another 2, using a Japanese saw and two clamps. I used one of the delivered case boards to guide the saw a bit and get smooth edges and the same length of my cut pieces.

Then I assembled the 2×4 Expedit quite as intended, just adding a horizontal extra case board by drilling some extra holes and using some shortened dowels.

The 4×4 was assembled, also adding some extra horizontal case boards and shifting some of the vertical ones into different positions to loosen up the oh too cubical structure. The bottom panel was left away in order to have just one thick middle case board.

I attached small white brackets where I thought that the “outwards directed” forces on the shelves could be higher than intended and tolerated by the original Expedit, but I don’t think this is truly necessary.

For the drilling I used a wood drill equipped with a little stopper to avoid accidental holes running through rather than just into the board.
The thin inner shelves are pretty massive but do take care when drilling into the thick but mainly hollow outer pieces. Those only contain massive parts where the screws and dowels belong in the original design.

Then I used 12 of the extra dowels from the 2×2 to fix the “bottomless” 4×4 on top of the 2×4. Since the massive parts of outer boards are only about 1cm thick (and then hollow again) the dowels needed to be glued into one piece and allowed to harden there. (Else they would have be pushed into the hollow gap instead of sliding into their “counter-holes”.)

Since I’m a petite woman working alone, putting the pieces together worked best with both shelves lying on the ground and inching them closer and closer with 2 clamps. When the shelves were positioned properly, I fixed them with 2 perforated metal plates…just in case the dowels break or whatever.

Afterwards I “simply” lifted the whole thing from the ground (2,20m high and about 100kg … get help from a friend as I should have done! ;) ) and pushed it into its space, assembling and adding four Expedit-doors into the whole thing.

One last note, the Expedit pieces are laminated and thus sensitive to sharp edges or anything else which could scratch them. I’m lucky since I built on a soft carpet and hence could push and shove the whole thing into whatever position. Else I highly recommend a large blanket or similar!

~ Katrin, Berlin, Germany

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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".

28 Responses to 2×2 + 2×4 + 4×4 = My re-structured Expedit

  1. Katrin says:

    Thanks Nicolas, glad you like it and so do your friends :)
    I pass on the credit on all those Expedit-Hackers before me :)

  2. Katrin says:


    sorry Ben for replying so late. Unfortunately, I do not get any notifications if someone comments here.
    If it it still helps here’s the link again which hopefully works?

  3. Nicolas Beine says:

    Hi Katrin, thanks a million for this amazing idea! I actually built the same unit in my living room and it looks just perfect!! Everybody congratulates me on this shelf, but you deserve all the credit!

  4. Jordi says:

    Just fantastic post, the Expedit shelves have a lot of options of combination, and adapts to all the spaces of our place.

    Thank you

  5. Anonymous says:

    Great !!! Magnifique !! Thx

  6. Anonymous says:

    great Katrin thank you very much for the idea :) ))

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Anonymous says:

    It works now! Thanks Kat :) you are an inspiration!

  9. Kat says:

    Hey, the problem may have been that the photoalbum-setting was “friends only”. Sorry! Try again and if it doesn’t work, send an email to [email protected].
    Best, Kat

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kat! Thanks for posting this i am so in love with it! I would like to access the facebook link but it says its either removed or i do not have permission to view it. is there anyway to bypass this so that i can view more pictures? Thank you!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ah super, vielen Dank.
    Ja im Prinzip stören die Löcher echt wenig. Hab mich auch erst geärgert, weil ich meins nicht an der Wand befestige, dass dort Löcher zu sehen sind – aber wenn erstmal was drinsteht fällt es wahrscheinlich genauso wenig auf wie bei mir.
    Nochmal großes Lob :)

  12. Katrin says:

    Hallo (auch)-Katrin :)

    ich habe die Löcher offen gelassen bzw. dort wo der durchgehende Dübel rausguckt, diesen einfach mit einer flexiblen Japansäge abgesägt – am besten Malertape rund um den Dübel kleben, damit keine Kratzer auf der Laminierung entstehen.

    Ich hatte erst vor die offenen Löcher mit weißem Holzspachtel zuzumachen, aber dann sah ich wie unauffällig die sind und hab mir die Sauerei erspart. Die Leute sind solche Löcher eh von Regalen mit variablen Böden gewohnt und wenn erstmal Bücher drinstehen, ist die Hälfte davon nicht mal mehr sichtbar. Der Auwand lohnt also kaum, sie zu verspachteln.

    Manchmal gibts ja auch so weiße Kreise auf Klebefolien, die mit Schränken geliefert werden, um Schraubenlöcher zu tarnen (oder man schnippelt selbst). Die könnte man vielleicht nutzen, wenn die Löcher doch stören.


  13. Anonymous says:

    Hallo Katrin :)
    Super schöne Arbeit. Was hast du mit den vorgebohrten Löchern gemacht, die ja jetzt sichtbar werden, wenn du nicht die vorgegebene quadratische Fachreihenfolge einhälst. Oder hast du sie einfach so gelassen?
    Wirklich toll gemacht.
    Liebe Grüße von (auch) Katrin

  14. Angela says:

    Beautiful work Katrin…I love the look :-)

  15. Anonymous says:

    Excellent! That’s a quite unique expedit. :)

  16. Lulu says:

    Wow! I vote this for Hack of the Year – absolutely spectacular!

  17. Yazmak iyidir... says:

    Great hack! looks right from an art gallery!

  18. Kat says:

    Thanks all for your lovely comments.
    If you wanna see more pictures or ask questions:


    • Looks great – but how did you fill in the original unsed holes in the horizontal boards?
      I’m doing something similar on a high-gloss white expedit.

    • Ben says:


      Just great! Simply perfect and not expensive!

      Short question… do you still have additional pictures? I am trying to access your facebook gallery… without success!

      Thanks a lot!

  19. Neomig says:

    I agree totaly with strike first- so well done!

  20. njw says:

    there’s a whole new thread for us — techniques for single people, smaller people, etc — Katrin, thanks for the tip on the clamps!

  21. Strike First says:

    Beautiful! One of the best hacks I have seen. Congrats!

  22. Mamma Miriam says:

    Fantastic! I love the look!

  23. Snappy says:

    WONDERFUL!!! If Ikea designers ever look at this site, they totally need to copy this and sell an expedit like this in the stores. I know I’d buy it!

  24. Anonymous says:

    this is wonderful — wish I’d seen it before getting a custom bookcase built!

  25. Wow, this turned out great!

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