Cabinets & Sideboards IMG_8460

Published on October 16th, 2013 | by Sindy Stevens


Ex Ikea Upright Bookcases now Mid Century Modern Sideboards

Ex Ikea Upright Bookcases now Mid Century Modern Sideboards

Materials: Expedit, 12mm ply board

Description: Ex Ikea upright Expedit hack! Turn the bookcase on its side, we had 12mm ply board that we cut to size, sanded the edges and then stained in “maple” coloured stain with a satin finish.

Then a few tubes of liquid nails spread onto the bottom sides of the stained ply and clamps to hold the ply in place on the bookcases while the glue dried.

Ex Ikea Upright Bookcases now Mid Century Modern Sideboards

We then fitted the legs which we brought from a recycle yard (they came with the brackets that the legs screw into).

Voilà! A new sideboard!


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The Author


55 Responses to Ex Ikea Upright Bookcases now Mid Century Modern Sideboards

  1. Bree says:

    Hello! I just put together my Hallax shelf and all is well, but with the screws slightly sticking out on both end pieces (no more than 1 mm) I am wondering if you had to sand those down or screwed them in tighter? I am worried about cracking. Also, the same goes for the top and bottom, the gap between the end pieces and top and bottom pieces, it seems like the end pieces stick up about 1 mm. Did you have the same issues?

    Thank you! Beautiful job, and I can’t wait to complete mine.

    • David Greene says:

      Pretty sure they should NOT be sticking out at all. I have 3 of these units (big and small) and once screwed in they are slightly countersunk below the surface. Try tightening them a bit more, it’s possible the holes were not drilled all the way out on yours, as far as sanding them I’d take them out one at a time and sand the other end down the appropriate amount, then screw it back in.

  2. David says:

    Love it!

    Couple insignificant parts coming together, and e’Wallah!!

    One sweet looking piece!

    • Jo says:

      It’s actually voilà, not wallah – French for ‘there it is’ or ‘there you have it’ … It’s pronounced Vwah-Lah & commonly used after et, the French word for ‘and’ … spoken e.g. “et voilà!”
      Best wishes.

  3. Le P'tit Nicolas says:

    Good idea, for a nice realisation !!!

  4. Thomas says:

    Hi Elisabeth !

    - i have use wood glue for the board
    - I have found the legs on 2 little tables like that :


  5. Thomas says:

    Hi Elisabeth !

    - the boards are glued
    - i have found the legs on 2 little tables like that :


  6. Thomas says:

    Thanks for the Hack !

    Here is my realisation :

    Ikea KALLAX , 10mm ply board, longer legs, and KALLAX doors and stain Teck of Java (Satin)

    Hope you like it …


    • Elisabeth says:

      Hi Thomas, your interpretation looks very beautiful! How did you attach the ply board to the KALLAX? Glue or nails or else? And where did you purchase the legs? Thank you!

    • linda says:

      wow Thomas – that is fantastic!

    • Anna says:

      Hi Thomas! I love yours too! Want to try something similar but never ever did anything like that. Would you mind telling us please the measurements for the plywood sheets??? I want to make sure I get it right :) Thanks so much!

  7. Sindy says:

    Hi All!
    Sorry I haven’t answered any of your questions, I actually forgot I posted my hack on here!
    The legs were much taller to start with, but were cut down a few times to make sure the whole unit was stable as its quite heavy. For stability the legs have separate metal plates that they screw into.
    I agree that doors would look great, maybe just on a couple of the boxes would look Fab.
    I actually recreate and give life to a lot of second hand furniture and have a hobby business called RIVE Kyneton, it’s motto is “From Drab to Fab”! You can find it on Facebook as well as on my rivekyneton website ( I posted the hack under my personal name as I do not think you are allowed to post as a business on here?

    Many thanks for all your generous comments :-)

    • Anna Carolina says:

      Hi Sindy!
      I love it and want to try to do something similar, but never did anything like this before!! Could you please please tell us the exact measurements for the plywood sheets? I want to make sure I get it cut right :) Thanks so much!

  8. Kees says:

    Hi Sindy,

    I would like to thank you for the inspiration! I actually made one myself. And wrote a small story about it on my blog, which is in Dutch i’m afraid but i’m sure Google translate can help there. Thanks again and keep on hacking!!

  9. Drew says:

    Where did Joelle name-call in her comment? I don’t see anything to support your assertion that she was name-calling.

  10. Effie says:

    Is there a website to buy only the legs? Or what should I look for when I’m looking to recycle legs from other furniture? I’m not sure what brackets are, or if they are necessary for screwing on legs. Thanks!

  11. Nick says:

    What’s the height of the legs?

  12. Ebony says:

    I am in total love with this hack. I want one. I even mentioned it on my blog as it has inspired a new level or creativity. Stop by and visit #CoiledGlory cheers

  13. Damien says:


    Firstly I wanted to thank you for sharing this amazing hack!
    I’ve got a question for you : what’s the size (especially the height) of the legs you put under the expedit?

    And concerning the language correction, I’m french and I don’t mind if french words are used and slightly distorted, au contraire this is fun to see what other languages make from our simple words! :p

    Thank you by advance for the answer! :)

  14. Myra Barr says:

    People, did you forget that this is a design blog called “Ikea Hackers” , NOT a linguistics blog called ” Language Hackers ” !! We don’t CARE what you think about anything except design ideas. Such snobs !!

  15. AM says:

    Wallah is arabic (W’Allah) means ‘By God’ or ‘in the name of God’ – but indeed, nice hack :)

  16. Thaipo says:

    I think you meant to say “tray be in”.

  17. I love it! I have been needing a new cabinet to hold our record player and records and I think this would work! Thank you!!!

  18. Modern Steven says:

    Would be much better with doors

  19. Steven says:

    Add some doors and you would nervier know its IKEA!

  20. Carole says:

    Seriously? I love this! I can see it below a wall mounted big screen tv. This is an IKEA hack I can see myself really doing. And it gives me ideas for adding interest to the Expedit units I already have. :-)

  21. bartNJ says:

    Great hack. But the last place I expected to see a language lesson was here. You never see Americans correcting French people or others on trivial spellings of insignificant words because we actually have lives. If you have this much time to be on an IKEA site correcting people you need to get stuffed. You know what I mean.

    If “wallah” bothered you that much, you must be quite a fun person to be around. To go into such hate “…dolts” says a lot a bout you and your lack of confidence in your nationality. Picking on Americans is the surest sign of “second-place syndrome” ever.

  22. alterego2 says:

    Sindy, I love your hack and might try it myself. Ignore the naysayers-they are just jealous and have not kept up on the lingo…
    STG Wallah

  23. Pascale says:

    “et voilà le travail ” , we would have said in french : very good job, inspiring,
    brilliant !

  24. centrd says:

    Creative and well executed hack, not to mention excellent photos! Thank you so much for sharing. We need more like yours.

  25. Amber Delgado says:

    Sindy, Thanks for the great hack. Unfortunate that we will not enjoy any anymore since everyone feels so compelled to critique, judge, criticize and correct…
    Just enjoy the hack people…

  26. Sindy says:

    Just noticed my very first submitted hack made it to the featured section!
    Thanks all for the positive feedback, with a spelling and history lesson to boot!
    This Aussie girl will be keeping her other Ikea hacks to herself for fear of bringing the English, (maybe French as well?!), language into disrepute!

    • Jen says:

      Don’t do that! No disrespect was intended by myself or anyone else, I’m sure. We all learn something new every day :-) . This was a nice hack, I’m sure others would love to see what you come up with next!

    • lesismore says:

      Just tell everyone you were talking about onions (Walla-Walla onions from Washington State!) and let it go. The internet is a great place for anonymous cruelty, unfortunately. Gotta brush, that, dirt off your shoulder!

  27. Nicole says:

    Great looking and inspiring hack! Well done! :-)

  28. Zarah says:

    Looks absolutely fantastic! WTG! :D

  29. Jen says:

    Nice hack! I’ve been trying to figure out how to hack my 2×2 Expedit to be a little more mid-century and this is some nice inspiration.

    Also, it’s definitely worthwhile to understand how to use language correctly. I’ve also seen “wallah” (and variations) far too often and it’s worth putting the proper usage out there. Our society is getting lax in our understanding of words these days. Merci for the correction, everyone.

  30. Julianne says:

    One of the classiest hacks I’ve seen. Beautiful.

  31. k._.k says:

    BTW – if she were American, she would have used the US measuring system. Et beaucoup d’Américains parlent français, comme moi. Merci beaucoup.

  32. Ryan says:

    très bien

  33. John says:

    Awesome hack! I might just do this myself.

    Joelle, you must be a blast to be around.

    Viola! ;)

  34. Joelle says:

    ARGH! I love this hack, it is gorgeous; but please America realize that you are totally off base with this Wallah crap! The term is Voila and it is derived from FRENCH. It is an actual word people, one anglophones (that’s English speaking people to you dolts) adopted about 250-300 years ago when Napoleon was popular. In French it is used to say “There you go” or “Tad-ah”, so stop butchering the English language and then turning around and complaining about the Mexicans!

    • Luke says:

      Try getting that emotional over something that matters sometime.

    • freddy says:

      A little off on your dates with Napolean. Also, based on usage of the metric system, the spelling for “colour” and the use of the salutation “cheers”, she’s likely from somewhere in the Commonwealth.

    • Carole says:

      Joelle, although I do understand where you’re coming from, because I often get irritated that people can’t be bothered to use (or even learn how to use) terms, pronunciation, and punctuation correctly (not to mention the atrocious spelling that often accompanies it all), but to come into a website and name call makes you absolutely no better than anyone else. In fact, name calling is much worse, imo.

      Perhaps you’re more educated, and know more about language than a lot of people, perhaps you feel it’s common sense, but sometimes you just have to ‘let it go’.

      Our language/spelling issues aren’t helped at all by the age in which we live. Texting is a way of life for many. Shortening words to an quarter inch of their lives is the ‘norm’, so much so that some of us need dictionaries just to figure out what some of the words are actually supposed to mean. Unfortunately, that’s life, and it’s not going to get any better.

      All of that said, your comments remind me of my SIL, always correcting what people say, how they pronounce words, how they use sentences, pretty much everything, because of course she’s perfect and knows it all. She’s an expert on how French, Italian (which I am btw), and other language pronunciation, even though she’s never studied one iota of any of them. She’s been lucky enough to visit some of those countries, so therefore, she is an expert. Incidentally, I called her on a word once, Italian, cooking related. I grabbed my food dictionary and let her have it. Two can play the game when necessary. And it felt good to get it out of my system at least once. ;-)

      I hope having your say made you feel better. :-)

    • David says:

      Your use of the term “dolts” and your self-righteous attitude are more offensive than someone’s simple slip in terminology or spelling or punctuation or grammar…

    • David Greene says:

      Does it really matter that much? I mean I agree to a point, sometimes I read things and it makes me cringe, but the important part is that they are enthused about their project and the outcome of what they created with their vision of something special. Walla..Voila… who cares? Stop waving your white French battle flag at everyone. By the way, Napoleon died less than 200 years ago. Additionally being that I live in the USA and know hundreds of people the only ones I know who are complaining about Mexicans are living near the Rio Grande and they literally have had thousands of people cross their property, use it as their toilet, destroy some of their fencing, and steal some things. Their complaint is that they can’t get any help trying to FEED them, and are worried about their state of health. Way to go with the blanket statement. I’m guessing you may understand the feeling in my country now regarding our borders and our sovereignty at this point after those horrible attacks over there. Oh and Joelle- Napoleon was only popular in France, the rest of Europe was busy fighting his armies.

  35. andrew says:

    Love it

  36. Cher says:

    Very cool- Great idea to get the legs to be supportive of the whole structure. However, it’s “Voilà” not “WALLAH.”

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