Besta bookcase1

Published on May 1st, 2014 | by kckova


Better than Besta


Materials used: 2 Ikea Besta bookshelves / 1 piece of Alder plywood (4′ x 8′)/ stain, screws, and glue

We recently moved in to our new house in Phoenix area and the corner of our front room was super sad.

sad corner

We lasted about 5 months with this pathetic set up but eventually ran out of patience. Being a bit house poor, we tried to find a bookshelf solution that softened the corner that fit our budget- but couldn’t find a 90 degree bookshelf that didn’t put a serious dent in our depleted bank account. It was time for an Ikea hack. The plan was to wrap two Besta bookshelves with high quality plywood to give them a custom look with a continuous top.

We purchased two Ikea Besta bookshelves – $70 each. I then dropped by my local woodworkers store to find a piece of plywood. I settled on one 4′x8′ sheet of 3/4 Alder plywood, which ran around $100. I liked the alder because it had a nice clean, but distinct grain and is local to Arizona.

Mitre cuts were done on a table saw and the 45 degree corner cut was done with a circular saw and a handmade jig.

Before staining, I did a dry fit to make sure that all my measurements were accurate (or at least passable). Success!


When I knew my cut pieces would work, I hit everything with some pre-stain, stain and some satin polyurethane.I glued, clamped and countersunk screws from the inside of the bookshelf into the underside of the plywood. Without further ado, here’s the finished project.





As you’ll see in the next two photos the joints were not perfect, but that’s what you get when you’re working with a wall that has a 93 degree angle.



With all supplies, this Ikea hack cost under $300. Thanks for checking this out and happy hacking!

Lack Media Bench with Tiled Top
GRUNDTAL Swivel Mounts

The Author


12 Responses to Better than Besta

  1. Danielle says:

    This is fantastic.

    Do you think you could put doors on the units or would they clash with each (struggle to open due to the angle?)

  2. claudia says:

    Hi! What stain did you use? I am trying to find that color, but everything I am sampling is coming out too dark or too red. Yours is the perfect color! Do you mind sharing?

  3. Larry Indich says:

    Can’t find these shelves on ikeas site. Can you give me the link? Thanks so much!

  4. doug c says:

    “…the joints were not perfect, but that’s what you get when you’re working with a wall that has a 93 degree angle…”

    With your fine staining job to show off the grain in the wood slabs the space in the joints just gives it some real character !!

    Inspiring piece !!

  5. nick says:

    looks good ! love this idea. so easy to do

  6. Amanda says:

    This is the absolutely best hack I’ve seen — it really looks like an expensive and elegant piece of furniture! And it looks like something I might even be able to do, with a little help from a carpenter…
    Thank you so much for your inspiring work!

  7. Vanessa says:

    Looks great! Do you happen to have your measurements for the plywood pieces? I want to try this, but would need to get the wood cut at the store.

  8. Christopher Price says:

    This is the best looking Besta ever. Puts the Besta gear in our office to shame.

  9. Super Super Impressed says:

    This is beautiful! what did you use as the bonding agent?

    • kckova kckova says:

      I used a simple wood glue and used many clamps. My process was to apply glue to the underside of the plywood, clamp it tight to the besta unit, and drive screws from inside the besta into the plywood.

      This proved to be pretty effective – the trick is to line up the mitre joints since I did not bond the mitre joint.

  10. Super Impressed says:

    Outstanding idea! Thanks!

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