Convert this popular step stool to an occasional side table

I wanted a small, portable table that I could use to put my food and drinks on when sitting in my garden. As I would use it only occasionally, I didn’t want to buy something that would just take up space in my house or shed. (I already have a large dining table in my garden).

Although a foldable table would have been appropriate, I had left over materials and decided to make something myself.

I already owned the BEKVÄM stool and the size was ideal. I decided to make an extension so the stool could be used as an occasional side table. The furniture board (detachable table top) does not take up much space, so I just store it in my shed when I don’t need it.

IKEA items used:
ikea bekvam
Other materials/tools:

Convertible side table stool hack:

Step 1:

Cut the furniture board into the desired size, depending on how large you want the side table to be. Use sandpaper to smooth the edges.

Step 2:

Cut two pieces of wood into the shape of the BEKVÄM stool opening on top. Use sandpaper to smooth the edges and to ensure they fit through the opening.

Step 3:

Place the two pieces of wood on top of each other and drill the screw into the center.

attached to the furniture board

Two pieces of wood attached to the furniture board

Step 4:

Decide how you want to place the furniture board on top of the BEKVÄM stool. Then, place the stack of two pieces of wood in the right place and drill the screw through the furniture board. The screw has to be sufficiently tight so that the two pieces of wood can be twisted only with some force.  

bottom piece of wood

Bottom piece of wood twisted to secure furniture board to BEKVÄM stool. Photo taken from below.

Step 5:

The screw is now sticking out from the furniture board or what’s now the table top. Use a door knob or any desired alternative to cover and secure it.

IKEA step stool side table

Step 6:

The furniture board can now be placed on top of the BEKVÄM stool and secured to the stool by twisting the bottom piece of wood that is sticking out underneath.

And there you have it, a step stool side table.

IKEA step stool side table
How much did it cost and how long did it take?

I did not buy any of the materials specifically for this project, using only what I had leftover. If buying new, a BEKVÄM stool costs £25.

Cutting and smoothing the wood took the most time. In total, the project took me a couple of hours.

What’s the most difficult part of this hack?

The most difficult part was to cut the two small pieces of wood in the right shape, so they would be able to fit through the opening of the BEKVÄM stool.

It is important to find a screw with the right length. It has to stick out somewhat in order to secure the furniture board and two pieces of wood, but not too much. In my case it stuck out around 1.5 cm, so the doorknob could be screwed on easily. Adding the doorknob was a last-minute idea. I don’t like this particular doorknob as it is old and discolored, but it emphasizes the fact that I used recycled materials only.

Personally I like the idea of the doorknob, because it is easy to carry the furniture board (also with the stool attached), but a smooth surface may have been more aesthetically pleasing.

~ by Mirjam