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Ikea Kallax shelf upgrade

Updated: Jan 17

We transformed an Ikea Kallax shelving unit into a functional bench with storage. It was super easy and only cost around $125 for all the materials! Keep reading to learn how we put it together.

Here is our end result. We use it in our son, Harlow's, room for storage. You could just as easily use it in your entryway, bedroom, mudroom or garage.

Before getting started:

Have an idea of where you want to put the bench. That'll make a difference on the which bench legs and inserts you chose to purchase.

And be sure to measure!

When the Kallax bench is flipped horizontally, it measures:

57 7/8" wide X 16 1/2" high (not including the height of the furniture legs).

The last thing you want is to assemble the shelf, attach the legs, and find out it doesn't fit in your intended location.

Materials (Total cost ~$125):

  • Ikea KALLAX shelf unit (4 cubes stacked vertically). Cost: $60

  • A set of 4 furniture legs. We used these in the walnut color. Cost: $20

  • 4 storage baskets. Ikea's Branas basket is made specifically for the Kallax shelf. They were out of stock when we did this project, so, we bought these from Amazon. Our cost: $45


  1. After purchasing the materials, assemble the KALLAX shelf (for anyone whose ever assembled Ikea furniture, you know how much fun this is :)

  2. Flip it horizontally and drill in the 4 wooden legs to the bottom.

  3. Move to your desired location, fill the baskets.

  4. I had some fun decorating the top with nursery items. Depending on where you put the bench, you could throw blankets or pillows on top. Or keep it empty and put floor plants on either side if you're using it in your entryway!

This has been a great addition to Harlow's nursery! We've used the baskets for toy, book, and crib sheet storage. And, as you can see, he used it to practice pulling up and cruising before he started walking. We put these edge bumpers on the corners to protect his little noggin :)

Click here to see my original Kallax post on Instagram.

My original inspo for this bench came from:

@jcdesign1.1 on IG (see her highlight on "entry ikea hack"

@ameliakyoga on IG (see her highlight on "entryway")

Give it a try! And if you do, tag me on IG so I can see!

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