Basic IKEA Cabinets Become A Chic Bench With This Hack

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A dedicated dining room is a great area to have in your home to entertain guests and enjoy family dinners, but, in homes where you're short on space, it can feel like a waste of valuable square footage. Recently, smaller breakfast nooks and eat-in kitchens have taken the stage as a way to still have a spot to enjoy your meal without having to sacrifice an entire room. Now, there's a way to maximize your space even more by creating a dining bench that has built-in storage using cabinets from IKEA.

This hack, originally shared by @thediymommy on TikTok, still requires a bit of basic construction, but its reliance on IKEA cabinets makes it much simpler to pull off than attempting to design and build the entire thing from scratch. The final result is a polished and functional built-in that even beginners can create on their own with a few basic tools and skills.

How to build your own dining bench

To begin your project, you have to gather the necessary materials. In her video, The DIY Mommy uses two IKEA Sektion top cabinets, 2-by-4s the same dimensions as the bottom of the cabinets, baseboard trim, and fabric and foam for the cushions. She begins by assembling the IKEA cabinets according to the instructions, then cuts her 2-by-4s to size and builds the base. To do this, she creates a simple grid pattern with the wood — two long pieces the length of the cabinet, two pieces to connect them that are the depth of the cabinet, and one piece the same depth to create a support in the middle.

Once this is built, she connects the cabinets to the base and installs her trim to cover any exposed wood. Finally, she makes her own custom cushion to go on top. In her video, she essentially sews a large pillowcase to cover the 2-inch thick foam, but you could also take a no-sew approach more similar to reupholstering furniture if you have some plywood in a staple gun. Simply place the foam down, add on the plywood, then neatly fold over the corners and staple them down to the plywood to create a seat.

How much does the final project cost

If you plan to do this yourself, it's important to know exactly how much money you'll have to spend to pull it off. For the most part, the cost comes down to materials, though if you don't have the necessary tools, that could also increase your spending. The IKEA Sektion cabinets cost $221 each, so you're looking at $442 for two. You'll also need two 8-foot 2-by-4s for the frame, which, if you buy from Home Depot, is about $6.

For the finishing touches, you're going to need to get 16 feet of baseboard trim if you decide to cover the back as well. Basic options like this trim by Woodgrain Millwork at Home Depot will cost you around $1.64 per foot. Finally, you'll need your foam and fabric. In her video, The DIY Mommy says her foam is this FoamTouch Upholstery Foam from Amazon for about $75, and the fabric is this Premier Prints Indoor/Outdoor Fabric, available for $9.99 per yard and also from Amazon. With all of these costs, and assuming you already have tools available, the final total for this DIY is around $570.