Use This IKEA Hack To DIY A Kitchen Island

IKEA is world renowned for its low cost and easy-to-install furniture. The brand has made waves worldwide, and with more than 41 billion euros in sales in 2021 alone (via IKEA), it's easy to see why. IKEA furniture comes in a variety of styles. The pieces' basic, Scandinavian design elements mean that they can fit right into virtually any home without paying the hefty price tag of designer furniture.

The flat pack design means that you must assemble each item but allows for infinite customization and versatility. This feature has given rise to a cottage industry of IKEA hacks that allow you to purchase simple IKEA pieces and transform them into specialized accents that fit perfectly into your home. For instance, YouTuber Craftydust made a kitchen island out of an IKEA shelving unit. Below we'll look at this hack and take you through the steps of how to build your own DIY island.

Plan out your build and get supplies

YouTuber Craftydust uses the IKEA "KALLAX" shelving units for this DIY. She takes these units and adds a countertop on top and wheels below to make the perfect mobile island. The wheels (and light frame of the KALLAX pieces) make this a versatile addition to any room in the home. Not only will you gain valuable countertop space, you can also bring the island into the living room for a game night table or even outside for snacks and drinks at a friendly get-together.

This DIY is customizable, so you and connect two or more of these pieces to fit your needs. You should first measure your kitchen and decide how much additional counter space you'd like before starting. 

After deciding how big you want your DIY to be, it's time to get the supplies. In addition to the shelves, Craftydust notes that you'll need a tabletop, magnetic strips, and wheel assemblies for the four corners of the island (four for each section: If you're building table space with two KALLAX units, this makes eight wheel attachments).

Assemble the shelves and attach wheels

The next step in the process is assembling the KALLAX units, according to Craftydust. Unlike other IKEA hacks and tricks, this project won't require you to cut up the furniture or alter the basic layout of the design during the initial build. Simply follow the instructions given with the shelves.

Once your shelves are built, flip them upside down (to expose the section you'll be using as the bottom). Then drill pilot holes along the four corners in line with the wheel assemblies. Attaching the wheels is as simple as driving in the screws and then flipping the unit back over again so that it rests on the newly installed wheels.

It's a good idea to purchase wheel units that come with a locking mechanism. A locking feature will allow you to secure the unit in place when working on tasks that require a stationary tabletop, like chopping vegetables.

Finish the build and personalize

Next, you'll add the countertop to your shelves. Cutting these down to size is important. Craftydust notes that she cut the countertop pieces so that they would protrude from the edge by about 12 to 12.5 centimeters (or just under 5 inches) on each side. You can use this measurement as a guide (her countertop dimensions came out to 25 inches by 35 inches) or switch it up to adhere to your unique home space. Once you've cut the countertops, adhere trim to the unfinished edges. Then attach the tops to the KALLAX units with silicone glue. 

After you have the countertop secured, you'll attach any necessary magnetic discs. These are a must for any if you're building an island with multiple shelving units.

Once the island is finished, all you have to do is personalize your storage squares! These shelves make a great spot for pots and pans, spices, plates, or anything else you might keep in the kitchen. The finished product featured by Crafty Dust includes a wine bottle rack, cookbooks, and some decorative pieces to make the shelves feel more personal. The sky is the limit when it comes to adding your own personal touch to this versatile new mobile kitchen island.