Tag Archives | ikea

IKEA MALM dresser hack

Today we’re going to show you how we used $35-per-dresser worth of hardware to upgraded a couple IKEA Malms that until recently, looked like this:

DIY Dresser Upgrade And now… it looks like this!

You can watch the video that covers everything below, or keep scrolling for all our choices, steps, and tips in blog-format.

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a second it would mean SO much to us if you’d like our video or subscribe to our channel. Since we’re brand new to YouTube, every view, like, and subscription makes a huge difference for us. Click here to see the whole channel. Thank youuuuu! We’re doing a big goofy happy dance right now!]

We were inspired by this discontinued West Elm Dresser to do knobs on the top row of drawers and pulls on the rest. If you want to check out the backstory and challenges we faced about hardware and dressers (riveting, I know) before I get to the actual tutorial, click here to read our last post.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This ended up being a really simple tutorial that you could definitely tackle on a weeknight after work with just a few tools. Below is what we used:

Materials

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Tools

We also ended up needing bolt cutters, a wrench, and a spare nut that fit onto our screw because we ran into a little snag with our screw length (more details on that later).

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The first thing you have to do it make a big mess of your room by emptying all your drawers. Just think of it as an opportunity to get rid of that Panic at the Disco t-shirt that’s been shoved in the back for years.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Then you’ll need to measure your drawers and mark each spot to drill for your hardware. Double check your measurements because having a bunch of mistake-holes in your dresser is a good way to ruin it.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com For the pulls, we measured the width of the drawer front, then the width between the two holes in each pull. We subtracted the pull-width from the drawer-width and divided that number in two, which told us how far we needed to measure from each side of our drawer. We centered those marks vertically.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The knobs were easier. We just eyeballed what positioning looked good, made sure they were equally spaced width-wise from the outside edge of the drawer, and centered those vertically too.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com We recommend placing your hardware on each drawer front where you’ve marked before you drill. This gives you a visual check of how you did. When you feel confident that your ability to do simple math has resulted in the correct placement of your hardware, it’s time to get out the drill.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com To pick the right bit size, you can hold your screw up to several different sized bits and pick one that is just a hair thicker than your screw.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com We really like using a drill guide (that little metal bar we’re drilling through) to help us drill straight down (instead of at an angle). If you’re nervous about drilling through perfectly good furniture, I highly recommend getting one of these little guys.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com After drilling, we did hit a bit of a snag. See, hardware will typically come with screws, and ours came with two different screw size options. But sadly, we had a Goldilocks moment and one was too long and one was too short, but neither was juuuust right.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This is a common issue to run into, so we’re going to share a little tip (so you can avoid going to Home Depot for the 10th time that day to pick up new screws).

Grab a set of bolt cutters and a nut that’s sized to fit your screw. Thread the nut onto the screw, then cut the too-long screw to  the length you need.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Cutting it will deform the threads slightly, but that’s where the nut comes in. Grab the nut with a wrench and use your screwdriver to back the screw out of the nut. As you rotate it off over the damaged threads, it will re-shape them back to normal and boom, you have a perfectly-sized screw!

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The next step is to simply attach your hardware with your screws. You can use a normal screwdriver or a powered screwdriver depending on what you have.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Then just add your drawers (I guess you can put your clothes back now too) and give yourself a high five because you’re done!

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This project really was super easy, and it ended up only costing us $35 per dresser. In my book, that is WAY better than dishing out hundreds (or even thousands!) on something new.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Before…

DIY Dresser Upgrade After!

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The Little Things…And Big Things!

It’s interesting how finally beginning to make your house look pretty motivates you to fix some little things that you really should have taken care of months ago.

Take the lights over our bar for example. Not sure how obvious it is in the picture, but each light is doing his own thing. Light #1 is all blue and fluorescent-y, light #2 is dull and barely hanging on, light #3 is chipper and bright, and light #4… well he gave up a long time ago.

The Little Things...And Big Things! - evanandkatelyn.com

It was time to get these guys on the same page darn it!

The Little Things...And Big Things! - evanandkatelyn.com

Ahhhhh, much better. I can cook under even lighting and it will be easier to spot Mochi when she’s spying on me making my morning breakfast taco.

The Little Things...And Big Things! - evanandkatelyn.com

That was just a little “why-did-we-wait-so-long-to-do-that” change, but there are some BIG changes on the horizon too. We bought a few things at Ikea :)

The Little Things...And Big Things! - evanandkatelyn.com

Please excuse us while we spend the next 24 hours up to our ears in boxes and allen wrenches, we’ll be back soon with a full reveal! :D

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DIY Cat Box Cabinet

In our last laundry room post, I mentioned a DIY project Evan and I tackled back when we were still in the apartment. This project was all about hiding poop. Cat poop. And litter and stuff. The scourge of the clean freak cat owner.

Being in an apartment meant we had no good place to hide Mochi’s litter box. Our laundry room/pantry only had a couple square feet of floor space, and shoving it into the corner of our only bathroom where guests would see it was not ideal either. Especially because Mochi, bless her little crazy heart, spazzes out after each time she goes potty and bursts out her litter box in a mad dash trailing a flurry of litter-bits behind her like pebbly cat star dust. This meant litter was EVERYWHERE. All. The. Time.

We weren’t sure what to do about our little Pooper. But then we saw this

DIY Cat Box Cabinet- evanandkatelyn.com

Ikea + jigsaw + kitty door = a cat box cabinet! We immediately scoured the internet and found all sorts of tutorials. In addition to the one above, we got inspiration from here, here, and here. We sort of took what we liked from each and created our own kitty litter containment center. Here it is in all it’s glory! (hanging out in it’s old home in the apartment)

DIY Cat Box Cabinet- evanandkatelyn.com

We chose a two-compartment Besta unit at IKEA as our base since it’s our cabinet of choice (we used it for our media center and wanted everything to be cohesive). We discarded the extra shelves that came with it and bought a full-height cabinet door for the left side, and a drawer and shorter cabinet door for the right side. We also ordered this kitty door to add to one side so Mochi could get in and out.

Before putting the unit together, we grabbed the side piece we wanted to put the door into and traced an outline to give us a where-to-cut guide.

DIY Cat Box Cabinet- evanandkatelyn.com

Then we took it out onto our balcony (in the middle of the night it seems!) and cut out the shape with our jigsaw.

DIY Cat Box Cabinet- evanandkatelyn.com

Next we spray painted the door black so that it blended in better with the Besta.

DIY Cat Box Cabinet- evanandkatelyn.com

Please forgive us, at the time we didn’t know we’d be sharing this tutorial on a blog so we didn’t take pictures of the next steps. After the door dried, we popped it into the hole we cut like the instructions say to do. We took off the magnet that makes the door snap shut because Momo couldnt figure out that she had to push a little harder to get through and she kept accidentally “locking” herself inside the box. Oh Momo.

DIY Cat Box Cabinet- evanandkatelyn.com

The next step, which we also did not take a picture of at the time, is to use the jigsaw to cut a doorway through the middle panel of the Besta. I’ll show you what I mean in the picture below.

DIY Cat Box Cabinet- evanandkatelyn.com

See the part marked “doorway”? I outlined it in white so you could see it better, but basically before assembling the Besta we traced a Mochi-sized opening in the middle panel to connect the two compartments of the cabinet and cut it with our jigsaw. The edges were raw, so we were super classy and finished them off with duct tape (see that gray inside part of the “door frame”?).

Once our doorway and kitty door were made, we assembled the Besta and added some weather stripping along the bottom of the inside of the cabinets to keep litter from coming out the cabinet doors.

After that, we just popped in her box on the left, a litter mat on the right, and filled the drawer with all her stuff (minus her toys, which she hides in secret places around the house).

DIY Cat Box Cabinet- evanandkatelyn.com

Close the cabinets and drawer and you have an inconspicuous cat box cabinet/good place to set your keys.

DIY Cat Box Cabinet- evanandkatelyn.com

This cabinet is AWESOME. No ugly litter boxes. MUCH less litter out on your floors (there’s still a little but not bucketfulls like before). No stinky-ness. Good place to store cat stuff. Win win win win! Plus it was easy- just make sure you find a box that fits, that was the only challenge! The best part is Mochi likes it, and a happy cat means happy hoomans!

DIY Cat Box Cabinet- evanandkatelyn.com

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DIY West Elm “S” Shelf

One of the first DIY projects we did in our apartment was super simple and we were able to save lots of money- win! It started when we spied the “S” shelf at West Elm…

DIY West Elm "S" Shelf- evanandkatelyn.com

DIY West Elm "S" Shelf- evanandkatelyn.com

We thought it would be the perfect thing to go above our TV without adding too much visual weight (that side of the room was already super heavy with our big media center). I remember it being around $120-$140 (don’t quote me on that), which seemed sorta crazy for something so simple. I don’t know if they still sell it, but lucky for you it was super easy to make and we’ll go through the steps here.

First off, we made a trip to our beloved IKEA and picked up some Lack wall shelves in black (four of the 11-3/4″ ones for $6.99 each, and one of the 43-1/4″ ones for $14.99). Unfortunately we did not remember to take any pictures before assembling it, so instead I drew up these instructions for doing so:

DIY West Elm "S" Shelf- evanandkatelyn.com

It was as simple as that! Before we put it on the wall I did manage to snap a picture of the assembled “S” shelf… but it was before we moved the “L” bracket to the correct location. In the picture below you’ll see the “L” bracket on the far left. Which was fine, but it would have stuck out underneath the shelf. So instead we decided to add it to the bottom of the “U” part of the shelf (see comic above) so that when you flip it and put it on the wall, it’s above eye level (even for tall people) and doesn’t show.

DIY West Elm "S" Shelf- evanandkatelyn.com

Just follow the IKEA instructions for attaching those brackets to the wall and you’ll be golden. Note- we left the screws as is, but if you wanted them to blend more you could color them with a black sharpie. You could also use any of the other Lack shelf colors if you wanted to mix things up.

DIY West Elm "S" Shelf- evanandkatelyn.com

DIY West Elm "S" Shelf- evanandkatelyn.com

This project was super easy, fast, and wayyyyy cheaper than the West Elm version.

Here’s the budget breakdown:

  • Four 11-3/4″ IKEA Lack shelves (with brackets and screws)… $6.99 a piece
  • One 43-1/4″ IKEA Lack shelf (with brackets and screws)… $14.99
  • Power drill (or you could use a screwdriver)… already owned
  • TOTAL… $42.95

I’d say compared to $120-$140, that’s a heck of a deal! And requires pretty much no DIY skills to put together yourself. Woohoo!

 

 

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