When you want the look of custom furniture but don't have the time, money or maybe the desire to start from scratch, an Ikea hack is the way to go. It's also a good route to take if you like the look of modern furniture mixed with the rustic industrial or hard loft look in home decor.

These rustic cube shelves will take about two to four hours to build and require a medium skill level.

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DIY Rustic Cube Shelves Ikea Hack AKA Design

Things You\’ll Need

  • Ikea Kallax shelving unit, 16 1/2 by 57 7/8 inches, 1

  • One-by-fours, knotty pine, 6 feet long, 5

  • 3-inch on center cabinet handles, 4

  • 1 1/2-inch narrow fixed pin hinges, 8

  • Magnetic catches, 4

  • Wood glue or adhesive

  • 1 1/4-inch brad nails, 128

  • Table saw

  • Miter saw

  • Brad nailer

  • Drill and drill bits

  • Measuring tape

  • Sander and sandpaper

  • Hammer and other items for distressing wood

  • Dark walnut stain

  • Foam brush

  • Lint-free rag

  • Oil rubbed bronze spray paint (if necessary)

Step 1: Assemble the Shelving Unit

Assemble the Ikea Kallax shelving unit, following the directions in the box. Set aside.

Step 2: Cut the Door Materials

Measure and cut 16 pieces of one-by-four knotty pine boards to 13 1/16 inches long. (These will make up the door fronts.)

Measure Wood Cut Wood

Rip enough (not quite 1 inch) off of four of the door front pieces to create four 1-by-3-by-13 1/16-inch pieces.

Ripping Wood Ripping 1 inch off of four cut pieces Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design

Measure and cut an additional eight pieces of one-by-fours to 13 1/16 inches long. (These will be used to fasten the door pieces together.)

Step 3: Assemble the Doors

Lay out three of the 13 1/16 inch pieces from the one-by-four and one 1-by-3-by 13 1/16-inch piece. This will be the front of one door.

Apply glue to two pieces of 13 1/16 inch one-by-four and adhere to door front, lining up the edges and pressing down to affix. See photos.

Applying Adhesive Applying adhesive to wood Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design Adhere frame to door Adhering framing to door Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design

Using the brad nailer, also nail it in place.

Brad Nailer and Wood Doors Brad nail frame in place as well Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design

Repeat for all four doors, alternating the placement of the smaller board (1 by 3 by 13 1/16 inches) for a more rustic, reclaimed look.

Door Front Door Front Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design Door Back Door Back Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design

Step 4: Distress the Doors

Using a hammer and screwdriver, distress the door fronts by banging tools onto the wood at all angles. Distress the doors as much or as little as desired.

Raw Distressed knotty pine Raw distressed wood Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design

Sand the edges and fronts of the doors to remove any rough patches.

Apply stain to the doors using the foam brush, making sure the stain sinks into all the dents and grooves. Let it sit for five to 10 minutes. Wipe off the excess stain with a clean, lint-free cloth. Let them all dry fully before moving onto the next step.

Applying stain Apply stain with foam brush Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design Wipe off excess stain Wipe off excess stain Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design

Step 5: Add the Handles and Hinges

After the stain on the wood doors is finished drying, decide which way you want your doors to go (vertically or horizontally). Then, on the front of each door, place a pencil mark at 5 inches and 8 inches from the top of the door. Drill holes for the handle screws.

Mark with a pencil Once the stain on the wood doors is finished drying, on front of door mark at 5" and 3" with a pencil. Drill holes for handle screws. Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design Drill holes Drill holes for handles Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design

Drill 1-inch deep clearance holes in back for the screw heads to fit. Be careful not to drill through to the front of the doors. Add the handles to each door.

Drill clearance holes Drill clearance holes in back of doors for screw heads Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design

Spray paint the hinges if necessary (it was for me as I couldn't find black or oil-rubbed bronze hinges in the size and style I needed).

Locate one hinge 2 inches from the top and one hinge 2 inches from the bottom of each door on the side opposite the handle. Using screws that came with the hinges, attach the hinges to the doors.

Step 6: Attach the Doors to the Shelving Unit

Place the doors into the shelf openings and mark holes for the hinge screws with a pencil. Drill pilot holes (size appropriate for hinge screws) in the shelving unit and the doors. Attach the doors to the shelving unit by screwing the hinges into place.

Add the magnetic catches as door stops inside the shelving unit.

Door Detail Attach Hinges and Handles Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design

Finishing Touches

You can customize the cube shelf further by adding hair-pin legs, rigid or swivel casters or some sort of backing to the shelf, such as tread plate or wood planking.

Inside of Ikea Hack DIY Cube Shelves with Doors Inside of shelf display Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design IKEA KALLAX hack with DIY distressed wood doors IKEA KALLAX hack with wood doors finished Image Credit: Shannon Acheson, AKA Design

Have you ever hacked an Ikea piece? What's your favorite Ikea hack?

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