Make It Work: The Complete Guide to IKEA Hacks & Projects

updated Aug 12, 2019
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(Image credit: Dabney Frake)

You know the saying: give someone a fish and they eat for a day. But teach that person to fish and they eat for a lifetime? Wise words, and completely applicable to IKEA hacks. Because, we can show you good examples of “Before & After” projects all day long but, sooner or later young lady, you’ll find yourself standing in front of a broke-down MALM dresser and you won’t know what to do. And then where are you going to be? Huh? Can you answer me that?

Here’s the ultimate guide to refinishing, drilling, upholstering, painting, customizing, and cutting IKEA furniture.


Have a metal VITTSJÖ or laminate MALM that needs a new pair of shoes? Here are a handful of techniques for changing the look of your finished piece:


If you are sick of looking at the same old KLIPPAN day after day, give it a new look with either a pre-made or DIY slipcover solution.


Perhaps you’re ready to take things a bit further, and need some help with really altering what comes in the flat pack.


If you don’t have the skills, but want a custom look for your brand new dresser, try one of these IKEA-focused companies:

  • Swap out panels, doors and other features with Superfront
  • Decorative fretwork panels form O’verlays
  • Customize popular IKEA pieces with MYKEA
  • Peel and stick vinyl covers from PANYL
  • Get new feet from Prettypegs
  • Buy custom made doors for your IKEA cabinets from SemiHandmade