How to update the popular IKEA Alex drawers using contact paper! And a sneak peek of my current work from home set up!
The perfectionist in me didn’t want to share my office space until it was completely finished. But if there’s one thing these past few months have taught me, its that its important to enjoy the process and not just the outcome. And that showing up imperfectly, is better than not showing up at all.
OK, that’s two things … but you get what I’m trying to say right? Perfection is the enemy of done!
So on that note – you can expect more ‘In progress’ blog posts from me in the coming months . . starting with a peek at my new home office (which previously used to be here, but I’ve since released that having an office in the bedroom isn’t such a good idea. I never felt motivated to get out of bed and work ha)
In my previous post where I shared my DIY IKEA dining seat hack, you might remember me saying that I was slowly converting one side of the dining room into an office / space?
I had a rough floor plan in mind before I got started, and so far I’ve been able to keep to it. It’s amazing how much you can fit into a room with a little out of the box thinking! ? I also plan to include a bar and coffee station which I’ll be sharing more about in the future.
WHY THE IKEA ALEX DRAWERS?
The biggest feature in this space right now are these upcycled IKEA Alex drawers . I feel like anyone who has ever shopped at IKEA will recognize this drawer unit – are you even a true IKEA fan if you don’t own one? I love them because they look modern, and have the capacity and depth to hold quite a lot of stuff! (I also have one in my sons under the stairs homework station).
The only downside is that they don’t come in a wide range of colours. If you’re not into the white glossy look – the only other option is to personalise them in some way. But not to worry, that’s the great thing about owning IKEA furniture.There are so many ways you can customise or hack them!
These drawers in particular are actually second hand, given to me by a friend (one mans trash is another mans treasure and all that). As far as functionality they were in good shape, however there were a few marks and scrapes to the fronts of the drawers. I decided against painting and opted instead to cover them with contact paper.
Contact paper (or Fablon as us Brits call it) is a self-adhesive paper that can be applied to most smooth hard surfaces (including walls and floors – see my wallpapered floor tutorial here).
RELATED: WAYS TO USE CONTACT PAPER IN YOUR HOME
It took me about 30 mins to complete this project. The DIY is pretty self – explanatory, but I’ve included a few instructions if this is something you would like to try doing out yourself.
MATERIALS YOU’LL NEED FOR THIS IKEA ALEX DRAWERS HACK:
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- Contact paper or removable wallpaper.
- Knife – or craft knife
- Old card
- Tape measure
1. Clean and dry the surface of the drawers well (use alcohol wipes if you have any)
2. Place the IKEA ALEX drawers on its back – so that the drawers are facing up to the ceiling.
3. Measure the height and width of the drawers (allowing a few centimetres for error). Cut the paper to size according to those measurements.
4. Peel back the backing from the contact paper and place firmly on the front of the drawers .
5. Now use your knife to cut away the paper around the handles and sides of each drawer.
6. Smooth out any bubbles in the paper with the old card.
As you can see from my pictures, I have used these drawers to make up one side of my desk (FYI this cork table used to be our dining table). The other side of the table is held up with legs – also from IKEA.
To account for the small difference in height between the drawers and the legs, I slotted in a thin wooden slat between the drawers and the table top as seen below.
The wire that runs across the room is actually an indoor clothes line.. it retracts when not in use.You can buy similar from here.
What do you think? Have you ever upcycled the IKEA ALEX drawers before?
IKEA KALLAX HACK – DINING SEAT
I love this hack. Did you also get the table top at IKEA? And what is holding it up in the opposite side? I’d love to try this at home.
Hi yes i did. Table legs are holding it up one side and the drawers the other side.
Beautiful transformation! Love the idea to use credit card for bubbles!! I just did a contact paper project today and was struggling to work the bubbles out.
Yup it works great at getting bubbles out!
Looks great! What is the counter top made from? It looks like cork, but I can’t tell.
Great idea! I don’t have ikea furniture but really this can apply to any furniture you need to spruce up. Thanks so much for sharing.
Thank you for reading 🙂
I love a good IKEA hack! And contact paper is such an inexpensive way to get a fab look. Love it!