Ikea Hack: Wood and Metal Bookshelf

Not too long ago I was in search of a bookcase for the empty corner in our dining room. We needed a place for our phone charger and some other storage baskets/containers that were out of reach from the kiddos. My list of criteria wasn’t too ambitious:

  • An industrial metal frame
  • Warm wood shelves
  • A clean, modern design

There is an abundance of wood and metal bookshelves available right now. Some are a touch more rustic/farmhouse, while others have more of a traditional look. But I was looking for something more like these two …


Left: Dot & Bo $1,534 (Reclaimed railroad wood, Metal), Right: Overstock $135.89 (Laminate, MDF, Metal)

As much as I love the Dot and Bo bookshelf, it is WAY out of my price range. And the Overstock option has mdf/laminate wood shelves, which is not always a deal breaker, but for this piece I really wanted solid wood.

All was not lost, however, because this unimpressive little shelving unit from Ikea was just the right size for my dining room corner – and only $15! Time to start hacking. I had seen these shelves hacked once before, but my plan was a little easier.



Step One: Spray paint.

This one is pretty self explanatory. After assembling the unit, Spray it matte black and let it dry for several days.

Step Two: Cut and Stain Wood.

Use 1 by 12 wood planks (I used aspen). Cut the boards to the correct lengths. 23 9/16″ for the bottom three shelves and 23 10/16″ for the top shelf. Then rip the boards to the correct depth. 10 5/8″ for the bottom three and 10 13/16″ for the top shelf. Stain and poly them your desired color.

Step Three: Attach Wood.

With the metal shelves completely assembled, loosen the screws slightly for the bottom three shelves, then simply set the shelves in place and tighten the screws. They should be nice and snug.

Wood Metal Bookshelf_step 2

To attach the top shelf, place the wood on top of the metal shelf and align it. Use clamps to secure it. Unscrew the shelf, flip it upside down and place it on a sturdy work surface. Use a drill to make at least four holes in the metal and secure the wood to the metal with screws (make sure your screws aren’t too long.

Ikea Hyllis Hack. Wood and Metal bookshelf from realhappyspace.com

Add a touch of spray paint to camouflage the screws.

Ikea Hyllis Hack. Wood and Metal bookshelf from realhappyspace.com

That’s it. Pretty great transformation, right?

Ikea Hyllis Hack. Wood and Metal bookshelf from realhappyspace.com

Don’t forget, if you have kiddos, make sure to secure this bookshelf to the wall!

Ikea Hyllis Hack. Wood and Metal bookshelf from realhappyspace.com

Well, that’s all I have for you today. If you liked my little makeover, please pin and share it with your friends.

🙂 Happy Hacking!

Ikea Hyllis Hack. Wood and Metal bookshelf from realhappyspace.com

Linking up to: Remodelaholic, Link Party Palooza, DIY Sundy Showcase, The Creative Corner, The Creative Gallery, Tutorials & Tips, Dream. Create. Inspire, Pin-Worthy Wednesday, Create-Share-Inspire, Pretty Project Party.

14 comments on “Ikea Hack: Wood and Metal Bookshelf

  1. This is genius! It totally caught my eye from all the Pretty Project Party links 🙂 Thank you for sharing. I am putting this on the “must-make” for my son’s room list. It looks great!

  2. Hi! I love this! Bought the same units from Ikea today and was searching for a way to “jazz” them up. Can you tell me what was the name/brand of the stain and spray paint that you used?

    • Hi Ashley, I used Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch flat black spray paint. I did some experimenting with the stain – there are a few layers. I started with provincial (Varathane), then a layer of white/pickling stain (minwax), and lastly Jacobean (minwax). You could probably just skip the first two and go straight to Jacobean and it would look really nice.

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