Ikea Lack Hack – From Coffee Table To The Perfect Bedside Table

Ikea Lack Hack – From Coffee Table To The Perfect Bedside Table

In the master bedroom, we’ve been using on each side of the bed the IKEA LACK coffee tables as nightstands. This was supposed to be a temporary situation as it was an effortless and inexpensive solution, but we ended up having them for over five years. I quickly got used to their fairly large surface that could easily accommodate more than what one needs to have on hand over the course of a night, but their height has always been a problem. Coffee tables are meant to be shorter than bedside tables and with an 11 inch difference from the top part of the mattress to the table, reaching for something was more of a plunge than anything else. Not to mention that reading in bed was out of the question as even the tallest table lamps were too short to distribute adequate reading light. As for their style, it was definitely not my first choice.

I managed to extend their height and turn them into functional and elegant bedside tables! All I had to do was to add one more shelf and four legs of top of my existing IKEA LACK coffee table!

To make one bedside table, I used two IKEA LACK coffee tables – an assembled one (which I already had) plus a new one that I purchased. From the new table package, I only used the upper thick tabletop and two legs.

IKEA lack-coffee-table pm

And I also bought two wooden corbels that would serve as front legs to hold my new shelf.

69ee8be9-ffd2-4099-b34a-5658359ccfb7_400 pmps3

This is the result.

IKEA LACK HACK - mydearirene

And here is how to make one: I took the new parts to a carpenter and for a low cost, I had him (1) cut 2.5 inches off each corbel (2) make the new top shelf 12.5 inches long and (3) cut the two new legs to 7 ¼ inches high.  Even though I had read that the legs of the IKEA LACK tables are hollow, to my surprise, I found out that only about half the leg is hollow.  The other half is filled with particle wood, and that is the part I used, as it had two filled flat surfaces to apply glue onto. Here are the parts after they were cut to the above mentioned dimensions.

Ikea Hack Cut pieces - mydearirene

To glue all the parts together, I used a 5-minute Epoxy, a very strong glue that sets in just a few minutes.  I worked very fast and with help and I applied generous quantities of glue on all the parts that needed to be connected. I first positioned the corbels on the old coffee table, then the back feet and last the thick shelf on top. This glue is so strong that there is no way that this new addition will ever fall apart. I had previously sanded the parts that I wanted to glue together to create a rougher surface, but I don’t think this was necessary. I used almost more than half of the 50 ml container on one nightstand.

Glue - mydearine

I immediately added lots of weight on the top shelf and let the glue settle for 24 hours. At that point, I already knew that this would turn into an awesome piece of furniture, even though I still had a little work ahead.

Ikea Hack With Weight - mydearirene

I decided to leave the back of the new cut shelf as is, as it wouldn’t show.
Ikea Hack Back Part - mydearireneI used a chisel to remove excess dried glue,

Dried Glue - mydearirene

wood filler to fill the openings on the back of the corbels that were showing,

Ikea Hack Wood Filling II - mydearirene

and I also applied wood filler on all the joints of the connected parts and on some of the old ones (legs connecting to the old tabletop).

Ikea Hack Wood Filling - mydearirene

I sanded off the excess dried wood filler and ended up with a smooth surface, ready for paint.

Ikea Hack Sanding - mydearirene

I started with a generous coat of primer and continued with black satin paint, all applied with a roller. To camouflage the parts that were not perfectly well glued together, I thought of giving my bedside table a weathered look. I tried to mimic this finish that I had seen on the Pottery Barn Dawson Pedestal Tableso I painted strokes of orange paint with a thick brush between the second and third coat of black paint.

Strokes Of Paint - mydearirene

I could’t be more pleased with the result! The moment it was finished,

Ikea Lack Hack Left Side Of Bed - mydearirne

I started working on a second one for the other side of the bed.

Ikea Lack Hack Right Side Of Bed - mydearirene

The addition of this top shelf makes the nightstand much more functional than I expected. The table lamp sits a lot higher, giving enough reading light, while the items that are needed during the night (i.e. a bottle of water, glasses etc.) are now easily reachable.

As for their overall look, I think they turned out from plain modern to elegant, a good match for our classic bed.

Ikea Lack Hack Adding One Shelf - mydearirene

On some of the joints, like this one, I did an absolute perfect job. The surface turned out smooth and it seems as the new shelf addition and the new legs is actually one solid piece of wood.

Ikea Hack Bedside Table Perfect Detail - mydearirene

On some other parts I did less of a good job

Ikea Lack Hack Finish - mydearirene

and that’s why I’m glad I added the orange strokes of paint that give a slightly weathered look; they’re vaguely visible, here and there, but they do hide  some of my carpentry imperfections.

Ikea Lack Hack Weathered Look - mydearirene

The new addition makes it seem as if the nightstand doesn’t extend as far out from the back wall as it used to. Plus, the dimensions of the table compared to the bed seem now much less disproportionate.

Ikea Lack Hack Adding Upper Shelf - mydearirenecom

What I like most about these new bedside tables are the curved front legs

Ikea Lack Hack Curved Leg - mydearirene

Ikea Lack Hack Curved Front Leg - mydearirene

and the detail on the end of the corbel. It’s only a little touch but it adds character and style to this new piece of furniture.

Ikea Lack Hack Front Leg Detail - mydearirene

To save money, I could have purchased only one new table and used it for both nightstands (have the tabletop cut in the middle and use each half on each table). But in that case, the length of the new addition would’ve been a lot smaller and the corbels would not be sitting on the front border of the table.  I would have saved $20 but I would have lost some of their beauty and functionality.

Every creation starts with some kind of inspiration. My new stylish bedside tables have been inspired by the Ballard Designs Sidney Open Side Table. The dimensions are almost identical, the various levels are similar in looks and functionality, and even though I don’t have the drawers, my baskets provide almost closed storage and they can be pulled out (a little project of the past).

Ikea Lack Hack Baskets - mydearirene

The IKEA LACK coffee tables are $19.99 each, the corbels are $9.98 each, the glue was about $12 and the rest of the expenses is distributed between the carpenter, the primer & paint and other. So, the cost of one finished bedside table came out to about $85, but I only spent about $65/table since I already owned the two assembled tables.

The most difficult part of the project was deciding what color to paint them. The house is a rental and the master bedroom comes with heavy beige drapes that cannot be removed and the room has beige walls that I can’t paint. So, coming up with a color that would match our bed and the rest of the room was not an easy task. I decided on this rich black because it seemed that it would tie all the elements of the room in harmony, but I might decide to paint them again someday soon in another color.

I’m still in the process of styling the new bedside tables, moving things around, bringing in decorative items from other parts of the house, and making them look as if I just bought them out of a catalog!

Ikea Lack Hack In The Master Bedroom - mydearirene

Materials for one bedside table

  • 2 LACK coffee table – IKEA
  • 2 Waddell Solid Basswood corbels – The Home Depot
  • System Three Quick Cure 5 glue – Woodcraft
  • Zinsser Bull’s Eye1-2-3 / 1qt. White Water Based Interior/Exterior Primer – The Home Depot
  • Black paint – Spade Black in satin finish by Behr Ultra
  • Orange paint – 6671 Curry by Sherwin Williams
  • wood filler
  • paint roller
  • chisel
  • sand paper


32 Responses to Ikea Lack Hack – From Coffee Table To The Perfect Bedside Table

  1. Beautiful! Your directions are very thorough and clear. Thank you for sharing this clever and stunning project.

  2. I’m so impressed, yours is one of the best I’ve seen ANYWHERE. You really hit it out of the park, Those table are beautiful. You must lie awake at night dreaming up stuff to do. Adding those corbels was a stroke of genius, who’d have thunk it.

    • Jenn, thank you so much! I checked out your blog and your work looks great, too! It’s also good to read ein bisschen Deutsch!

  3. I LOVE what you did and I’m dying to try and make one…! I’m a Senior woman (75) but live alone and often tackle some DIY’s by myself. I’d like to make this table using the small square LACK tables as the space beside my bed is pretty narrow. I imagine it would still work on that small scale, wouldn’t it……? And I’ll paint mine WHITE to match the rest of my bedroom furniture…. 🙂
    I’ll be following you on Facebook from now on…..!
    Best wishes, Nadia in Perth, Western Australia

    • Nadia, thank you for all your comments 🙂 I’m sure that the small square LACK table would work just as well. I’m actually thinking of making one for the guest room. If you find out that the legs are hollow, you might want to add a small piece of wood cut to size on one of the ends I’ll be happy to see how it turns out!

  4. I’m visiting from Ikea Hackers too and I love this idea! Do you have a suggestion of what you’d use to fill the back of the top shelf if you want to use it away from a wall? I’d like to make this for my entry but because of baseboard heaters it won’t sit close to the wall and would be visible when you walk in the house. I’ve spent the past hour checking out your blog and you’ve given me some great ideas, thanks!

    • Patti, before deciding to leave mine open, I was considering one of the following (1) filling it with wood filler, (2) gluing (and painting) a strip of veneer edgeband or edge tape (3) gluing a strip of cane webbing. Mine is also sitting away from the window, (more than 10 inches) and it doesn’t show, even when I come in from the door that’s on the right of it. Let me know if any of these worked! So glad you liked my blog!:)

    • Hi! The corbels are from The Home Depot. They have the same curved detail on both ends and I had one end cut straight to hold the upper shelf. The IKEA legs were then cut at the same height. Photos and more details are on the post.
      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Thank you Maureen! Believe me all the fun is in the creating so I’d definitely recommend trying your hands at some of the projects! Let me know if you’re looking for any ideas to get started, always happy to help!

  5. LOVE your blog!!!! Truly inspiring…. I am smitten with the lamps on your tables!!! Wherever did you find them??

    • Thank you Patty!! 🙂
      The lamps are from Target (online). I don’t think they carry them anymore but they have similar ones. The lampshades are also from Target.

  6. This is a great idea, I love the look! Just moved into a new place and trying to redecorate/repurpose some pieces on a small budget. Always looking for great DIY projects. Thank you.

    • Congratulations on your new place, Susan! I hope you found plenty of DIY ideas on mydearirene.com 🙂
      Thank you for taking the time to write!

  7. Angelica, I LOVE these! You are a genius!
    The profile is so elegant, and they would work in a contemporary or traditional setting! The corbels you’ve chosen are a perfect complement!
    BTW, I did a little research at IKEA, and discovered the Lack TV bench is exactly the same length as the smaller Lack coffee table. The top shelf is just over 10″ deep, so it is almost as wide as half of the Lack coffee table top. Using the TV bench top would solve the issue of an unfinished back on the upper shelf. The cost for two ‘Angelica’ night tables would run about (USD$80.00 / CAN$88.00) for the IKEA components, so it is a little more costly than using 3 Lack coffee tables (USD $75.00 / CAN$75.00), but the upside is the back of the upper shelf is finished. You would end up with some spare parts from the TV benches, but that could be a good thing for a DIY’er . I’m def going to make one or two!!
    (Please don’t take this as anything more than a suggestion for those who might want an easy solution to achieving a finished back to the shelf.)

    • Thanks for your comment, Lloyd. A few people have already asked me how to finish the back/cut side, so thank you for sharing. Please, let me know how yours turn out, I’d LOVE to see them!

  8. Wow!!!! Loved it!! Congrats! By the way loved the basket details, the lamp and jewellry box, but what I loved the most is the icon you added, it is lovely! Great contrast against the black color, on top of that I am a great fan of icons, may I ask where did you get yours? Thanks!

    • Thank you, Yolanda! There are actually two icons; one is from Mount Athos – Greece and the other one is from the bookstore of the Holy Virgin Cathedral – Joy of all Who Sorrow, Russian Orthodox Church, in San Francisco. I think you can order similar ones online http://www.hvcbookstore.com/.
      They do have beautiful, Byzantine icons!
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  9. Hi there – I think I may have missed it but did you cut the top off of the corbels so they’re square or did you fill it in?

    • Hi Laura, I did cut off the top of the corbels so that they would become straight to hold the upper shelf. No need to fill them as they were made of solid wood. They are cut at the same height with the back legs that are holding that same upper shelf. If you need more details, feel free to ask!

  10. Very beautiful! Nice step by step tutorial…then reading more about you and what you’ve been doing the past 10 years…I’ve been thinking about doing a blog or something (such a wide variety of things I would like to share) but I don’t have a sister or one person specifically I’d like to share with, but would like to share with the world. How did you start?

      • Well thank you very much for taking the time to respond. You have inspired me to keep moving in the direction of my own dream to share my experiences, life lessons,diy and of course hacks! Thank you and bless your journey!

  11. I saw this on Apartment Therapy today. Nice job! I like the color you chose. I would have been tempted to go with cherry/teak color to match the bed, but the dark brown fits in perfectly and you didn’t have to worry about matching them exactly.

    • Thanks Ana! I agree, choosing the right color can sometimes be challenging, but it seemed as the only good choice!

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Hi! I'm Angelica! For the last ten years I've been sharing my cooking, home projects and ideas with my sister Irene. "Once Again, My Dear Irene" is just an extension of our daily chats. Moreover "My Dear Irene" Continue Reading