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IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases – Version 2.0

My IKEA hack for Expedit bookcases has been one of my most popular DIY projects!  The Expedit is a much-loved IKEA piece and my IKEA hack offers an easy, inexpensive and creative way to hide clutter without spending a ton of money on IKEA baskets and Expedit drawers.  It’s been exciting to see so many people try this project for themselves (see here and here for examples).  If you missed Version 1.0, here’s the idea behind my IKEA hack for Expedit bookcases in a nutshell:  I used screw eyes and cup hooks to create swinging “doors” out of canvases for the Expedit cubbies.  For Version 1.0, I painted little abstracts on the canvases and installed them randomly for an artsy vibe.  For the lakehouse though, I decided to simplify the idea with one row of turquoise swinging “doors”.

Hide Clutter with this Easy IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases - Version 2.0 #ikeahack #ikea #expedit #diyhomedecor

Here’s a closer look at my IKEA hack for Expedit idea:

Hide Clutter with this Easy IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases - Version 2.0 #ikeahack #ikea #expedit #diyhomedecorSupplies:

IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases – Steps:

First paint the canvases – it’s easier and a cleaner look if you do it before adding the hardware.  You can paint them a solid color with leftover wall paint, paint an easy abstract, decoupage with gold leaf.  Check out my DIY project gallery for tons of art ideas!  Let the paint dry before moving on to the next step.   

Measure where you’d like the hooks placed under an Expedit shelf and mark it with a pencil.  Using pliers, you can just twist the cup hooks in – no drilling required.  Make sure the hooks are facing the same way (I faced mine out) for a cleaner look.  Facing them outwards (see photo above) makes it easier to just life the canvases up and off if you want to remove them completely to access what’s behind.  To finish this easy hack, measure where the corresponding screw eye should line up on the canvas and twist it into the canvas frame. 

The Finished IKEA Hack for Expedit:

This IKEA Expedit Hack Version 2.0 has a much more minimalist, organized vibe.  To underscore the orderliness, the next row up is filled with DIY plywood magazine files we made to fit the Expedit perfectly.  Click here for the tutorial – the insides are painted turquoise to (secretly) match the “doors”!

Hide Clutter with this Easy IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases - Version 2.0 #ikeahack #ikea #expedit #diyhomedecor

If you’re curious about what’s lurking behind the swinging doors:

Hide Clutter with this Easy IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases - Version 2.0 #ikeahack #ikea #expedit #diyhomedecor

You might have noticed that I have a new Ikea Expedit.  I’ve always wanted a white Expedit but the floor models always look so beat up – more so than the dark brown, which is what I always end up buying.  When my Dad said he wouldn’t mind taking the two brown ones from the townhouse, I figured it was finally time to buy a white one.  It’s creamier than I thought it would be, and nicks and dents do show up more than on the dark finish, but it looks beautiful and I love it.  The dark one took up so much visual space and was really imposing.  The white doesn’t close in the room as much, even though it’s just as large and just as packed with books.  I wish I’d trusted my gut years ago and chosen white.

Hide Clutter with this Easy IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases - Version 2.0 #ikeahack #ikea #expedit #diyhomedecorHide Clutter with this Easy IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases - Version 2.0 #ikeahack #ikea #expedit #diyhomedecor

You already caught a peek of the colourful books.  We pared down our books a lot before moving because we used to have a second bookcase in the basement.  We keep most novels in a box because we typically read those at the beach and pass them on.  This bookcase largely houses reference books, cookbooks, and novels we read again and again.  The rainbow organizing is so soothing to my brain.

Hide Clutter with this Easy IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases - Version 2.0 #ikeahack #ikea #expedit #diyhomedecorHide Clutter with this Easy IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases - Version 2.0 #ikeahack #ikea #expedit #diyhomedecor

My colour-blind Dad was visiting recently and spent a long time looking at the books.  Eventually he looked at me, totally confused and sounding kind of helpless, and asked, “how are your books arranged?”.  I looked at him, then at the books, then at him and then realized – of course – it must look like total chaos to him! 

Hide Clutter with this Easy IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases - Version 2.0 #ikeahack #ikea #expedit #diyhomedecorHide Clutter with this Easy IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases - Version 2.0 #ikeahack #ikea #expedit #diyhomedecor

The top row of cubbies has been reserved for my pottery collection.

Hide Clutter with this Easy IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases - Version 2.0 #ikeahack #ikea #expedit #diyhomedecor

Onward with office progress.  In the meantime, has anyone else tried my IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases

Hide Clutter with this Easy IKEA Hack for Expedit Bookcases - Version 2.0 #ikeahack #ikea #expedit #diyhomedecor

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13 Comments

  1. Jane Gallant
    April 7, 2014 / 12:17 pm

    Love this Tanya! I can't believe how much more organized and polished it feels with the bottom row covered up!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 7, 2014 / 3:07 pm

      Thanks!! That bottom row was driving me insane and then I thought, "heyyyyy, I know what I can do". I'm a one-trick pony, lol.

  2. Jordana @WhiteCabana
    April 7, 2014 / 9:46 pm

    Version 2.0 definitely looks orderly…just my type of bookshelf. I arranged my books by colour throughout my PhD and people looked at me like I was crazy. C'est la vie.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 7, 2014 / 11:34 pm

      I'm weak, I caved, so I admire that you stuck to it! I have no idea why people care how other people arrange their books, but they do. Seriously, there are much bigger problems in the world!

  3. Shawna @ FurnitureWorks
    April 8, 2014 / 12:04 am

    Due to a Craigslist snafu I missed out on a free top/bottom cabinet combination for my workshop. It was heartbreaking. But after seeing this, and realizing we're getting an IKEA in less than a month in my city, I'm over it. This is exactly what I need and infinitely more beautiful. Thanks — love it!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 8, 2014 / 4:18 am

      Oh no, that's terrible!! I've missed out on some sweet finds too. I'm happy this idea might suit your needs – I'd love to see your Expedit hack. The Expedit has been discontinued for a slimmer model bookcase, I've heard, so hopefully your new Ikea will still have some hopefully on sale!).

  4. GemmaBeads
    April 10, 2014 / 2:07 am

    I have this shelf in my girls bedroom and bought the various drawers and containers but it is so cluttered still. When I move them into the bigger bedroom, the expedit will be their room divider and these "doors" will be wonderful! I might add a small knob to the bottom of each too. Thanks for sharing your win.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 10, 2014 / 3:02 am

      Adding small knobs is an excellent idea!

  5. Shanti @ Everyday Bohemian
    May 26, 2014 / 5:56 am

    LMAO!!! "I used to organize my books by colour but in recent years I felt pressured to organize them by theme to be more "scholarly," but a) we have so few books that I find them in seconds…" this whole paragraph is exactly how I feel. I've organized my books by color for years and love it so šŸ™‚ Much love, kindred spirit! I needed that good laugh šŸ™‚

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      July 17, 2015 / 9:00 pm

      Thanks for sharing – I just checked your post and it looks great! I'm happy that the inside dimensions of the kallax make this tutorial still possible. I do miss the expedit, but your kallax units look so nice!

  6. Vess
    August 5, 2015 / 6:53 am

    Hiya, I was just curious, we haven't gotten our KALLAX shelving yet, but having a baby in the house I want to do this with the bottom 2 rows and wondered what we're the size of your canvases please. Thanks!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 5, 2015 / 2:22 pm

      The canvases are 12 x 12 but this is an Expedit. I don't know if the interior dimensions of the Kallax are the same, so just double check. I found my canvases at Michael's in a pack for a good deal šŸ™‚

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