diy project: ikea bedside chair


when we decided to move our bedroom to a different room in the house, we no longer had the space for our old bedside tables. i decided to use an old chair because it was narrow enough and it looked pretty good. unfortunately, i lost two important things in the switch: a place for private things (my ‘goody’ drawer, so to speak, although mine just has a journal and some nail clippers…saucy!!) and surface space – even with a smaller bedside lamp i didn’t have much room. i loved the quirkiness of using a chair (i’ve seen in many home tours and it is always very charming), but i needed these problems solved. ikea to the rescue!!

i am majorly inspired by “odd” furniture designs, like this “tamp and lable” by florian kallus, so i decided to work over a simple pine chair to create a multi-purpose bedside table, complete with a drawer and swivel lamp! i splurged a bit on the new trål wall sconce ($16.99) because it looked so good with the chair, and i like that it rotates so i can change the angle when i am reading in bed. if you aren’t into the industrial look of this piece (my boyfriend called this franken-furniture, which i love), i hope you will at least take away the knowledge that adding a drawer to a chair (or anything) is remarkably easy, and cheap! the great thing about this design is that you can still use the chair for seating if you need to, you can even have a little light over your shoulder! i hope you like this one, i had a lot of fun making it. have fun!! kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

materials:
1. ikea ivar chair
2. ikea trål sconce
3. ikea snodd knobs (or any knob you like)
3. wood box or crate or old drawer (must be 12″ wide and under 12″ long. i used this wood craft boxfrom michael’s craft store)
4. drill (with a 3/8″ thick drill bit)
5. drawer slides 10″ long (these come in packs of two and are available at most hardware stores. they come in many lengths)
6. 1″ wood screws (x2)

cost:
ikea materials: $41
wood crate, box: free on hand, or $5 (at craft store)
drawer slides: $5

time:
2-3 hours

instructions:
1. take the chair out of the box and connect the two side pieces with the back slats of the chair, according to the instructions. lay the seat on top, but do not attach.

2. take your drawer/box and slide under the seat in front to check the fit. the box from michael’s fit perfectly with the 12″ side as the front of the drawer.

3. take the drawer slides apart and attach the slides to the drawer according to the instructions that come with the drawer slides. you should have small screws included with the drawer slides that you can use. it’s okay if your drawer does not go the full length of the slides (my box was just 8″ wide, so 2″ of slide were extending on the back of the drawer). make the drawer slides flush with the front of your drawer, and screw in a couple places on each side to secure. you might want to add a piece of wood to the back for weight. i used the extra front panel piece of the chair that was left over.

4. now that your drawer has the slides attached, take the seat off the chair so the interior of the sides of the chair are exposed. attach the other two pieces of the drawer slides to the left and right side of the chair. make them flush with the top edge of the sides, so that they seat will be right on top of them and the drawer. you can put your drawer in while holding the sides to make sure you have them in the right place. a second person is useful here for this purpose.

5. screw the front of the drawer slides into the chair legs with one screw on each side. then screw in the back of each drawer slide with the 1″ screws (to account for the gap between the slide and the wood of the chair).

6. now that your drawer slides are in, your drawer should slide into them easily. you will notice that the front of the chair is adjustable in width, because the  seat hasn’t been attached yet. adjust their width so that the drawer is sliding in without any friction.

7. when you have the drawer in the right place and sliding properly, put the seat back on and screw in place using the screws that came with the chair. make sure the drawer still slides nicely when the seat is put in place.

8. drill a hole in the center of the front of the drawer and add the snodd knob. super cute! slide drawer back in place.


9. unwrap the sconce and read the directions for installation. it’s WAY too easy.

10. take the metal piece that attaches to the “wall” and screw it into the back of the top of the chair on the left side (or right, depending on which side of the bed your chair is going on)

11. slide the sconce piece onto the metal piece and add the pin to secure. add light bulb. if you want, you can staple the cord down the back of the chair to keep it neat, but it’s pretty easy to hide and tuck away also.

12. put next the bed and plug it in. hide goodies in drawer.

YOU’RE DONE!!

  1. Candi says:

    wow i do love this for a dining table. I also have a small apt. Maybe I can put napkins, votive candles, flowers and accessories for a center piece. I mot a fan of wood, but i do love this!!!

  2. MicaD says:

    Great idea! BTW that book shown in the pictures is one of my FAVES!

  3. EBrown says:

    Came back to this post. I love it so much. I have no need for chairs but I definitely see a trip to Ikea for the supplies in my future. Thank you. Thank you.

  4. Anna says:

    so cool, I really want to try this!

  5. Sonya says:

    franken furniture indeed! bleepin’ brilliant! hats off to you and your clever, space saving, awesome ikea hack. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

  6. Donna says:

    I, too, am drawn to quirky furniture. Usually, it comes with a huge price. This is brilliant and thanks for concise directions.

  7. Kate says:

    Super! Love it.

  8. I love this! What a great idea.

  9. Novi says:

    Love this idea Kate! Some people use chairs for hanging their clothes but it’s a real bonus to have the drawer and rotating lamp.

  10. meindert Peters says:

    The front of the drawer, is that the piece of the chair that u havent used? Cause it looks much lower than on the orignal ikea chair. Or am I missing something???

  11. Kate says:

    meindert Peters:
    yes, you are right. you do not put the front panel of the chair on because you are replacing it with the drawer. the piece of wood you see is the front of the drawer that i added on.

  12. Rebecca E says:

    This is a really smart and well-executed idea. I like that you left the natural wood, yet the design gives people the option of painting, stenciling or vinyl decals if they want.

    I’m wondering if this will work on other styles of chairs that have cylindrical legs–can you attach the drawer slides under the chair’s seat? Also, were the slides the same depth as the chair or did they stick out in back and then you cut them off? I have some windsor chairs I would like to try this on.

  13. EBrown says:

    OK. I don’t understand “the piece of wood you see is the front of the drawer that i added on.” Is this an additional piece of wood that you purchased? Is it actually a piece of a drawer that you already owned? A piece of the Michael’s box that you featured? Is it a piece of the chair? Inquiring minds want to know.

  14. Kate says:

    Hey all! Here are some answers to the most recent questions:
    1. Rebecca E – the drawer slides I purchased require you to attach the slides to the side of the chair (they do not have screw holes on the top of the metal bars, only on the side). BUT, you could probably drill some small holes in the metal to allow you to attach upward to the underside of the seat. I definitely recommend trying it out. Most seats should be at least 10 or 12″ deep (to accommodate adult butts!), so the slides do not need to be cut, they fit under the seat perfectly. If you do have a shorter seat, look for 8″ slides online. I don’t think you can cut the slides because the roll mechanisms at both ends are required.

    2. EBrown – Sorry if I was unclear. I attached a 3″ x 12″ piece of pine to the front of my box because my box wood finish didn’t quite match my chair. i left the step out because it may not be necessary for everyone and it seemed to make the directions more confusing. If you do purchase the michael’s box i used, you might want to get a piece of pine from a hardware store that is 3″ x 12″ (and .5″-1″ thick) and attach it to the front. It doesn’t change how you mount the drawer slides at all – you still mount them so the front of the slides are flush with the front of the box (w/o the wood). You just add the piece of wood to the front of the box after the slides are attached.

  15. Kathleen says:

    I have been scouring the intertoobs for this type of design and this is the first I’ve found. Thank you! I’ve been wanting to add drawers to my dining chairs and table in order to store stuff in the spot closest to where it will be used.

  16. madln easley says:

    You are too clever-please submit this to Country Living-they will eat it up!

  17. Vikki says:

    I have an IKEA chair that was discontinued. They put in the drawer & the back has fabric velcroed around each slat to form 2 slings for books that hang behind the chair. BUT the light!! Great idea — I have been stressing about moving my bed around and putting more holes in the walls for my lights. It never occured to me to attach the lights to the chair, brilliant!

  18. inbal says:

    wow. i just love it!

  19. Gigi says:

    it’s so great ! i love it !!

  20. mosey says:

    This is fantastic! I also never knew that a creating a drawer could be so easy. Definitely going to try that out!

  21. Nicole says:

    I’ve been wanting to make this since I saw it and I’m gathering materials! Very exciting!

    Anyways, I was just looking at the chair and, since the front wood panel is no longer used, I was wondering if the chair is still sit-on-able?

  22. Sandy says:

    This looks adorable! I’m trying to get a hold of an unfinished wooden box, but can’t find one anywhere (not at craft or home improvements stores, offline AND online).

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to get a wooden box like this, short of making one?

  23. I love this idea! It turned out so very fantastic, and I can see me using the back-of-the-chair rungs to hang my necklaces. Could keep them seperated by either notching the rung, or putting little pegs in the rung. Oh my oh my! Whoohoo

  24. Sara says:

    I love this, however, how did you get the front piece of the drawer?

    It is obviously not from the chair, and that craft box you linked to doesn’t have that bigger piece either.

    How do you get that bigger front piece?

  25. laurel says:

    LOVE this idea!!!

  26. LM says:

    I also haven’t been able to find a drawer like the one used here – either in stores, or online. Does anyone have insight in to where to get one?

LEAVE A COMMENT

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.