Make It: putting IKEA Komplement drawers into my NON-IKEA closet

January 21, 2015

I want to say I’m a total DIYer, but I don’t have the space it takes to make things really happen. I live in an apartment in LA. I’m lucky I get a parking spot.

In light of that, I am so lucky that sometimes the DIY gods look fondly on me and allow me to make some goodies for my place.

Take a look at this. I installed those Ikea drawers into my pre-existing closet. I don’t have their Komplement wardrobes. I have my place’s previously built, and all wood closets. I don’t want to take them out and replace with MDF. Plus they’re pretty functional. All I need to add is drawers. So the planning and rigging for an annoying mistake of my life begins.

When I first think about this, it doesn’t seem to hard. I literally just have to build a wooden box with just sides with a top, attach to the bottom of my closet and boom, install drawers. I don’t even need a back! Let’s roll.

drawing an architech would be jealous ofFirst step, getting my measurements right so I can cut wood to be side pieces to this wooden box that will support the drawer slides. I want 4 drawers, and each measures just under 7”, but with slide height, it’s just under 8” so I make the height a good 35”. The length has to accommodate the drawer, so I measure the drawer. I cut the wood, and cut the top. I screw up the top twice, and quit there.

cabinet walls installed, drawer slides being attachedTo get this project back on track, I get to installing the sides of this soon to be put together frame. One closet edge has a 2” lip, so I have to create a side that allows for the frame to sit there. To add to sturdiness, I screw in 18” long 1 ½” solid wood pieces to the studs. After that, the wood side just gets screwed into the supports, and I’m good.

The next side is set in place, and I secure it with ‘L’ brackets. This may not be as secure as some of us want out there, but damnit if it doesn’t do the job. And I want to go to sleep, so I make do!

slides are installed--for the second timeBefore putting on a top and making this thing super strong, I screw in the drawer slides. It’s always easier to work when there isn’t anything blocking your way.

Once those are all screwed in, I assemble my Ikea drawers and install. It’s really that simple. Sure it took me a day to cut the wood, sand, paint it and install. Then I finished it the next day, but look at it in all of its organizing goodness. It holds my clothes, and I stick shoes in the last two drawers. I’m super happy with it. And it cost me just over $10.

  • Scrap wood: $6
  • Paint: leftover from another project
  • Ikea drawers: clearance at $1.75 each
  • Hardware: I already had
  • Screws: less than $1

With all the $$ I saved, I treated myself to new curtains for my closet. Snazzy! And this is why I build things instead of buy. What have you built lately?




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