How To Turn A Bookshelf Into A Storage Bench

Nancy Rosado

Hi! My name is Nancy! Welcome to my Blog, your ultimate guide to healthy living! I want to help you find your very own happily ever after through a balanced approach to health and wellness. Together, we’ll make all your dreams come true!


Step 5

Measure and cut the fabric for the cushions. Add at least 1-1/2” to the length and width of the seats so you can easily wrap the fabric around the cushion.

Measure and cut the fabric for the cushions. Add at least 1-1/2” to the length and width of the seats so you can easily wrap the fabric around the cushion.

How strong is a floating shelf?

A floating shelf is strong, quick to build, with no visible supports and made from only two parts. These shelves are handsome, easy to build and inexpensive. And they’re strong even though they have no visible supports. They appear to float on the wall, no clunky hardware or brackets.

Can floating shelves hold much weight?

How much weight can floating shelves hold? A typical floating shelf can support weights of about 20 to 30 kilograms depending on the material they are made of and the supporting brackets that are used. 12mm diameter brackets can support shelves of up to 22mm thick loaded with 20kg.

How to Choose Material for your Bench Cushion

Once you’ve got you shelf, you are half way to completing your Ikea storage bench seat!

The one big decision you will have to make is the type of material you want to choose for the seat of your bench. If you have kids or pets then a nice vinyl material will be easy to wipe clean. I chose the vinyl since I have kids.

UPDATE: I’ve had this Ikea bench hack in my kitchen for almost 6 months now, and it still looks new, even after some spills. I’m super glad I chose the vinyl!

The only downside is that most vinyl materials come is solid colors.

If your heart is set on a nice pattern to give your room a pop, then you won’t find a big selection of patterned vinyl out there. Let me know if there is!

If you’re looking for fabric to cover your cushion with, it’s very important to make sure you buy a thick material -almost canvas like- material or even upholstery grade material.

The thin generic cotton fabric, when used in a project like this, will start to wear and possibly rip. This is because the seat portion of the benches tend to get lots of use, and all that wear can be harsh on thinner cotton fabrics.

You can do a quick search on ‘Upholstery material’ on amazon or google to find some online upholstery textiles.

If you want to see your material before you buy,  can check out your local material/textiles store.

Ikea has Textiles!

If you’re already heading out to Ikea to buy your Kallax, you can checkout their Ikea textiles section.

I was impressed with their selection and even more with their quality of fabric!

I chose a nice “thick” material to cover a bench cushion for my Trofast bench hack for my kids craft area.

Loved the colorful and whimsical patterns in their textile selection!

UPDATE: I wish I had used a vinyl fabric for this craft bench too. Let’s just say kids crating/painting near fabric that has white in it, is not the best idea….Duh!

Getting Started

This bench is so versatile it can go anywhere in your home- from kitchen, mudroom, toy room, hallway to even a nifty window seat. The possibilities are endless.

The first thing to do before starting this Ikea Kallax hack, is to measure the area you want your seating bench to go. You want to make sure the bench will fit before you buy it.

The measurements for the Kallax are 17″ x 58 “

As long as your opening is minimum 58″ wide, you should be fine.

In my home, I chose to put it between my 2 Ikea Billy bookshelves in my kitchen eating area. As promised, I finally wrote a post on my DIY Kitchen Pantry with Ikea Billy Bookcases, check it out!

Now back to the Kallax hack. I ended up finding the older version of the Kallax -the Expedit – which is a little longer and fit perfectly in my space.

Ikea no longer sells the Expedit, but the Kallax is the exact same except its shorter.

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