How To Turn An IKEA Bookcase Into A Bench

Parents often warn of the stress, responsibility, and financial obligations that come along with having kids, but what they rarely tell you about is all the stuff. While kids are born into this world with nothing, it doesn't stay that way for long. In fact, at my sister's baby shower last December, she received not one, not two, but THREE infant-sized bathrobes. Even for a baby, that's a lot of spa days.

If you're a parent, you've probably felt the strain of your kid's belongings before. Maybe you used to be the hippest person in your friend group, but now there are piles of tiny shoes clogging up your entryway. And that's only the beginning. So, what happened? As kids grow, so do their interests, books, and art projects. A space that worked great as a playroom for toddlers may begin to feel crowded a lot sooner than you anticipated.

Jen, from "i heart organizing," was facing this problem when she came up with a unique solution using two IKEA bookshelves and some old fabric. The idea, however, didn't come to her overnight. Jen considered buying a couch, a settee, or a daybed before deciding to transform a bookcase into a bench instead. Sure, it sounds a little crazy, but we think you'll be convinced once you see the results.

This was Jen's playroom before the makeover. With three boys, the space was quickly becoming crowded, and worse, there was no place for the family to relax, cuddle, or read a book together. The slipcover chairs had served their purpose, but it was time for a change.


First, to liven up the room and give it a more whimsical look, Jen painted a wall blue and stenciled on white birch trees. If you'd like a closer look at how she did it, check out her directions here.

Next, she took two IKEA Expedite bookshelves and flipped them on their sides. As an IKEA family member, she scored both for $100, but for the rest of us, they'll cost closer to $60 a piece. If you don't want to spend that much, try checking your local thrift shop or yard sales for a shelf – just make sure it's sturdy!

Jen then purchased a board and some foam, which she cut to fit the length of the bookshelves.

She wrapped the board and foam in some snazzy green fabric …


… and just like that, a bench was born!

It looks great in the space, and best of all, solves two problems at once. The family now has a place to hang out, and the kids have plenty of storage for their books and toys. Way to go, mom!

H/T: NX2 | i heart organizing

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