Buying furniture at IKEA is a rite of passage for people moving into their first place, whether it’s university housing, a small bachelor apartment, or those taking the leap into their very first home ownership.  But what is a budget following person to do when their “Swedish for Common sense” items aren’t going to cut it and other solutions will break the bank?  Welcome to the world of IKEA hacks.  A place where you can buy cheap, re-purpose existing furniture, and get inspired for some DIY transformations.

Below are 7 IKEA hacks that will help you up-cycle redundant into useful, and outdated to outrageously awesome.

  1. The filing cabinet franken-desk
    Need storage for all of your VIP (very important papers) and somewhere to keep your computer?  Consider combining some of your IKEA filing cabinets along with another table, some lumber or a butcher block for your home office.
  2. Put up your feet with this re-Lack(ed) coffee table
    Let’s face it, with IKEA being so darn affordable, you probably have the same coffee table as a third of your friends.  Give a little personal flare to your Lack coffee table by giving it a new set of legs.  You will be the envy of Lack owners everywhere!
  3. Recover your IKEA couches, armchairs and more
    Whether your cat decided to sharpen their claws on the side of your couch, your roommate spilled a glass of red wine all over it, or you just want a change from the general wear and tear of your current slip covers, you can easily add a new set of covers to make old feel new again.  If you’re not digging the latest selections IKEA is offering, or they’ve discontinued your model there are stores that specialize in fun, unusual slipcover designs for current and older IKEA models.
  4. No kitchen is an island
    If you have room in your kitchen for an island or need some additional corner storage for your pots and pans, consider another way to chop the Lack coffee table into a handy dandy island.  Now you can chop, sauté, and cook in style!
  5. Teeny tiny bedroom?  No problem!
    Create your own Captain’s Bed by placing your mattress a top of a set of IKEA dressers.  Now you have a place to rest your weary head and store off season clothing!
  6. A window seat with a view
    Is your pet the king of your castle? The person who posted this tutorial transformed IKEA Malm dressers into a window seat for her dogs.  How handy would it be to have drawer space in your living room for books, board games,  and throw blankets while little Fido sits by the window to serve and protect?
  7. Love books? Consider a Billy built-in bookcase
    The function of a Billy Bookcase is amazing, but sometimes a book lover wants a to give their collection the look of a library in an old manor home.  This tutorial from Apartment Therapy, along with a trip to your local building supply store can transform regular Billy Bookcases into the envy of avid readers everywhere.