Saturday, March 4, 2017


Two IKEA Malm dressers attached to two horizontally-stacked IKEA countertops. All topped with Eckby Alex drawers. Voila! Storage and a headboard! 
My bed floats, not in a magic-carpet way, but in a center-of-the-room way. There's a problem with that...
Without a headboard it's difficult to read, surf my laptop, lounge, and perform certain other activities (wink, nudge). I surfed the net and shopped all over but couldn't find a freestanding headboard. It's understandable really, since they generally need to be up-against, or secured-to, something vertical. Finally I took matters into my own hands and decided to hack some IKEA products.

I made my headboard in gray and white but
IKEA's Barcaboda herringbone countertop would be fabulous!
  • IMPORTANT: To freefloat, this headboard needs to be attached by screws to a wood floor. If your floor is tile or cement and you don't want to drill into it, the headboard should be attached at one end to a wall. 
  • As with all hacks, the DIY-er must anticipate variables and make them fit the particular situation.
  • Check that screws aren't too long!
  • IKEA countertops come in several prices (as low as $39), sizes, and thicknesses. They also come in many finishes and colors of wood and laminate. 
  • For high-heeled, hammer-totin' gals like me, IKEA products can be super heavy. Don't hurt yourself!
  • The countertops, when stacked, are taller than the dressers. Optional: To even them up, you may opt to cut one countertop's edge and place the cut edge on the floor. If not, you won't be able to put the Ekby Alex drawers on top.  
  • The headboard is wider than the 2 dressers it is attached to. How you arrange the excess is at your discretion. I put it off to one side with shelves behind.
  • For added stability, if there is a wall available to attach the structure to, do so.
  • The specified headboard is the same width as a king bed Some of the IKEA countertops are longer. A queen can be centered with room each side for small side shelves or tables.
  • The curved edge of standard hardware-store countertops makes them unsuitable for this purpose.

BEFORE: Bed plonked down in the middle of the room, without
 a headboard, in a room without storage. IKEA Malm 
dresser assembly underway

  • 2 IKEA Malm Dressers $169.00 each. 32 1/2" W x 19"D x 48 3/8"H
  • 2 IKEA Ekbacken countertops. $79.00 each. 74"L x 25 5/8"W x 1 1/8"
  • 16 corner braces, 1 1/2 inch
  • 8  corner braces , 2 inch
  • 4  nuts and bolts, 2 inch
  • Drill and drill-bits
  • Pliers
  • 1 friend to help attach countertops to dressers
  • Optional: Washers for nuts and bolts
  • Optional: 1 IKEA Eckby Alex shelf $50.99
  • Optional: Flat black paint or chalkboard paint

GET STARTED: Assemble the two IKEA Malm dressers, but do not put the backs on, and only install one drawer each. Without the backboards in place your dressers will have a tendency to triangulate. The drawer will help to prevent that.

Put the dressers in place, side by side, shimming under/between them if necessary to get them aligned. Be certain when drawers are pulled out they have clearance from any doors, doorknobs, walls etc. (right)

Attach the 2 dressers to each other. With the dressers aligned, drill holes through both interior walls and join with nuts, bolts and washers. Do this in several places for stability. Tighten the nuts with pliers.

Remove drawers to access the floor. Add the 2" corner braces in many places where the dresser meets the floor. This is a case where more is more, as in better stability, less shifting.

Add lots of 1 1/2" corner braces in many, many places at the backs of the dressers. These are what will hold the (heavy) counter-tops to the dressers. Again, more is better.

Place the bottom countertop against the back of the dressers with the overhanging end in the position you prefer.
If your countertop has a cut side, place the cut edge on the floor.
With your helper-friend holding the countertop to the back of the dressers, reach through from the front to screw the corner braces to the countertop.
Next, position the second countertop edge-to-edge on the first. Repeat, attaching it with the corner brackets.

Assemble the bottom and sides of the IKEA Eckby Alex shelf. Do not assemble the top or the back.
Place it in position on top of the headboard, aligned with the front. Attach it to the headboard with screws.
Finish assembling the top and the back and insert the drawers.

To disguise the rough backboard, I painted it with Rustoleum Chalk Board paint. Any matte black paint will have the same effect.

Thanks for stopping by.
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