Ikea Bench Seat Hack {Turning a Shoe Rack into a Bench}

Rolling the clock back to 2015, when I turned a cheap IKEA shoe rack into sweet little bathroom bench seat, in this Ikea bench seat hack.

I’d been desperate to do something lovely with this sad little shoe rack for a while — it was the perfect size for our bathroom and offered great storage but it was so ugly.

With a little bit of creativity, some fabric and paint, this little shoe rack got a makeover — a shoe rack IKEA hack, if you will!

What Else Can I Use an IKEA Shoe Rack For?

I turned a cheap IKEA shoe rack into sweet little bathroom bench seat, in this Ikea bench seat hack.
Exhibit A — The little IKEA shoe rack bench
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

The IKEA shoe rack certainly didn’t look like bench seat! But with a little bit of creativity and TLC it transformed from an ugly shoe rack, to a sweet little wooden storage bench with a cushion.

Perfect for the boys to sit on when they were getting dry; whilst still giving us the same storage as before and looking a LOT more pretty too.

Here’s what I did.

How To Tranform a Shoe Rack To a Storage Bench

Ikea shoerack to Bench Seat Hack
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Turn a Shoe Rack into a Bench Seat (Ikea Bench Seat Hack)

Turn a Shoe Rack into a Bench Seat (Ikea Bench Seat Hack)

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Medium
Estimated Cost: Under £30

I turned a cheap IKEA shoe rack into sweet little bathroom bench seat, in this Ikea bench seat hack.


  • Wooden IKEA shoe-rack (you can also get a similar version from Amazon.
  • 18mm MDF
  • 2 inch foam
  • Wood glue
  • Screws
  • Fabric
  • Piping Cord
  • Zip
  • Chalk Paint


  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Scalpel or sharp knife
  • Sewing Machine (or you can hand-sew with a needle and thread)
  • Screwdriver


  1. Firstly, I measured the shoe rack then created a rough template to work to.

  2. Then I cut some 18mm MDF and some 2inch foam to fit the top of the shoe rack.

  3. I cut my fabric into cushion sized pieces. I made sure I left a couple of cm around each piece so I could turn them over and make a hem.

  4. Next, I made a simple piped edge. This is optional though — you could skip this if you don't feel confident creating fabric piping.

  5. I inserted a zip.

  6. Then finished off and sewed up all of the edges, so it looked nice and neat. And put the foam inside.

  7. Next, I painted the shoe rack using Annie Sloan chalk paint. I used 01 Old White.

  8. When it was dry, I re-assembled it; glueing the joins and screwing a piece of painted MDF board to the top of the shoe rack. Then added the cushion. Et voila! One Ikea bench seat hack completed!

    Unique Bathroom Decor Ideas


I found a few internet tutorials on making piping.

Most of the tutorials I looked at said that the fabric needed to be cut on the bias but there really wasn't enough fabric to do that. This one by A Summer Gypsy said that you don't need to cut it on the bias and she was right! I'm sure it could have been neater but it's not bad for a first attempt!

Using Chalk Paint To Transform a Shoe Rack

I used some Annie Sloan left over from my chest of drawers makeover but, I must say, I hadn’t anticipated how long it would take to paint!

Because of all the tiny slats, it seemed to take forever; not on a par with painting the Forth Bridge, I grant you, but longer than I’d estimated!

Ikea shoerack to Bench Seat Hack
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

If I was to do this again, I would use spray paint, rather than hand paint using a brush.

For such a small item, it took a crazy amount of time to paint! But it was worth it.

From Shoe Rack To Storage Bench

Here’s my finished bench seat in pride of place in the bathroom!

Ikea shoerack to Bench Seat Hack
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Ikea shoerack to Bench Seat Hack
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Ikea shoerack to Bench Seat Hack
Ta-daaah! No longer a shoe rack but a bench seat, with storage for towels
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

The Ikea Bench Seat Hack

I was so delighted with how this little Ikea Bench Seat turned out! This hack was a really creative way of using a shoe rack that was destined for the log-burner!

It fit in so nicely with our bathroom. And having a little bench seat — as well as storage — is so useful.

Do you have any favourite IKEA hacks that you’d like to share? I’d love to know if you’ve transformed anything from something you didn’t use very much to something super-useful.

Let me know in the comments!

Caro Davies editor of The Listed Home
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Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.

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60 thoughts on “Ikea Bench Seat Hack {Turning a Shoe Rack into a Bench}”

  1. Well done! You deserve to be pretty pleased with yourself: that looks lovely and makes such a difference to your bathroom. And it’s a very impressive first attempt at a bench seat pad – I say this as someone who makes soft furnishings for a (part-time) living! Clap, clap!

  2. That is bloody amazing!! What a talent you have, and that material is really gorgeous. I am so impressed with your finished towel holder/bench!

    • Aaah thanks SO much gorgeous!! SO pleased with it :) Looks a million times better than it did before. Totally loved seeing you this weekend — absolutely LOVED hanging out with all my blogging bests! x

      • It was amazing to see you!! How can you be even lovelier and more gorgeous in real life than you are on your blog? How is that possible? Must get together again really soon x

  3. Ahhh I used the same fabric! I love what you’ve done, it looks perfect! Haha, this was the first time for me with piping, I didn’t even know that was what it was called before this project. You’ve done it so neatly, well done! Sabrina xx

    • The fabric was such a gorgeous pattern wasn’t it? Although I found it really difficult to worth with because it frayed quite a lot — can’t wait to go and look at your cushion! :) x

  4. Wow, who would have thought that little shoe rack could become so magnificent.
    You did a fabulous job!

  5. Oh my gosh how much better does that look! Love it! I am shortly embarking on my first adventures with Annie Sloan chalk point, is it wrong to be this excited??? xx

  6. This is gorgeous and you are quite a dab hand with a sewing machine. I have one, and really should get it out more. I have forgotten all the basics though, so need to find a course locally. I love the new seat and rack, a fab idea! #twinklytuesday x

    • Thanks so much lovely :) I’m pretty scared of the sewing machine if the truth be told!! I’m happy to hand sew, although this was good practice for me and the machine :) Nice straight lines!!! (ish!!) x

  7. I can’t believe the difference, what a transformation! I can’t sew for toffee, I wish I could though as I have so many ideas in my head. I love that chalk paint too, I used that shade to makeover an old bookcase and tv unit. It’s great stuff.

    • Chalk paint is a marvel isn’t it?! Love the stuff :) I didn’t think I’d be great at the sewing but it was easier than I’d anticipated. So chuffed with it :)

  8. Wow, I find it hard to believe that this is your first attempt at piping- you did a fantastic job! And I always love a good IKEA hack ;) I’m very impressed! #TwinklyTuesday

    • Just don’t look too carefully that’s all!! :) No — seriously — I’m pretty pleased for a first attempt! :) I’m going to try again with something else and see how I get on :)

  9. This is amazing Caro – what a transformation. I cannot believe this your first attempt either – it looks so professional. :)

    Good luck in the competition. :)


    • Thanks SO much lovely!! I’ve had it in my head to paint it for a while but the Hillarys comp gave the perfect excise to make a little cushion for it. So chuffed with how it turned out :)

  10. That’s a brilliant idea! It looks amazing! For not being a seamstress that’s a brilliant bit of sewing! x #TwinklyTuesday

  11. I LOVE how this turned out! It was such a great idea and it looks wonderful! This makes me want to try a project with piping. Thanks for sharing and hosting the #TwinklyTuesday link up!

  12. Wow, that looks amazing! It looks so fantastic in your bathroom too, you should be dead chuffed with yourself. Thanks for being such a fab co-host at #TwinklyTuesday – I hope you win the competition!

    • Thanks lovely! I don’t think I have a hope in hell’s chance of winning — some of the other entries are AMAZING!!! But hey! At least I have a lovely little bench for my bathroom :)

  13. I love this! What a great idea, we used to have one of these shoe racks, but I hated it and got rid of it. Now I wish I had kept it to do this! :) x

  14. Hey Caro,

    What a cute bathroom shelf/bench you have made! I like what you have created!

    I’m new to the Twinkly Tuesday, and I ‘m glad to find your site.


  15. Oh what a good idea!! I wish I was more creative so I could tackle something like this. Want to make me one? ;) #twinklytuesdays xx

  16. Wow, that looks fab! We have the same shoe rack in our hall and although it’s practical is rather ugly. I will have to give it a paint (I will set aside a few hours!)

    • Funny isn’t it? I bet there are BILLIONS of these little shoe-racks up and down the country!! Bet none of them look quite like mine though :) Get your paints out — I’d love to see it when you’ve finished :)

  17. Well done – what a pretty transformation! I love the fabric :) Its great the amount of tutorials online to help with just about anything! Your cushion certainly doesn’t look like your first attempt – it looks very professional xx


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