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!
Quick View of What You'll Find on This Page
What Else Can I Use an IKEA Shoe Rack For?
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
- Wooden IKEA shoe-rack (you can also get a similar version from Amazon.
- 18mm MDF
- 2 inch foam
- Wood glue
- Piping Cord
- Chalk Paint
- Scalpel or sharp knife
- Sewing Machine (or you can hand-sew with a needle and thread)
- Firstly, I measured the shoe rack then created a rough template to work to.
- Then I cut some 18mm MDF and some 2inch foam to fit the top of the shoe rack.
- 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.
- Next, I made a simple piped edge. This is optional though — you could skip this if you don't feel confident creating fabric piping.
- I inserted a zip.
- Then finished off and sewed up all of the edges, so it looked nice and neat. And put the foam inside.
- Next, I painted the shoe rack using Annie Sloan chalk paint. I used 01 Old White.
- 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!
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!
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!
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 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.