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An Ikea Hack Craft Desk Makeover

by | DIY, Home

Happy New Year dear blog readers! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with lots of family, friends, food, and whatever makes you truly happy. I took a little blog break, in case you hadn’t noticed, and well…I like vacations! When I would return to the office, I hated the thought of having to go through the hundreds of emails in my Inbox, and the transition time it was going to take to get back in the swing of things. Well, the blog is no different! After 2 weeks of chilling at home playing with trains, planes and automobiles, as well as cuddling with LM by the fire, it’s hard to sit down and write again. But my head is about to burst with all the things I have to do and all the things I’d like to share with you, starting with this Ikea Hack Craft Desk Makeover!

Ikea Hack Craft Desk Makeover.

I’m finally getting around to REALLY cleaning up my craft room. I mean, we’ve done alot, and I’m working in it now, but it’s nowhere near ready for a tour, you know? So that’s what I mean by “REALLY cleaning up my craft room”. As in, you are ALMOST allowed to see it … soon. You’ve already seen my new incredible storage system, and today I’m showing you my craft desk.

Part 1

This started as an old Ikea desk that Drew owned in college. We’re um.. quite a few years out of college now, so it was pretty battered and a bit rickety. He had reinforced it by bracing the back with a crosspiece, but it just wasn’t a lot of space for me to use, even after removing the hutch on top.


Here’s the desk after some tender loving care. I filled in the dents with wood putty, sanded the whole thing down, primed and painted with Benjamin Moore Advance paint in Palladian Blue. I like that it’s a waterborne paint so it cleans easily, but levels out like it’s an oil based paint, and works great for furniture. It’s the same paint I used on the card catalog, and I love it on both pieces. After a few coats of paint, I sealed the surface with 3 coats of Minwax Satin Polycrylic Finish since the surface was definitely going to see some wear and tear.

Using Benjamin Moore Advance in Palladian Blue

The wood knobs were replaced with new black knobs. We debated on going with drawer pulls but decided to reuse the existing holes and just bought knobs instead.

New knobs on old desk

The desk looked a lot better, and I lived with it for quite a while.

Ikea again!

While wandering the Ikea showroom on a recent trip, I saw this Expedit desk system that included a 1-sided desk attached to a shelf. I plopped myself down, made myself comfortable and stared at this desk for a long while, trying to figure out how to use it in my craft room, because I had immediately fallen in love with the huge amount of SPACE this desk offered. I just wanted to spread myself out all over the desk and hug it! (I didn’t.) After dragging Drew back to join my contemplations, we floated a few ideas and came up with this beauty!

Ikea Hack Expedit Craft Desk Makeover.

The Expedit desk uses metal bracket to clamp to its matching shelf system. But since it’s a clamp, we figured the we could attach the bracket to our existing desk, as long as both desks are at the same height. Drew lugged the desk home, set it up and within maybe a half hour had the two desks clamped together. We also removed the adjustable feet on the bottom of the Expedit to lower it to meet the height of the college desk.

Expedit desk metal brackets

So now, I have 2 generations of Ikea desks bracketed together to create a ginormous working space.  If I had known about the 2nd desk, I would have painted my original one white, which would have made a better transition, but oh well!

Ikea Hack Craft Desk Makeover

It’s not the best looking desk in the whole world, but I love the functionality, and in case I haven’t said it enough, I love the space I now have!

2 Ikea Desks hacked for a new craft desk!

What do you think?  What sort of desk do you use for working or crafting?



  1. Barbara

    Wow! It looks great! We are going to get a new working office room in a few months so this is definately an inspirational post for me 🙂 Ikea is the best!

  2. Lisa

    An amazing transformation. I love the soft colors. It looks so clean and modern and creatively inviting!

  3. Andrea

    My spouse made me a really kwel Craft Station for Christmas. She’d gotten 2 desk tops from a college upgrade sale for $5 a piece. We kept wondering if we’d need to hire someone to build it, but she texted me that she’d seen an old kitchen table on the curb, which together we dragged home. We borrowed a dril, cleaned up the table and voila, I have a Craft Statuon. She even mounted a yardstck!

    Next: a self healing cutting mat and a pressing cloth. My sewing machine never looked happier

  4. ChiWei

    Thanks Lisa! It’s definitely my little bit of quiet space!

  5. ChiWei

    Ooh, that’s exciting! I really just want to get the rest of the room done already. Another trip to Ikea is in order, I think.

  6. Andrea @ This Pug Life

    I just use an old desk I got off Craiglist that I have been meaning to refinish. I would actually really like the Expedit system – just need a place to put it!

  7. Marilyn

    I love this more every time I see it, ChiWei!

  8. Alison

    Hi found your blog and can’t stop reading it, I have a space to craft in our front room and use the expedit table attached to the shelf unit I actually have two more shelves as well with big black material boxes and some of the cardboard black boxes. My craft stash has expanded. Anyway I love the card cat unit im going to search for one but live in uk so could actually hunt in out local library as they still have them there. doubt they would give it to me hee hee. My brilliant brother and hubby are going to build me a garden room so i can move my craft room into it and the hubster and kids can have the front room back. Im really excited about this project and like you worrying about the inside but you have inspired me as what you said about having out what you love I do like colour but love the shabby chic vintage look with also florals and pastels. want the space to look homely but not cluttered as I do have a lot of stash. Id like to take in some of my teapots and vw ornaments too. Think ill do cream walls so I can then put colour in it. Thanks for sharing your room I hope to do the same will start taking photos. love ali x

  9. Brent

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic,
    however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

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