We’ve been doing a lot of arts and crafts in recent months, and although we’ve enjoyed it, it’s become really obvious that our small sitting room is just not a suitable crafting space. Then I spotted this IKEA Expedit table on IKEA Hackers and an idea was born.
We were familiar with the Expedit shelving units because we used them to organise the bedroom wardrobes a few months back, and that in turn inspired some reorganization of the sitting room bookcase.
So we knew we could build the Expedit units but we weren’t sure how to put a table top on it. Then Charlie spoke to Wayne, a carpenter friend of ours, who suggested building the table top from pine. We had been looking at hardwoods – and at one point we were even looking at floorboards to see if they would work – but they were all prohibitively expensive. So we took Wayne’s advice and went with pine, and he built a beautiful table top for us.
We didn’t follow the format used on the IKEA Hackers version exactly. We wanted something a little bigger, and more versatile. So we arranged three Expedit units in a H shape and asked Wayne to build the table top to fit.
The table top isn’t secured to the Expedit units. It has a lip underneath it that fits snugly over the units to prevent it from slipping from side-to-side, while still allowing us to rearrange the units to suit. At the moment, the layout we’ve settled on has two units back to back at one end, and then some space (so that you can sit comfortably with your legs under the table), and the third unit turned sideways, so that its shelves face the end of the table rather than the side.
Once we had the table top in place, we chose a Ronseal Quick Drying Walnut Satin varnish to darken it. It took us two coats to get the color we wanted. We waited just over an hour between each coat. Then we applied a coat of Ronseal Ultra Tough Hardglaze Clear Varnish. We left it to dry for 24 hours and then decided to add another coat. So we sanded it lightly, wiped off the dust with a barely damp cloth, and then applied a second coat of the Hardglaze.
The following day we both agreed that the table top was exactly as we wanted it. Time to stock the shelves…
Another trip to IKEA was in order, this time to get the storage containers for the craft materials. As you can see from the photos, we went for a range of containers, from glass jars, to fabric drawers, to cardboard boxes.
(Incidentally, if you’re in the North Dublin area and interested in building a similar project, just send me an email and I’ll be happy to share his details with you.)
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