Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ikea Trofast Bookcase Hack

If you remember my budget from the dresser, I had $153.01 left to spend on a bookcase.  I wanted something low, so it won't topple over, and it needed to fit in a very specific spot between the chair and the door. 
After searching for a used bookcase in that price range that was solid wood and coming up with nothing, I finally broke down and went to Ikea.  You can imagine how desperate I was if I ended up at Ikea.
But Star went with me and she is like my Ikea good luck charm- everything went our way.  We bought two Trofast shelf frames for $49.99 each and three packs of shelves for $12.99 each (2 shelves per pack).  I really only needed two packs, but we decided that $12.99 was a small price to pay as insurance against not having to go back if I wanted more shelves. 
Ikea total: $138.95
I painted the shelves with the yellow milk paint so that they match the dresser.  They were, for some reason, much easier to paint than the dresser and I knocked out that part in a day. 
Steve and I decided that we'd rather the shelves have backs than not and I thought that they would look awesome covered with some cool wallpaper.  But then I started shopping for wall paper and realized that even one small roll was going to cost at least $25.  So I swapped out the wallpaper idea for fabric (always saves the day!) and bought 1 1/2 yards of a print that I liked for $10.50. 
Then I went to Lowe's and bought a 4' x 4' piece of birch plywood for $14.  I had them cut the two backing pieces for me right there at the store.  Did you know that they'll do that?  Those Lowe's employees- so helpful. 
I cut the fabric to fit around the backing with about 2" of overhang.  My original plan was to staple the fabric on with a staple gun and then nail the backs to the shelves.  The plywood was too thin for this plan and the staples went all the way through, so I ended up pulling most of them out.  For the second shelf, I was wiser and just lined up the fabric with the back, pulled it tight around the sides, and set it carefully on the back of the book shelf.  Then I hammered in a bunch of tiny finishing nails to hold both the fabric and the back in place. 
I really like that the shelves are adjustable and also that there are two book cases instead of one.  I was hoping for one larger piece, but I like the fact that I could separate these two into different rooms if I needed to. 
My total for the dresser and bookshelves was $310.44.  I gave myself a little grace on going over by $10 since I had purchased the extra "just in case" shelves.  All in all, I am thrilled, especially since one of the first bookshelves we looked at was $276 unfinished! 
So that's it- I won't bore you any longer with tales of extreme nesting.  Today, I'm finishing up a few final bow ties before our trip and finalizing my packing list.  I'll stop in before we leave to say goodbye!


  1. Hi, I am Ilka from Berlin. I would like to know if you had to sand the trofast before coloring?

  2. No sanding needed! I just painted directly onto the wood.

    1. no primer either, just direct paint?

    2. Yes, no primer, just direct paint!

  3. Hi Josh, Great you are thrilled with the 357. I've got one myself because like 10 decades. I like it as well, not modded as yours however.
    At this time it does not function, it chokes if warm. Brought into some neigbour of mine and he will get a deeper look at it.
    It feels like a few have had difficulty using the automatic decompression valve, so does yours have this?
    Enjoy an excellent day! Chainsaw Sharpeners Chainsaw Sharpener



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