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.



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