Easy DIY 1 Hour IKEA Hack. You heard it here first. We’re doing this, and we’re excited about it. It seriously took Eric 1 hour to put this whole thing together; no IKEA-related divorce necessary. The hardest part of this whole thing? Picking out the perfect fabric and leaving Jo-Ann’s without spending $100 on fall decorations (did I mention it’s still July?).
Now I realize that we are not the first people ever to perform a “hack” on an IKEA table (thanks, internet). However, we do have something special to bring to the DIY game here. Through searching and reading through other tutorials, we came up with our own simpler version that combines the best of what we found. YAY. This is no Pinterest-fail friend, this is real, DIY glory.
Before we jump into the tutorial, how amazingly cute is this table? Seriously. I wish I could sit at it except I would for sure, without a doubt, break one of those itty bitty chairs in 2 seconds. So I will admire the table’s cute-factor from a safe distance.
(no project is complete without Charlie getting in the middle of it)
Materials for Seat Cushions:
- Foam: You’ll need 2 pieces of 1 inch thick craft foam. The seat boards measure roughly 10 inches by 10 inches. You’ll want the foam to be slightly smaller than the board, otherwise it won’t slide into the frame properly. Size: 9 ⅜ x 9 ⅜ square for each seat (we bought the by-the-yard green foam at Jo-Ann’s – this was cheaper than the pre-packaged)*
- Fabric: I recommend choosing an outdoor fabric since this chair is likely to encounter many spills and messes. You’ll need 2 squares of fabric measuring 14 inches x 14 inches (this ensures that you’ll be able to wrap the fabric around the seat board and foam tightly)*
- Staple Gun (Eric used ¼ inch staples)
- Duct Tape
- Spray Adhesive
- Measuring Tape
- Sharpie & Scissors
- Straightedge (Eric used the cardboard that came in the box)
*At Jo-Ann Fabrics they will not cut individual pieces for you. They will only make one cut. So they will not cut 2 – 9 ⅜ x 9 ⅜ pieces of foam. The size of your overall cuts will depend on the foam & fabric you choose. My advice is to tell them you need to make two squares in the sizes above for the foam and fabric.The associates who work at the cutting counter are always really friendly and often times if you explain to them the project or show them pictures, they will advise you on the best way to cut/save money your fabric.
Instructions for the Seat Cushions:
- Cut 2 pieces out of your piece of foam. The best way to do this is to measure (obviously) and then use a sharpie to mark out your cuts. Each piece should be roughly 9 ⅜ x 9 ⅜ to fit inside the parameters of the seat board.
- Now cut your fabric into 2, 14 x 14 squares. Same deal except you may want to use a light pencil for marking.
- Spray the top of the chair seat and one side of the foam with the spray adhesive and attach them after letting them sit for a minute (you get a better, longer lasting stick this way). Repeat with the other piece of foam.
- Center the seat cushion over the fabric and wrap very tightly around like you’re wrapping a present. The two sides won’t overlap so you should tape one side in the center so you can pull the other side tight.
- Using the staple gun, affix the fabric on the UNDERSIDE of the chair. Use a few strips of duct tape to keep the fabric in place and tidy up any dangling bits.
Ta-Da! Now assemble your chairs. Whether you use the provided instructions is up to you. Eric had no problem sliding the seat cushion in, as he pulled the fabric very tightly.
Materials for Painting:
This step is obviously optional, but does make the table & chairs that much cuter. We did this little dip-dye look which was really easy to accomplish and free since we used paint we already had. Note that the table and chair legs are easier to paint once assembled.
- Foam Brush
- Painter’s Tape
- Paint (For the paint we used leftover paint from Harper’s nursery. You could probably also use acrylic craft paint from Michael’s, although I haven’t tried this. Another inexpensive option would be to go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and just buy a paint sample from the paint counter).
Instructions for Painting:
- On the chairs, measure from the bottom of the chair leg up, 3 ½ inches. At 3 ½ inches, wrap some painter’s tape around the chair leg. This will ensure your dip-dye is even on all chair legs.
- Do the same on the table legs except measure 5 inches, since the table sits higher.
- Using a foam craft brush (I found this to be the easiest way) paint all sides of the table and chair legs, being careful not to go above the painter’s tape.
- Whether you do a second coat depends on how light/dark you want your paint. I did 3 coats of the yellow and 2 of the pink (drying time not included in the 1 hour project time!)
- Once dry, remove the painter’s tape and admire your perfectly even table & chair legs. Your inner OCD-self will thank you.
Materials for Tabletop:
Now the tabletop was a supereasy one-step process. The tabletop itself is already pretty wipeable, but we wanted to add some contact paper to make it stand out.
- Self-Adhesive Contact Paper (we ordered this one on Amazon)
- Measuring Tape
Instructions for Tabletop:
The inner dimensions of the tabletop are:
- Length: 23 ⅜
- Width: 17 ⅜
Eric cut the paper a little longer than these dimensions so he could wrap it underneath the table. If you plan on switching out the contact paper later, I would probably not wrap it and instead just keep it on the surface.
- Adhere carefully. If you end up with bubbles, gently use a rubber scraper to work them out. We just used the one we had in the kitchen for cleaning pans.
So there you have it. 1 hour to a better, cooler, awesome-er (?) IKEA table. Let’s hear it for DIY (and dads who can DIY). Now obviously if this project takes you longer than an hour, the deal’s not off. It’s like a Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meal. As long as it’s somewhere around that time frame, we’re good.
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Have you done any IKEA hacks? Have any ideas for different ways to elevate this table? Or just, thoughts in general on awesome DIY projects?