IKEA Expedit Hack

ikea expedit makeover with duck tape and white contact paper

I still think I should have named my blog “The House that IKEA Built.”  We have so many things from that store it’s crazy!  Even though it’s not the prettiest furniture in the world, our Expedits have lasted through two toddlers.  I don’t see any need to toss out stuff while my kids are still young.  I used one of our Expedit shelving units as the kids’ toy storage, but after 6 years it was pretty beaten up.

I got to “that point” one day and couldn’t take it any longer so I gave it a glam makeover using contact paper, gold duck tape [is it duck tape or duct tape? I have no clue], black electrical tape and some patience.  I also used a COOL product I recently discovered and will share it with you shortly.

Here are the supplies I used for this makeover:

ikea expedit hack using gold duck tape and contact paper

white contact paper / zebra contact paper / gold duck tape / black electrical tape /two overlays [not pictured] / utility knife / chalkboard labels / chalk paint pens

It’s very typical of me to forget to take a good “before” picture and this time was no exception.  I think once I get an idea in my head I’m off and running a million miles an hour gathering supplies and gettin’ ‘er done before I lose interest.  I think this is the definition of ADD.

Anyhoo, I found this picture and it is pretty close to what the kids’ toy storage looked like.  We had a mix of red and blue boxes though.  The red+blue boxes combined with the white Expedit made me feel like I had to salute this thing every time I laid eyes on it.

LEKMAN Box IKEA Perfect for everything from newspapers to clothes. The felt pads underneath protect the surface below against scratches.


You can totally customize your IKEA piece however you’d like, but I will tell you each step I took to achieve the glam look of mine.

First I purchased two overlays [Gracie version] and sprayed them with gold paint.  They are a bit pricey, but they do add some interest and another layer of chic to an Expedit.  I only sprayed one coat of gold paint, as the surface of these overlays is a bit rough and matte so it absorbs paint very easily.

Next was to start wrapping the sides of the Expedit with the zebra patterned shelf paper

ikea expedit hack using contact paper and gold duck tape

There is a little “lip” on top of the Expedit so I decided to wrap this with the shelf paper as well.  You can see in the above picture that I attached the gold overlay to the zebra contact paper [just using double sided tape] then I used my SHARP utility knife to cut out the negative space of the overlay.  Doing this, as you can see, makes the overlay pop.

Next I cut a thin strip of shelf paper to cover the front “lip” as well.

Once I repeated these steps on the other side it was now time to start covering the front of each box with the white shelf paper.


To cover the face of each box you simply peel the back of shelf paper off a bit, stick it onto the box and smooth out the air bubbles with a credit card as you go.  It’s darn near impossible to remove every air bubble, but does it really matter?  Not to this flaming imperfectionist! :-)   The most pain in the a– part of this project was cutting out the 9 square holes on the front of each box.  This is a project for a much more patient person.  That being said,  as intricate as this might look, or sound it’s actually a very easy+fast project.

Once each box is covered with white shelf paper I then got busy adding some extra detail to this piece by adding black electrical tape to the front dividers.

ikea makeover using gold duck tape and white contact paper

This adds yet another touch of glam and breaks up all that white now.  I just taped strips of black electrical tape to each divider and cut the excess off with a very sharp utility knife [the sharper your knife, the cleaner your edges will be].  And if you’re wondering….yes, the tape does hold very well even after pulling, pushing, pulling the boxes open to get to the good stuff!

ikea expedit makeover with gold duck tape and contact paper

OK, so we’ve covered the sides in zebra, covered each of the box fronts in white, covered each divider in black tape, and added gold overlays.  Now it’s time for some fun!  You can imagine that the front of the piece was pretty white, so I wanted to add some gold somewhere to add a bit of…yes, you guessed it…glam!

ikea makeover using gold duck tape and contact paper

I added strips of gold duck tape to the fronts of each box, at the same height of course, then trimmed off the excess.  Once that was done, I needed a way to label each box.  Enter the ever-popular chalkboard labels.  I only labeled the top 4 boxes, as I’m planning on donating tons of toys to Goodwill before Christmas.  I need to make room for more toys from Santa!

So here is the COOL product I’ve recently discovered….chalk paint pens!

These little guys write like a marker, but erase like chalk!  The colors are so vibrant and saturated on any chalkboard surface.  I am not endorsed in any way [gosh, I sure wish I was cuz I could sing their praises all day long!] I simply want to share this product idea with you guys.

ikea makeover using gold duck tape and contact paper

The other benefit is there is NO messy chalk dust in your house!!  Come to Mama!  :-)

And there you have it…a glammed up IKEA Expedit.

ikea expedit makeover using tape and contact paper

ikea expedit hack using white contact paper and duck tape

ikea expedit makeover with contact paper and duck tape

It’s hard for me to refrain from slapping gold duck tape on everything!  I wrapped an old crappy glass vase with 3 strips of the gold stuff and now use it to store the kids’ pencils.  Now the pencils look uber chic.

ikea expedit makeover with white contact paper and gold duck tape

I’m in love with this look and am keeping my fingers crossed that my “little destroyer” doesn’t peel the heck out of it.  So far so good.  Now I just need to organize and beautify the rest of the chaotic mess in their playroom.


Don’t you feel better about your house now?  :-)


linking this crazy project up to:


The Patriotic Pam

The DIY'ers

Craft Dictator


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8 Responses to IKEA Expedit Hack

  1. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    What a fun and creative makeover. I love using duct tape too. GOLD, love it!

  2. Just wanted you to know that I loved this so much, I’m featuring it on The DIY’ers today! http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-diyers-42.html

  3. Amy…this is SO fun. Love the way you did this makeover. And I want those Chalk paint pens. Where did you find those? Thanks for sharing on The Patriotic Pam. We will be featuring this on our Wowza Weekend Link Party that goes live tonight at 7pm (EST)!
    Merry Christmas,

  4. Amy says:

    Pam, thank you so very much!!! I found the chalk paint pens on amazon; here is a link for you: http://www.amazon.com/Chalk-Ink-Classic-Markers-8-Pack/dp/B00251G48E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387466108&sr=8-1&keywords=chalk+paint+pen
    Happiest of holidays to you! Hugs, Amy

  5. Where did you find your sources for this?

  6. Pingback: 20+ Duct Tape Crafts and Projects You're Gonna Love

Thank you for your comments!