DIY IKEA VALJE BOOKCASE HACK

The photos on Pinterest featuring IKEA Hacks have me forever inspired. The Vittsjo range is a blogger fave and I really love the effect that sometimes a simple bit of spray paint can completely transform a reasonably priced piece of furniture.

Inspired by Vintage Étagère’s, my heart was set on buying the Vittsjo shelving unit and gold leafing the entire piece. That was the plan until I measured the space we had and as I wanted a bookcase that reached the full width and height of the space, it just wasn’t going to work.

So, still looking for a reasonably priced option, I took to searching more shelving units from Ikea, letting my imagination run wild with all the hacks I could create. Enter the IKEA Valje Shelf unit. Being a wooden frame versus the Vittsjo metal frame meant that I could attach one unit on top of the other to construct a much taller bookcase and reach the height I wanted. And thank god my Hubbie is a tradesman who helps me build my visions into reality!

Before you carry on reading, I have some exciting news! I have been nominated for Amara Interior Blog Award in the Colour Inspiration category. If you like this post or have been inspired by any of my content it would mean so much to me if you could take 10 seconds of your time and click the vote button via this link Amara Interior Blog Award – Gold Vibes Only. Being shortlisted and in with a chance of winning could help me and my small space on the internet reach new heights and take part in amazing opportunities that I’ll be able to share with you all through my content. Thank you so much. Annie xx

 

We purchased both of the units we needed for this project. The Valje shelf unit at 150cm high is the tallest out of the two units and will take the most time to erect but its super easy! In my opinion, the IKEA instructions are always really simple to follow.

 

 

Then it’s flat pack time!! My Hubbie’s favourite part for sure. Not!

 

 

The second Valje shelf unit is at 83cm high (even though for this unit it will be shorter once the legs are not attached); and once you’ve done one, the second is always easier and faster to assemble.

Next step was then attaching the two unit’s together. We didn’t plan how we was going to do this beforehand, but we figured that inch long wood screws would just do the trick. So the trusty drill came out and away we went.

It needed two of us to complete this part, just because one person needed to hold the unit place whilst the other drilled. We decided that four screws at even distances apart would provide enough support and they are hardly noticeable. Bonus!

I was hoping to mix two styles of interiors with a touch of the traditional wooden bookcase with a hint of vintage étagère by creating an frame only open bookcase. The plan was to leave the backing sheets off the Valje unit and I thought it may create more light for all of the pretty styling pieces but what it actually did was cause a horrible shadow, not only on the wall behind but actually within the shelves themselves. It just didn’t look right.

Even when you think you have a clear vision of what you want, always be prepared to adapt and admit defeat if things don’t work out.

 

So following that mishap, we attached the white sheets of backing which came with the unit, hoping that they would work, and to my surprise they really did. It stopped the shadows occurring and generally just made the bookcase more clean lined and professional looking. (Excuse the yellow lighting in this picture!).

 

 

And Voila! The finished IKEA Valje bookcase!

 

We also had a Carpenter visit the house beforehand to see what they said, and they quoted us approx. £400 just for an MDF bookcase frame that fit the space, and that was without any paint or finishing touches! In total this unit cost us £180. Not bad going eh!?

As an interiors fanatic, I love to mix things up now and then. I am definitely thinking either a wallpaper or a pop of colour on the wall behind the cabinet so it really stands out. For now I have left it as a blank white canvas because I need to figure out what scheme I want for the living room. This will then feed into the colours of the walls as well as the styling pieces for the cabinet. At the moment, I have used an eclectic mix of pieces from our travels and random purchases. You can read my article here on how you can transform a room with the right details and finishing touches.

I hope you liked this IKEA DIY hack. Let me know what your favourite IKEA hacks are?

 

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10 Comments

  1. Laura
    September 8, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    This is so inspiring. I’m always looking for innovative Ikea hacks – will definitely be using this as my inspiration. Great post!

  2. Annie Bucks
    September 8, 2016 / 6:04 pm

    Thank you so much Laura! I am so glad this project has inspired you. Definitely let me know when you complete your DIY project/hack 🙂 xx

  3. Nadine
    September 11, 2016 / 7:56 am

    Annie love the idea! I’ve always wanted a book shelf like this, I may just take the plunge with your handy tips.

    • Annie
      November 20, 2016 / 10:17 pm

      Thanks Nadine 🙂 I’ll be posting about my IKEA Hemnes Bookcase hack soon so keep your eyes peeled x

  4. Andrea
    November 1, 2016 / 2:59 am

    This is beautiful. I am looking to purchase the taller size. Could you tell me the height of the legs? The space I have to put it in is approximately 138 cm. Thank you.

    • Annie
      November 1, 2016 / 5:33 pm

      Hi Andrea. Thank you for your lovely comment. The height of the legs is 15cm, and the taller cabinet stands at 100cm wide and 150cm wide. The Valje range at IKEA is extensive so there may a cabinet that fits the height of your space better, like the smaller valje shelving unit xx

  5. November 20, 2016 / 5:52 pm

    Brilliant. This could fix my new living room storage issue. Thanks

    • Annie
      November 20, 2016 / 10:13 pm

      Thanks Vicki. Definitely let me know how you get on 🙂 x

  6. Rachel
    March 4, 2017 / 10:39 am

    This is great! How did you cut the second shelf down on the bottom bookcase? My partner and I have a similar idea for an IKEA piece but we aren’t terribly confident when it comes to these things and are worried if we just take a hacksaw to it we’ll ruin it

    • Annie
      March 5, 2017 / 11:30 pm

      Hi Rachel, we assembled the main outer shell of the bookcase first and then placed the second shelf in, marking in pencil where the wood needed to be cut. We then simply hacksawed the self and finished the edge with white wood filler. It was all pretty easy. The only thing we did need to check was obviously whether the unit would be able to hold the change without compromising the structure, but it was fine. Do let me know how you get on with your project! Annie x

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