IKEA Hack Mail Rack





Introduction: IKEA Hack Mail Rack

About: Former Instructables employee. Living in San Francisco amidst the fog. I love getting my hands dirty by taking on new projects, developing unique skills and learning fun facts.

With just a shelf and a few IKEA magazine holders, it's easy to make a handy storage station for mail and all sorts of important things. Position this right by the door, and never again will you wonder where your keys or phone wandered off to.

Step 1: Materials

You will need: optional: sandpaper, wood stain

Step 2: If Staining, Stain!

If you don't want to go for the natural wood look, grab that sand paper and prep your wood.  The magazine holders are make from pretty cheap materials, so I don't recommend sanding them, except between stains, of course. 

Once the wood is all smooth, you're good to stain.

Step 3: Install Shelf

If you have a pre-made shelf, measure your space, and install accordingly.

If you're working with your own plank of wood, as I did, knock around your space looking for studs. After measuring, leveling, and coordinating the marks on the wall and the shelf, first install the brackets onto the shelf. Then screw into the wall. 

Step 4: Install Magazine Holders

Grab a magazine holder, and drill 3 holes into it with your smallest wood bit.  1 should be on the top edge (the one flush with the shelf), and 2 should be along the back (the edge flush with the wall).

Position racks where you imagine them to lie on the wall, and mark wall/top shelf through the pre-cut holes. Remove the shelf, and hammer in your pilot holes. 

Now screw in your magazine racks!

Note: If you're like me, and working with a piece of wall with a stud right in the middle, and right where you want one of your magazine racks to go, you'll have a bit of extra work to do. After installing the middle L-bracket, I realized I wanted to place the middle magazine rack over it. There's a handy pre-cut hole in these IKEA magazine holders that lined up perfectly with one of the L-bracket screws. I unscrewed this screw, and then found a small piece of wood to cover the hole in my magazine rack that would hold it up against the shelf. I then screwed the whole thing together again, and it stuck very well. The back screws installed as usual. Another option is 3M mounting tape.

Step 5: Step Back and Admire Your Work

That shelf looks great, but mighty empty. Adorne, fill, and decorate as you wish.



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    19 Discussions

    Great project!
    Quite creative I would say!

    One way to hide the L-brackets would be to use the Magazine holder. Place them over the brackets and have them screw through the bracket.

    1 reply

    Good idea....! Or the magazine holder, can make the same job than the L-brackets and save money...!

    Love this concept and plan on making it! This is great with roommates to sort the mail for each if you are the one that got the mail that day... each one could have their own "cubby" that way. And if just two of you, the third spot could be for the ad/coupons/junk/magazine so both could look through to see if anything of interest and then when done, dispose of it.

    Also, I am thinking of adding cup hooks to the shelve between the mail cubbies for keys. We are always searching for where keys got laid around here... especially when my daughter's 2 yr old son has find them and taken them somewhere else in the house. ^_^

    I'll post a picture once I get the chance to complete this project. Thanks for the great instructable!

    LESS is MORE. I wouldn't add anything. Too clutter-like.

    I love simple projects like this that serve a good function. I've done a lot of woodworking and never thought of something like this. Nice to have my keys and mail all in one location.

    If you don't want to see those L-Brackets to show you can use hidden shelf hardware. Like this http://www.wall-shelf.cn/500/shelf-install-2.jpg it's a little more work but looks a lot cleaner. Also for applying stain use a cheese cloth for a smooth finish. You can get that at any hardware store where the paint/stain is. I've used brushes, rags and foam brushes. I've stuck with cheese cloth.

    Add a shelf UNDER the mag racks as well for more storage, add hooks underneath. TOTALLY awesome, very creative, very customizeable. Great Job!!!

    1 reply

    also see:
    slide #12

    Very good idea to put right by the exit door.

    Can I suggest an add-on?

    I think gap between magazine holders are so empty

    For people living in a cold/rainy area a pair of hangers between magazine holders maybe will be usefull to hang on umbrellas,scarfs caps, hats or another small clothes to keep warm.

    1 reply

    A fantastic idea! I just recently got some, and will add them today between the magazine holders. Thanks!

    Looks like a very simple solution to incoming and outgoing mail, keys, &c.. Good work.