Introduction: Design Showcase Cabinet (hacking IKEA Style)

About: I'm a social-worker, working with 12 - 23 year-olds. I used to be a printer. In 2018 I opened a small makerspace ( in my house, where I have lasercutters, 3d-printers, Arduino's, Mindstorms and ot…

While I was searching for a nice showcase cabinet, I noticed that all the cabinets that I liked are really expensive. So the maker in me came up with this idea.
This cabinet is made from four IKEA pränt boxes, one IKEA dioder. The rest was just stuff that I already had.

Step 1: You Will Need

  • 4 IKEA pränt boxes
  • 1 IKEA dioder (lights)
  • 1 old standing lamp
  • some pipes
  • glass
  • 1 castor wheel

  • drill
  • glass cutter
  • ruler
  • hammer

Step 2: The Boxes

  • We start off by opening the IKEA packing.
  • The lids can be assembled according to the IKEA instructions. 
  • The boxes can not be fully assembled yet because we are going to replace the bottom with a piece of glass.
  • Take the plywood bottoms out of the packings.

Step 3: Glass

When you work with glass, always be careful. Wear safety glasses and good thick gloves might also be a good idea.
  • Find some glass that is big enough to cut the bottom out of it and not thicker than the plywood.
  • Put the plywood bottom on the glass.
  • Mark the size of the bottom.
  • Scratch the glass with a glass cutter. (be sure to not make the glass any bigger than the bottom plywood)
  • Break the glass on the scratch on the edge of a ruler or the edge of a table.
  • Do this four times for four boxes.
  • Clean your workspace to remove all the small pieces of glass.

Step 4: Make the Boxes

Put the boxes together according the IKEA instructions. Just replace the bottoms with the pieces of glass.

Be careful, the glass is still sharp.

Step 5: The Lamp

Finding the right lamp is kind of an adventure. I bought mine at an garage-sale. (No the picture is not the garage-sale. It is just my garage)
The shaft must be small enough to fit though the hole in het boxes.
Ideally it would be a snug fit.
If your lamp is bigger, you will need to drill out the holes in the boxes.
My lamp was smaller, so I made some bushings.

Strip the lamp of everything except the pole and the base. (sorry, no pictures of the stripping)

Step 6: Build Up

When your lamp is a snug fit, this part is easy.
  • Decide how much space you want in between the boxes.
  • Cut some pipe that fits around the lamp post in pieces of that length. (this could be PVC pipe, but I had some aluminum)
  • Start with a piece of pipe on the lamp post
  • Put a box on top of that
  • Next a piece of pipe
  • etc.
I had to make bushings with an inner and an outer pipe, because my lamp wasn't a snug fit.

Step 7: Add Light

  • Now all the boxes are on the lamp post, we can mark where to drill holes in the pole to put the wiring through.
  • I marked the pole just under the top of the box on the back.
  • Drill the holes big enough for the connectors on the wires to go through.
  • Remove sharp edges from the drilled holes.

My pole was in three pieces so I had to do the next part with the boxes on the ground.
  • Put the boxes in the right order on the flour.
  • Put the pole through the boxes and bushings.
  • Start from the top by putting the wires of the light for the top box in the pole.
  • It helped to use a stick to push the wire through.
  • Repeat with the other lights (work from the top down)
  • I had some room in the base of the lamp to put the excess wires in.
  • Check if the lights work.
  • Put the show case on the base.
  • Stick the lights in the boxes with the double sided tape provided.

Step 8: Last Upgrades

I hoped to be finished here, but I needed some little upgrades.

The boxes couldn't handle the weight of the boxes on top of them.
To solve this I put some aluminum rods behind the lamp pole. (the top box doesn't need a rod)

The show case appeared like it wanted to drop forward. It might do so if I would put some heavy stuff in the boxes.
I resolved this by putting a fixed castor wheel underneath the bottom box.

Step 9: Finish

  • Now we can put some cool stuff in the boxes. (through the back)
  • Put the lids on the boxes.
  • Turn on the lights.
  • Gaze!

The design show case cabinet is finished!

You can put the boxes straight above each other or turn them how you like them.
I am really happy with the result.