Introduction: IKEA Expedit / Kallax Bar

IKEA has forged an iconic brand thanks to the image of Sweden it sells, the mass appeal of it's functional products, and it's low, low prices on some items, a feat managed in part by sending part of the labor home with you. Building your shelves after a long day of slogging around the showroom can be a headache for some, but the DIY element has inspired many custom projects using off the shelf products from the monster retailer. These "IKEA hacks" have warranted their own site:, numerous instructables, and shared ideas all over the pinterest-sphere.

From an iconic brand comes iconic (I seriously just typed Ikonic – I think it's fitting) pieces, a cult favorite being the Expedit shelf line. These cube shelves came in 2, 4, 8, and 16 cube arrangements, and were a huge favorite among those with record collections. The line has been replaced with the new Kallax shelves, the only difference being the Kallax has thinner outside walls ( ).

The bar built in this instructable comes from the first comment on that Gizmodo article, from Tyler Jordan. I want to give full credit to Mr. Jordan, and help those of you who want to get this look (but are still in that IKEA showroom haze). I hate to copy, but my boyfriend and I had just moved into a new place and this bar fit all of our needs, looked striking, and enabled another ikea hack for a perfect entertainment center to fit our TV and other electronics ( IKEA Expedit / Kallax Entertainment Center Configuration Instructable link to come ).

Step 1: Let's Build a Bar

I have had an Expedit 2 x 4 unit for a few years now that I decided to make into the bar. If you're starting brand new, you will buy the Kallax 2 x 4 unit from IKEA, along with some other accessories:

  • Vanity Legs (I used ‎LILLÅNGEN)
  • Cupboard and / or Drawer Insert (the Kallax cube inner dimensions have remained the same as those of the Expedit)
  • Wine rack (NORNÄS)
  • Wine glass holder (FINMALD)
  • LED light set (DIODER)
  • Utensil Tray (SMÄCKER - $0.99 and fits perfectly!)

Some items I did not buy at IKEA:

  • Mug hooks
  • Barware

The tools I used, besides included Ikea tools were:

  • Screwdriver
  • Drill and bits
  • Saw
  • Punch
  • Vice grips (if your unit has already been put together)
  • Safety glasses!!

Step 2: Put the Shelves Together - But Not All the Way

Build the shelves as per the instructions, but do not include 1 longer inner shelf and 2 shorter inner shelves, as shown.

For me, I had to remove my existing drawer insert, take the unit part of the way apart, and remove what I didn't want, since mine was already built (use a vice grip to pull out any stubborn, unnecessary dowels).

Either way, pretty simple, eh? Now you're going to have a few dowels sticking of the bar top though, so use your saw to trim those.

Step 3: Add the Feet, Wine Glass Holder, and Hooks

Add the vanity feet. These will not go on exactly as the instructions say, but I think you could add them with the long interlocking ends running along the shorter edge of the bottom of the shelves (90º different from how I did it).

Adding the wine rack and hooks will probably be easier while the unit is still on it's side ( I did not have my hooks yet, so I did that part when the unit was standing).

Now, get it on its feet. You will want some one to help you, and you want to be sure to lift and THEN rotate. My boyfriend and I tried to lean it up on two legs, and we bent them a bit. Every set of Ikea instructions ever says not to do this, so I'm not sure why we made that error. Also, I went back for a set of replacement legs, and my store is out of stock for the foreseeable future. I think you could substitute some other similar ikea legs, like those from the entertainment center BESTÅ line (they would probably be stronger too), or the CAPITA vanity legs.

Step 4: Add the Inserts and Lights

For the cupboard, drawers, and wine bottle storage, just follow the Ikea provided instructions. A drill helps speed up the self-drilling screws for the cupboard and drawer units.

To set up the lights, I simply installed clips for two LED strips on the back end of the bar top and the top of the unit, as per the photo. I used a 3/4" spade bit to drill a hole so the controller could be kept in the drawer, and used the provided 3M double-sided tape to adhere the light hub to the back of the drawer unit.

Step 5: Place, Plug In, and Stock Your New Bar!

Move your bar to its new home, and stock it with your favorite beverages.

I've added:

  • Glasses and mugs of various types
  • A cocktail shaker
  • A citrus reamer
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Bottle opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Wine stoppers
  • Straws, napkins, toothpicks
  • Ice bucket


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Summer Fun Contest 2016

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Summer Fun Contest 2016