DIY Ikea: Modular Food Shelf




About: I'm a full stack web developer focusing on security and privacy.

I made my way to Ikea this past weekend to try to find a kitchen table that can hold my food.

But rent and cell phone bills were due recently so both me and my partner felt poor, so after not finding anything under 60 bucks that really fit our needs we went back home, empty handed.

At home sitting in my yard trying to figure out how to store my food, i noticed a pile of cinder blocks.

and then it came to me, What if people instead of going to ikea to buy their modular furniture, built it with less cost? Could we start a movement of people building furniture out of house hold items that could be easily taken apart?

We could have more fun with what we live in, save money and be more creative. Seems like win win to me.

The product that i came up with was the food shelf. i encourage you to build your own furniture and see what you can come up with!

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Step 1: Gather Materials

I had randomly cinder blocks in my yard from a dream my house mates had of running a weekend vegan cafe out of our house. This idea never came together but the cinder blocks gathered from around the neighborhood did.

I also keep alot of scrap wood around for projects because you never know when the building bug might bite. For most projects you don't need to buy new wood, just go to scrap yards or look around for broken cabnets people are throwing away. The wood you will find is much better than what you find at ikea.

For my food shelf i needed
4 cinder blocks
2 30X9X1/2" pieces of wood

Step 2: Prepping Materials

My piece of wood didn't come in a nice precut sheets so i had to cut it to the 30 inches i needed.

The cinder blocks didn't need much except some dusting off.

Step 3: Putting It Together

I chose a standard stacking method for making my shelves making sure everything was stable before putting stuff on. Surprisingly the cinder blocks have a low center of gravity so they don't move around to much. Experiment in your own space to get something that works.

Step 4: Admire Your Work

Once you are done look at it for any changes you need to make. I was very happy with my outcome especially when i realized that the cinder block cubby holes hold soymilk boxes perfectly

Post your own DIY furniture to inspire instructablers to make their own solutions to modern living!

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    15 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    A good third world idea that I'm happy to see others invent independently. Growing up in India we could not afford as many cupboards as we needed so my mother built cupboards like this with bricks and wood. We even put curtains in front to be the doors. For a young kid building cupboards made the world a little more fun. Cheers and all the best.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Need to be careful, though. Especially around children. These tip. I made a bookcase like this years ago, and it fell over. I found that by putting something under the bottom brick at the front, and it tipped ever so slightly backwards, it kept it more stable. Hope this helps.

    I painted mine white, and loved it after I figured out how to stabelize it.


    8 years ago on Step 3

    You might want to felt the bottom of the lowest cinderblocks to protect the wood floor beneath from scratching. Or perhaps just put a bottom shelf.


    Beautiful solution, I should go find some cinder blocks as I need shelves for my shop area but I can't mount my shelves to the wall.


    I was just about to post that I always wanted to build a bookshelf like this inspired by the sims. lol.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    this needs improved. i would need much more space for ramen noodles.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I love this idea. I wonder if I can get a bunch of people to start posting some DIYkea projects - milk crates, scavenged wood, sew-your-own hanging storage out of old shirts or sheets, etc.