LACK SideTable Mod




About: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and likes to be in the centre of things, so you will see him in several of my instr...

This started out as an idea to turn an Ikea LACK Side table into a planter. But once I cut a hole in my LACK I realized there are a whole bunch of other things I could do with it.   The best thing is that if you get bored with the way it looks you can change it up to match your mood or the seasons.

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Step 1: Materials

  • LACK Side table from Ikea
  • Square plastic containers to fit into table
  • Pencil and measuring tape
  • Drill and saw

Step 2: Moding the Table

The size of the opening on the table top was determined by the size of the plastic container I was planning to use as an insert.
  • With a measuring tape mark the centre point on the table.
  • Place the plastic container in the centre and mark around around it where to cut.
  • I have a shortage of decent power tools at home so to cut out the part of the table top I had to drill holes at the corners and used a hand saw to cut the rest (unfortunately leaving some rough and uneven edges).
  • *Once your remove the part of the table top, there is a cardboard honey comb that needs to be cut out as well.
  • Sand the edges smooth and check that the plastic container fits.
  • Assemble the legs of the table if you haven't done so already.
*Keep the top piece that you cut out, it can be used as the base for a mosaic inlay (see Step 7)

Step 3: Other Things You Will Need

My plastic container was deeper than the hole I made so I had to trim off the top part so that it was flush with the top of the table.  I bought  several of these and cut them to size so that it was easier to change up. 

Since I planned to add a fountain and lights I needed to cut a hole through the bottom of the table to put the electrical plug through. 

For the glass and mosaic inlay I needed supports to hold them up, I simply cut some cardboard the appropriate height and formed "X'es (see image below).  You can also use the cardboard honey comb that you cut out in Step 2 for support.

Step 4: Succulents

I wanted to plant some succulents in my LACK since they are  hardy and seem quite capable of growing anywhere, plus they look really nice too.
  • Succulents
  • Plastic container
  • Potting soil
Place potting soil into the container.  Arrange the succulents in the container, give them enough room to spread.  Make sure the table is placed in a spot with enough light.

Step 5: Fountain

A fountain is a nice way to add soothing sound and movement to your living space and this way it doesn't take up a lot of room.

What you will need:
  • small waterpump
  • plastic container from step 2
  • small rocks/pebbles
  • larger rocks/bamboo or other centre piece
I had as store bought fountain from which I used the parts to make this one .  I slid the plug from the pump through the hole at the bottom of the table.  Centred the pump in the container.  Added rocks and the main centre piece of the fountain over the pump.  Then added water.

Step 6: Grass

You can grow wheat grass for juicing or to add some greenery to your decor.  However if you don't want your cat climbing all over your furniture this is not a good idea. 

What you will need:
  • Wheat grass seeds
  • Potting soil
  • Plastic container from step 3
  If you have never grown wheat grass before I have an instructable on how to grow wheat grass.

Step 7: Mosaic

A tile mosaic insert is a great way to personalize your Lack end table. 

What you will need:
  • Ceramic or glass tiles
  • Tile cutters, glue and grout
  • Cardboard supports from step 3 and the piece of the table top that you cut out in step 2.
Start with the pattern you want and transfer it to the piece of the table top that you cut out. Start breaking up the tile pieces and glue it to the board according to the pattern.  When the pieces are glued on cover it in grout.  Wipe off the excess grout from the surface.  Once the grout has dried you can put the cardboard supports in the hole and place the mosaic over top.

Step 8: Whiteboard

You can turn your table into a handy message centre by adding a whiteboard.  Simply cut a piece of glass and white paper to fit in the opening on the tabletop.  Use the cardboard supports in the hole, put the white paper on the supports and place the glass over top.  You can write on the glass with a dry erase marker and it can be wiped off easily.

Step 9: Lights

Add a string of Christmas lights to brighten up your table.  Place the lights in the table and run the plug through the hole at the bottom.  Add the cardboard supports and place a piece of frosted glass over top or you can use the white paper and clear glass from step 8.

Step 10: Other Ideas

  • Candle centrepiece (candle surrounded by rocks etc.)
  • Seashells
  • Zen garden (sand, stones, and a rake)
  • Lego inset and store bricks
  • Chalkboard paint (instead of a whiteboard)
  • Chess/checker board inset (store pieces inside)
  • Hold mementos or souvenirs with glass over top

Other ideas. . .
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    23 Discussions


    2 years ago

    What gorgeous ideas! I only wish my tiny apartment had room for a whole bunch of these little tables. If I tried, I supposed I could make the inserts removeable, so I could swap them out at will, or when the plants died, whichever came first. Thanks agin for some terrific ideas.


    5 years ago on Step 10

    This is brilliant! I don't have an IKEA around, but could easily do this with just about any end table. Especially love the fountain and simply the rocks with the candle.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! Yes, Mirko would love that, though I would never get him off of the table.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I like it!! Growing Catnip would be so much fun!

    *Might I suggest a clear silicone or hot glue to seal the edges of the plastic container to the table top. Those Lack tables do not like to get wet under the veneer.
    Other wise awesome!

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    That is a fine bunch of ideas :)

    I like the grassy version best.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    All awesome ideas! I especially like the succulents, though I know my cats would destroy them. I'd have to go with sweet grass for them if I did a plant. :P