Turn an Ikea HOL Coffee Table Into a Stackable, Side-opening Storage Cabinet




Introduction: Turn an Ikea HOL Coffee Table Into a Stackable, Side-opening Storage Cabinet

This hack turns an Ikea HOL coffeetable-type piece of furniture (well, they call it a storage cube) into a side-opening cabinet. (The problem is that, unhacked, the HOL is top-opening so you can't stack them.) I use two stacked together as a printer stand plus as cabinets for my PC and ham radios.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Decide Which Side You Want to Have Fold Down

he HOL has two sides (opposite one another) that are potential fold-downs and two that are
not. Choose one.

Step 2: Cut 1/2" Off the Bottom of the Side You Want to Fold Down

Remove the side you want to fold down from the HOL. Cut about 1/2" off the bottom feet of this side. This is necessary because when you fold down the side these feet are going to rotate and cause the whole unit to lift up. You can use a manual saw or a SkilSaw to do this.

Step 3: Trim 1/2" Off the Internal Baseboard

Cut about 1/2" off the internal baseboard inside the HOL. The baseboard is the horizontal, almost-cardboard-like particleboard bottom to the HOL unit. It wants to slip into a slot in the side that you want to use as a fold-down, and that will prevent your desired side from folding down, so you need to trim the baseboard back. Again, normal saw or SkilSaw, or even a table saw, will work fine for this. While you're at it, you might want to cut a hole for power cords in the baseboard if you want to put anything electrical in your new shelf.

Step 4: Mount the Folding Side

With the baseboard inside the HOL, mount the folding side at the bottom using the two ikea-provided fasteners, just like normal. Don't over-tighten the fasteners. The door will now be able to pivot on these fasteners.

Step 5: Cut a 3/4" X 3/4" X 17" Piece of Wood

Cut a piece of 3/4" x 3/4" x 17" wood. The 3/4" dimension isn't critical by the 17" dimension needs to snugly fit as described in the next step.

Step 6: Mount the Wood on the Inside Top of the HOL

Mount this wood on the inside top of the HOL on the side you've chosen for fold-down. The purpose of this piece of wood is to act as a stop when the fold-down side of the HOL is in the up position. To mount it, drill two holes, one on each side of the HOL near the top, and use the Ikea provided fasteners or other fasteners of your own choosing to put it into position. The only critical positioning here is that the wood needs to be mounted such that when the door is up it is flush with the side surface.

Step 7: Add Screw-eyes and Wire Support

Use some small eye-screws on the top of both the HOL unit and the fold-down door and use some picture hanging wire to run between them. The wire will provide support when the doors are down and keep them from going too far.

Step 8: Add a Handle If You'd Like

If you'd like, mount a handle near the top center of your fold-down door.

Step 9: Adjust the Legs on the HOL Top So They Fit

Move two of the four "legs" (posts) on the top piece of the HOL back by an inch or so, enough to allow the top to go on now that you've installed the support piece of wood in step 6.

Step 10: Optional: Add a Shelf or Two

You can add an internal shelf by cutting a piece of 17" wide by however deep wood and then two support pieces about 1/2" x 1/2" x 19". Put the support pieces in the HOL using the holes in the side to
support it and then put the shelf on top of it.

Be the First to Share


    • Trash to Treasure Contest

      Trash to Treasure Contest
    • Wearables Contest

      Wearables Contest
    • Fix It Contest

      Fix It Contest

    7 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Awesome idea! We have to of these, and they are great for storage. However, it's difficult to get into them once we start putting all types of things on top (the lid). I love the idea of accessing items from the side.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I actually just left one side off and turned it into a feeding station for my cats. Keeps my dogs out, as they don't fit! I just keep the open side 6 or so inches from the wall. The cats fit, the German Shepherd doesn't!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I think I'm gonna use this concept to make a hidden litter box, just cut an access portal for the little pooper. This table is only $35 now.

    Miss World
    Miss World

    11 years ago on Introduction

    This is something I could actually do! thank you so much for sharing this! :)


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Great job! How much did the original table thing cost by itself (with tax and stuff.). Just an estimate..


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the comment, GorillazMiko! The HOL is $50 at Ikea. When we bought ours a couple of years ago my recollection is that they were cheaper, like $30 or so, but this may just be wishful thinking on my part. --Phil