DIY Built-In Media IKEA Wall Unit with Extra Storage created from an IKEA bookcase. Get a build in look on a budget and even install it yourself.
Hello, Remodelaholics! I am Tamara back again from Provident Home Design where I share home DIY projects and decorating ideas on a budget! I truly believe you can achieve a magazine beautiful home on even a tiny budget.
I recently turned my kid’s messy basement playroom into an organized, cool kid’s hangout retreat (they actually want to spend time down there now)!
We needed more storage for the kids toys and a way to hide a couple of steel beam supports in the finished part of our basement (about 200 sqft).
Both the mess and the beams were major eyesores which can be observed in the photo below!
The solution to these eyesores was building a Media Wall Unit with lots of toy storage! I built it around the beams so that they would be hidden killing two birds with one stone!
Media Wall Plan
I was inspired by this media wall system and absolutely love it… see it at Pottery Barn Kids (affiliate link).
BUT I had no where near $1,700 to spend on it. I did have $100 to spend and that’s how much it cost to make the entire media wall unit shown below!
Believe it or not this project starts with 2 Ikea Gersby Bookcases (only $25 each)!
So let’s begin!
Bookshelves Building Tutorial
Follow these steps to get this IKEA wall unit media center look.
Build the Bookshelves
1. First, put the Ikea bookcase together following the instructions in the package (it is very simple). At this point you can leave off the removable shelves.
2. Next, you will begin making the box part that attaches to the bookcase so you will need to get the box pieces cut.
Below are the measurements I used for each side of the box (not including the top). I used particle board which is very sturdy but less expensive than wood.
3. Hold the left side piece of particle board next to the bookcase as shown below and with a drill screw a screw into a small piece a wood or MDF so that there is a screw in the particle board and one in the bookcase holding the two together. Do one on the top and one on the bottom.
4. Repeat the above step for the right side particle board portion. After the left side and right side boards are attached it will look like the photo below.
Optional: If you want your cabinet box to have a bottom now is the time to slide it in as shown above. Otherwise the bottom will just be the floor surface it is resting on.
5. Next we will be attaching the front of the box. We will do this by using L brackets or corner braces on the inside front corners of the box.
Tip: Walmart has a really good price on their “Corner Braces”. They sell a 4-pk. for around $2 (other places it’s $4-$6).
Position the front piece over the sides pieces and place a bracket on the inside corner and screw it tight making sure the corners line up well.
Repeat on both sides!
6. Now comes the top of the box which will be how the box opens. This piece will be 24″ x 23″ (I got 24″ x 24″ inch particle pieces at Home Depot for only $1.28)! The top piece will slide to the back of the bookcase so it will need to be trimmed on the sides as shown below.
I used my jig saw to cut the top piece particle board along the cut lines I had made with my ruler and pen.
7. Apply caulk to where all of the different pieces of wood meet.
Now make another one and then you will have completed the shelves part of the media wall unit as shown below.
As you can see above we now need to make “the bench” part of the the media IKEA wall unit. I also added an extra shelf to the bookcase but that was just in order to fully hide the steel beam supports.
I created the diagram below to help you visualize the following steps in building the bench part. If you get confused at all you can refer to this diagram for clarification .
Bench Building Tutorial
Creating the Foundation of the Bench
Step 1- Decide how much distance you want between the two shelving units (most likely based upon the size of your TV). Measure both the length and the depth. Using a jigsaw or table saw cut a piece of particle board to the size and place it on the floor between the 2 bookshelves. This is your base piece.
Step 2- Decide how high you want the bench part to be then minus an inch (or the thickness of top of the bench). Cut a piece of particle board the depth of your bench by the the height you just calculated.
Stand the particle board upright in the center of the base piece. Secure the piece upright with 4 L-Brackets (2 on each side of the center piece) connecting the horizontal base piece to what we’ll refer to as the divider piece.
Creating the Face of the Bench
Note: I used MDF sheeting cut to size but you can use wood if you would like.
Step 3- Take a 1 x 4 and cut it into 2 pieces that are the height of your bench minus 1 inch (or the thickness of top of the bench). Place the first one standing upright next to the left bookshelf. Nail the bottom of it into the base piece (from Step 1).
Step 4- Do the same thing with the other 1×4 on the right side.
Step 5- Measure the distance between the two boards you just installed. Cut two 1×4’s to this measurement. Take one of the boards and place it between the 2 vertical boards you just installed. This board will be placed against the floor and will be nailed to the base piece as well.
Step 6- Place the other board in between the two vertical side boards so that the tops of the side boards line up seamlessly with it’s top Use a level to make sure it is perfectly horizontal and then nail into place by nailing it into the front end of the divider piece (from step 2)
Secure the top board to the side boards with a connecting piece of wood (nailed on the inside of the bench) and do on both sides.
See photo below.
Step 7- Measure the distance between the horizontal bottom and top boards that you just installed in step 5 and 6. Cut a 1 x 4 to this length and nail it vertically to the front end of the divider piece.
Creating the Top of the Bench
A) Now we will be installing the support boards to hold up the top of the Bench. Measure how tall you want the bench to be minus the thickness of the top piece. Draw a line (making sure it is level) at this measurement on the sides of both bookshelves.
Place the top of the support board (needs to be at least an inch thick) along the lines you just drew and nail to the sides of the bookshelves
B) Measure for the top of the bench seat (length and depth). Cut your wood to size and place it on support boards and is should also rest on top of the FACE of the bench. You can either glue or nail into place.
Optional- Add trim to your desire. I nailed a piece of trim to the front of the top piece of the bench.
I also added a piece of baseboard trim to the bottom front of the whole wall unit.
Lastly, I added a piece of lattice trim to the side back of the bookshelves to hide the gap between the shelves and the wall.
And I’ve thought about adding decorative pulls to the front of the boxes but haven’t found the “right” ones yet!:-)
So there you have it! If you have any questions please be sure to ask!! We are loving our media wall unit and I think you will love yours too (especially how much the storage boxes can hold and hide)!:-)
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Originally posted April 23, 2016 // Updated April 8, 2020