IKEA LACK Side Table: 26 surprising ways to hack it

The IKEA LACK side table is as “IKEA” as it gets. Minimal. Particleboard exterior. “Honeycomb” interior. Easy to assemble.

The IKEA LACK side table (21 5/8″ x 21 5/8″ x 17 3/4″) sells for $16.99. Not too long ago, IKEA started producing a smaller side table (13 3/4″ x 13 3/4″) which goes for $9.99. You can slide the small side table under the larger LACK side table as a set of nesting tables, and save space. The cheap price means a lot of possibilities for IKEA hacks, as we will see later in this article.

IKEA makes this simple side table in various colors, the most common being black, white, and in a wood veneer. Occasionally, IKEA may release limited edition versions in bolder colors and finishes. The side table is part of the LACK range which includes coffee tables, a TV stand, and wall shelves.

The IKEA LACK side table can be used in a multitude of creative ways, some as simple as peel-and-stick contact paper and others needing a little more DIY skills. We’ll explore 26 unique and creative ways to hack and use the IKEA LACK side table in your home. Some, perhaps, in ways you’ve never thought of before.

Photo: IKEA.com

IKEA LACK side table hacks

1. Pair the tabletop with a cube base

DIYer Teadelena gives the side table a new look. She dropped the LACK legs and replaced them with another IKEA product — an EKET cube. Assemble the EKET cube and use an adhesive such as Liquid nails to glue the edge of the EKET cube to the underside of the LACK side table. You can also finish the sides of the EKET cube with wood slats or trim if you want to further embellish it.

2. Give the feet some arches

Inspired by coffee tables she saw, Kate decided to transform the table set to feature elegantly arched legs. She cut out arch shapes from 6mm MDF with a jigsaw. Then, stuck them onto the bottom of the table and the sides of the legs. For the finishing touch, she primed the set with every IKEA hacker’s favorite primer and painted them with Rust-Oleum Furniture Paint. She let the paint dry completely and was done!

If you love this IKEA LACK side table hack but don’t have the woodworking tools for it, here’s an easier table hack using corbels.

3. Hack it into a sculptural accent table

Briana’s extensive makeover elevates the square end table into a high-end sculptural side table that looks and feels luxe. To make the round base, she used these round 8″ tubes, cut into 18″ sections. The legs are glued to each other and to the base of the tabletop. Once the glue has cured, she covered the entire table with plaster of Paris. After the plastic has fully set, she sanded it down and sealed it with a few sprays of clear topcoat. The last step is to place it next to the sofa and move on to styling.

4. Make them into accent tables

Youtuber Jorge shows us 2 different bases for the LACK table, turning them into a home decor piece. One has the slatted base recessed below the tabletop. The second has the base going along the top of the table, creating a more robust square coffee table.

5. Art Deco coffee table

We love Mark’s surprising take on the LACK. It goes Art Deco, bordering on maximalism. Mark made the decorative pieces from plywood, cut with a jigsaw. Each piece is then painted in glossy black paint and edged with a metallic paint pen. To match, Mark painted the entire side table with the same black gloss paint. He then used the E-6000 adhesive to glue the decorative panels to the corners of the table.

6. Make it a disco side table

Get ready to disco with this throwback furniture hack. This IKEA hack is as easy as busting a move on the dance floor. All you need to do is add some mirror mosaic tiles, and voilà! You’ll have a groovy and glamorous mirrored side table fit for a cameo on Saturday Night Fever.

7. Reconfigure the assembly

JP Strate figured out an alternative way to assemble two LACK side tables together. The table top from the second LACK goes under the legs. The legs from the second table are shortened and glued together to form a square base for the LACK to sit on. Almost like a floating side table.

Another way to reconfigure the assembly is to shorten the legs, so it looks less cube-like. Add furniture legs of your choice under the table and it will make a lovely modern side table.

8. The TikTok Tile table

Tiktok tile IKEA LACK side table

TikTok made her do it. The viral tile table caught April’s eye and she just had to try it out for herself. She used 2×2″ tiles, which were just right for the LACK table’s dimensions.

9. Use the side table for extra seating

IKEA ottoman hack

If you’re in need of extra seating in your living room, try this ottoman hack. Wrap the tabletop in foam and the fabric of your choice. Embellish with nailhead pins if you want to up the glam factor. They also work as a cocktail ottoman, snack table, or display your latest magazines.

10. A rustic coffee table that no one will believe it’s IKEA

What a difference the slab of extra thick stained pine wood makes. When cutting the tabletop, Ad recommends a 1″ overhang on all sides. Center it on the LACK, making sure that the overhang is balanced on all sides. Attach the wood top to the original table via screws from the bottom. And voilà, a rustic IKEA coffee table.

IKEA LACK side table as pet furniture

11. A cat hammock side table

cat hammock

A student project but it does work. You’ll need to assemble two LACK tables together and add some cute feet if necessary. Then, within the space, hang a cat hammock from the four corners of the table. Cut MDF boards into the shape you want. Then use screws to install them and cover up all 4 sides of the table for kitty privacy. A cozy hideout for your cat.

12. Side table turned indoor dog house

DIY dog house

Rather than discarding an old red LACK table, Rafaela turned it into a cute dog house for her pup. She turned the LACK side table upside down and used peel and stick shelf liner to cover up the striking red color. For the covering, she used a roll-on beach mat and a few nails to keep it in place. Pup loves it!

A table on the walls

13. As a Command Centre Chalkboard 

A quick reminder of to-dos before you leave the house. All you need is the top of the IKEA LACK side table, Chalkboard Paint, and picture hangers for this easy DIY chalkboard.

14. As wall art

Wall art with masking tape

The LACK’s square dimensions are also great for displaying art. Think of the tabletop as a square piece of canvas, then create as you wish. You can wrap the tops in masking tape like how Mike did. Or use fabric. You can try decals too.

IKEA LACK side table in the Kitchen

15. As a mobile kitchen island

compact kitchen island

No space for a kitchen island? Stack two of the LACK side tables and secure them to each other. Then, add wheels. There you have it: a mobile compact kitchen island cart.

16. Kitchen island on a budget

cheap kitchen island

Would you believe that this kitchen island is made from 6 IKEA LACK side tables? While the striped plaster boards may look dated, the concept is still as good as new. If you need an affordable renter-friendly kitchen island with lots of storage cubes, this is the DIY project for you.

17. As ceiling lights above your kitchen counter

Not your regular IKEA LACK table hack. Here’s a classy-looking light using the IKEA LACK side tables as a frame for the LED spotlights.

IKEA LACK side table in the bedroom

18. Hack it into a bedside table

IKEA LACK nightstand

Just one LACK may be too low as a nightstand, two LACKs a tad too tall. So here’s how to cut them down to size and have a two-tiered LACK bedside table, with an additional shelf for your knick-knacks.

19. As a headboard

headboard hack

Using a mix of IKEA LACK coffee tables, Kennet made a headboard to span the width of the bed, integrating bedside tables at the end. An all-in-one headboard solution.

IKEA LACK side table in the kids room

20. As a mobile play kitchen

mobile play kitchen

I love this mobile play kitchen by Kristin. It’s compact, can be easily transported from one room to another, yet has everything including the kitchen sink.

21. As a train table

train table

Making a train table is not as hard as it seems. You only need 2 LACK side tables, an activity rug, tracks, and lots of trains!

22. As a LEGO storage box

This is genius! Martin made a series of LEGO storage drawers that fit between the LACK’s table legs. At playtime, the drawers are used as sorters.

It works in the Studio

23. As a lightbox

IKEA LACK side table lightbox

For photographers, the IKEA LACK side table can be easily transformed into a very useful lightbox.

24. As a mobile standing desk

IKEA LACK side table standing desk

A movable standing desk from 3 LACK side tables. Add casters to roll it to where you need it to be.

25. As an audio rack

audio rack

A classic LACK Rack Hack. If you have lots of audio equipment, you’ll love this sturdy rack with modern style and clean lines.

Try it in the Patio

26. As a lounger

DIY patio lounger

This is not an easy hack. Charles made this from multiple LACK side tables, cut into half and filled with expanding insulation foam, and covered with latex paint (for waterproofing). Then, assembled it into an outdoor lounger. Add a few plush cushions and done.

You may have an IKEA LACK side table or two stashed somewhere, all wobbly or scratched up, don’t throw them out yet. There are always ways to make them into something useful again. And if you do, do share them with all of us.

See more IKEA LACK hacks.

Updated June 2023. First published in Nov 2015.

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