DIY Modern Cane Desk Makeover

DIY Cane and Wood Desk – IKEA Alex Hack

It was time to do away with my cute little classic mid century desk and improve to one thing I may really sit at comfortably. Once I noticed the IKEA Alex Drawers I knew I may give them the right makeover and create my dream desk. 

DIY Modern Cane Desk Makeover

Should you’ve been following together with my initiatives currently, I’m barely obsessive about all issues cane. We not too long ago used it on the bench within the child’s playroom and I beloved how that turned out and needed to make use of extra of it.

My good friend Aniko additionally used it not too long ago on an arched cane headboard that turned out SO fairly.

My earlier desk had restricted counter house and was too small for my lengthy legs. I couldn’t cross my legs beneath it or sit comfortably at it actually in any respect.

So I figured it was time I did one thing about that. I needed to have the ability to customise it so it could match my little nook completely and the IKEA Alex drawers have been the right answer.

IKEA Alex Drawer Units

In fact as is, they aren’t my fashion in any respect. So it was time to hack these infants. I had a really particular imaginative and prescient for them that included cane webbing and wooden trim/accents. So I started working bringing that imaginative and prescient to life.


I’ll stroll you thru my course of step-by-step so you’ll be able to create this desk too!

*Be aware: I assembled my Alex models first earlier than including all of the wooden/cane items however discovered it could have been simpler to go away it unassembled.



Lower your 1/4″ plywood to suit every of the drawer fronts. These will probably be rectangular in form and canopy the dip on the prime of every drawer. They need to be approx. 12 3/4″ x 4″ for the smaller drawers and 12 3/4″ x 5 3/4″ for the bigger ones.


Lower the remainder of your plywood to cowl the perimeters of the Alex Cupboard. Since my desk sits between two partitions, I solely wanted to cowl the within panels. In case your desk isn’t going to be towards any partitions, you’ll want to chop 4 panels.

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Utilizing a mitre noticed, minimize your trim items that may sit on prime of every drawer entrance. All of those cuts will probably be at 45°.

I used this pine screen trim I acquired at Lowe’s that has barely rounded edges.

Pine Wood Trim used around drawer fronts

DIY Desk Drawer Fronts


Subsequent up, minimize the trim that may go across the whole set of drawers on every unit. I couldn’t discover trim that was the proper dimension, so I purchased 1.5″ trim and we needed to minimize it on the desk noticed all the way down to 1″ extensive. You’ll be reducing these at a forty five° as properly.

Listed here are these measurements:

4 @ 14.75″
4 @ 28″


Give your whole wooden a light-weight sand to take away any tough edges. I used my Ryobi corner cat sander however you should use any sort of sand paper or sanding block.


Stain! I used Varathane Darkish Walnut Gel Stain making use of it with a staining pad in a single coat.

Varathane Dark Walnut Gel Stain


As soon as dry, you’ll be able to end all of your wooden items. My favourite prime coat proper now could be Vermont Pure Coatings.

Vermont Natural Coatings Furniture FInish


If you wish to change the colour of your cane webbing so it isn’t pure then you’ll be able to stain it through the use of Polyshades spray. I used it within the coloration Mission Oak. I like the way it softens the colour and offers it a extra vintagey look.

Natural Cane Webbing

How to Stain and Darken Cane Webbing


Lower your cane webbing to the actual dimension of every of your drawer fronts. I minimize a few of mine a bit smaller and it made it tougher to connect the trim.


Connect your 1/4″ wooden items to the fronts of every drawer. I did this by making use of a beneficiant quantity of DAP speedy fuse glue.

DAP Rapid Fuse Glue

I swear by these things. It’s superb! Maintain it in place for about 30 seconds. No must clamp except it feels prefer it isn’t sticking.

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Glueing Wood to Drawer Fronts

DIY Cane and Wood Desk

Repeat with every drawer.


Take your cane items and connect them to every drawer entrance on prime of the wooden you simply connected utilizing a small staple gun. Be certain your staples are small and are as flush to the drawer as potential. This can make it simpler to connect the trim. 

How to Attach Cane Webbing to a Drawer or Cabinet

If any are sticking up, you should use a small tack hammer to hammer them in.


Utilizing your Speedy Fuse glue once more, glue a line alongside the sting of the drawer and connect ONE piece of trim at a time. I discovered that these have been a bit extra cussed and didn’t wish to stick as properly, so that you’ll wish to use some clamps to carry them in place for a few minutes. 

DIY Cane Desk Makeover

I didn’t must clamp all of them, so you’ll be able to attempt holding them in place for 30 seconds and seeing it that works. In the event that they’re wiggling then clamp.

How to Add Trim to Drawer Fronts

That is why you shouldn’t assemble the models first. Should you do (like I did) the best way the drawers are put collectively doesn’t provide you with sufficient room round both sides to make use of a clamp.

Repeat for all drawers.


As soon as all of your drawer fronts are lined, you’ll be able to assemble the Alex models.


Now you’ll be able to connect the trim across the whole set of drawers on the entrance and the aspect panels. We did this utilizing only a nail gun. If you would like a bit extra further assist on the perimeters, you should use some liquid nails too.

IKEA Alex Hack Desk


Connect your {hardware}! I ordered these Edge Pulls from amazon, and was decided to make them work although the colour was off.

They have been the right dimension, form and got here in a pack of 10. After some bother with Rub ‘N Buff, I ended up utilizing Rustoleum’s Metallic Spray Paint in Champagne Bronze and it was the right gentle gold coloration.

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Best Gold Spray Paint for Hardware


If you wish to do the identical factor we did for the highest of the desk then maintain following! In any other case, connect a prime of your selection and your desk is able to use!

We used a door slab from Lowe’s that value us $40. It’s hole so whenever you minimize it to dimension, you will notice a gap. This didn’t matter for me because it sits between two partitions. You might simply cowl it with a chunk of trim to cowl the outlet or simply not minimize it in any respect if it’s going to slot in your house.

DIY Door Slab Countertop

The width was excellent, we simply wanted to chop down the size a bit. We did that utilizing a round noticed.


Subsequent you’ll be able to stain your door to match the desk. Since they’re several types of wooden this may take some trial and error. I ended up utilizing common Minwax Darkish Walnut stain for mine after which sealed it with the identical prime coat I used on the remainder of the desk.

Stained Door Slab Desk Countertop


Put all of it collectively! One factor to notice is that with the dimensions of the trim across the entrance, the highest piece sits a bit above the precise cupboard. Earlier than you place your door or prime on, you’ll wish to put one thing beneath there to elevate the highest up a bit so it isn’t resting proper on the trim.

Ikea Alex Desk Hack Tutorial

We simply used a scrap piece of 1/4″ plywood on both sides and it labored excellent!

I can’t inform you how blissful I’m with this piece! The remainder of my little workplace nook remains to be a piece in progress however having this further counter house and leg room is AMAZING!

DIY IKEA Alex Desk Hack Makeover

Cane Front Desk Makeover

Modern IKEA Desk Hack

DIY Door Slab Countertop

DIY IKEA Alex Desk Makeover with Cane

I can’t wait to complete adorning this house however I’ve been loving it to date! My DIY Cane and Wooden Desk turned out even higher than I imagined and I had a lot enjoyable hacking my first piece of IKEA furnishings!

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DIY Cane and Wood Desk IKEA Hack makeover

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