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Hi there, this is Betty if you haven’t heard of me before, I’m the writer/DIYer behind Oh Everything Handmade. I am super excited today to share my IKEA Kallax Flat File Cabinet Transformation. I LOVE Ikea furniture, and if you know me you probably figured that out yourself because of all the Ikea hacks I have done.

But today, I like to share an Ikea KALLAX that I transformed into a flat file cabinet. Let’s get started!

IKEA Kallax Flat File Cabinet Transformation

Read the instructions below and subscribe and watch the video here on the Remodelaholic YouTube channel:

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Click here to get a free printable version of the building instructions

Materials and tools you need to create this hack:

  • 1 sheet of 3/4″ thick plywood (3′ x 6′ sheet)
  • 1/4″ thick plywood (6′ x 11′ sheet)
  • 1″x2″ x 6′ Boards (6 boards)
  • Drawer pulls (like these)
  • Drawer slides
  • 1″ pocket hole screws
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps
  • Hammer
  • Electric drill
  • Measurement tape
  • Pencil
  • Electric sander + 220 grit sandpaper

Bottom Drawer Cutting instructions:

Use 3/4″ thick plywood for the entire drawer .

  • Drawer front – 5 – 2 1/2″ x 26 3/4″ (3/4″ plywood)
  • Sidewalls – 2 – 12 7/8″ x 10″ (3/4″ plywood)
  • Front – 1 – 26 1/4″ x 12″ and back wall – 1 – 26 1/4″ x 11 1/4″ (3/4″ plywood)
  • Bottom – 1 – 24 3/4″ x 12 7/8″ (3/4″ plywood)

Flat File Drawer Cutting instructions:

Use 1″ thick boards for the drawer frame and 1/4″ thick plywood for the bottom. 3/4″ plywood for the drawer front.

  • Drawer front – 5 – 2 1/2″ x 26 3/4″  (3/4″ plywood)
  • Drawer frame – 5 – 26 1/4″ x 12 3/4″ (2″ x 6′ boards)
  • Drawer Bottom – 5 – 26 1/4″ x 14 1/4″ (1/4″ plywood)

 Bottom Drawer Instructions:

  • Sand all cut pieces with a 220 grit sandpaper to remove imperfections and splinters.

Kallax Flat File Cabinet Makeover Sanding All Drawer Fronts

  • Add pocket holes to the big bottom board, and on the outside of the sideboards.

Kallax Flat File Cabinet Makeover Prep Bottom Drawer

Kallax Flat File Cabinet Makeover Side Of Bottom Drawer

Kallax Flat File Cabinet Makeover How To Put The Drawer Together

  • Add wood glue to the edges of the bottom board and attach the front, back, and side boards with 1″ inch pocket hole screws.

Kallax Flat File Cabinet Makeover Screws To Use

TIP:

I had added the drawer fronts before I installed the drawer slides, which made is difficult to lift the drawer in order for it not to scratch on the bottom when the drawer was opened. I recommend you install the sides and give your drawer 1/4″ between bottom and top.

The 2 1/2″ x 26 3/4″ fronts can then be installed with glue and nails, don’t forget to leave a small gap between each.

Kallax Flat File Cabinet Makeover All Drawers

 Flat File Drawer Instructions:

  • Cut 5 frames measuring 26 1/4″ x 12 3/4″, sand and add pocket holes to the shorter boards.

Kallax Flat File Cabinet Makeover Boards For Drawer

  • Attach the boards with wood glue and 1″ pocket hole screws.

Kallax Flat File Cabinet Makeover Finished Drawer

  • Once the frames are built, attach the bottom with wood glue and nails.
  • Add the drawer slides and install the drawer before adding the front.

Kallax Flat File Cabinet Makeover Applying The Drawer

  • Install the slides so the drawer is not scraping along the bottom, leaving 1/8″ between bottom and drawer. The front can then be installed to seem almost flush with the edge.

TIP: When installing additional drawers use a board in between drawers (from your leftover pile of frame boards) for spacing the drawers equally. I also used a small clamp to help me hold the front in place while I attach it with a screw from the inside.

I also used a small clamp to help me adjust the space and hold the drawer front in place while I attach it with a screw from the inside.

Kallax Flat File Cabinet Makeover Applying The Second Drawer

Flat File Drawer Staining & Finishing:

Kallax Flat File Cabinet Makeover 1adding Drawer Pulls

  • To stain the front and sides use an old rag and distribute a thin coat of stain from side to side.
  • Once the stain dried I added the drawer pulls, with a 6″ space to the edges.

TIP: I used one coat of black water based stain and one coat of gray water based stain on top of the black.

Kallax Flat File Cabinet Makeover Finished Project

Share the love and feel free to tag me on IG or Facebook (@oheverythinghandmade) with the #OEHIkeaKallax if you decide to give this Ikea Hack a try.

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About Betty

Betty is a “stay at home mom” by day, an aspiring entrepreneur, crafter, DIYer and blogger by night. She loves to share budget-friendly home improvements, fun DIY projects and nifty, thrifty makeovers with you on her blogOh Everything Handmade.
Molly is a farmhouse-obsessed DIYer who likes her dogs and long walks on the beach. Find more of her shiplap and burlap style at MyWebsite.com.

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