And the dining room saga continues…

Because we have a small awkward space, I thought it would be a good idea to use a banquette style seat to complete our dining set. I’m that person who always requests a booth at restaurants, so I was set on it. We shopped around for one but none were right for us. The size, color, style, and price were always off. I started thinking about how I could pull off a DIY version. I thought about using kitchen cabinets or building a frame like the kind I’ve seen in custom kitchens, but Jvee said NO. We don’t have the tools or the space to pull that off. During a trip to IKEA, I noticed one of the EXPEDIT shelving units was turned on its side (I’d seen it used before as window and bench seating) and seemed durable enough to sit on. It measured at the right size! And it had cubbies! We bought it. [Note: The EXPEDIT has since been replaced with the KALLAX.]

I immediately thought of how I was going make the back for it. I wanted it to be comfortable to lean against and high enough to make a statement. A few years ago we made a DIY headboard for my cousin’s room using plywood, foam, and fabric. That’s how I was going to do it. So simple!

I started with a 4’x6′ piece of plywood. I padded it with 1″ thick foam and covered it with batting. My indoor/outdoor canvas fabric measured 55in wide, which would have been fine if I wanted to run the pattern horizontally. Since I wanted to run the pattern vertically, I needed to cut 2 pieces of fabric to 4 1/2 feet long and sew them together at the selvages, being sure to match up the pattern. I made sure the seam ran down the center of the board.

I started by placing a staple in the middle of each end of the plywood, pulling the fabric taut, and then working my way around with staples to secure it. You can use flushmount brackets to secure the piece to the wall if you want. We felt the EXPEDIT was heavy enough to hold the backboard up, so we decided to forget that step. If you have kids or want the peace of mind, by all means mount it to the wall.

Now it needed a comfy seat! My first plan was to sew an entire seat cover for the foam, but I decided against it. Mostly out of laziness. I considered upholstering the top (side) of the unit like you would a chair, but ultimately I didn’t like the idea of messing it up with staples. That’s when I stumbled across similar types of projects on Pinterest that used a piece of MDF board. Genius! I didn’t screw the MDF into the EXPEDIT because, again, I wanted to preserve the bookcase. But, if you have kids I recommend securing it. I also decided against legs so it’s sturdier by being directly on the floor. We don’t use this piece every single day, but we’ve had game nights and dinner parties and it has successfully held 3 full sized adults with an estimated combined weight of at LEAST 400lbs, several times. Obviously the risk is all yours.

I had the piece of MDF cut to the right measurements at Home Depot and covered it with 2 inch thick pieces of foam and covered it with batting. The 2 inch foam added to the height of the EXPEDIT brings the seat height up to 19 inches, which happens to be the exact height of our dining chairs.

Then upholstered like you would a chair seat. Upholstering pieces like this is super easy. It’s like wrapping a present but with fabric and staples inside of paper and tape. It’s really that simple. Promise!

I added the pillows that I made with the left over fabric pieces for extra lumbar comfort. Look how perfect the cubbies are for storage boxes! [Edit: The fabric has since been changed to the striped black and white fabric I’d been looking for.]

Ahhh yes, restaurant style banquette seating. Yay!


I wasn’t planning on sticking with that fabric and I’ve since changed it. I found the perfect black and white striped fabric that I’d had in mind, at IKEA, for $8/yard. Find the updated look that was inspired by my favorite cafes in Paris, below:

Striped DIY Banquette- Ikea Hack



Ikea Hack Dining Banquette

See! It’s totally versatile and easy to change when you get the whim.


263 responses to “DIY: Banquette Seat EXPEDIT/KALLAX IKEA Hack”

  1. Iris Interiors LLC Avatar

    I absolutely LOVE it! I’ve seen a similar Ikea hack but it was nowhere near as adorable as yours. The headboard is brilliant. I also love the chandelier.

    1. Krys Avatar

      Thank you!

  2. Dining Room Wrap Up | Dining Room Makeover | Projects | Peony & Pear Tree™ Avatar

    […] Post navigation ← DIY Banquette Seat | Ikea Hack | Dining Room Makeover […]

  3. dorky0421 Avatar

    Hi how did you secure the cushion to the shelving?did u used screws?thanks

  4. dorky0421 Avatar

    Hi how did u secure the cushion to the shelving?did u use screws?thanks

    1. Krys Avatar

      You can use screws, and if you have children its recommended, but the weight of the board holds itself in place well enough for my needs. I’ve also used heavy duty Velcro for similar projects. Thanks!

      1. Bonnie Avatar

        You can also use rubberized shelving paper or even those rubberized circular coasters from the dollar stores. Using about 6 or 8 of them under the 6′ bench seat would work wonders; nothing would move or slide. Great looking project!
        (Am also glad you removed that rug in the earlier pictures. With the corners curling, they were accidents waiting to happen!)

      2. Krys Avatar

        Bonnie that is a genius idea!

        And yes definitely, that rug was just I could protect my floor from any project mishaps. It’s long goneeee

      3. Bonnie Avatar

        Thanks! I’ve used that ‘waffle-like’ rubberized product, either the coasters or off a roll all over the house. They’re great!
        Oh, sorry I ‘replied’ too soon to your answer re: the foam thickness—reading it closer AFTER I sent my comment, I saw you DID use the 2″ for the seat and the 1″ for the backboard. Sorry for the confusion! Regards!

  5. Mammahotpants Avatar

    Fantastic. Thanks.

  6. OnlyArt Avatar

    Reblogged this on OnlyArt and commented:
    Very cool.

  7. Kaitlyn Avatar

    Nice job!
    1. How comfortable is it?
    2. How’s it holding up against adult weight-bearing?

    I see these IKEA bookshelf-turned-window seats a lot online, but they’re mostly in kid’s playrooms and would love to get your experience on how yours is accommodating adult’s body weight. We have an IKEA coffee table made out of the same material as your bookshelf and my husband (180lbs) sits on it occasionally but we’ve just started noticing that it has dented in from him doing that. We don’t have foam on top of ours like a bench would though.

    1. Krys Avatar

      Thanks for your questions Kaitlyn!

      1. I used a 1 inch thick foam for the backboard and 2 inch dense foam for the seat and it is comfortable enough to sit through dinner parties and sometimes as a work space. You could definitely use a thicker foam for more comfort, but for short durations like dinner or game night, it works just fine for us.

      2. The bookcase is laid directly on the floor with no legs and the 4 vertical boards in between help hold weight to prevent denting. This helps hold more weight because there is even support through the entire piece. We’ve had about 500 lbs of combined weight on there between people and it held just fine.

      We have had ours for over a year and have since changed the upholstery. The foam and everything has held up well.

      1. Kaitlyn Martin Avatar
        Kaitlyn Martin

        Very helpful response! Thanks so much 🙂

      2. Krys Avatar

        Good luck! 🙂

      3. amy Avatar

        what kind of foam did you use and where did you get it from?

      4. Krys Avatar

        Hi! I used a one inch high density foam for the backboard and two inch high density foam cushions for the seat. Both were purchased from Joann Fabrics. Thanks!

      5. Bonnie Avatar

        Hi. Your original description said you used 2″ thick foam. Did you change that to 1″ thick foam when you changed the fabric?

      6. Krys Avatar

        Hi Bonnie- I used 1″ foam for the backboard and 2″ foam chair pads for the seat.

    2. Bonnie Avatar

      I’m just confusing myself by not reading ALL the comments before ‘replying’ to anything, because (July 6 @ 5:43pm) you said you used 1″ dense foam and it was comfortable to sit on. All-in-all, I’m deciding the seat was done, both times, with 2″ dense foam, right???

      1. Krys Avatar

        Yes, all the time with 2″ for the seat. The other comment was a typo and completely my mistake! 1″ for the backboard, 2″ for the seat :).

  8. Angie Avatar

    Beautiful work! Also, I’m in love, and have been looking for, a mirror. What can you tell me about yours, please?

    1. Krys Avatar

      Thanks! I found this mirror on Craigslist for $20. There is no mark or label indicating where it came from. It definitely was a lucky find. I’m actually in the middle of changing my decor and this mirror will be painted again. It’s too good to get rid of.

  9. New and Improved Dining Banquette Ikea Hack | MeloDrama | The Blog Avatar

    […] over to the original tutorial for instructions on how I hacked this Ikea […]

  10. Sylvia Avatar

    Hi! So the MDF came with the hack?! 🙂 thanks

    1. Krys Avatar

      The MDF and plywood were purchased and cut at Home Depot in the lumber section. They do free linear cuts there 🙂

      1. panama Avatar

        How thick was the MDF board that you used? Thank you, your project is beautiful!

      2. Krys Avatar

        I can’t be certain but I believe it was 5/8″ if I remember correctly. Hope that helps. And thank you!

  11. emily928 Avatar

    How is the depth? I would like to make a window seat but was reading that the depth should be 18 to 24 inches and this shelf looks to be 15 3/8″ from what I can see on Ikea’s website… Thank you!!

    1. Krys Avatar

      Hi! I measured the depth at about 15.5 inches. Definitely enough room to sit comfortably on. Our dining chair seats are about 16 1/2″ deep, so not much of a difference there. If you’re unsure about the depth, I’d say take a trip to Ikea where they normally have one displayed in this position and try it out. Thanks!

  12. Karen Avatar

    Is it high enough to actually sit at a dining table comfortably? Great job and exactly what I would like for our kitchen/breakfast nook area.

    1. Krys Avatar

      Hi Karen!

      Great question. With the suggested padding it actually turns out to be the same seat height as most average dining chairs at approx. 19 inches high. Hope that helps and good luck!

  13. Judith Avatar

    Brilliant! I have a small living room and I’m downsizing the furniture to a loveseat and 2 chairs. This would be perfect next to the door leading to the basement and extra seating for the grandkids, thanks for sharing!!

    1. Krys Avatar

      Hi Judith! That sounds awesome! I’d love to see photos when you’re finished 🙂

  14. Saku Avatar

    how did you secure the fabric so smoothly and perfectly?

    1. Krys Avatar

      Using an upholstery staple gun! I secured each side with a staple and then worked my way around, placing staples while pulling the fabric taut. Once you have those foundation staples in, it’s pretty easy going from there!

  15. Dining Room Wrap Up | Dining Room Makeover | Projects | melodrama Avatar

    […] ← DIY Banquette Seat | Ikea Hack | Dining Room Makeover Halloween! | Decorating Ideas | LA Haunted Hayride | Dia de los Muertos Hollywood → […]

  16. Hortencia Avatar

    I never leave posts and I just had to for you.


    Times have been very hard for me in the last years and I now live in a space that used to actually be a motel room. I had to get rid of a lot and make work what I have. I wanted to do what you have done but what just so worried that it would not be elegant. Elegance in a small space mixed with utility is sooooo necessary. I have pinned and repined you on my Pinterest and you deserve it.

    This is absolutely the most $ saving and elegant plus simple to create – use of these shelves for a sitting space that I have seen.

    I will be using mine in the living room…will use 2 butted together then can also use as an extra bed for visitors.

    Personally, I love your first canvas but it is your style and the stripes are definitely more powerful.

    Thank you for your easy directions and love, love, love…love.

    1. Krys Avatar

      Thanks you so much!! This is the best comment ever! Best of luck to you and please send me pictures of your finished project. I would LOVE to see your finished space!

  17. Ashleigh Morin Avatar

    This is sooo impressive. I am going to attempted to do this for my entry hallway!

    1. Krys Avatar

      Thanks! And that’s a great place for it. Good luck!

  18. Hannah Avatar

    So fantastic! I was just at IKEA yesterday and will be going back to get my dining room set…minus 2 chairs and plus this project (in place of the 2 chairs). Thanks for the great idea! Do you happen to have pictures of this with your dining set? Do you have an oval table or a rectangular one? My guess is this looks best with a rectangular one…whereas I was hoping to buy a circular table that expands to an oval. Hopefully it will still look great!

    1. Krys Avatar

      Hi Hannah! I’m so excited for you! I have photos that you can see here: . As you’ll see, it’s an oval shape and works great.

      I think round works too. In fact I’m going to pick up the Docksta tulip table from Ikea for my latest re-do. I’ll be posting pictures of the redesign soon!

      Good luck and send me photos of your finished product. I’d love to see it!

      1. Hannah Avatar

        Beautiful!! You posted your follow-up as I posted a pic I found too of an oval table with a bench. I’m so excited to do this!! I will send pics – it may be a few weeks though. Thanks again!

    2. Hannah Avatar

      Ok, figured out how it would look with the oval dining room table! Not too shabby!

  19. Hannah Avatar

    One more question – I know you said the first fabric is indoor/outdoor canvas. Do you think a lighter fabric would work or is it highly recommended to use the heavy upholstery-type fabric?

    1. Krys Avatar

      I’d say it really depends on how much you’re going to use it. I wouldn’t recommend something that is going to stretch out a lot over time, because it won’t keep it’s taut smooth look, which is why I like to use heavier fabrics. Upholstery fabric can get pricey so think outside the box. Velvets, sturdy cottons, and even burlap are great alternatives when upholstering. And remember, it’s so easy to do you can change it up later if you aren’t happy with it!

  20. […] This is one of my favorites… […]

  21. […] seen some pretty cool IKEA hacks in the past, but when one of our readers sent over this DIY banquette seat made from a shelving unit, we were completely impressed with its chic design and low […]

  22. […] seen some pretty cool IKEA hacks in the past, but when one of our readers sent over this DIY banquette seat made from a shelving unit, we were completely impressed with its chic design and low […]

  23. […] seen some pretty cool IKEA hacks in the past, but when one of our readers sent over this DIY banquette seat made from a shelving unit, we were completely impressed with its chic design and low […]

  24. Happy Bronx Living Avatar

    This is AMAZING. I have been looking for something like this for my entry way/foyer–a place to sit down and put our shoes as a way of keeping the floors cleaner. I’m totally doing this–and will be giving you props!

    1. Krys Avatar

      Thanks! I’m so excited for you! I’d love to see your finished product!

  25. […] Banquette Seat Ikea Hack – Melodrama […]

  26. Brittini Avatar

    Hi! I have this bench sitting in my front entry way and its one of my favorites. I am just getting around to adding a cushion to it and am wondering how you got the stripes facing the way you did? I thought I was gonna have to do my stripes the long way.

    1. Krys Avatar

      I cut two pieces of the fabric with the stripes running vertically, lined them up, and then sewed them together in the middle using a sewing machine. You can probably use iron-on hemming/bonding tape to achieve the same effect if you don’t have a sewing machine!

  27. […] Από βιβλιοθήκη καναπές? […]

  28. […] geométrica / 2. Mueble con papel de pizarra / 3. Mesa con pizarra y sillas forradas de tela  / 4. Banco con estanteria Expedit / 5. Caja organizadora de madera convertida en Maceta / 6. Mesas […]

  29. […] 5. Krys Melo of Melodrama has the good sense to take an EXPEDIT, turn it on its side, add to that some plywood, foam and fabric, and render some stupidly stylish banquette seating.  […]

  30. […] uphostered banquette from the blog Melodrama is […]

  31. MyThuy Avatar

    Wow! Beautiful! I also love the chandelier. Where did you purchase it?

    1. Krys Avatar

      Thanks! The chandelier was purchased from Home Depot.

  32. Jen Avatar

    So pretty!! I’m planning to do a similar hack to make a bench to sit below a long wall of windows in my living area. I am thinking it would be a great modular piece I can move around for entertaining if I add castors to the bottom. My thought is to add a plywood piece to the bottom to affix the castors to something more solid… Any thoughts or advice?

    Also, I will be doing this project entirely in my condo on the 25th floor, so any tips you have to make the project simpler would be fab!


    1. Krys Avatar

      Your idea sounds awesome! You can add casters to this piece fairly easily with or without plywood. This is a very sturdy piece but I would recommend adding a set of casters in the middle as well as the ends to provide more support and prevent bowing (dipping down in the middle) of the bookcase over time. I also recommend using these casters from Ikea. They are easy to install, the bar adds extra sturdy support, and they are specifically for the Expedit:

      If you choose to use plywood it’s best to have all of your pieces cut before bringing them home. It usually comes in big sheets that are a pain to get home in one piece. The Expedit is VERY easy to assemble and takes no time at all. I think the hardest part will be getting the box up to your apt. It’s heavy. Just take care not to lose any pieces and you’re golden.

      Send me pictures when you’re done! I’d love, love, love to see your finished product. Good luck!

      1. Jen Avatar

        Awesome tip on the castors – I know IKEA like the back of my hand, but had never seen them before! Thanks! I will send pictures when I finally get to it! 🙂

    2. Donna Avatar

      Yes but mostly my grand kids ages 2 and 4. However no problems. It seems very sturdy when adults have been seated there.

  33. Kim Avatar

    Found u on Pinterest!! I am doing this in a few weeks – already have our mdf cut – and fabric in mind – BUT! for purchasing the foam – would you say this would work? It seems a little pricey..

    1. Krys Avatar


      I actually used 2″ thick chair pads and pieced them together on the MDF. I believe they were $8.99 and I had a 50% off coupon. As for the backboard, I used the 1″ thick foam that is sold by the yard, also from Joann. I think the roll measures at 24″ wide, so I got 2 pieces cut at 72″ long and pieced them together on the plywood which measured 48″x72″. I hope this makes sense!

      Good luck, Kim, and send me pics of your finished project!

  34. Kim Avatar

    Oh great – thanks!!! I am just doing the Expedit bench part – well, times TWO for a super long playroom window-wall. 🙂 Can I ask where you found/ordered the chair pads? Joanns? I’d never thought of that! 🙂

    1. Krys Avatar

      Love it!

      Yep Joann! I used 4 and a half pads.

      And be sure to look for some of their coupons, it’ll save you a lot on cost.

  35. Kim Avatar

    You rock – thank you!!! Though, one dumb ? .. I see the depth on the foam is 15 inches.. and the Expedit is 15 and 3/8 inch.. did that extra bit throw anything off?
    (and yowza, for my two Expedits, I guess I’d need to purchase 9 of these pads…. COUPON!!!haha!)

    1. Krys Avatar

      Not a stupid question! I was worried about it at first, but once the thick batting and fabric was on, it wasn’t noticeable at all!

  36. Illyas Effandi Avatar
    Illyas Effandi

    You are a genius! …. Finally, found what I’ve been looking for… Thanks ..

  37. Felicia Avatar

    I love this so much, I am planning on doing it myself. I actually love the first fabric so very much, it goes with my living room, would you happen to know where you got it and/ or the name of the pattern?

    1. Krys Avatar

      Hi Felicia! Glad you like it!

      As for the fabric- It’s a great fabric but didn’t go with my decor. I got it at JoAnn in the indoor/outdoor canvas section. I think they may still have it! Good luck!

  38. Natalie Avatar

    Hi! I LOVE the first fabric you used! I have been searching everywhere for that pattern and colour combo for my banquette cushion. I scoured online but could not find it anywhere. Can you please provide the name of the fabric/company?
    I’m in Canada and I would be ordering it online, so although I see other pretty patterns out there, it’s nice to see my favourite one actually used in a project! Thanks!!

    1. Krys Avatar

      Hi Natalie,

      The blue and taupe lattice fabric was from Joann. It may be discontinued now though. The striped is from Ikea. Hope that helps!

  39. Natalie Avatar

    Great! I will look again 🙂 I am determined to find that fabric…Thanks so much!

      1. Krys Avatar

        Hi Tina, that fabric is similar but this is the exact fabric I used –

  40. Phoebe Avatar

    This is the best Ikea hack ever!!! I definitely try this! Can you please provide the thickness of he MDF and plywood?

    1. Krys Avatar

      I used 1/2 standard plywood for the back board and 3/4 inch MDF for the seat. I found both at Home Depot and was able to get it cut there for free. Good luck with your project!

  41. Ebony Avatar

    This is so perfect. I am completely inspired. Now to convince the man that we need this in the foyer!! I linked your page on my blog check it out

  42. […] isn’t hacking, it is buying. Booo. I am not a hacker. Check out this awesomely cool hack and this one is my fave. Did you notice that they use the same shelving system. How freaking […]

  43. […] 1. Előszobai ülőke – Melodrama […]

  44. […] Diy banquette seat | ikea hack | dining room makeover […]

  45. Kari Avatar

    Love this!! What about ur actual table?

  46. […] out how to make both versions of this DIY banquette seating from Melodrama, made from Expedit […]

  47. Sherri Avatar

    This is rather genius! Love it! 🙂

  48. Donna Ross Avatar
    Donna Ross

    I used this idea to make a banquette for my daughter’s kitchen. However, the Ikea Expedit shelf that was used has been discontinued by Ikea. We ended up with a four -cubby shelf from Ikea that is similar, Kallax brand. It turned out great. We used a gray and cream Chevron pattern for the fabric. One thing I would suggest, though, is to cover the staples on the back of the back pieces with something so the staples do not scratch the wall. I am going to hot glue some felt along the edges for this purpose.
    Thank you for this great idea. Far more affordable than any I have seen, and absolutely guarantees a custom look.

    1. Sherri Morrison Avatar

      I have been looking at the Kallax but was worried the thinner sides might not be as sturdy for a bench. Is the Kallax working for you as seating? Are adults using it? Thanks.

      1. Candice Avatar

        Hi! I was wondering the same thing. I want to do the bed hack but wasn’t sure if the kallex was sturdy enough to hold a mattress andan adult sized person.

  49. Monique Avatar

    Hi, I just wanted to know how many yards of fabric did you use in total? So like for the backboard and seating. I’m actually going to attempt this and it would be really helpful if i knew how much fabric I should order. Thanks for your time!

    1. I'm Krys Melo Avatar

      I used about 5 yards of fabric. Any left overs were used to cover throw pillows. Good luck!!

      1. Monique Avatar

        Thanks so much for your reply! Btw how long did it take you to complete the whole project?

      2. I'm Krys Melo Avatar

        No problem! I did the entire project alone, but the actual upholstering only took about an hour, the Expedit assembly was less than that, and the prep work (sewing, cutting foam) was around another hour. Aside from prep shopping you could finish in about 3 hours depending on how fast you work.

  50. lynn Avatar

    Love this !!! I been wanting to make a window seat. I have always loved window benches. I also have thought about kitchen cabinets etc. Love this much better !! I will be starting on mine tomorrow !! Thanks for sharing how easy this is !!

  51. Ashley Avatar

    Hi, i love this diy! Really amazing:) im thinking of trying to make one of my own with my expedit. Do you mind telling me the dimensions of the MDF board for the back board and bench cushion? That would really help! Thanks

  52. Amanda Thiem Avatar

    I’m not one for leaving notes on blogs, but I have a space behind my front door and I wanted a spot JUST like this for putting on shoes and storage for muddy items. I even said “Lets build in a seat” and above that (your backboard) would have coat racks and hooks etc. I think I can sell this to my hubby since it doesn’t involve much more than cutting fabric and stapling. w00t ..

  53. […] black and white striped banquette OR re-imagine this look where they took tv area to another […]

  54. […] 6. DIY Banquet Seating, from Melodrama. […]

  55. […] 6. DIY Banquet Seating, from Melodrama. […]

  56. […] Еще один интересный вариант переделки стеллажа Expedit. Довольно трудоемкий проект – необходимо было обить массивный кусок фанеры для изголовья скамейки и сиденье из МДФ-плиты. У автора уже был опыт создания DIY-изголовья, поэтому ему этот процесс дался легко, гораздо сложнее оказалось выбрать подходящую ткань – нужный вариант нашелся не сразу и этап обивки пришлось повторить дважды. Инструкция >>> […]

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  58. wtmontana Avatar

    This is awesome!!

  59.  Avatar

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  60. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  61. […] Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage […]

  62. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  63. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  64. leila Avatar

    If you needed to create banquette seating that fit into a corner and was more L shaped could you still use these Ikea benches or would you recommend something else?

    1. Krys Melo Avatar

      I think it would work just fine if you arrange them in an L shape and then secure them to each other. You’ll lose out on one cubby hole but it definitely seems to be like it would work. Let me know how it turns out if you decide to do it! Good luck

  65. […] te combineren nog met een kapstok? – of op de kinderkamer of zelfs in de tuin. Deze bank van melodrama is het gevolg van een goed idee met een kast. De EXPEDIT blijkt ook erg goed te werken op zijn […]

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  68. Cindy Avatar

    Hi krys,i am wondering if it is safe to use this as a “sofa” without backing it to the wall?i am thinking about incorporating this into our living room so we can have extra seating and also playarea for my 9months old..thanks

    1. Krys Melo Avatar

      Hi Cindy! I’ve seen a few parents use this as a bench in their play rooms and it seems it has worked just fine for them. I’ve also seen it used as extra seating in hallways and rooms. Here is an example sent to me by a reader

      IKEA isn’t making this EXPEDIT unit anymore. They have a new model called the KALLAX, so I can’t vouch for how sturdy that model is. If you do end up using it, please let me know how well it works for you. I’d love to hear your experience and thoughts. Good luck!

  69. […] 7. Customised Expedit Storage Seat from Krys Melo […]

  70. MCM Avatar

    I love it! Congrats on a great job and thanks for giving us all the instructions!

  71. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  72. michelle Avatar

    awesome, I have been searching for sometime to make a small banquette in my kitchen which is 9 x 11. The house was built in the 50’s previous owners created a dining area in the living room but I knew I could carve out a small nook for 4 people. The seat will fit perfectly under the window and I have a 32 inch pedestal table with 1 chair, perfect. I think I will add 3 inch legs to this so it is off the floor for a bit. Thank you! for sharing:)

    1. Krys Melo Avatar

      Sounds awesome! If you’re adding legs it’s a good idea to add them to the middle as well, to prevent the seat from bowing over time. If you have Instagram I’d love to see how it turns out. You can tag me at @melodramablog. Good luck!

  73. […] Diy banquette seat ikea hack | melodrama […]

  74. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  75. […] Diy banquette seat ikea hack | melodrama […]

  76. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  77. onislandtimeblog Avatar

    I will be following this tutorial to make an L shaped banquette for my beach house eat in kitchen in the next week.. Will use the Kallax since Expedit is discontinued. Ordered my fabric and 2″ foam from Joann online using a 50% off foam and 60% off fabric deal. I am nervous about stapling the fabric to the MDF- I want it to be smooth like yours. I wasn’t going to use batting on top of the foam. Is that a key part or is it ok to skip? For the stapling on such a long rectangle, did you start one staple in the middle edges on both sides, then work your way down to both ends, then wrap the ends like a present, to get the nice tight corners? Thanks for a reply in advance!

    1. Krys Melo Avatar

      I like to use batting to keep the foam in place before doing the final fabric. I find it gives a smoother result, but it’s not completely necessary. You can always fix any mistakes by removing or adding more staples. You got the technique right – I started in the middle on the long sides and worked my way around and folded the short ends like a present and stapled. Good luck!

  78. onislandtimeblog Avatar

    I made the benchops today and they turned out GREAT! I am sooo happy. Thank you for the inspiration and the clear directions! I ended up skipping the batting and using 1/4 inch plywood for the base as it was less expensive. Lowes cut the plywood to the sizes i needed with no problem. When I end up blogging about the beach house decorating on a budget, I will definitely give you credit for the inspiration and send people to you for the instructions. Thanks again!

    1. Krys Melo Avatar

      That’s so great to hear!!! I can’t wait to see it! Please email or comment with a link when it’s up. Yay!!

      1. Amy Avatar

        Here is the picture from final assembly this weekend. Turned out great! I used industrial strength Velcro circles (4 per bench) to keep the cushion from moving. The height is perfect for eating at the kitchen table, which I moved out of the way for this pic. Thanks again for posting the detailed directions!

  79. ddaphane Avatar

    Reblogged this on A Lady's Thoughts and commented:
    I am going to be redoing my new office space. I am not a DIY type of girl! However, my brother does custom upholstery for cars, so I am sure he can master this!

  80. GaryH.Lee Avatar

    After exploring a handful of the blog posts on your web site, I truly appreciate your technique of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my web site too and let me know how you feel.

  81. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  82. Fatmeh Avatar

    Extremely creative. I can be very picky when I have an idea if something I want but have a hard time finding the perfect item. What more than to have the privilege of making your own piece of perfection!!! I would definitely like to encorporate this idea in my new home. Very excited not only to save money but be able to reap the rewards of my handy work that is only if I don’t screw it up Lol . I did have few questions. 1.What type of batting did you buy and where did you get it from? 2. Did you have to steam/iron the fabric before stapling it on? 3. Did you glue the foam to the board and batting to the foam??

    1. Krys Melo Avatar

      Hi! I’m sure you’ll do fine. Great questions.
      1. I used regular cheap quilting batting that I bought at Joann. You can find it at any fabric store.
      2. I did iron the fabric before putting it on. Mine had a deep crease that needed to be pressed. I would recommend getting rid of wrinkles beforehand.
      3. I didn’t use any glue. The batting and staples keep everything in place nicely.

      Hope that helps!

  83. Jaclyn Castellanos Avatar
    Jaclyn Castellanos

    Hi! I love this and I’m thinking about doing it myself! However I can’t find the Expedit shelves on the Ikea website. Do you know how long it is?
    I have found a similar cube shelf that is 57″ long so I’m assuming I’ll use a 5×6 piece of plywood.

    1. Krys Melo Avatar

      Hi Jackyn,

      The EXPEDIT was discontinued and since replaced with the KALLAX. It is almost identical to it’s predecessor. Hope that helps!

      1. Jaclyn Castellanos Avatar
        Jaclyn Castellanos

        Thank you!!

  84. Alison Smith Avatar
    Alison Smith

    I am so glad I came across this a few months ago. I finally completed my project and love it. I paired the banquette with a new Avalon table from Crate & Barrel. Thank you for all of the instructions and inspiration! I would love to share a picture of the finished product with you!

    1. Krys Melo Avatar

      I’m so glad it helped you! Please send me a pic. I’d loveee to see it!

  85. […] DIY Banquette Seat IKEA Hack. Look how perfect the cubbies are for storage boxes under the DIY banquette seat hacked from IKEA shelving units! Get more inspiration here. […]

  86. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  87. […] 2/ Une étagère transformée en banquette chic, mon projet préféré ! – Vu su le blog Melodrama […]

  88. Avatar

    Reblogged this on Baby Blue Line and commented:
    So, I’m looking for Ikea hack ideas and happened upon this. It’s SUPER! I don’t think I’ll do mine exactly the same, but I think I’ll try it.

  89. […] small, awkward space led Krys from Melodrama on a search for a banquette that would complete her dining set. After striking out with standard […]

  90. Jamie Avatar

    How tall did you do the back?

  91. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  92. […] Banquette Seating IKEA hack (are you even surprised…we obviously love IKEA hacks) from Melodrama! Keep reading to see how she made this beautiful kitchen banquette […]

  93. Leslie White Avatar

    What table do you think would look best with this? I am so excited to do this as a different alternative in my “dining” room!

    1. Krys Avatar

      Mine has been paired with both an oval French provincial and a round tulip table and looked great both ways. I think it can probably go with anything honestly!

  94. Donna Avatar

    Hi Krys, I’m in the middle of this project. I have a question about the batting. Did you wrap the batting around the back of the wood panel? It seems that would make the wood not sit flush against the wall. Thanks!

    1. Krys Avatar

      Hi Donna!

      I did wrap batting around the back board. I just made sure to stretch and staple it as flat as possible. My batting wasn’t very thick once I stretched it, and I made sure to trim any excess so it would lay as flush as possible against the wall. Hope that helps! Please let me know how it turns out! Good luck

      1. Donna Avatar

        Thank you! I will.

      2. Donna Avatar

        Hi Krys, I finally finished this project and I am absolutely thrilled with how it turned out! It gave me more seating, more room AND more storage. All of which is a plus when you live in a condo! Thank you so much for the help and inspiration! I posted it on Instagram at donnaggibson.

      3. Krys Avatar

        Donna! That’s fantastic! I’m sooo glad it was able to help you with more seating and storage. I’ll look for you on Instagram! Thanks again xoxo

  95. Catricia Avatar

    I love this…..I want to do this for a bench for the foot of my bed. This is just too cute…

  96. […] 4. When you flip this shelving unit on its side, you can turn it into a dining banquette. […]

  97. […] 4. When we flip this shelving unit on a side, we can spin it into a dining banquette. […]

  98. […] 4. When you flip this shelving unit on its side, you can turn it into a dining banquette. […]

  99. […] first IKEA hack I ever did was turn a EXPEDIT (now KALLAX) bookcase on its side to create a banquette seat for my dining room. I originally thought to use it as a bench seat but decided on adding an […]

  100. Ikea Hacks - 20 Best Projects To Do Now! Avatar

    […] seating with an IKEA cabinet? Brilliant.{ Banquette Seating […]

  101. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  102. Bevin Chu Avatar

    The newer fabric? Way better!

  103. Flat Pack Wiz Avatar

    If by any chance I read someone wining how cryptic IKEA assembly instructions are I’ll reference them to here. It’s stunning how you managed to assemble everything and you’re clear vision on it right from the start.

  104. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  105. […] 4. When you flip this shelving unit on its side, you can turn it into a dining banquette. […]

  106. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  107. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  108. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  109. […] 4. When you flip this shelving unit on its side, you can turn it into a dining banquette. […]

  110. […] 4. When you flip this shelving unit on its side, you can turn it into a dining banquette. […]

  111. […] 4. When you flip this shelving unit on its side, you can turn it into a dining banquette. […]

  112. […] more effort, but the end result is sure to wow anyone who enters your home. For instance, this banquette bench would make a great entryway bench, and it started out as a shelf and a […]

  113. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  114. […] and bathroom furniture you need for all your home improvement projects. Diy has never been easier. Diy banquette seat expedit/kallax ikea hack. And the dining room saga continues because we have a small awkward space, i thought it would be a […]

  115. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  116. […] 4. When you flip this shelving unit on its side, you can turn it into a dining banquette. […]

  117. Emily Avatar

    I absolutely LOVE this! I plan on doing this in my girls’ room as we are redoing it to make room for baby #4. I do have a question though. How has the fabric held up? It looks like based on IKEA’s website it is just a regular cotton. It is very thin? I’m worried about it being too thin for a couch/bench but like the price of the cotton options better then a true upholstery fabric.

    1. Krys Avatar

      Hi Emily! I’m so glad you plan on doing the project! Great question about the fabric. It’s actually a thicker canvass-like material. It has held up very well and is easy to clean. I’m actually using this backboard as a headboard now! Let me know if you have any other questions down the road and I’d love to see a picture when you’re done! Good luck xx

  118. […] 4. When you flip this shelving unit on its side, you can turn it into a dining banquette. […]

  119. […] 4. When you flip this shelving unit on its side, you can turn it into a dining banquette. […]

  120. […] 1.) Use a shelf for the foundation of some extra seating with storage. […]

  121. DIY Striped Bed Skirt and Headboard Avatar

    […] of all, I wanted it to match my new DIY headboard so I picked up the same striped fabric from IKEA. The headboard isn’t really new, it was […]

  122. […] Look how perfect the cubbies are for storage boxes under the DIY banquette seat hacked from IKEA shelving units! Get more inspiration here. […]

  123. diabetes review Avatar

    Can you tell us more about this? I’d like to find out some
    additional information.

  124. […] 4. When you flip this shelving unit on its side, you can turn it into a dining banquette. […]

  125. Melodrama Holiday Home Tour 2016 – Melodrama Avatar

    […] DIY pom-pom pillows dressed up our little IKEA Hack bench. I made these for Christmas but I think they’ll end up sticking around all […]

  126. Karen Avatar

    Ha! In ref to the mirror, I have same one for years and I was planning on getting rid of it. Hmm I thinking of painting it first and see how I like it. It’s a great size and I got it for free!!
    Great job on the project. I thinking of doing this for my entrance minus the back. How far would you place the mirror above? If if I keep it..

  127. sheila Avatar

    Hi, When you made the backboard, where/how did you staple the 1″ foam to the plywood – did you wrap the foam around to the back, or did you staple it in the front, and if so, did this make visible dents? thank you!

  128. […] Use a bookshelf as a base for banquette seating, following instructions on the blog Melodrama.  […]

  129. Brenda Lloyd Avatar
    Brenda Lloyd

    I just love this for the mud room that I am creating. My question is where did you buy the original fabric? I see it was 4 years ago so any information life maker, design name etc would be very appreciated.

    1. Krys Avatar

      Hi Brenda, it’s from Joann Fabrics. I believe it was called “lattice” something or another. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Good luck!

  130. lolac131 Avatar

    How many yards of the SOFIA
    Fabric, wide stripe, black/white, 59 ” did you use?

    1. Krys Avatar

      This was so long ago I can’t remember exactly. It depends on your own dimensions but I believe i used 7? I had to sew two panels together at the selvages so I doubled the amount of length I needed. I can’t be certain but I believe I bought 7 yards.

  131. Katrina Avatar

    Is this bench still working well for you? What’s the most weight that yours has held?

    Thanks in advance!!

  132. April Avatar

    LOVE! I think I would rotate the shelves to make hidden storage and forego the need for baskets. What do you think?

  133. Amanda Avatar

    I was just wondering what the exact measurements you need of fabric to make this.Also what is MDF board?

    1. Jenni Avatar

      Hi Amanda,
      MDF is just a really strong Manufactured/ engineered wood. Its very thick and strong for a lower cost than real wood mainly because it is made up of recycled bits of hard and soft wood species. i love this stuff

  134. […] IKEA în această bancă distractivă și unitate de stocare cu un pic de creativitate. Vizitați blog-ul lor pentru a afla […]

  135. Jenni Sosa Avatar
    Jenni Sosa

    How many yards of fabric did you use for the stripped fabric? IM IN LOVE WITH THIS DIY!!!

  136. […] DIY Banquette Seat IKEA Hack by Melodrama  I love the drama of this piece and how it was made from one simple bookshelf!  It would really […]

  137. 18 Great Ways to Build a DIY Banquette with Seating in Your Kitchen Avatar

    […] This DIY banquette for the dining room is visually appealing and multifunctional. It provides storage and is completely versatile, so it can be changed up to suit your mood. Follow this website to see how to do it. […]

  138. […] colour and texture to the room with the fabric used on the upholstery. This great Kallax hack from Melo-Drama goes with a striped theme (even down to the boxes used underneath!) but as you will see in the […]

  139. Carl Avatar

    Temporary 75-gxy – Word press is using your pic as theirs to sell plans.

  140. […] great banquette seating Kallax hack is this one from Melo Drama. They have simple added some foam padding to the top of the Kallax shelving and covered it with […]

  141. 30+ Ikea Kallax Inspiration, Ideas & Hacks For Every Room | Simplify Create Inspire Avatar

    […] installing your own DIY banquette seat, you can save space where you no longer need to worry about needing room for chairs to move in and […]

  142. Jenni Avatar

    How many Yards of fabric did this take?

  143. […] by banquette style seating in restaurants, Krys from Melodrama turned an IKEA Kallax Bookshelf onto its side and covered the top with thick pieces of foam to […]

  144. […] colour and texture to the room with the fabric used on the upholstery. This great Kallax hack from Melo-Drama goes with a striped theme (even down to the boxes used underneath!) but as you will see in the […]

  145. […] colour and texture to the room with the fabric used on the upholstery. This great Kallax hack from Melo-Drama goes with a striped theme (even down to the boxes used underneath!) but as you will see in the […]

  146. […] colour and texture to the room with the fabric used on the upholstery. This great Kallax hack from Melo-Drama goes with a striped theme (even down to the boxes used underneath!) but as you will see in the […]

  147. xenofoam1 Avatar

    You are doing a great job!
    I found this very informative and literally you’re doing great.
    Keep it up. For more information visit

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