How To Add Feet to an IKEA Kallax
Every now and then I make a change or update to our house (or something in it) and don’t think or intend to dedicate an entire blog post to it. Then, over time, I start to rack up questions or comments about a particular change, and it occurs to me that other readers might be curious about the update too! So is the case with the feet on the Kallax shelves in our new playroom. Figuring out just how to add feet to an IKEA Kallax wasn’t the easiest process (I found lots of pictures but no how-tos), so it’s no wonder I’m getting questions! Well, today I’m showing you just how easy and affordable it is to give your shelves (no matter where they’re from!) a quick boost!
Why would I want to add feet to the Ikea Kallax?
As most of you all know, I love love love a good cube storage system for a variety of things but most especially toys. When I saw the layout of our new basement (even before we moved in!), I knew a line of Kallax shelves along the far wall would be a phenomenal solution for organizing and storing all of Henry’s toys and craft supplies. We had just enough room to fit two 4×2 units and one 2×2 unit, and I loved the focal point and ample storage they provided! While they functioned perfectly and looked just fine, I didn’t whole-heartedly love the units sitting right on the floor.
I thought the addition of feet would give the shelves more of a furniture-like appearance and make them appear larger in the space (which would ultimately help that wall of the room look more balanced with that weird ledge). Below is a snapshot of the shelves shortly after moving in, before we installed the feet.
How to Choose Your Feet
At first, I had dreams of adding cute, stylish feet to the shelves. But when I started to add up the costs for 12 feet (4 for each unit), they were proving more expensive than the shelves themselves. Not willing to give up on my vision, I searched around online and ended up back at IKEA, specifically in the kitchen section, and discovered the Capita feet were a truly affordable option.
The only bummer, at least to me, is that you need to weigh your preference between color and height. The chrome-colored feet only come in the 6-6.5″ height, whereas the white (which are a bit cheaper) only come in the 4-4.5″ height. I ultimately chose the taller height, but really would have preferred white.
When I first asked Greg to help me install these feet, I think both he and I were mentally prepared for a tedious project. He may have even questioned if it was going to be worth the hassle (to me, of course, it’s always worth the hassle!) However, we were both pleasantly surprised that within 20 minutes, all 12 feet were installed and the shelves were back upright! This project is simple and fast…here’s what you need!
1- Kallax shelf | 2- IKEA Captia Chrome feet: 6″ height, 4″ height | 2 – White feet: 4″ height 4- |Electric screwdriver | 5 – Level (optional)
There are two really great things about Capita feet. The first is that the mounting plates come with the legs themselves, so there is no extra cost associated with adding the feet (typically, you have to buy the feet and the plates separate). Everything you need, including the screws, is included in the set! The second thing I love is that the mounting plates are flat (versus the contoured ones at the hardware store), so you can mount them to a flat-bottomed unit without having the hardware/plate bulge and show. #IKEAdoesitagain
How to Add Feet to an IKEA Kallax
Start by determining where you want your legs to be. Then, using an electric screwdriver, secure the plate to the shelf with the included screws.
The feet kit comes with a large black “washer,” which is used to make the feet just a touch taller. If you want, twist this piece onto the exposed bolt first, and then twist on the leg. And that’s it! Yup…it’s that easy!
Repeat on all four sides…
…and then put your shelf back into place! Twist or untwist the legs to level the shelf as necessary.
One thing to note (especially if you are going to do this in a space where kids will have access to the shelves) is that the feet make the shelves a tad unsteadier than if they were sitting flat on the floor (simply because they are higher and don’t have as solid of a base). We used the mounting hardware that comes with the Kallax to secure the shelves to the wall.
While I had hunch the feet would really change the look of the shelves, I was quite surprised at how different the space felt with the shelves just a few inches higher.
I love that the whole wall has a little more of a finished appearance, and should we ever need it (I sure hope we don’t!), there is now extra storage beneath the shelves too! #alreadytoomanytoys
Here’s a quick look at the before and after. Not a huge change…but one I’m really glad we went for!
It’s little changes like these that make off-the-shelf items a little more unique and custom for your space and needs!
Other Great Furniture Feet for the IKEA Kallax
If you really want to up the style factor and budget is no issue, there are places (like Pretty Pegs) that make super stylish legs that fit right into the IKEA mounting plates. The customization options really are endless!
Here are some more fun and functional ideas for adding feet to the Kallax:
1- Modern Woodgrain Feet | 2 – Round Metal Feet | 3 – Metal Feet | 4 – Modern Iron Feet | 5 – Gold Iron Feet | 6 – Hairpin Feet
So there’s a quick little tutorial on how to add feet to an IKEA Kallax to start off your week! I hope you all had a great weekend, and I’ll see you back here Wednesday when I’m chatting a bit more about one of my favorite companies!
By the way! IKEA Kallax shelves aren’t just for the playroom! See how feet give these same shelves some added style in our new foyer makeover and our playroom!
36 Comments on “How To Add Feet to an IKEA Kallax”
I love this! I use Kallax to corral my daughters’ toys as well and now I’m itching to add feet. It really does make a huge difference! Luckily for me, I was already planning to go to Ikea in the next week or two.
So glad you found this post helpful! I know I had such a hard time visualizing how the feet would actually attach (and look!) until I actually did it myself, so I am glad the pictures helped! I’m really glad we decided to do it, like you said, it makes a big difference! Have fun at IKEA 😉
Woohoo! This tutorial was just what I needed to take the plunge and try it myself. Thanks so much! Glad that I found you. <3
I am so glad you found this tutorial helpful! I too was struggling if it would be worth the cost or effort and couldn’t find any good pictures to help me out! Hope it works out for you!!!
Small changes sometimes I find make the biggest changes! Great little addition and it actually makes everything seem more streamlined and clean with the legs :). I also like how it lines up more with the ledge that’s behind the TV.
Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor
Hi Lauren (obviously checking in with my weekly spamming of your email ;)!
I am so glad we went for the feet too. My husband was all “do we need to do this? what difference will it make?” I think it makes a huge difference too, so it was worth the cost!
Thanks for chiming in!
How did you get the images/symbols onto to the Drona inserts? Did you use stencils and paint or are they stickers? Thanks!
How did you get the images/symbols onto to the Drona inserts? Did you use stencils and paint or are they stickers? Thanks!
//edit: Never mind… nosed around your blog and found it 🙂
Thanks for your comments. Glad you found what you were looking for! These labels have worked surprisingly great for us, and are super easy to change out when the contents of the boxes shift around!
For easy reference, here is the tutorial post again: https://thehomesihavemade.com/2013/08/image-labeled-toy-bins/
And you can see how I did the same thing in our recent laundry room here: https://thehomesihavemade.com/2015/09/simple-sweet-laundry-room-reveal/
Hope those help! Good luck!
Looks great and is exactly what I am trying to do but have not had the luck/time/smarts to figure it out. Thank you for posting this!
You are most welcome! Glad it helped!!!
I’m curious to know how the larger, 8 cube, Kallax is holding up with just 4 feet (as opposed to 1 or 2 extra feet in the center)?
Thanks for your question. I’m happy to report that we’ve had absolutely no bending/warping/sagging or any other issues so far! Now, we only added the feet about 6 months ago, and we don’t have super heavy stuff on the shelves (just toys). But I feel like the Kallax is sturdy enough in itself that four feet are sufficient. If we were going to store books, records, or dishes…we would maybe consider adding additional feet.
Hope that helps!
It may appear to you that is is bowing in the pictures (???) but I can assure you it is not at all bowing in real life!
Those shelves are honeycombed cardboard after about a 1/2cm of press board. Securing them was probably smart, because there isn’t much for the screws to grip onto.
Hi i am confused, on your picture you put the feet on the side that in the manual shows are gonna be the “sides” and not up or down. So i dont know how to do it. For me the manual says that the side with the 4 holes is gonna be up or down, can i just ignore it?
The IKEA Kallax shelves can either be placed on their long side or short side. So you can put feet on either side. I believe the holes you are referring to are for mounting the unit to the wall?
Hope that helps,
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I am looking for the feet on the Ikea website and not finding them anywhere. Can you point me in the right direction or do you know of other feet that look like that?
Here you go!
Hope that helps,
That looks like a great idea.
I’m trying to attach casters/wheels on kallax shelves. I thought the shelves are hollow inside, and so I would have to put pieces of wood to screw in legs/casters. But it seems like you attached the legs right onto the shelves. Do you think they are secure enough?
Thanks in advance!
The shelves are made of several layers of compressed cardboard with a veneer protective covering (I think). When we first screwed the feet into the shelves, they felt nice and sturdy and we didn’t have any concerns. I will say though, that our shelves were moved (across country, by professional movers, in and out of trucks) and we didn’t take the feet off any of the shelves. One foot (out of 12) had been completely broken off. As in, the foot/screws pulled out the cardboard of the shelf, leaving us with a hole in the shelf. We were able to just move the foot over to screw it back in, but I guess when you apply enough pressure to the foot (laterally), it can break through the cardboard.
All that to say, I think your casters would be just fine, but you’ll need to make your best judgement. Hope that helps!
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THANK YOU SO MUCH!
I am getting ready to buy the Kallax shelves and was wonering if I could raise them and if so what would work so I really appreciate this post!
Hello! I want to make a little bed side table, with a 1×1 kallax cube and wanted to put the 8cm Capita feet. The ikea worker informed me it would not be a good idea, because the kallax is not adapted to feet. But seeing your example, I have no doubts! Thank you so much!
Yea – I’m sure IKEA wouldn’t approve but we’ve had zero issues in the 5 years we’ve had feet on ours. I will say though, they are currently in our playroom and we did affix them to the wall just in case a kiddo tried to climb them!
Okay, some important info has somehow not yet been covered in the comments. These instructions as they stand no longer work, but don’t worry if you’ve already gone out and purchased all the stuff, because I’ve got your back.
When they renamed EXPEDIT to KALLAX they saved weight by making it from hollow particleboard. This means you can’t attach feet to a KALLAX with screws, they’ll just fall though into the carcass of the KALLAX.
So, get to a DIY store or Screwfix, and get yourself a tube of grab adhesive, and a sealant gun if you don’t already have one. This is powerful adhesive, basically a massive tube of crazy strong super glue for gluing anything to anything. Forever.
Apply very generously to the feet and place them where you prefer, then apply pressure, clean off excess with kitchen paper and discard. After a few hours, very carefully turn it over and carefully place it on its feet to apply more pressure, then leave for 24 hours.
The end result is absolutely rock solid. You’ll tear the KALLAX in half before these come off. I even did this to my super slippy polished high gloss white KALLAX, still no problems.
Thanks for sharing your experience and tips, Mike!
Our feet ARE indeed attached to several Kallax units (not Expedits) and we have screwed them on AND taken them off the Kallax units over and over (since we move a lot) without any issue of them “falling through into the carcass.”
But I’m sure your tips will prove helpful to anyone who encounters such an issue.
If it’s worked for you, I suspect that there may be a difference between US and European KALLAX units (I’m in the UK), or that IKEA have very recently changed the design. I had these delivered by IKEA (in lockdown) last week. Sometimes companies make these changes to save shipping weight, across all the units they sell globally it would save them money. If you read the comments of this article you will see others have had the same issue I had.
I attempted to fit the CAPITA legs, I drilled pilot holes, then when I screwed them in, the screws dropped inside when screwed in half way. So the KALLAX units I have contain a hollow cavity in the centre of each exterior panel. As a result, the legs were not secure at all.
The grab adhesive is an excellent solution though. It’s up to you but it might be worth informing people of this potential problem.
Can confirm what Mike is saying for North American KALLAX. I’m in Canada and we just bought a KALLAX unit and attempted to follow your instructions and as Mike said, the board is hollow and the screws just fall through.
Great tutorial but doesn’t seem to work for KALLAX units in North America.
Mike, how is your unit holding up using the grab adhesive?
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Thank you so much for this suggestion and how to guide for adding feet to the Kallax bookcase! I need to add a book case to one of my son’s rooms but I’m a little strapped for cash right now – so this is a great and affordable suggestion! One reason I prefer feet on a book case is because they will allow the main frame of the bookcase to sit above the baseboard and render it more flush against the wall. If you’re entering a room and the bookcase or shelving unit is situated on the back wall it doesn’t really make a difference visually, but if it the first thing you see on the side wall when you enter a room, personally I think it looks horrible. Thanks again’
As with anything, if you don’t like the color use spray paint from rustoleum to change from the silver to white. Just make sure it is dry before attaching. IKEA was always my go to furniture when I was on active duty! I renovated my basement with the Billy Bookshelves and used shiplap around the sides and back to give them a farmhouse look.
Thank you for the inspiration! I have an 8 cube and wasn’t sure if I should do four or six legs but I’m just going to follow your exact directions as yours seems to have turned out beautifully and held up all this time! 😘😘
Hello there. I live in a tiny house but love to craft and have many supplies. I plan on getting the 5×5 unit and would love to put feet on it as it’s going to be in my living room. Do you think 4 sets of two feet would be sufficient?
I love your post on inserts. I plan on using them so my unsightly clutter will be behind doors. Thank you so much for the inspiration. Josi