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DIY Built-In Media IKEA Wall Unit with Extra Storage

DIY Built-In Media IKEA Wall Unit with Extra Storage created from an IKEA bookcase. Get a build in look on a budget and even install it yourself. 

Looking for more IKEA hacks? Create a flat front file cabinet made from an IKEA Kallax. Or go for a high class IKEA hack look with these projects. Or dress up a Tarva chest too.

How to Make a Media Wall Unit with Extra Storage using an IKEA Wall Unit featured on Remodelaholic.com

Hello, Remodelaholics!  I am Tamara back again from Provident Home Design where I share home DIY projects and decorating ideas on a budget!  I truly believe you can achieve a magazine beautiful home on even a tiny budget.

I recently turned my kid’s messy basement playroom into an organized, cool kid’s hangout retreat (they actually want to spend time down there now)!

We needed more storage for the kids toys and a way to hide a couple of steel beam supports in the finished part of our basement (about 200 sqft).

Both the mess and the beams were major eyesores which can be observed in the photo below!

Before DIY Storage Media Unit tutorial at remodelaholic.com

The solution to these eyesores was building a Media Wall Unit with lots of toy storage!  I built it around the beams so that they would be hidden killing two birds with one stone!

Media Wall Plan

I was inspired by this media wall system and absolutely love it… see it at Pottery Barn Kids (affiliate link).

BUT I had no where near $1,700 to spend on it.  I did have $100 to spend and that’s how much it cost to make the entire media wall unit shown below!

How to Build a Media Storage IKEA Wall Unit featured on Remodelaholic.com


Believe it or not this project starts with 2 Ikea Gersby Bookcases (only $25 each)!

So let’s begin!

Bookshelves Building Tutorial

Follow these steps to get this IKEA wall unit media center look.

Build the Bookshelves

1.   First, put the Ikea bookcase together following the instructions in the package (it is very simple).  At this point you can leave off the removable shelves.

2.   Next, you will begin making the box part that attaches to the bookcase so you will need to get the box pieces cut.

Below are the measurements I used for each side of the box (not including the top).  I used particle board which is very sturdy but less expensive than wood.

How to Build a Media Wall Unit extra materials featured on Remodelaholic.com


3.  Hold the left side piece of particle board next to the bookcase as shown below and with a drill screw a screw into a small piece a wood or MDF so that there is a screw in the particle board and one in the bookcase holding the two together.  Do one on the top and one on the bottom.

Create a cubby storage system step 1


4.  Repeat the above step for the right side particle board portion.  After the left side and right side boards are attached it will look like the photo below.

Building ikea bookshelves for an ikea wall unit featured on Remodelaholic.com


Optional:  If you want your cabinet box to have a bottom now is the time to slide it in as shown above.  Otherwise the bottom will just be the floor surface it is resting on.

5.  Next we will be attaching the front of the box.  We will do this by using L brackets or corner braces on the inside front corners of the box.

Tip:  Walmart has a really good price on their “Corner Braces”.  They
sell a 4-pk. for around $2 (other places it’s $4-$6).

L-brackets for an IKEA wall storage system featured on Remodelaholic.com


Position the front piece over the sides pieces and place a bracket on the inside corner and screw it tight making sure the corners line up well.

How and where to put the L brackets remodelaholic.com


Repeat on both sides!

6.  Now comes the top of the box which will be how the box opens.  This piece will be 24″ x 23″ (I got 24″ x 24″ inch particle pieces at Home Depot for only $1.28)!  The top piece will slide to the back of the bookcase so it will need to be trimmed on the sides as shown below.

Building tutorial for IKEA Wall Unit media wall storage featured on remodelaholic.com

I used my jig saw to cut the top piece particle board along the cut lines I had made with my ruler and pen.


7.  Apply caulk to where all of the different pieces of wood meet.

caulking edges on a media wall for a nice clean look at remodelaholic.com


Now make another one and then you will have completed the shelves part of the media wall unit as shown below.


How to Make Built in Storage mock up on Remodelaholic.com


As you can see above we now need to make “the bench” part of the the media IKEA wall unit.  I also added an extra shelf to the bookcase but that was just in order to fully hide the steel beam supports.


I created the diagram below to help you visualize the following steps in building the bench part.  If you get confused at all you can refer to this diagram for clarification .

How to Make a Bench Seat Between Bookshelves for an IKEA Media Wall unit featured on Remodelaholic.com

Bench Building Tutorial

Creating the Foundation of the Bench

Step 1-  Decide how much distance you want between the two shelving units (most likely based upon the size of your TV).  Measure both the length and the depth.  Using a jigsaw or table saw cut a piece of particle board to the size and place it on the floor between the 2 bookshelves.  This is your base piece.

Step 2-  Decide how high you want the bench part to be then minus an inch (or the thickness of top of the bench).  Cut a piece of particle board the depth of your bench by the the height you just calculated.

Stand the particle board upright in the center of the base piece.  Secure the piece upright with 4 L-Brackets (2 on each side of the center piece) connecting the horizontal base piece to what we’ll refer to as the divider piece.

L-Brackets fro Creating a Bench Seat in a media wall featured on Remodelaholic.com

Creating the Face of the Bench

DIY Media Storage Unit step by step tutorial featured on Remodelaholic.com

Note: I used MDF sheeting cut to size but you can use wood if you would like.

Step 3-  Take a 1 x 4 and cut it into 2 pieces that are the height of your bench minus 1 inch (or the thickness of top of the bench).  Place the first one standing upright next to the left bookshelf.  Nail the bottom of it into the base piece (from Step 1).

Step 4-  Do the same thing with the other 1×4 on the right side.

Step 5-  Measure the distance between the two boards you just installed.  Cut two 1×4’s to this measurement.  Take one of the boards and place it between the 2 vertical boards you just installed.  This board will be placed against the floor and will be nailed to the base piece as well.

Step 6-  Place the other board in between the two vertical side boards so that the tops of the side boards line up seamlessly with it’s top  Use a level to make sure it is perfectly horizontal and then nail into place by nailing it into the front end of the divider piece (from step 2)

Secure the top board to the side boards with a connecting piece of wood (nailed on the inside of the bench) and do on both sides.

See photo below.

Building a Media Unit from IKEA bookshelves featured on Remodelaholiccom

Step 7-  Measure the distance between the horizontal bottom and top boards that you just installed in step 5 and 6.  Cut a 1 x 4 to this length and nail it vertically to the front end of the divider piece.

Creating the Top of the Bench

Step 8-

A) Now we will be installing the support boards to hold up the top of the Bench.  Measure how tall you want the bench to be minus the thickness of the top piece.  Draw a line (making sure it is level) at this measurement on the sides of both bookshelves.

Place the top of the support board (needs to be at least an inch thick) along the lines you just drew and nail to the sides of the bookshelves

Nail Supports for Top of Bench featured on Remodelaholic.com

B)  Measure for the top of the bench seat (length and depth).  Cut your wood to size and place it on support boards and is should also rest on top of the FACE of the bench.  You can either glue or nail into place.

Optional- Add trim to your desire.  I nailed a piece of trim to the front of the top piece of the bench.

Trim on Top Piece of Bench Seat for media wall featured on Remodelaholic.com

I also added a piece of baseboard trim to the bottom front of the whole wall unit.

Add Trim to an IKEA Wall unit for a finished look.

Lastly, I added a piece of lattice trim to the side back of the bookshelves to hide the gap between the shelves and the wall.

How-to-Build-a-Wall-Storage-Media-System with a shiplap backdrop featured on Remodelaholic.com

And I’ve thought about adding decorative pulls to the front of the boxes but haven’t found the “right” ones yet!:-)

How to Make a Media Storage System all finished and looking beautiful featured on Remodelaholic.com
How to Create a Built-In Media Storage Unit (starting with a set of cheap IKEA bookcases!) Full tutorial on Remodelaholic.com from Provident Home Design

So there you have it! If you have any questions please be sure to ask!!  We are loving our media wall unit and I think you will love yours too (especially how much the storage boxes can hold and hide)!:-)

If you are interested in doing a shiplap wall treatment between the shelves you can view my step by step instructions, Here.
You can also view the entire budget-friendly basement makeover reveal, Here!  Have a great day!!

Pin this post so you can find it later:

Build Your Own Built In IKEA Wall Unit Featured On Remodelaholic.com

Before And After Diy Built In IKEA Wall Unit Featured On Remodelaholic.com

DIY Media Wall Unit with Extra Storage

Originally posted April 23, 2016 // Updated April 8, 2020

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About Tamara