IKEA Alex Glow Up

by | Apr 11, 2022

By Melissa Moyles

A few weeks backed I shared with you the girls new homework loft. They have been loving it for coloring, and Lego building, and of course homework.

girls homework loft

But I knew I wanted to add something special to my ikea project. An Alex Drawer Glow Up! I hunted Pinterest and fell in love with this version from the Hardins but decided to add a few of my own twists.

Here’s what I did.

First I had to remove the drawer fronts. I’m hindsight, I could have waited to build the drawers.

Next, I added 1/8 inch hardboard to front with wood glue. I got a huge sheet at Home Depot for $20 and had them rip it down to the correct height. For length, I used my miter saw at home.

Home Depot hardboard

Then came the showstopper – Cane! I bought a 4ft roll of cane from Amazon. But I made 4 units so you can expect a foot per Alex unit. I soaked the cane for an hour in the bathtub and then let it dry thoroughly. I don’t know why this is important but apparently it is! I used a basic staple gun to attach it to the fronts; Pulling tight and making sure it’s straight. I then used a kitchen scissor to trim a 1 inch border the whole way around.

Next I used that same 1/8 inch hardboard to add a 3/4 inch trim around the edges. The large cutter at Home Depot couldn’t cut that thin so I was lucky to have awesome neighbors to help me with their table saw. I used my miter saw again to cut to length with 45 degree angled corners before flying and Brad nailing to the fronts.

cane from Amazon

Probably the most important step came next: Caulking the edges and sanding. It’s messy and time consuming but it makes your project go from looking DIY to custom!

Finally was time to paint. I hunted Pinterest for an ikea white paint match and came across this. I took it to Richard’s Paint and had them color match. It worked great!

IKEA Alex glow up img1

Finally the last step: hardware. The Hardins used gold edge pulls but with so much black hardware in my loft it made more sense to continue with black knobs. I found these at Home Depot.

final step

And that is it! I allotted a full day for each unit in between client calls and mom duty. If you were focused, you could probably do the whole thing in 4 hours.

project complete

Let me know what you think in the comments and please tag @3daughtersdiy on instagram if you try this ikea hack!

Best, Melissa and Girls

IKEA Alex Glow Up img4

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Melissa Moyles

Hi! I'm Melissa

In the borders of being a full time Marketing VP and a full time wife and mom, I strive to build a beautiful home for my family… 1 DIY Project at a time. Join us on this journey!