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The Super Easy Way to Add Legs to an IKEA Kallax Shelf

Here I’ll show you the super easy way to add legs to an IKEA Kallax shelf!

How to add legs to an IKEA Kallax shelf.



My son’s nursery is decently sized for a kid’s room, but we’re rather limited on wall space, and therefore, storage space.


The large wall is reserved for the crib and houses the room’s doorway, then there’s a Jack-and-Jill bathroom door on the second wall, two (yes, two) closet doors on the third, and a large window in the center of the fourth.

That means we needed to get a little creative with our storage.

Enter an IKEA Kallax shelf….with legs!

Adding the legs couldn’t have been easier, and now the shelf adds the perfect amount of storage, play space, and decor to Brayden’s modern woodland nursery.

Here I’ll share with you just how easy this little IKEA hack really is!


The Super Easy Way to Add Legs to an IKEA Kallax Shelf

We chose to add legs to the four cubbie Kallax in Brayden’s room for three main reasons:

  • The legs would raise the shelf up to just below the windowsill, which would be the perfect height for Brayden and his older brother, Rowan, to play at without blocking any of the window.
  • The only air vent in the room is on the floor below the window (naturally), so the legs would allow us to not block airflow and also add a nifty air-diverting vent cover to direct the air out from under the shelf and into the room.
  • The legs make the shelf look oh so fancy. And we are quite fancy people. *heavy sarcasm*


Supplies to Add Legs to an IKEA Kallax Shelf

Here’s what we used to add legs to our IKEA Kallax shelf:


Step 1: Assemble the Kallax Unit

Of course the first thing we had to do was assemble the Kallax unit. And by we, I mean my husband.

My pregnant butt “supervised” and took photos for the blog…and let me tell ya, it was hard work.

Assembling a white IKEA Kallax shelf unit using a power drill.


Step 2: Measure Out Placement of Legs

Once the shelf unit was fully assembled, it was time to add the legs.

They’re the Capita legs, and they’re actually from the Sektion line of kitchen cabinets. They’d work just fine with the Kallax shelf too.

We went with the 4.5″ legs in white (as opposed to the stainless steel ones that come in 4.5″ or 6.25″ varieties).

That way the shelf wouldn’t be too tall and block some of the windowsill, plus it would likely be a little more stable than if it had the taller legs.

You just never know with two rowdy boys…

Here’s what the legs and hardware look like out of the package (minus the super important mounting plates that I forgot to include in this pic…whoops! Those are below.):

Four white IKEA Capita legs and hardware.


Matt measured out where he wanted the mounting plates to be attached using a handy rafting measuring square, and marked four of the hole locations with a pencil.

He decided to go with 2″ in from the short side and 1″ in from long side, just because it looked like a good spot.

No real rhyme or reason other than that it looked good and it should keep the shelf nice and stable.

Using a blue rafting square to mark locations for screwing in IKEA Capita legs onto a Kallax shelf.


Here’s a shot showing all four mounting squares in position…and a discarded Green Frankie, the monster blankie (a.k.a. Rowan’s lovey).

Adding legs to an IKEA Kallax shelf.


Step 3: Drill Pilot Holes

Now it was time to drill, baby, drill!

Matt used a small drill bit and drilled pilot holes into the shelf where each of the pencil markings were just measured and marked.

These would allow the screws to be easily added in the next step.

Drilling pilot holes into a white IKEA Kallax shelf in order to attach Capita legs with screws.


Step 4: Attach Leg Mounting Plates

Once all the pilot holes were drilled, Matt then got to attaching each of the mounting plates with four of their accompanying screws.

Attaching IKEA Capita legs to a white Kallax shelf.


Step 5: Screw on Legs

Now that the mounting plates were securely attached, it was time to add the legs.

First, Matt screwed on the black tube caps (the giant black washer looking things) all the way…

Adding legs to an IKEA Kallax shelf.


…then screwed on each leg.


And that, folks, is how to add legs to an IKEA Kallax shelf.

Super simple.

All in all, the whole process of assembling the Kallax and then adding the legs took about 45 minutes, with the majority of that being shelf assembly. The leg part was a breeze.

How to add legs to an IKEA Kallax shelf.

[Note: We ended up not using the washers that were included in the hardware because Matt said they weren’t necessary here. Saved for another project!]


The Completed IKEA Kallax Shelf with Legs!

And here is how our IKEA Kallax shelf with added Capita legs looks in Brayden’s nursery!

I think it looks great and it suits our needs perfectly. You can’t beat that!

The shelf is now at the ideal height, it allows air to flow freely from the air-diverting vent on the floor and into the room, and the legs add a little pizzazz.

Add Legs to IKEA Kallax shelf.

Boy's orange and navy blue modern woodland nursery.

Orange and blue modern woodland nursery.

Yield: One raised IKEA Kallax shelf

How to Add Legs to an IKEA Kallax Shelf

Add legs to an IKEA Kallax shelf.

See just how quick and easy it is to add legs to an IKEA Kallax shelf! This method can also be used for other IKEA shelves and furniture.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $15


  1. Assemble IKEA Kallax shelf unit
  2. Measure out placement of legs and mark holes with a pencil
  3. Drill pilot holes
  4. Attach leg mounting plates with screws
  5. Screw on legs


Capita legs are also available in stainless steel and in 6.25" size.

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Navy Blue & Orange Modern Woodland Nursery

If you’d like some more info on other projects in Brayden’s modern woodland nursery that I’ve shared so far, check these out!

How to Make Rustic Woodland Signs.


Personalized Baby Door Hanger for Hospital & Home.


Kids bathroom makeover with blue cabinets and shark theme.


And here are a couple other IKEA hacks I’ve shared!

DIY Burned IKEA Cork Trivets: Cheap & Easy IKEA Hack!


Personalized Lazy Susan IKEA Hack.


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Thanks so much for stopping by!

Where The Smiles Have Been | Crafts. DIY. Home. Mom Life.


Friday 30th of July 2021

hi there. super cute and helpful, thank you. Do you/your hubs think a power drill is necessary to add holes? If it is particle board, can I assume I can hand screw? thanks


Saturday 4th of September 2021

Hi Julie! He said for the pilot holes, yes. Otherwise there might be splintering.


Friday 1st of January 2021

Love the idea, but I've read any comments on other webpages that Ikea changed the Kallax years ago and now it's almost "empty" inside the wood, so no drilling will hold. They recommend very strong glue instead, but I'm not so sure.

Any info on that? Thanks anyways!


Sunday 3rd of January 2021

Hi Ben! Hmmm, I haven't heard anything about the new "empty" wood shelves, but I think a super strong glue would still be able to get the legs added just fine. Best of luck!


Thursday 17th of September 2020

Thanks for great photo tutorial for adding legs to the shelf. It looks great that way!


Monday 21st of September 2020

Thank you so much, Scarlet! :)


Friday 23rd of March 2018

Terrific idea! I looked all over for ideas and am so glad to find this. I used it and it turned out terrific!


Sunday 11th of March 2018

Where did you find the mounting plates? I can’t seem to find any like these.


Sunday 11th of March 2018

Hey Alexander! They were included in the set of legs along with the rest of the hardware. Like I mentioned above, I forgot to include them in the picture with the rest of the pieces...whoops!

Here's more info about them straight from IKEA's site:

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