DIY Decor Home Decor + Organization

Easy Ikea Shoe Cabinet Hack

We recently moved into a new apartment, and it is much smaller than our previous rental – so cue all of the DIY organization projects! Starting with this easy Ikea Shoe Cabinet Hack.

Easy Shoe Cabinet Ikea Hack for a Modern Boho Entryway
Easy Shoe Cabinet Ikea Hack for a Modern Boho Entryway

I absolutely love our new place, but there are still a few pain points, and the first thing I wanted to tackle was the lack of an entryway. I know that this is relatively common these days, especially for new builds, but I feel like some semblance of an entryway is pretty necessary. Thankfully, we do have a nicely sized coat closet at the end of our entry-hallway, but we wanted some kind of storage cabinet/table close to the door as well – and we’re working with limited space!

So after some pinterest searching for entryway inspiration, I came across the infamous Ikea Shoe Cabinets! I feel like most people have seen or heard of them these days, because they are just really awesome and practical! After a fun visit to Ikea, we decided to go with the Hemnes cabinet, as we liked this style the best, and it was the perfect height to go with the round mirror we have (also from ikea!) I should clarify that I fell in love with the Hemnes cabinet because of its practicality – not its knob placement! I knew even before leaving the store that we would definitely be changing the knobs. They were pretty simple and boring, but also in a weird place (a quarter of the way down the drawer). So thankfully I found this post by House Tweaking, which involved replacing the regular Ikea Hemnes knobs with DIY leather pulls from a belt!

narrow entryway
Our super narrow entryway with the plain Hemnes cabinet (pre DIY)

Once we built the cabinet according to the Ikea directions (minus the knobs), I decided that it was just a little too white for my liking. So we ended up replacing the top board of the cabinet with a stained pine board to tie it in with our other wooden elements we had purchased for the entryway. Plus it made it more of a homey + welcoming space with some modern bohemian vibes.

I’m really happy with the way this turned out, and it was a relatively easy DIY!

Easy Shoe Cabinet Ikea Hack for a Modern Boho Entryway


  • Ikea Hemnes Cabinet
  • Wireless drill
  • A leather belt for a DIY version, or leather pulls like these
  • White Spackling with a putty knife
  • 1 10″x1″ in board for the new top
  • Palm sander
  • Stain in the colour of your choice. I used a combination of Minwax Early American and Minwax Special Walnut
  • Foam stain brush
  • Hammer
  • Screws (in your choice of colour – I used black, but I wish I used gold)
  • White paint
  • Paintbrush or Foam brush
Ikea shoe cabinet hack  progress


The first step of this DIY was to build the hemnes cabinet according to the instructions, but to ignore the step where you fasten the top board to the rest of the structure. You can still rest the top on the cabinet if you don’t quite have the new board sanded and stained.

The next step is to decide where your shoe cabinet will go, and fasten the cabinet to the wall according to the instructions.

Ikea shoe cabinet hack  progress


I wanted the leather pulls to pop out slightly more, so I decided to screw them in at the top of the drawer, rather than at the front.

The belt and the drawers were slightly hard to drill through at the same time, so I decided to pre-drill the pull holes into a scrap piece of wood first.

Ikea shoe cabinet hack  progress
Ikea shoe cabinet hack  progress


This part is really fun, because you get to smear pink goop over your white cabinet doors! Using a scraper, apply a small amount of the plaster over the knob hole and smooth out until you have a flat surface. Once you’re happy with the coat, leave it to dry for about 15-20 minutes.

Ikea shoe cabinet hack  progress
Ikea shoe cabinet hack  progress

This may take a few coats to ensure everything is evenly spread. If some plaster dries on the area around the hole, that’s totally ok! It sands or scrapes off very easily. Once it looks like a flat surface, then it’s ready to paint!


We had a bunch of cans of wall paint that our landlord left in our garage, and the colour was very similar to the cabinet colour, so we did a quick thin coat over where we applied the plaster. I recommend doing a few coats so that it really covers the holes and blends into the cabinet colour.

Ikea shoe cabinet hack  progress


Cut the wooden board to fit the top of the cabinet. We decided to have the board be slightly larger than the width of the cabinet, so it ended up being 8.5″. We used a table saw to cut it down to the size we wanted.

Sand the board and clean it off before you stain. Using a foam brush, stain the board in your preferred stain. Depending on how dark you want your board, this might take two coats of stain.

Ikea shoe cabinet hack  progress

I really like Minwax Special Walnut stain, so I started with a coat of that, but it didn’t really match the tone of our ikea mirror, which has a red tinge to it, so we mixed special walnut with a little early american! I’m really happy with the colour we ended up with!

Once the stain is dry, attach the board to the cabinet using the hardware from the initial instructions.

Now fill your cabinet and style your space to your heart’s content! We added the Ikea round mirror, a runner, some hooks, and a small stool. I also love the look of this little plant with my DIY abstract face sculpture!

Ikea shoe cabinet hack for modern boho entryway
Ikea shoe cabinet that holds dog treats and supplies!
Easy Shoe Cabinet Ikea Hack for a Modern Boho Entryway
Easy Shoe Cabinet Ikea Hack for a Modern Boho Entryway

We’re so happy with the end result! I absolutely love how practical the space is. We can fit quite a few of our go-to shoes in three of the drawers, and then we use one of them to keep dog treats, bags, and other goodies in! I also love that I have another surface to style, so I’ll probably be switching up what sits on the board very often!

Need to spice up your own entryway? Pin for later, and make sure to tag @lavender_julep on insta with your own hemnes hacks!


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  • Reply
    Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
    April 10, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    I love how to made this IKEA piece feel custom!

  • Reply
    April 20, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Love this! Where is the mirror from?

    • Reply
      April 22, 2019 at 12:36 pm

      Thanks Jaime! The mirror is also from Ikea!

      • Reply
        July 9, 2019 at 4:12 pm

        Where is your cost hook from

        • Reply
          July 10, 2019 at 1:57 pm

          It’s from a Canadian Home Decor Store called Bouclair 🙂

    • Reply
      May 2, 2019 at 1:13 am

      Great job. Where did you get the coat hook/fixture from?

      • Reply
        May 2, 2019 at 1:14 am

        Never mind just saw you’re other comment 🙂

  • Reply
    Jacqueline Beach
    April 28, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    Gorgeous! Thank you! I want to do this over the summer. Where did you get your hooks? So hard to find a good one. 🙂

    • Reply
      April 29, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks Jacqueline! I got the hooks from a store called Bouclair Home 🙂

  • Reply
    May 8, 2019 at 4:01 am

    So cute!! Where is the best place to get leather?

    • Reply
      May 8, 2019 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks Jen! You can probably buy leather from a fabric store and cut it, or just use a belt like I did!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2019 at 5:06 am


    Great post! I am trying to create this awesome show rack for my house. However I am having a hard time finding the same size lumber block for the top. Usually the dimensions are little different in the store. When it says 1” it’s actually .75 and 8” is 7.25. Could you please confirm what dimensions you used for the project?


  • Reply
    June 26, 2019 at 7:52 am

    Hi Julie, great work!

    The Ikea doors are finished wood and not possible to paint. Did you just paint over the plastered bits? When looking up really close do you not get two colours? Although not possible to say from the photos. And what kind of paint? Gloss, Shean, etc?

    One other question did you find enough gap on top of the doors to fit the letter straps? Do they pull out easily?

    • Reply
      June 27, 2019 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Francis,

      I just colour matched to the paint, and painted over the plaster pieces, and you can’t tell any difference. TBH it was just paint from our walls, so I believe it was gloss, but not 100% sure. And yes, the leather straps do pull out easily. I would recommend paying attention to the thickness of the leather though, but the belt I used seemed like a pretty normal thickness for a belt if you choose to go that route.

      Let me know if you have any more questions!



  • Reply
    July 2, 2019 at 1:14 am

    Hi Julie – did you remove the top of the cabinet before putting the wooden top on it? Looks like you did – and how did you do that?? Thanks – think this looks so great and really want to try this out! Suzanne 🙂

    • Reply
      July 10, 2019 at 1:58 pm

      Hi Suzanne!

      I just built the cabinet according to the ikea instructions, and left the top off. And then I just set the wooden piece on because it was heavy enough, but you could also glue it with wood glue.

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