How To's & Quick Tips

DIY Plywood Magazine File

The IKEA Expedit is a veritable mainstay in homes across the world. It's perfect for collectors and book lovers, but you may not want all of its many shelves on display. That's why Tanya at Dans le Townhouse decided it was high time to find a storage solution to hide her many magazines. But when buying a container looked bleak, she and her husband decided to DIY their own-from plywood! The effect is perfect, and gives this big box shelf a custom flair all its own. Find out how they did it by reading the how to.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
- 1/4' Carribea pine plywood (approximately 1.5 sheets)
- Tablesaw
- Bandsaw
- Wood glue
- Clamps
- Sandpaper
- Paint
- White stain
- Lowluster varnish
- Drawer pulls
- Felt feet


Once we had an idea of what we wanted-and what size-Hubby used this online cut list tool that he really likes. It helps figure out how much material we need, and helps us efficiently cut up a sheet of plywood.


He used a table saw to cut all of the square/rectangular shapes and a bandsaw for the triangular cuts.


He edge glued and clamped the boxes together (applying wood glue to both sides of each joint). Once dry, he glued the internal dividers into place. Without dividers, these would make great storage bins for the Expedit.


Once the glue dried, we sanded the finished magazine files smooth. I was definitely tempted to paint them aqua (everything turquoise!), but for some reason I'm really smitten with the Carribea grain. I decided to paint the inside turquoise. To help insure no paint bled onto the fronts, I didn't paint the edge-only the insides.

While I love the Carribea grain, I don't love the natural colour of pine. Three coats of my favorite white stain helped tone down the yellowness. Once the stain was dry, I applied two coats of low luster varnish, lightly scuff sanding in between coats.

We installed my vintage hardware-centered-with the help of a small metric bolt and washer.


Finally, we added some felt feet to the bottom of each file to keep it from scratching the Expedit.

And you're finished!

Thanks, Tanya! To take a tour of her house, or to see even more DIY projects, visit Dans le Townhouse.