How to Make a DIY Floating Nightstand with IKEA Parts

Updated: Jan. 10, 2023

Installing this easy shelf as an "end table" can save you space and money.

As rent and housing prices continue to rise, many of us are looking to maximize our small home spaces. Many DIYers on TikTok are turning to creative solutions for nightstands, such as installing a floating shelf or two beside their beds. While some have happily constructed their own creative shelves, IKEA’s classic Lack shelf makes for an even simpler DIY. Better yet, its minimalist design makes it perfect for endless customization. Read on to discover how to install your own floating nightstand.

How to Install the Basic Floating Nightstand

The IKEA Lack shelf comes with hidden suspension brackets to give the “floating” illusion. However, it does not come with mounting screws or anchors, so stop by your local hardware store and buy these items in the according size. The best types of screws and anchors will depend on your wall type, so it helps to speak with a professional. After you’ve gathered these materials, you’ll need a tape measure, pencil, level, power drill, hammer and screwdriver to install the shelves.

Start the install by measuring how high you would like the shelves to be on your wall. Note that if you would like to install multiple shelves for your “nightstand,” you will need to leave the appropriate space. Mark the height on the wall with a pencil, then measure out the distance between the screw holes on the shelf’s suspension brackets (the thick, round part of the slit in the metal).

For the best accuracy, measure from the middle of each of the holes. Mirror this measurement on the wall with two pencil marks where the screws should be inserted. Use the level to ensure that the installed screws will result in a level shelf. Note that screwing into wall studs will always provide the most secure shelving, but may not be possible with such a specific “nightstand” placement.

Next, drill holes where you have marked and hammer in your anchors. The fit should be as snug as possible while still being able to fully insert the anchors. Then, add the screws and drive them most of the way in with the screwdriver. Leave about a quarter of an inch of the screws protruding from the wall for the suspension brackets to rest on. Add the shelf and voila: a new space-saving nightstand!

Customize the Floating Nightstand

To make the nightstand their own, some DIYers are adding additional shelves, lights, phone charging stations or hardware. Feel free to try these personalizations yourself, but note that many of them will need to be accomplished before the shelves are anchored to the wall.

Additionally, IKEA warns that with proper anchoring, the maximum weight that can be placed on the Lack shelf is 6.5 pounds, so make sure your customizations are relatively light. And never underestimate the effect of a good coat of paint on brightening up your minimalist space. Happy hanging!