Ikea Mackapar Hack

I’m baaaaack!!  But still not unpacked.  Ack.  It’s ok though because we’ve done a hack and hung a rack.  So hopefully you’ll give me a little slack. 

Ok, ok, I’ll stop before you feel like you wanna whack me.  ;)  The girls and I have been doing rhyming in homeschool…


We have a situation.  Our back door is our most used door and therefore, where we keep all of our most-used shoes…haphazardly (usually) set on this little shelf (previously a bookshelf in Sebastian’s old room).IMG_7269

It looked a mess because it was kind of a mess.  Our closets are small and lack space for lots of shoes plus I like the idea of shoes being near a door for easy access so this was our situation.  I feel like entry ways should always be clean and uncluttered since they’re the first things you walk into when you come home.  They could make or break a mood, ya know?  When ours is cluttered and messy, it really makes me happy to be home.  So inviting.  Like, welcome home to your peaceful abode…ooh!  Watch out for that little shoe!  *trip and an ankle twist*  Ok, so maybe I’m being a little too dramatic but really, first impressions do count, right?  That can somehow apply here.

Anyway, the wall next to the door was begging to be a functional one so we had to come up with something.Image-1 (4)

I started researching some shoe cabinets and found a couple of promising ones on Amazon* and Wayfair* but really was crying inside because Ikea has some awesome ones at their always great prices.  Sadly, the nearest Ikea to us is five hours away and not a day trip I want to take with four kids.  A few more days of searching while hemming and hawwing and asking friends to please pick me something up at Ikea whenever they went and BEHOLD, I hopped on ikea.com and just went through like I was buying a shoe cabinet online (desperation was settling in and I was inching toward paying $$$ for one to be shipped) and got to checkout to find that shipping was only $9!!!!!  I knew there must’ve been a glitch because I checked on ordering their little kid bunk beds online three months ago and it was $150 to ship them.  Now it’s only $50 (only as in not the crazy $150).  Happy.  Dance.  I (literally) ran into where Anthony was and excitedly told him the news and he surprisingly wasn’t quite as giddy as mwah.   So then I added a coat/shelf rack thing onto my order and the shipping remained $9!!  Moral:  Ikea has upped their online buying game a thousand fold.  ‘Bout time too because I’ve seen all those people buying their stuff, marking it way up, and selling it prime on Amazon.  ‘Bout time.  So, there you have a long explanation for really just the super-exciting PSA that Ikea ships and ships cheap now!

This is the cabinet we ordered:mackapar-shoe-storage-cabinet__0513699_PE639126_S4 
I liked the look of their Hermes one more but it’s two inches too wide for the space and I was a little iffy on it being able to fit all of our regularly-worn shoes.  Plus, the MACKAPÄR won in the $ department too, ringing it at just $59.99.  Ikea’s shoe cabinets are made with front legs only so that they sit flush against the wall…I love that.  And just a note about the MACKAPÄR, you can slant the shelves too which would work great if you were using it only to hold adult shoes.  I’m afraid that if we did that with kids’ shoes, they’d all slide down and end up sideways in the back.  But, to fit any shoes sized 8 or larger, you’d have to slant the shelves.  The two pairs of Anthony’s shoes that are in our cabinet are sitting sideways because they won’t fit front to back but it works for us and we still have a little extra room.  Also, I’m contemplating getting another cabinet to hold Gianna’s clothes in the kids’ room.  Right now, her clothes are in Anthony’s dresser in our room.  Not completely inconvenient but not ideal.  It like the MACKAPÄR’s narrow profile and how it wouldn’t take up much room.  It would also fit baskets if need be.

It took a good week and a half for the two items to arrive (well worth the $9 wait) and when they came, I started singing Feliz Navidad.  Ok, no I didn’t.  But I could’ve because I had that spirit in my heart. 

And then all of my hopes and dreams were dashed in an instant when I realize that, while I had triple measured the wall to make sure the cabinet would fit, I had also completely and utterly forgotten about the gas line that runs from the fireplace to an inoccuous spot in the carpet RIGHT WHERE THE SHOE CABINET WAS SUPPOSED TO GO. 

Lower left:IMG_7274


Breathe, face palm, sigh, and repeat.  Here we were, all excited…Anthony put the cabinet together and we moved the end table that was temporarily pushed up against that wall and…saw/remembered the gas line.  The metal legs that came with the cabinet weren’t long enough to keep it out of the way of the line.  Deflated, we set the shoe cabinet up in front of the chimney until we could figure out what to do.  Moving the gas line would be $$ and we didn’t even know if we could get that done.  The shoe cabinet didn’t fit on the next wall over…the door didn’t have enough clearance to open and I didn’t want it smacking into the corner of the new cabinet.  I looked into putting some 14” hair pin legs on the cabinet but the price dissuaded me and we weren’t sure how exactly we’d be able to attach them to the cabinet since it’s not wood.  But after I hopped on the adding-legs idea, I found Shonee’s cabinet-saving idea and plans on Pinterest and we went with it, slightly tweaked.  I don’t have enough pictures to put together a full tutorial so if you want legs too, check out hers.  We didn’t cut our wood at the top and bottom of the legs to sit at an angle since ours had to be long enough to lift the cabinet over the gas line.  Slanted, they would’ve had to be inset too much to have the bottoms be even with the edge of the cabinet. 

We used:
~ 1 -  2 x 3 (8’ long)
~ a Kreg Jig* (I have had this thing on my wishlist for years and Lowe’s has a promo right now where you can get a free box of 500 screws with the purchase of a Kreg so we jumped!  Quick, the offer ends 4/23!  I linked to it on Amazon too where I have seen them listed in Amazon Warehouse.  Keep your eyes peeled there!)
~ sandpaper to sand and smooth the finished product
~ 1.25” wood screws (free thanks to that above mentioned promo!)
~ wood glue* for in between the joints.
But, instead of using a 1 x 3 for the middle, connecting pieces, we used a 1 x 2 because we wanted a slightly narrower look.  We were trying to mimick the look of the thrifted mid-century mod dresser we’ve got.  You can see it in the living room of our previous rental here.   

We already had wood glue so we paid about $9 for the wood and $99 for the Kreg Jig (I used a 10% coupon that basically just took off the tax).  

Anthony cut a large diagonal sliver off of each piece of 2 x 3 (we cut the 8’ 2 x 3 down into 14” long pieces so they’d lift the cabinet right up over that gas line), starting about 2” from the top and cutting it down so that the bottom width of the board was 1.5”.IMG_7267
Once he had the first one cut, he used it as a template for the rest so that we had a nice set of quadruplets.IMG_7320
I wish now that we would’ve cut them to be a smidge narrower, maybe 1” wide at the base instead, but it’s all finished and up and we’re not messing with it.  Next time.

We dry fit the new legs on the base to see what kind of spacing we wanted from the edges and ended up liking them to set in 2” from each side and 1” at the front and back.  This would ensure that it would still sit flush against the wall too.  IMG_7268
Anthony measured the spaces between each leg and cut the 1 x 2 down to fit those spaces.  We had the inagural run with the Kreg (which we think, so far, is awesome!) and then set it up just to make sure we were right in calculating clearance from the gas line.IMG_7271


I’ll admit, I was slightly intimidated when the idea to build these legs popped up.  But, it was surprisingly simple and I guarantee you you’ll be seeing more of these legs (I’m looking at you, nightstands) in the future.  I can handle squared things but slants make me nervous…well, not anymore.  ;)

I was going to leave the new legs natural but in the awful lighting of our living room they looked a smidge too yellow so I whipped out this little can of stain + sealer I had leftover from this planter project and stained the base quick.IMG_7273



And now our shoes have a home behind closed doors and it is a marvelous thing, my friends.



You might’ve noticed that the wall is half painted white behind the shoe cabinet.  Yep, that’s because this room is getting a coat of that very white though I don’t know exactly when.  I do know that the shoe cabinet needed to be attached to the wall and that painting behind it first would probably be smart and so I did.

I’ll fill you in on the Ikea rack we bought also in another post so you’ll have to wait for that.  There aren’t any hacks to pin onto it though.  It’s great as-is and serving as our “coat closet” in the front entry with, coincidentally, another patch of white paint behind it.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

We’re getting there folks.  I hope you’ll tag along! 

Have a great weekend!

.           .           .

*affilate links are included in this post

ikea mackapar hack


  1. The cabinet legs look great! Plus they camouflage the gas line going into the floor. My only Ikea hack was cutting the legs off of 2 dressers I assembled & stained because I thought it would make them tipsy. A little while later Ikea recalled the dressers because of the legs, a refund or a wall anchoring kit was offered. I felt pretty smart just cutting the silly legs off. https://www.ikea.com/us/en/about_ikea/newsitem/112117-MALM-and-Chest-of-drawers-Recall

    1. Ha! You were ahead of Ikea! Great idea Emma!

  2. YES! The new prices for IKEA shipping have my heart singing.

  3. The shoe cabinet looks even better with the legs you added. Now I know I have no excuse for messy shoes everywhere when I can just hunt around for an affordable storage solution. Thanks for the inspiration, Sheena!

    1. Thanks Carolyn! Now our problem will be getting everyone to put their shoes INTO the cabinet, right? ;)

  4. I like the cabinet best with the legs you made!

  5. Really well done hack! I have been considering getting the MACKAPÄR shoe cabinet myself, but I want to have it floating away from the wall. Do you happen to know if the back of the cabinet is finished or not?

    1. Thanks!! Ours is secured to the wall so I can't check but it does have a backing on it. It's white from the inside but I'm not sure what it looks like on the backside.

  6. Hey! I love this cabinet but we have baseboard heating it would have to go over. Plus under the wall mounted tv I wasn't sure how tall the cabinet was without legs? I have been trying to google search it like crazy and keep getting your blog. :)

    1. Hey! It's 35.5" tall without the legs. Hope that helps! :)

  7. Do you know if you can use this cabinet without legs at all? I need to put this up against a window for a client so cannot wall mount so was going to by and assemble and just not use legs so it's sit flush on the ground...because everything is closed with ISO I have no idea if my idea would work or not? PS. It looks fab with the legs you cut :)

    1. Thanks! You could definitely use it without the legs. :)

  8. Hi do you think it will hold up and won’t fall If i buy 2 cabinets stacked on top of each other, unmounted and without legs??? Thanks!

    1. Hi! I think they're strong enough to be mounted but you'd definitely need to brace them to the wall individually behind them so they don't topple over. They're pretty narrow depth-wise, so them falling forward would be my only concern...

  9. Hi. I love the way you upgraded this cabinet. It's awesome. You inspired me for how to very similar problem here in our house!

    What is the effective depth you have for the shoes inside?

    1. Hi! Thank you! I'm so happy to help! My shoes are size 7.5 and they fit perfectly with the toe to the back and heel at the doors. My husband's would not fit that way. He's a size 11 and his have to go in sideways, not front to back.