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9 IKEA Items That Have More Than One Function & Will Make You Rethink Their Original Purpose

28 July 2023 | BY

Discover a variety of other uses for these 9 IKEA products besides their original purpose.

IKEA item hacks - cover image

IKEA has established its place on our little red dot as a one-stop shop for affordable homeware. But what if we told you there’s more to these IKEA products than meets the eye? Prepare to reimagine, repurpose and redefine what it means to bring IKEA into your life with these 9 product hacks.

1. BEKVÄM step stool

Step stools are pretty straightforward – you step on them to access places out of reach. But IKEA’s BEKVÄM step stool ($29.90) has been proven to have many other uses for your house.

IKEA item hacks - BEKVÄM step stool hacksImage credit: IKEA, Curbly

A few brilliant hacks to repurpose this seemingly one-use product include using it as a chic plant shelf or a rustic bedside table. Alternatively, the second step of the stool is just the right height to serve as a child’s table.

IKEA item hacks - makeshift child seatImage credit: 小红书, Digs Digs

Simply slide your child in, and voila! You have a temporary bench with a built-in seat, freeing up valuable space in the playroom for even more toys.

2. STOLTHET chopping board

IKEA item hacks - STOLTHET chopping board hacksImage credit: IKEA, Grillo Designs

Wooden chopping boards tend to fall on the pricier side of kitchen essentials, so we must make the most of them. The STOLTHET chopping board ($17.90) is one of IKEA’s best-selling kitchenware crafted from bamboo, making it highly durable and versatile. 

Who knew there were 3 other ways to use this adorable platform chopping board beyond its primary function? Flip it upside down, and it transforms into a convenient 2-sided bookend. Alternatively, use its height by turning it into a makeshift laptop stand. 

IKEA item hacks - laptop stand Image credit: Grillo Designs

For an ingenious space-saving setup, pair it with the TAVELÅN tray, which fits perfectly underneath the cutting board, forming a tiered shelving system with a pull-out drawer.

3. MAGASIN bread bin

If you were a fan of the DIY coffee table made from IKEA products, you’re in for a treat with this new hack using IKEA’s MAGASIN bread bin (GBP19.00, ~$32.51). 

IKEA item hacks - MAGASIN bread bin side tableImage credit: IKEA, Pinterest

Aside from storing perishables, you can take things to the next level and utilise this product in other areas of your home.


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Take 2 bread bins and glue them together to create a unique half-moon side table with built-in storage. For added style and functionality, attach legs to the bottom. Otherwise, leave it as is with its flat base.

We recommend adding a light coat of wood stain to elevate its appearance and give it a Scandi spin. 

4. SNÖSPIRA wine rack

Aspiring wine mums and aunts should consider exploring methods to make the most out of the SNÖSPIRA wine rack ($9.99) besides displaying their precious alcohol collection. 

IKEA item hacks - SNÖSPIRA wine rack hacksImage credit: IKEA, TikTok

Of course, the most straightforward approach is to utilise the gaps to store water bottles or cylindrical containers, ensuring an organised and visually pleasing arrangement.


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♬ Tek Tek – DYSTINCT

But another genius space-saving life hack is to turn it into a stylish towel holder. Simply roll up your towels – just like how they do it in fancy hotels – and slot them into the holder. Not only will your towels be neatly displayed, but the arrangement will also add a touch of elegance to your bathroom decor.

5. OSTBIT plate holder

An organiser with many dividers is always appreciated when storing loose items and knick-knacks.

IKEA item hacks - OSTBIT plate holder hacksImage credit: @erubinahome, IKEA Hackers

The OSTBIT bamboo plate holder ($3.50) has 6 divider slots capable of accommodating much more than just your Mom’s cherished china.

IKEA item hacks - organiser Image credit: Burkatron

The slim segments are ideal for holding vinyl records and books, amongst other things. For a clutter-free charging station, stack this plate holder above a wire management box to neatly hold your electronic devices in place while charging. 

IKEA item hacks - wardrobe organiser and dividerImage credit: Pinterest, 小红书

This nifty plate holder can also be used to organise your wardrobe space. Fill your drawers with a few dividers to tidily display your clothing using the renowned KonMari folding method.

On top of that, you can also mount this multi-use organiser onto the wall to create an accessory holder for belts, scarves, sunglasses, and jewellery, keeping them neatly organised and easily accessible. 

6. VARIERA plastic bag dispenser

IKEA item hacks - VARIERA plastic bag dispenser hacksImage credit: IKEA, The Kitchn

The VARIERA plastic bag dispenser ($3.50) is an IKEA must-have; plenty of households use the dispenser to keep plastic bags tidy. But who would’ve thought that this little piece of plastic could be used in such ingenious ways?


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♬ original sound – heyy

After scouring the internet on how others have intentionally stored more than just their NTUC plastic bags, we found the dispenser used as wrapping paper organisers, cleaning product holders, and even hanging planters.

IKEA item hacks - planters, umbrella holder and storage for cleaning productsImage credit: IKEA, Heathered Nest, The Kitchn

The plastic bag dispenser is also great for holding up anything cylindrical or lengthy, such as umbrellas. Consider this your reminder to grab multiple units during your next visit to the renowned Swedish furniture haven.

7. BEKVÄM spice rack

IKEA item hacks - BEKVÄM spice rack hacksImage credit: IKEA, @izavanessa

While scrolling through @ikeasingapore, we spotted the BEKVÄM spice rack ($6.50) repurposed in numerous nursery and playroom settings. 

Clearly, these resourceful parents noticed these spice racks’ adaptability, transformed them into storage solutions for baby items, and used the wooden rod as a mini clothing rack.

IKEA item hacks - shoe holder for nurseryImage credit: @alyce.and.co, @styleathomemag

You can also attach these to your front door to create a baby shoe rack that can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. 

Crafting enthusiasts, take note – these racks make a perfect flexible crafting station for your art supplies. Everything will have its place in these racks, from bulky wrapping paper rolls to an array of decorative tapes.

8. VARIERA pot lid organiser

Like the plate holder, the VARIERA pot lid organiser ($10.00) offers comparable functionality. As a bonus, this IKEA kitchenware allows users to customise the dividing segments according to their specific space requirements. When not in use, this stainless steel organiser can be fully collapsed to save valuable space in the kitchen.

IKEA item hacks - VARIERA pot lid organiser hacksImage credit: IKEA, The Kitchn

This IKEA product will come in handy to store snack packs and zip-lock bags upright, be it in drawers or refrigerators. 

IKEA item hacks - towel and toilet paper holder Image credit: @rkmama45, Room Clip Shopping

But don’t limit its potential to the kitchen alone, for it also has multiple uses in the bathroom. Mount it vertically on a wall to create a practical towel rack or toilet paper storage – you’ll never be caught in an awkward situation – wink wink – in the loo.

9. DRÖNJÖNS magazine file

IKEA item hacks - DRÖNJÖNS magazine file hacksImage credit: IKEA, Our Thrifty Ideas

Don’t let your magazine files go to waste just because you’ve embraced digital publications. IKEA offers a range of magazine files with a standard size of 10cmx25cmx30cm, available in various materials from eco-friendly recycled paperboard to handcrafted rattan.

IKEA item hacks - water bottle storageImage credit: Imgrum, Good Housekeeping

The DRÖNJÖNS magazine file ($12.90/ pair), crafted from perforated steel, is particularly nifty as the spaces in the mesh wire act as pre-drilled holes. This makes it easy to hang the file from hooks and nails to store aluminium foil and cling wraps.


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♬ Let’s Do This – Outskrts

IKEA item hacks - under desk diy storageImage credit: IKEA, Micasa

Spruce up any unused corners of your home and turn them into functional storage spaces with the help of magazine files. You can either mount it onto a wall to create a floating shelf, stick it between shelves to create a storage divider, or maximise space by attaching it underneath desks for convenient storage.

IKEA products that have hidden potential 

Hopefully, this list will prompt IKEA lovers to reconsider the typical uses of IKEA products and experiment with new functionalities. So, next time you visit IKEA, keep an open mind, and you might discover the hidden potential of their products beyond their intended functions.

For more IKEA furniture hacks:

Cover image adapted from: Grillo Designs, IKEA, @ikeaschweiz

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