The 5 Best IKEA Hacks That Will Change How You DIY

It's hard to find a furniture and home décor store that's more beloved than Ikea. The Swedish retailer seems to have a never-ending supply of furniture basics that look nice as presented but can also be DIYed into just about anything imaginable. It's no wonder that Ikea made around €12.88 billion in global gross profit in 2021, via Statista — or that just about every inspiration photo of budget-friendly interior design seems to feature one of their products. The retailer's stock is so versatile that it's become one of our first stops whenever starting a new project.

If you love Ikea as much as we do, you've probably done your fair share of hauls over the years. But even though the store has affordable prices, it's easy to spend more than you intended on a single trip. Fortunately, we've recently discovered a few great hacks to save money at Ikea, allowing you to get a better bang for your buck and stay within budget.

Save during a move

If you're moving soon, there's a good chance that you'll make a visit or two to Ikea as your existing furniture probably won't perfectly fill your new space. It might even be imperative if your old home is filled with particle board furniture as these units typically don't survive the moving process, says Elephant Moving and Storage. If things weren't bad enough, your budget would probably be strained by the move, making it harder to purchase multiple expensive pieces of furniture. Fortunately, Ikea is here to help.

If you're planning on moving, Ikea will offer you a coupon for $25 off a purchase of $250, via Ikea. While the amount isn't life-changing, spending $250 at Ikea is effortless, and you'll probably need to make a purchase or two. The coupon could also help you finance a relatively expensive hack. Heads up, though: You'll need to register beforehand to qualify for the discount. If you're still on the fence about nabbing an Ikea haul, we would like to register so that you'll have the coupon if you need it.

Look through the As-Is section

Ikea's As-Is department is your best bet if you want to save a big chunk of change when shopping. The As-Is department sells returns at a steep discount, allowing you to access significant savings, according to Ikea. You may even find that some units are pre-assembled, saving you the hassle of spending hours assembling a piece of furniture only to realize that you've screwed something along the way. The only downside is that the stock continuously varies, but it's still a way to score a deal if you frequently check in.

Although the As-Is department is helpful for everyone, it's a haven for DIYers. Ikea's emphasis on simple designs means that the As-Is department is the perfect place to find a cheap base for your next project. Even better, they have a whole section filled with dirt-cheap particle board planks of different sizes. Whether you're looking to add some more shelves to a unit or create a new piece from scratch, the particle board planks give you a lot of flexibility at a great price.

Check the resell program's terms and conditions

In an effort to go green, Ikea recently rolled out their Sell-Back Program, which lets customers sell used Ikea furniture back to the retailer, per Ikea. Since the retailer plans to resell these pieces of furniture, they understandably refuse to purchase modified items. If you're an avid DIYer, you might assume that this means your projects no longer qualify for the Sell-Back Program. After all, many DIY projects involve cutting into the original Ikea furniture, painting it, or drilling holes. But specific customizations might not pose a problem, allowing you to take advantage of the Sell-Back Program and save money in the long run.

For example, if you use the Billy bookshelf for indoor gardening, you might mount grow lights on top of each shelf with paint-safe double-sided tape. If you can safely remove the grow lights without altering the underside of each shelf, the unit will be as good as new!

Search for more DIY options before buying a piece

Since Ikea is well-known for DIY projects, you will usually find hundreds, if not thousands, of modifications for its more popular pieces, via HomeBNC. If you're always playing around with your home's interior design, this can be a major opportunity to save money. But before purchasing a piece, look at what other people have managed to create with it — Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube are excellent places to begin. 

You can even check out some of our favorite Ikea hacks for inspiration. If your chosen unit has a few options that you could see yourself making, you'll have additional projects to work on down the line that can refresh your decor without shelling out extra cash on another piece of furniture. You'll also reduce waste, making the DIY process a lot more eco-friendly. If you're torn between purchasing two pieces of furniture, any future DIY possibilities can help break the tie.

Keep an eye on unfinished products

Are you frustrated by Ikea's limited color palette and the particle board's lack of longevity? Fortunately, the retailer also offers certain pieces in solid wood, via DIY Passion. Since most of Ikea's solid wood units are unfinished, you will have complete control over the final stain color, allowing you to truly customize the result. If you're working on a large-scale DIY project and will not be using all of the provided materials, you can even put the extra pieces towards future projects. 

On the flip side, if your project requires more materials, you may be able to find additional unfinished wooden planks in the As-Is section and use them to customize your project further. Can't quite find what you're looking for at Ikea? Since the project is still unfinished, you can always swing by your local hardware store and pick up the exact pieces that you need.