IKEA Trofast Toy Bin Storage Hacked- Playroom Project 1!

Submitted by redhead_61 on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:44
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I got this idea to turn my den into a playroom and get all the toys out of my living room. So this was my first project tackled. I love the idea of the IKEA Trofast storage bins and was ready to just buy them outright (Ikea not too expensive ya know) until I drew up the plans and decided that I could STILL build it for cheaper, like three times cheaper. So these are the exact same measurements to fit the trofast bins bought from their store. I built three of these for $30! YEA!!

This is basically the same idea as Ana's laundry dresser, just with grooves routed in to the wood instead of a tract.

The awesome thing is too, that it is such a simple design, that when I am done using it like this, I can throw shelves in there and it is an automatic bookcase.


Shopping List

1 sheet 3/4" plywood, MDF, or melomine
1 sheet 1/4" plywood
1 1x2

Common Materials
1 1/4 inch screws
3/4 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
paint brush
Cut List

1 sheet 3/4" plywood into 4 11 3/4" strips
1 sheet1/4" plywood into 17 3/8 strips
2 1x2 @ 15 7/8"

Tape Measure
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Here is your cut list for your 3/4" plywood

Step 2

I used a router to cut in the groves to a 1/2" depth with a 1/2" flat bottom bit.

Step 3

Step 4

Next up, repaint those bookshelves!

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Jema (not verified)

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 09:58

Awesome! I was going to jerry-rig the laundry hamper dresser into fitting some toy bins, this is even better! I plan to make one and glue Lego sheets to it for a Lego table with sorting bins.

Guest (not verified)

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 10:03

I LOVE this! This would be AWESOME in our playroom! BUT I don't ahve a router so any suggestions for making the groves without one??


Tue, 09/20/2011 - 10:47

You can use a dado blade in a table saw, or you can make several careful passes with a circular saw. Alternatively, if you have a radial arm saw and can adjust the fence to allow you enough space you could also use that (This is what I tend to do, but not many people have a radial arm saw) Obviously all of these options require depth adjustments so you do not cut through the entire piece. If you have to use a circular saw it may be easier with a guide such as this:

Hope this helps!

Amy R. (not verified)

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 10:06

LOVE THIS!! Thanks so much! I was looking to buy this shelving from IKEA soon, but making it myself will be even better. Plus I do not have an IKEA near me.

Where can I buy the bins for these shelves?


Thu, 09/22/2011 - 08:23

These are the ikea Trofast bins meant for this very purpose. This is exactly what their design looks like. They will ship these bins to you just not sure how much. They are just about the cheapest option I have found and they are super sturdy!

As far as getting this without using a router, I would recommend the dado blade. That is how we made these cuts in my wood working class. You could technically make the cut without one, it would just take you about 4 passes moving your blade measurement in an 1/8" each time.

They have a melamine option that has glides on it, but I chose to do this so I could get exactly three out of one sheet of plywood.


Wed, 08/01/2012 - 16:15

I was going to ask the same thing about the bins. Thanks for sharing your project! I love Ikea and had looked at buying that same system. Might just build one ;)

Guest (not verified)

Sat, 10/01/2011 - 17:25

Hi... great project! I absolutely have to build this. I've been wanting this system but there isn't an IKEA anywhere near me. So that presents a problem as far as bins, since I can't just go to IKEA and pick some up. They are not available online either (and the shipping would be crazy anyway). Does anyone have a suggestion for alternative bins? I was thinking any type of plastic storage container but then I noticed the edges on the IKEA bins are pretty prominent. I don't think a standard Rubbermaid (or other brand) container would hang or slide as well. Thanks!

In reply to by Guest (not verified)


Tue, 10/04/2011 - 19:26

I don't think are many good alternatives to the ikea bins, but someone correct me if I'm wrong. Ikea bins are made a of a really nice quality plastic. They're sturdy, yet slightly flexible, and I don't have any fear of the kids cracking them, even when abused.

The typical walmart Steralite bins are close to the size of these ikea bins (but quality is poor, I've broken several of those on my own). The shoebox size is about the size of the dark (not light) blue bins, the 'double shoebox' is about the same and the green/white bins, the (standard Trofast size) and the next size up Sterilite bins are about the same as the red/white one. That's actually how I figured out what size Trofast system & bins I wanted. I 'measured' my kids toys with those cheap ones first and then brought the list with me on the 1.5 hour trek to Ikea.

My advice is to spend the extra $$ and try buy the bins. You could check on ebay or hit up a friend or relative in a city to mail them to you. Or perhaps you can build your own bins out of wood or make just make shelves to slide and put the Sterilite bins on the. Hth!

In reply to by Guest (not verified)


Wed, 10/05/2011 - 08:43

I would just keep your eyes open. You can use whatever you want. You probably aren't going to find exactly the same measurements. And if you are cutting into the wood as the "slides" your measurements need to be the exact width. So you would have to adjust your plans

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