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.



Sat, 10/08/2011 - 11:53

This takes some hacking from your dimensions, but I decided on using dish pans. We homeschool, so I was using them for art supplies, school work, puzzles and teaching tools, etc.

Dishpans are really sturdy but flexible and nearly indestructible, come in different sizes and colors and are super cheap ($1-4 each), plus they have handles at either end and are a manageable size for toddlers. Sterlite and Rubbermaid make them - http://www.sterilite.com/SelectProduct.html?id=344

Our local Wal-Mart has them in white, black, red, bisque and blue. The 12 qts are 15 5/8"L x 12 3/8"W x 6"H and the 18 qts are 17 3/8"L x 14 1/8"W x 7"H. But I picked up many white ones at the Dollar Tree for $1.


Thu, 10/13/2011 - 21:04

I was thinking the same thing: dishpans! I know right now all of the "dorm supplies" are clearanced out everywhere...Target and Walmart usually sell them in fun colors. I think I'm headed there next!


Wed, 08/01/2012 - 16:18

We homeschool too and that's exactly what I was looking at these for! I thought about the dishpans and wasn't sure how that would hold up. Thanks a bunch for sharing your measurements and idea!

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 17:20

Where do the pocket holes go? What is the measurement from the bottom of the sides to the first routing bevel?

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 17:39

Where do the pocket holes go? What is the measurement from the bottom of the sides to the first routing bevel?


Mon, 01/30/2012 - 07:23

We have some of these from Ikea and I was going to buy more but now think I will try to build them instead. My idea is that I want to take two of these and then attach a piece of wood to make a table top at a kids table height in between the two and make it a lego table!! Then my boys have storage on either side of them and a place to build! One thing about the Ikea storage bins..we have at least 20 of these and they are sturdy but for some reason the white ones seem weaker...we have broken a few of the white ones....I am sure they were very abused but the white ones do seem to not be as strong.

BenS (not verified)

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 16:33

These are great plans! But I am going to need to adjust them in order to allow the smaller bins to go in the deep way rather than the wide way.

I noticed elsewhere on your site that you said you are a fan of using Sketch-up for doing your design work (as am I). Would you happen to have a Sketch-up file for this and be willing to share it so I don't have to start from scratch? I would be happy to provide my alternate design once it is complete.



Sat, 02/16/2013 - 09:56

how would you make the stepped one using a guide rail system instead of the routed grooves? I want to use them as steps to work in conjunction with the Kura style bed. I plan on building both pieces and the only power tool I have is a drill.