Woman creates dream kitchen island just using bookcases from IKEA

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A woman has saved hundreds of pounds on a kitchen island by creating one herself from IKEA Billy bookcases, spending just £114.

Vikki Cosgrove, 33, from Andover, Hampshire, says after years of being single, she recently decided to figure out DIY for herself.

The local government officer and part-time barmaid was fed up with her dated kitchen table and had her heart set on a kitchen island.

However, when she looked at a Wickes catalogue, they didn’t list prices and freestanding pieces online cost around £600 – which was far more than Vikki was willing to spend.

"I have always wanted an island but I didn't think I could ever afford one and I have such a small space to work in, I didn't think it would ever work," Vikki said.

After learning to use a drill in lockdown, she was determined to find a way to make it work so she searched the internet for a hack.

Vikki found someone who had built one themselves using old IKEA furniture and she decided to give it a go.

Heading off to the store with her mum, they picked up one large Billy bookcase, costing £25, and one small, costing £15, which would act as the base.

On top, she used a tabletop from the desk section (£25) and bought two brackets to put it together, priced at £3 each.

Finally, Vikki also picked up three high stools, which were reduced from £19 to £5 each, at the Swedish furniture store.

At a separate hardware store, she then bought some screws and a tongue and groove pack of five for £28, to cover the back of the bookcases.

The materials for the island cost £99, plus £15 for the stools – bringing the total to £114.

Although Vikki already had a drill, a screwdriver set and a sander, she also invested in a small jigsaw from B&M for £21.99.

Her mum helped her with the initial building of the flatpack but then she got to work by herself, piecing it all together.

She said: “I assembled the two bookshelves, then screwed them together using the hardware store screws and a spirit level to ensure they were level.

"Once they were screwed in using the holes already in the shelves, I flipped it over to add the tongue and groove to the back.

“I measured the total width of the bookcases, which in this case was 120cm.

"I measured each part of the tongue and groove and cut it using the jigsaw. I did this to all five pieces and then sanded the edges down.

“I got nail tacks and hammered these in, which finished off the back as well as giving it more strength.

“I then added on the tabletop, measuring all around to ensure it was even on each side so it wouldn’t be too heavy on one side.

“I drilled holes into the top of the bookshelf and then screwed through the holes to secure the top to the shelves.

“I added the brackets to secure the top and more to the bottom to secure it to the floor to stop it from toppling."

With a little more help from her parents, she put the chairs together and slid them underneath.

The finished island now has pride of place in her kitchen and she was able to give away the tired dining table and chairs she had before.

She said: “I have never been prouder of myself. I have been single for a long time so decided it was time to learn how to DIY, and I have loved it!

"Everyone has been so complimentary, even carpenters and builders have said what a good job I have done.

"I cannot wait to have people round for dinner and cocktails.”

Vikki posted a clip of her work on TikTok and over 20,000 people viewed her project.

Vikki is enjoying using her new piece of furniture and says that although she hasn’t got another project lined up, it has given her the confidence to tackle more in the future.

She added: "Now I know I can do it, I am going to see what I can build next. The world is my oyster."

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