IKEA Hemnes Hack: Built-in Bench

Updated: Oct. 19, 2023

Because you assemble it yourself, ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture invites tinkering. Customizing RTA pieces is so common it has its own name: hacking.

FH15MAR_BBENCH_01-2Family Handyman
Hack an IKEA Hemnes TV unit to create a classic mudroom bench by fastening base molding and a new top to a cabinet designed to display a flatscreen TV.

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Multiple Days

Install support block

Basic Hemnes unit

To begin this brilliant IKEA mudroom hack, start with a basic Hemnes unit.

Step 1: Install support block

Assemble the Hemnes TV unit through Step 27 of the manufacturer’s instructions. Move it into position and shim the legs as necessary to level it. Then, a crucial step in this IKEA mudroom hack, install a support block under the rails beneath the center divider. This allows the unit to be used as a bench.

Fasten bench to wall

Step 2: Fasten bench to wall

Fasten the unit to the wall through its upper back rail.

Build plywood top

Step 3: Build plywood top

Build a new top by gluing hardwood edging to 3/4-in.-thick hardwood plywood and then rounding over all the sharp edges. Sand the top, stain it and apply your favorite finish.

Install top

Step 4: Install top

Use corner brackets to fasten the top to the bench.

Fasten molding

Step 5: Fasten molding

Fasten base molding around the bench to build it in. Install the drawers to complete the project.

Additional Information for this IKEA Hemnes Hack

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Belt sander

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • 1" corner brackets (10)
  • 3/4" x 1-1/2" birch or maple solid wood - 8'
  • 4' x 8' x 3/4" birch plywood
  • 5-1/2" base molding - 6' min.
  • IKEA Hemnes TV Unit No. 002.509.61
  • Polyurethane
  • Wood glue
  • Wood stain