How To DIY A Kitchen Island – IKEA NORDLI Hack
How To DIY A Kitchen Island - IKEA NORDLI Hack

How To DIY A Kitchen Island – IKEA NORDLI Hack

Having a small kitchen and loving to cook can be quite annoying! Doable…but annoying. Filming recipes can feel like a daunting task because you have to set up lighting and then the tripod, and clear off other kitchen products you don’t want to be seen in-frame, then likely the video never gets recorded because it becomes an inconvenience! Been there! That’s why I decided to build my own kitchen island using the NORDLI collection in my own way. Feel free to use my exact design!

How To DIY A Kitchen Island – IKEA NORDLI Hack

I don’t own a home but I wanted to have a kitchen island that had a “built-in”-without-actually-being-built-in, look. I also wanted my design to be functional for when I eventually move and have the kitchen I want. Lastly, this piece had to be budget-friendly! Since I am in a rental, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on a piece of furniture that will end up being in my closet one day (that’s where I decided this is going whenever I move and have a bigger kitchen.) Enter, the NORDLI collection by IKEA. 


I chose this collection from IKEA because everything is modular. Meaning, I can stack together or rearrange every drawer to fit as one unit. There is a NORDLI Planner on IKEA’s website you can use to create your completely custom piece and it will save all the items you need to build it. That’s what I did. Also, a fun feature is that all the drawers are soft-close! Something I was surprised about due to how affordable they are.

How To DIY A Kitchen Island – IKEA NORDLI Hack

Get Building!

Once you have used the NORDLI Planner and picked up all the pieces for your design, get building! If you have an extra set of hands it will definitely help speed up the process. However, I did manage to put all of the drawers together myself and it took me about 2.5 hours.

How To DIY A Kitchen Island – IKEA NORDLI Hack

Start Stacking!

Fortunately, IKEA knows these are designed to be stacked and layered so each package comes with all the necessary tools to do this. PRO TIP: Add wood glue onto the wooden dowels before connecting for a super sturdy unit.

Start Connecting

Using large wooden screws, connect the side-by-side units together. The screws that were used here had to be trimmed with a saw for a flush finish.

Measuring The Countertop

Once you measure out the dimension for your countertop, line it up with tape on both sides. When cutting, this prevents wood splitting and frayed edges. We used a circle saw.

The countertop I’m using for this project wasn’t what I originally had in mind! I was actually planning on using the EKBACKEN marble laminate countertop. So what happened was, I accidentally bought an extra set of the double large drawers so I headed back to IKEA to return it. While I was there, I wandered around the AS-IS area and found this white countertop that was used in the showroom! For half the price of what the ekbacken goes for, too! I was excited about this find and had the intention to cover it in marble contact paper but for right now I like the all-white!

How To DIY A Kitchen Island – IKEA NORDLI Hack

Cutting The Countertop

Using a circle saw, go slow and steady. Doing this indoors (in my apartment) made a HUGE mess and next time (if there’s ever a next time!) I would definitely like to clear the area as much as possible, even more so than it already was. There was sawdust everywhere! No regrets though. 

Mounting The Countertop

I used 5/8 wood screws to connect corner brackets to the countertop and to the top of the drawers. Be VERY cautious when screwing any screw into your countertop. You don’t want it to poke through the top!

Watch the video

That’s it! I loved the way this turned out and already put it to use. You’ll be seeing me film more recipes on here now! Let me know what you think in the comments below, or what you want to see next!

As always, please share and subscribe so I can keep creating fun and valuable content just like this!

Hannah ^

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