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Small Closet Makeover – Ikea Pax Hack

With the arrival of baby #3 and moving the big girls into one room – maximizing the space in their little closet quickly moved to the top of our project list.

I had seen a few similar closet makeovers on Pinterest and knew that the Ikea Pax Wardrobe System was the answer to our small closet problems!

Materials and Project Cost:

  • Ikea Pax Wardrobe: $80
  • Komplement Drawers: $25 ea (used 4) – $100
  • Komplement Shelves: $10 (used 7) – $70
  • Wood Clothing Rods: $10 for 8ft (we reused the existing one to cut in two for one side, and bought one more for the other side) – $10
  • Wallpaper – we had leftover wallpaper from our 1/2 bath project to install on the inside of the Pax unit

Tools Needed:

  • Table Saw
  • Power drill
  • Screws
  • Multi-tool (to cut baseboard)
  • Optional – wallpaper tools – wallpaper smoother, water mist/bottle, large sponge, *sharp* utility knife

Ikea Pax Closet Makeover

The goal was to maximize the space in a budget friendly way, while also keeping it functional for my 6 year old and 3 year old.

We first removed the existing shelf, patched the holes and primed/painted the closet. My plan was to wallpaper the entire inside of the closet, but decided on keeping it simple. So we kept the closet a bright white to match the Pax unit and make it look a little more “built in”.

We chose the 14″ deep x 29″ wide pax wardrobe as it was the best fit for our closet. Once we assembled the wardrobe, I installed the extra Magnolia wallpaper we had on hand from our 1/2 bath project on the interior. I am so happy we did that! The little pop of pattern is so fun!

Once that was done, we slid the wardrobe back and used a multi tool to custom cut the baseboards enabling us to push the wardrobe flush against the wall. Measuring from both sides to make sure it was dead center, we were able to get a super tight fit and after a little caulk to hide the seam, it looks amazing!

After securing the wardrobe to the wall, we installed the drawers and shelves. We did 4 drawers (2 for each kid) but the pax wardrobe system has so many different options and configurations. *NOTE: I am waiting on my brass cup pulls for the drawers to arrive.

The trickiest part of the whole project was probably installing the shelves and clothing rods on the outside of the wardrobe.

Each shelf was cut to fit. On the wardrobe side, we drilled a hole and used the plastic bracket that comes with the shelf and on the wall side (back and side), we screwed in 1×2’s into studs to support the shelves (and the weight of whatever I wanted to put up there lol). Painted to match the rest of the closet.

For the clothing rods, we kept things simple and budget friendly by sticking with the natural wooden closet rod. We repurposed the one we already had and just purchased a second one. We cut both in half so we had 4 total.

Right interior view. Closet rod and shelf attaching to the outside of the Pax wardrobe.
Right interior view. Closet rod and shelf back wall and side wall side installation.
(before caulking 1×2 seams)

The storage baskets are from Target and are a great way to hide winter hats, extra socks, toys, etc. I’ll link them at the end of the post.

We absolutely LOVE how it turned out, and can’t wait to do this in the nursery closet.

Product Links:
11″ White and Leather Decorative Coiled Rope Basket
13″ Round Decorative Basket Natural – Threshold (currently out of stock)
Other basket options from Target:
Decorative Cube Basket with Leather Pull 
Round Basket in Braided Matgrass & White Coiled Rope
Basket With Round Handles Large
Stool is from HomeGoods
Other stool options:
Serena and Lily Dipped Stool
Shaker Accent Table or Stool
Prinz Round Children’s Stool

xo Jess

Just your average southern girl! Girl mama and wife to the love of my life <3


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