DIY IKEA hack: APA Toybox

I don’t know how many times I passed by this boring little white box in the children’s section at IKEA. It’s only $14.99 but pretty plain and it didn’t match my daughters room so I didn’t give it much thought… until I saw the $20 LÄTT children’s table & chairs displayed next to it…

My grandmother had given me $100 to buy Sophie some Christmas gifts, but she didn’t “need” much – besides a spot to store some of her toys, so I figured why not put the money towards these plus some supplies, and do something a little more creative with them?

So I began painting the table & toybox hibiscus pink!

My original plan was to wallpaper the sides of the toy box– that was until I saw Birch Fabrics’ Circa 52 collection! So I decided to try something I’d never done before: using heat n bond to iron fabric to wood!!!

I ironed heat n bond to the Woodland Party fabric, then peeled off the back and ironed the fabric to the sides of the toybox — and, it worked!!!

The square sides are already assembled into the wood frame, so for those pieces I had to get an exact fit and iron it right on. For the rectangular pieces, I ironed it on, the wrapped it around the edges before assembling them into the sides of the box!

Since we live in a small apartment, I wanted to make the best use out of everything I put in her room, so I turned the toybox lid into a magnetic chalkboard using magnetic primer & chalkboard paint!

The magnetic primer was a bit tricky to work with. It’s very hard to stir, so I ended up taking it back to the paint store to have them re-shake it for me. After that it went on easily! and cleaning paint brushes with magnetic paint is hard! I totally learned after the first coat to put vinyl gloves on first so I’m not spending hours getting the paint off me from cleaning the brushes!

I wanted to decal the lid to match the PRÄNT boxes, but thought it might come off too easy with chalkdust, so instead I painted birch trees on to match! And I wasn’t being as random as it may have looked when I painted the magnetsthe other day – I did them in colors to match Sophie’s toybox!

Sophie is totally loving her new magnet board!
My Supply List:
  • APA box ($15 at IKEA)
  • Paint
  • Fabric (or wallpaper)
  • Heat ‘n Bond (if using fabric)
  • Magnetic Primer
  • Chalkboard Paint
  • Paintbrushes

And I’m loving having a spot designated for all of our bigger toys! $15 for the APA box and $20 for LÄTT children’s table & chairs was totally worth every penny!!! It’s a fun project too! :)


  1. Maddie says

    i just got the box and it is so plain… so, thought I’d just put little stickers all over it. Bad idea!! My 11 month old was suddenly very quiet and I wondered what was going on and found his hands full of stickers he had peeled off! Checked his mouth and saw nothing. But when I offered him his fave biscuit, he shook his head. I KNEW something was amiss because he always wanted these biscuits. Wrestled him to prise his mouth wide open and saw a sticker stuck to the roof of his mouth! Yours is a much much more awesome idea.

  2. Del says

    Awesome, I am going to IKEA today to pick up a couple of APA’s for my twin boys. I hope mine turn out half as good as yours looks. Great imagination