Search: I Can Fix Up My Home
index sitemap advanced
search engine by freefind home page Read the blog Read electrical & appliances articles Read green building & energy efficiency articles Read home interior articles
Read home exterior articles Read drywall and framing articles Read plumbing articles Read painting and wallpaper articles Read tools and woodworking articles

Top Tips For Building Flat Packed Furniture

IKEA Furniture Assembly Need Not be a Difficult DIY Project

© 2013 by Jeff McNeil, writing for Wood and Beyond; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

An IKEA bookcase; photo courtesy Magnus Back

It is usually great fun redecorating a room and choosing furniture to fill it. However, there is always one little fly in the ointment—flat packed furniture!

It seems that most furniture these days is supplied with assembly required, so building it is a fairly necessary skill to learn for any homeowner. I’ll be honest—the phrase “some assembly required” was once able to strike fear in my heart, but not any more! With these smart tips you too can conquer the flat packed furniture!

My most recent encounter with the flat packed beast was when we refurnished the lounge. We had picked up some really great leather sofas.

We decided that the current furnishings like our TV stand, DVD storage, and end tables did not really go with the new seating, so we opted to replace them. Of course when the furniture arrived it was flat packed. We didn’t panic though, we just followed these handy hints and the process went smoothly.

Tools And Labor

If you are only going to pay attention to one of these tips, then let it be this one: do not rely on the tools supplied in the box. These are intended for single use and are pretty worthless.

Every DIY enthusiast should have the necessary tools in their own kit—screwdrivers, allen keys, wood adhesive, and a hammer. If you would prefer to build much stronger corners than with the supplied bargain-basement hardware, consider pocket joinery with a Kreg Jig HD Heavy-Duty Pocket Hole System KJHD.

I tend to use an electric screwdriver to avoid blisters! You also need to consider labor! A small end table is easy to assemble alone, but if you have anything with large or bulky pieces then you need to enlist a second person to help, but make sure you agree who is in charge!

Assembly Time And Space

Most flat packed instruction booklets offer a time estimate. I suggest doubling it as these are never accurate! There is nothing worse than trying to fit in your build in between other commitments and ending up having to rush it.

So, set aside plenty of time and if you get done early think of it as bonus relaxation time! It is also important to make sure you have plenty of room to move around and to spread out all the pieces.


When it comes to building this type of furniture, being organized makes a world of difference. It is best to be fully prepared before you start, so make sure you consider the following:

  • As mentioned, make sure you have enough space to work comfortably.

  • Build the piece of furniture as close to its desired position as possible to avoid moving it too much.

  • Unpack all of the parts and sort through them before you start so that you know where everything is and that nothing is missing.

  • Stick a post-it note on each piece clearly labeling what it is. Most modern flat packs do have the letter or number stamped on the wood, but this is a much easier at a glance way of identifying everything.

  • Stay calm, and pay close attention to detail. As you work through the steps you will want to check and double check every single thing. Make sure every screw and bolt is correct and properly tightened. If even one part is slightly off, then it could ruin the whole piece of furniture.

These are the steps I follow every time I have to assemble apiece of flat packed furniture. They can help you to get through the job with a minimum amount of stress leaving you with good solid furniture for your home.

About the Author:

Jeff McNeil is an avid blogger and contributor on many home improvement blogs. He writes for which provides among others Leather sofas and any kind of furniture a home needs.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Recommended Flooring Articles

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...

Website © 2008 KSmith Media, LLC; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

Family Handyman

Get 3 FREE Vinyl Window Estimates Now!

hard_soft 160x600


Return to the Interior Articles

Return to ICFUMH Homepage