DIY Project: How To Add Handles To IKEA Cabinets

So, you've decided to hack your IKEA™ drawers and you've found the perfect combination of Lux Hax Styl-Panels and handes. Customising with Styl-Panels is as simple as peel-and-stick, but adding handles will require a few basic tools. Here we provide step-by-step photo instructions to help you get it right the first time.

In this project, we're adding pulls to a two-drawer IKEA Malm bedside table. Malm comes with flat-panel drawer fronts and recessed finger pulls - a perfect blank canvas for any design style:

IKEA Malm bedside 2-drawer chest


IKEA Malm is the perfect blank canvas. We're going to add gold tapered bow handles and Styl-Panel #1123 in mirrored gold. This is the perfect look for a luxe classic aesthetic. It "disappears" the IKEA-ness of Malm.

Styl-Panel 1123 with bow handles

What if your design style is Hamptons, Boho Chic, Hamptons or Coastal Luxe? IKEA Malm is still your go-to. Coupled with Styl-Panels, the addition of handles can hide your furniture's flat-pack origins. 

Styl-Panel 1123 with brass bamboo handles

Styl-Panel 1123 to suit IKEA Malm chest coupled with bamboo brass handles

 Styl-Panel 1114 paired with Lux Hax Skal handles

 Styl-Panel 1114 to suit IKEA Malm paired with Lux Hax Discus handles


Styl-Panel 1123 paired with brass Totem handles

 Styl-Panel 1123 to suit IKEA Hemnes paired with Lux Hax brass Totem handles


Styl-Panel 1134 paired with the customer's own handles

Styl-Panel 1134 to suit IKEA Malm paired with the customer's own handles

What you'll need

You'll need the following tools:

  • Erasable pencil for marking
  • Power drill and drill bit (to match the screw size)
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Pliers (or hacksaw blade)
  • Phillips head screwdriver
IKEA Kallax project: Step 1

Measure and mark the drawer centre

Measure and mark the centre of the drawer-front or where the handle will be positioned.

Step 1: Measure and mark the middle

IKEA Kallax sideboard project: Step 2

Mark where you will need to drill

Measure the distance from the middle of each hole in the handle and mark the drawer, accordingly.

Step 2: Measure the handle holes

Measure 'C to C' - centre to centre

Mark the drawer where you need to drill

Mark the drawer where you need to drill the handle holes.

 IKEA Kallax sideboard project: Step 3

Select the right screw

Some IKEA furniture (inlcuding IKEA Malm) is thicker than standard cabinetry. You may need to buy longer screws, use pre-scored "snap off" screws or cut some screws to fit. The screws need to be long enough to go through the drawer-front, yet allow the handle to fit flush with the drawer/door. Our cabinet handles use M4 (metric) screws.

Step 4: Choose the right screws

IKEA Kallax console project: Step 4

Drill the drawer front

Use an electric drill with a 4.5 mm drill bit. Taking care to keep the angle straight, drill through the drawer-front. Drill from the front. Do not drill from the reverse side.

Step 5: Drill through the front of the drawe

Step 5

Fasten handles

Insert the screws from the back of the drawer. Then position the handle holes over the screws and tighten. Never tighten handles with a power drill. Use a screwdriver or your fingers. If your screws are too long, cut them to length or add washers.

Step 5: Screw handles into place

Save hundreds

Don't pay hundreds for mirrored furniture. Create your own hero pieces and get the looks you love at a price you can afford.

Styl-Panel 1123 for IKEA Malm - ta da!

Ta-da! You're done in less time than it takes to call a handyman!