IKEA hack: how to give the Gursken bedside table a rattan upcycle

Bring Scandi simplicity to your bedroom with this upcycled bedside table and handmade rattan drawers

Transform a simple unit with a single shelf into a chic black-and-cane bedside table with practical drawers

As the weather gets cooler and you start to spend more time indoors, there’s no better time to elevate your interiors. So, start with your bedroom and completely transform a simple £15 IKEA Gursken bedside table with a lick of black paint and some rattan webbing.

It’s both functional and stylish – store all your essentials in the drawers and adorn the top with a minimalist lamp and a selection of your favourite books. Scandinavian style is always en vogue, and this upcycling project allows you to achieve the sought-after look on a small budget.

And if you love this project, check out our other IKEA hacks!

You will need:

  • IKEA Gursken bedside table, new or to be reused
  • Sandpaper 120-grit
  • Handsaw with a 90-degree set square
  • Black interior wood paint
  • Gorilla wood glue
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Work bench
  • Dustsheet or other floor protection when painting
  • Clamps
  • Dustpan brush
  • Rattan cane webbing, 60cm x 1m
  • Hammer
  • Furniture foot pads
  • Scissors
  • Panel pins, 10mm
  • 2 x hardboard sheet rectangles, cut to 35cm x 25cm
  • Stripwood, cut to the following lengths:

– 4.5cm x 0.9cm: 8 lengths of 26cm; 4 lengths of 24cm; 4 lengths of 30.5cm

– 2.1cm x 0.9cm: 16 lengths of 20cm

– 1.5cm x 2.1cm: 8 lengths of 25.5cm


Step 1

Gently rub the surface of the cabinet with sandpaper to create a bond for the paint. Because it has a smooth laminate finish, the paint will struggle to bond without lightly scratching the surface. Once the entire surface is rubbed down, brush the dust away and lightly paint the cabinet. Don’t worry if the original colour can still be seen after the first coat. As more layers are applied it will become darker and darker. Apply as many coats as are needed, following manufacturer’s instructions for drying time.

Step 1
Step 1

Step 2

To assemble the face and back frames, begin by laying two of the 24cm lengths and two of the 26cm lengths face down on a flat surface. Create a rectangle with the 24cm lengths parallel to either side, and the 26cm lengths spanning between, to the bottom and top. This will form the front of the top drawer. Glue, clamp and set aside until dry. Repeat this step for the top drawer back.

Step 2
Step 2

Step 3

Repeat step 2 with two more 26cm lengths and two 30.5cm lengths. The 30.5cm lengths are to be laid parallel with the 26cm lengths spanning between, to the bottom and top. This will form the front of the bottom drawer. Glue, clamp and set aside to completely dry. Repeat this step for the bottom drawer back.


Step 4

Once the frames are glued and dried, lay the top drawer’s front frame flat. Apply a dab of glue to each corner and place a length of stripwood (1.5cm x 2.1cm), on end, to each location. Apply a dab of glue to the other ends of the stripwood (1.5cm x 2.1cm) before laying the top drawer’s back frame onto them. Making sure the front and back frames line up with the stripwood between, clamp the structure together to glue. Repeat this step for the bottom drawer. Once dried to the glue manufacturer’s recommendations, use 10mm panel pins to attach the hardwood base to each drawer.

Step 5

Using a paintbrush, apply black paint to the frames formed from stripwood and hardboard. The frames may need more than one coat but try to avoid over-applying on each coat to leave a smooth finish.

Step 5
Step 5

Step 6

Measure the openings in the formed drawers where the webbing will be applied. Add 10mm to each dimension (the excess will be clamped behind the frames to pull the webbing taut) and measure each out on the cane webbing and cut out with scissors.

Step 7

Turn one of the drawers on its side with the top facing you. Lay a cut sheet of webbing across one of the apertures. Place a length of stripwood (2.1cm x 0.9cm) parallel with the bottom of the drawer and in line with the open frame. Hammer in three or more panel pins to pinch the webbing in position, between the stripwood and drawer. Repeat this on the opposite side, ensuring it is pulled taut before pinching into place. Repeat this process on all sides of both of the drawers.

Step 7
Step 7

Project and step photos Luke Green. Main photo Steve Sayers. Styling Tricia Ball. Dracaena fragrans ‘Warneckei’ plant and elho pot in White Beards & Daisies