Hillarys Crafts Competition | A shoe rack IKEA hack!

My lovely friend Katie who writes at the blog Mami 2 Five  gave me the heads up recently about a fab craft competition that was being run by Hillarys – the people who make amazing window dressings.

The main aim of the competition was to turn a 1 metre square of their Roman blind fabric into a crafty creation.

Now, I’m no seamstress so this was the perfect opportunity for me to practice my sewing skills and create something lovely. After not much deliberation I settled on upcycling a shoe rack that we’ve been using in our bathroom as towel storage — a shoe rack IKEA hack, if you will ;)

I’ve been desperate to do something lovely with this sad little shoe rack for a while — it’s the perfect size for our bathroom and offers great storage but it was so ugly.


Exhibit A — The little IKEA shoe rack

So I decided to turn it into a little bench seat.

Perfect for the boys to sit on when they’re getting dry, still giving us the same storage as before and looking a LOT more pretty too.

Here’s what I did.

shoe rack ikea hack

I took one sad little IKEA shoe rack

shoe rack ikea hack

Got my craft head on — plus all of the tools I’d need for the job!

shoe rack ikea hack

Cut some 18mm MDF and some 2inch foam to fit the top of the shoe rack.


Then cut the lovely ‘Daisy Pistachio’ fabric into cushion sized pieces.

I made sure I left a couple of cm around each piece so I could turn them over and make a hem.patter_grey

I found a few internet tutorials on making piping.

Most of the tutorials I looked at said that the fabric needed to be cut on the bias but there really wasn’t enough fabric to do that. This one by A Summer Gypsy said that you don’t need to cut it on the bias and she was right!

I’m sure it could have been neater but it’s not bad for a first attempt!

shoe rack ikea hack

My first attempt at piping!

shoe rack ikea hack

Looking more like a cushion cover now — with half a zip added!


Hurray! The finished bench cushion.

Once I’d finished the cushion cover, I made a start on the shoe rack.

I had some Annie Sloan left over from my chest of drawers makeover, so used that. It was Old White I must say, I hadn’t anticipated how long it would take to paint! Because of all the tiny slats, it seemed to take forever; not on a par with painting the Forth Bridge, I grant you, but longer than I’d estimated!


I chose Annie Sloan’s ‘Old White’ Chalk Paint to paint the shoe rack


…and it took AGES!!

Once it was dry, I re-assembled it; glueing the joins and screwing the painted MDF board to the top of the shoe rack.

The finished cushion sits nicely on the top. Having said that, when I’ve got a little bit more time I may add some velcro strips just to keep it in place.

Here’s my finished bench seat in pride of place in the bathroom!

shoe rack IKEA hack

No longer an ugly little shoe rack but a beautiful bench seat!


The lovely Hillarys ‘Daisy Pistachio’ fabric ties in nicely with our tiles and towels


Ta-daaah! No longer a shoe rack but a bench seat, with storage for towels.


My shoe rack IKEA hack completed :)

I’m delighted with how it’s turned out! It fits in so nicely with the bathroom now and we’ve got a little bench seat — as well as storage. So happy with my shoe rack IKEA hack!

Thanks so much to Hillarys Blinds for sending the fabric — amazing what you can do with a 1 meter square piece. It’s certainly given me the appetite to try some more upholstery projects — watch this space :)

Pin ‘From shoe rack to bench seat – Simple IKEA hack’ for later…

Shoe rack IKEA hack by The Twinkle Diaries

Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. 18th June 2015 / 9:25 pm

    Well done! You deserve to be pretty pleased with yourself: that looks lovely and makes such a difference to your bathroom. And it’s a very impressive first attempt at a bench seat pad – I say this as someone who makes soft furnishings for a (part-time) living! Clap, clap!

    • 18th June 2015 / 10:19 pm

      Aaah that’s so lovely of you Kate — and that means a lot too as you do it for a living!! Thanks so much :)

  2. 18th June 2015 / 10:06 pm

    Very pretty. A total transformation!

    • 18th June 2015 / 10:18 pm

      Thanks so much pet — I’m so happy with it!!! Looks a million times better than it did before!! :) x

  3. 19th June 2015 / 5:52 am

    That is bloody amazing!! What a talent you have, and that material is really gorgeous. I am so impressed with your finished towel holder/bench!

    • 21st June 2015 / 9:18 pm

      Aaah thanks SO much gorgeous!! SO pleased with it :) Looks a million times better than it did before. Totally loved seeing you this weekend — absolutely LOVED hanging out with all my blogging bests! x

      • 21st June 2015 / 9:23 pm

        It was amazing to see you!! How can you be even lovelier and more gorgeous in real life than you are on your blog? How is that possible? Must get together again really soon x

        • 21st June 2015 / 9:42 pm

          Aaah that’s SO lovely of you pet *blushing* fanx :) Can’t wait til the next time!! :) xx

  4. 19th June 2015 / 7:22 am

    This is gorgeous Caro! I am seriously impressed and I LOVE the fabric… And your bathroom! X

    • 21st June 2015 / 9:19 pm

      Thanks so much sweetheart — that’s lovely of you. The fabric was lush — VERY Orla Keily ;)

  5. 19th June 2015 / 2:30 pm

    This is fantastic! What a gorgeous project – it gives your whole bathroom a new feel! xx

    • 21st June 2015 / 9:20 pm

      Thanks SO much Elsie :) I’ve been desperate to paint it for a while but the little cushion has totally transformed it from a sad little shoe-rack :)

  6. 19th June 2015 / 2:43 pm

    This is adorable (and a great excuse for cake)! xx

  7. 20th June 2015 / 7:10 am

    Ahhh I used the same fabric! I love what you’ve done, it looks perfect! Haha, this was the first time for me with piping, I didn’t even know that was what it was called before this project. You’ve done it so neatly, well done! Sabrina xx

    • 21st June 2015 / 9:23 pm

      The fabric was such a gorgeous pattern wasn’t it? Although I found it really difficult to worth with because it frayed quite a lot — can’t wait to go and look at your cushion! :) x

  8. 22nd June 2015 / 10:43 am

    Wow, who would have thought that little shoe rack could become so magnificent.
    You did a fabulous job!

    • 22nd June 2015 / 12:05 pm

      Aaah that’s so lovely of you Natalie!! Thanks SO much :)

  9. Mackenzie Glanville (reflectionsfromme.com)
    23rd June 2015 / 6:23 am

    looks 100% BETTER!

  10. 23rd June 2015 / 6:56 am

    This really is gorgeous! You would have never known that was t it’s original use! Well done :-) #twinklytuesday xx

    • 23rd June 2015 / 3:30 pm

      Thanks so much lovely :) It’s been sitting in the bathroom for ages and I kept meaning to update it!! SO happy with how it turned out!! :)

  11. Potty Mouthed Mummy
    23rd June 2015 / 8:16 am

    Oh my gosh how much better does that look! Love it! I am shortly embarking on my first adventures with Annie Sloan chalk point, is it wrong to be this excited??? xx

    • 23rd June 2015 / 3:14 pm

      Thanks lovely!! And nope — not wrong in the slightest!!!! I’m obsessed with the stuff — the only thing is, I just want to paint everything!!! ;)

  12. 23rd June 2015 / 8:52 am

    This is gorgeous and you are quite a dab hand with a sewing machine. I have one, and really should get it out more. I have forgotten all the basics though, so need to find a course locally. I love the new seat and rack, a fab idea! #twinklytuesday x

    • 23rd June 2015 / 3:10 pm

      Thanks so much lovely :) I’m pretty scared of the sewing machine if the truth be told!! I’m happy to hand sew, although this was good practice for me and the machine :) Nice straight lines!!! (ish!!) x

  13. 23rd June 2015 / 9:30 am

    I can’t believe the difference, what a transformation! I can’t sew for toffee, I wish I could though as I have so many ideas in my head. I love that chalk paint too, I used that shade to makeover an old bookcase and tv unit. It’s great stuff.

    • 23rd June 2015 / 3:07 pm

      Chalk paint is a marvel isn’t it?! Love the stuff :) I didn’t think I’d be great at the sewing but it was easier than I’d anticipated. So chuffed with it :)

  14. 23rd June 2015 / 9:56 am

    Wow, I find it hard to believe that this is your first attempt at piping- you did a fantastic job! And I always love a good IKEA hack ;) I’m very impressed! #TwinklyTuesday

    • 23rd June 2015 / 3:04 pm

      Just don’t look too carefully that’s all!! :) No — seriously — I’m pretty pleased for a first attempt! :) I’m going to try again with something else and see how I get on :)

  15. Jenna
    23rd June 2015 / 10:06 am

    This is amazing Caro – what a transformation. I cannot believe this your first attempt either – it looks so professional. :)

    Good luck in the competition. :)


    • 23rd June 2015 / 3:00 pm

      Thanks SO much lovely!!!!I’m chuffed to bits with it — gonna make some caravan cushions next!!! :)

  16. 23rd June 2015 / 10:19 am

    Wow – very impressive, not one of my strong points I am afraid! #TwinklyTuesday

    • 23rd June 2015 / 2:58 pm

      I didn’t think it was one of mine either!!! I’ve never given myself much credit for sewing ability — I’m happier with a paintbrush!! :)

  17. 23rd June 2015 / 11:32 am

    Wow, I blooming love that. You are a clever bunny!

    • 23rd June 2015 / 2:52 pm

      Thanks SO much lovely!! I’ve had it in my head to paint it for a while but the Hillarys comp gave the perfect excise to make a little cushion for it. So chuffed with how it turned out :)

  18. Emma's Mamma
    23rd June 2015 / 11:41 am

    That’s a brilliant idea! It looks amazing! For not being a seamstress that’s a brilliant bit of sewing! x #TwinklyTuesday

    • 23rd June 2015 / 2:50 pm

      Aaah thank you SO much :) Funnily enough, I’m happier at hand-sewing than using the machine!! The machine absolutely terrifies me!!! ;)

  19. Nicole
    23rd June 2015 / 1:55 pm

    I LOVE how this turned out! It was such a great idea and it looks wonderful! This makes me want to try a project with piping. Thanks for sharing and hosting the #TwinklyTuesday link up!

    • 23rd June 2015 / 2:44 pm

      Thanks SO much Nicole :) Really nice to know that you don’t need to necessarily cut the fabric on the bias for the piping too — gotta love the internet!! :)

  20. 23rd June 2015 / 8:30 pm

    Amazing!! You are so clever and patient. I’d have had a little strop with all the painting and faffy bits. It looks great. A bench in the bathroom is one of my wants!! So fab to meet at Brit Mums xx #twinklytuesday

    • 23rd June 2015 / 11:14 pm

      Thanks so much Sarah! I was getting stroppy with all the painting — it took AGES!! ;) Gorgeous to finally meet you! So lovely to chat in ‘real’ life! x

  21. 23rd June 2015 / 8:37 pm

    Wow, that looks amazing! It looks so fantastic in your bathroom too, you should be dead chuffed with yourself. Thanks for being such a fab co-host at #TwinklyTuesday – I hope you win the competition!

    • 23rd June 2015 / 11:13 pm

      Thanks lovely! I don’t think I have a hope in hell’s chance of winning — some of the other entries are AMAZING!!! But hey! At least I have a lovely little bench for my bathroom :)

  22. Jenny
    23rd June 2015 / 10:03 pm

    I love this! What a great idea, we used to have one of these shoe racks, but I hated it and got rid of it. Now I wish I had kept it to do this! :) x

    • 23rd June 2015 / 11:00 pm

      Aah thanks so much Jenny!! I love upcycling stuff!! Especially things that weren’t so pretty in the first place ;)

  23. 23rd June 2015 / 10:38 pm

    Hey Caro,

    What a cute bathroom shelf/bench you have made! I like what you have created!

    I’m new to the Twinkly Tuesday, and I ‘m glad to find your site.


    • 23rd June 2015 / 10:59 pm

      Thanks so much Melanie! Lovely to meet you — thanks for stopping by and linking up to Twinkly Tuesday :)

  24. 24th June 2015 / 12:15 pm

    Oh what a good idea!! I wish I was more creative so I could tackle something like this. Want to make me one? ;) #twinklytuesdays xx

    • 30th June 2015 / 3:43 pm

      You could do it Rachel!! It was more time consuming than anything! ;) Honestly — get your paints out and give it a go :)

  25. LittleOandMe
    24th June 2015 / 2:37 pm

    Wow, that looks fab! We have the same shoe rack in our hall and although it’s practical is rather ugly. I will have to give it a paint (I will set aside a few hours!)

    • 30th June 2015 / 3:28 pm

      Funny isn’t it? I bet there are BILLIONS of these little shoe-racks up and down the country!! Bet none of them look quite like mine though :) Get your paints out — I’d love to see it when you’ve finished :)

  26. 25th June 2015 / 9:53 pm

    Oh my goodness you have transformed that space!!! Check out your mad sewing skills too! x

    • 30th June 2015 / 3:14 pm

      Thanks so much lovely :) I really enjoyed this little project!

  27. 26th June 2015 / 10:59 am

    Well done – what a pretty transformation! I love the fabric :) Its great the amount of tutorials online to help with just about anything! Your cushion certainly doesn’t look like your first attempt – it looks very professional xx

    • 26th June 2015 / 11:05 am

      p.s I have pinned onto my ‘Ikea Hacks’ Pinterest board! Love a good Ikea Hack! xx

      • 30th June 2015 / 3:12 pm

        Gosh — me too — it’s so lovely to take something relatively cheap and cheerful and turn it into something totally different!! Gotta love IKEA! :)

    • 30th June 2015 / 3:11 pm

      Aaah that’s so lovely of you Tracy!! Thanks so much :)

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