Ikea Hack + Ekby Gällö Shelves

Ikea Ekby Gallo Shelf Hack | Title Cows | CAROLE + ELLIE

Well, hello there. I’ve taken a little Spring break from this blog to finish setting up house. But now it’s time to show you all when I’ve been up to!

Everyone loves a good Ikea hack so for our fist post back here is my hack of the Ekby Gällö / Ekby Tryggve shelving system. 

Ikea Ekby Gallo Shelf Hack | CAROLE + ELLIE

I’ve always dreamed of having a full wall of shelves to display all my books and things. I was inspired by the look of the Eames House bookshelves with all their quirky collections displayed for the world. I’ve been seeing a lot of leather strap bookshelves trending, and I like the natural rustic look but I wanted something sturdier. Oh and you have to check out this awesome upside down shelf DIY from Mandi at Vintage Revivals. She's so awesome. 

When I spotted these Ekby shelves at Ikea I thought they looked kinda like ropes wrapped to hang the shelves and I like that they make that geometric triangle at the top (which also comes in handy for resting books against). But the white is so boring the whole bracket gets lost on a white wall. You know I am so obsessed with metallics and with a bit of copper spray paint those geometric details are ready to shine! 

Ikea Ekby Gallo Shelf Hack | CAROLE + ELLIE
Ikea Ekby Gallo Shelf Hack | CAROLE + ELLIE

What I Used:

(Please note that what you use will very depending on wall type. Please consult your local hardware store to pick out what tools will work best for your install)

- Ikea Ekby Gällö / Ekby Tryggve shelving system (I installed (8) 119cm x 29cm deep bracket supports and (12) matching plain wood shelves)

- 16 heavy duty Molly Bolts (2 per bracket support) for your wall (our wall was double thick gypsum)

- Molly Bolt setting tool (for smashing in the bolt super well with the cutest little bird face! See the image below. I made him talk with a little bird voice while B did all the heavy drilling work. I recommend keeping your drilling buddy entertained similarly)

- Drill + Bits (for your wall and bolt size)

- Stud Finder (with electrical detection)

- Laser Level

- Measuring Tape

- Copper Spray Paint (I used 1 1/2 can of 600ml) (edit: Krylon also makes a great general purpose metallic spray paint)

- Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Metallic Acrylic Craft Paint in Copper (for touch ups) (edit: link)

Ikea Ekby Gallo Shelf Hack | hanging | CAROLE + ELLIE

For the hanging part: Follow Ikea’s directions and rely heavily on your helpful hardware store man. We made at least 4 trips to our local hardware store and the Clas Ohlson to make sure we had all the correct supplies for our install. We hung our brackets within 70 cm of each other in order to create a stable span of the 119 cm length of each board safely as per the Ikea instructions. Measure twice and drill once to avoid filling a lot of holes or having your whole beautiful wall tumble to the ground.

Ikea Ekby Gallo Shelf Hack | spraying | CAROLE + ELLIE

For the spraying part: Make yourself a nice little spray area out side for all the bracket supports. We just moved so I had quite a bit of boxes and packing material on hand and just used that. I made sure to keep all the pieces as close together, without touching, so I wouldn’t waste too much paint. 

Now, I can not say this enough: spray paint in a well ventilated area! Use a mask and gloves because the metallic paint can really irritate your hands and throat (note my pre-gloved hand 2 minutes before it started itching like crazy). As with all painting, I recommend 3-4 light coats. It takes longer but you won’t get big drips. Patience is a virtue. Try taking chocolate breaks between coats, I think it helps.

The paint took about 24 hours to totally cure, which I found out the hard way when I tried to carry all the pieces back upstairs after they had only dried for an hour. Oops. This is where the MS metallic paint comes in handy. After 72 hours the paint is fully cured (but check your spray can for specifics!).

Ikea Ekby Gallo Shelf Hack | CAROLE + ELLIE

I expect the item layout to be pretty fluid but I think this is a good starting point. It drives my dear best friend (with her masters in literature) completely nuts that I’ve arranged our books haphazardly by subject (ish) and color, but I love it! And as long as I know where to find everything, it’s cool right?

Ikea Ekby Gallo Shelf Hack | CAROLE + ELLIE
Ikea Ekby Gallo Shelf Hack | CAROLE + ELLIE

I am so totally in love with how this project turned out! It’s really got this great American Southwest cabin retreat vibe. It completely anchors the whole living room as the focal wall, diverting attention from our overwhelmingly large cat tree (the focus of our last apartment’s living room) and the flat screen TV. All our games are within reach for when company stops by or we get board on Sunday night. 

Ikea Ekby Gallo Shelf Hack | CAROLE + ELLIE

Stay tuned for more Ikea hacks in this room and the full house tour still to come. I can’t wait to show you everything I’ve been up to!