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IKEA Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack: Adding Cane Panels

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This easy IKEA Hemnes shoe cabinet hack features wicker cane panels. Add interest to the ubiquitous shoe storage piece with the beautiful texture of caning.

You might also like this post on how to hack an IKEA forhoja cart.

pin image - cane shoe cabinet

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I’m in the process of giving my entryway a much needed makeover. The IKEA Hemnes shoe cabinet provides shoe storage and takes up very little space. It also provides a surface to place keys and mail.

I knew that I wanted to add cane, but I wanted to do a simple hack that didn’t involve cutting the cabinet to pieces. I also don’t want to look at shoes through the cane.

This hack turned out exactly as I envisioned it and I love the results. Best of all, it was pretty quick and easy. Most of the time spent was drying time.

By the way, I got the tip about using contact cement from this cane cabinet tutorial.

IKEA Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack

Supplies Needed

*There’s also cane contact paper if you want to avoid working with wicker cane.


I didn’t measure the wood for this hack because IKEA is typically sized weird. Instead, I used a pencil and held the wood up to mark where to cut.

  1. Assemble the IKEA Hemnes shoe cabinet up until attaching the wood panels to the drawers.
  2. Measure and cut the pieces of wood for the top and bottom rails. measuring wood against drawer panels
  3. Apply wood glue and put the wood in place, lining it up along the top and sides. adding glue to hemnes drawer panel
  4. Clamp in place. The surface is slippery so make sure that the piece is still aligned. clamping wood to drawer panel
  5. For the bottom piece, you will either need to place the wood up about 1/4″ from the bottom or sand the edges smooth. The drawer can’t open properly without this.
  6. Cut the pieces for the sides and glue and clamp these as well. wood pieces clamped to panel
  7. Let dry for at least 24 hours so that the glue can bond well.

Making Sure the Drawers Can Open

This step was done after we added the cane panels and realized that the drawers can’t open with the thin piece of wood added.

sanding edges of wood

Use 80 grit sandpaper to sand the edges down. Make them rounded if possible. This will allow the drawer to open.

rounded edges of wood

Adding the Cane Panels

I added the cane after letting the wood sit for a few hours.

  1. Soak the cane in warm water for at least 30 minutes before applying. This makes the cane softer and easier to work with. I used a bathtub and the cane turned the water yellow. cane soaking in water
  2. Dry it off with an old towel.
  3. Use scissors to cut the cane to the size of the opening. cutting cane to size
  4. Dry fit the panel. Trim more off if needed. dry fitting cane panel
  5. Apply a thin layer of contact cement. This glue is smelly and dries yellow, but it works. applying contact cement to panel
  6. Put the cane in place.
  7. Use scrap wood on top of the cane, making sure you get the edges and any parts that are puffing up.
  8. Sit something heavy on top of the scrap wood to hold it down. I used paint cans. heavy paint cans sitting on cane while it dries
  9. Let it dry for about 24 hours.
  10. Finish assembling the drawers and install in the cabinet.
ikea hemnes cabinet with wicker cane panels

Adding the Knobs

Unless you get really lucky, the cane covers up the holes for the knobs.

Use an awl to push the cane aside so that you can install the knob. If you don’t have an awl, anything small and pointy works.

ikea hemnes shoe cabinet hack

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pin image - IKEA hemnes shoe cabinet hack collage

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