InCrafts, DIY

The Glamourous Life: DIY Ikea Server

Welcome back!

Confession I am a habitual upcycler.  Basically finding new a purpose for things laying around the house. For example these DIY napkin rings made from a paper towel roll and old blouses.  I like to revamp inexpensive furniture so it is custom and one of a kind.  It is a great feeling when you made something yourself and people ask Where did you get that from? Ikea is a wonderland for all your upcylcing dreams.

My latest ikea hack is the expedit shelf. It normally costs $39.99 but I got it for free.99 from the Salvation Army! (long story do ask)


Pretty boring isn’t it.

I wanted this to be a jazzy server with open storage that can double as a mini bar when needed. Staying with the theme of “Black Excellence” I used pictures of famous actresses, models, entertainers of African descent from yesteryear.

imageDid you know Hattie McDaniel was the 1st African American person to ever win an Academy Award in any category? She won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in Gone With The Wind. 

What you need

Printed images in various sizes: I used black and white pictures to give it a more vintage feel.


Primer: I cannot stress this enough YOU CANNOT PAINT ON IKEA FURNITURE WITHOUT PRIMER. I hope that was enough stress for you. If your paint doesn’t already have primer in it you can use 1-2-3 Zinsser Bulls Eye.  You don’t have to sand anything down for it to adhere.  I would recommend using oil based versus water based because it will cure faster. Water based takes up to a week to fully cure. Ain’t nobody gat tahm fo dat’.

Decoupage Glue/Mod Podge 

Polyurethane: To seal your images and make it durable for heavy use. I used oil based it stinks when you are applying it but I wont have to worry about water marks from glasses.

Fine Sandpaper (360 grit) to buff in between coats.

What to do.

Clean your surface.  



Cut your images and arrange on the top to your liking.

Top row: Dorothy Dandridge (The first black actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.), Phylicia Rashad (The first African-American actress to win the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play.), Debbie Allen, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Holliday (the original cast of Dreamgirls) Marian Anderson: The first African American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera, Dionne Warwick, Lena Horne, Maya Angelou.

Second Row: Diana Ross, Ella Fitzgerald, Iman, Olivette Miller, Ruby Dee, Hattie McDaniel,  Beverly Johnson first black model to appear on the cover of Vogue Magazine , Diahann Carroll with Shirley Chisholm (The 1st black woman to be elected into congress.), Esther Rolle,

Bottom row Eartha Kitt, Lena Horne with Rita Moreno Rita (She is an “EGOT” winner of a Emmy, Grammy,Oscar and Tony award Whoopi Goldberg holds this honor as well.) Josephine Baker (The 1st black international “Superstar” also is the only American-born woman to receive full French military honors at her funeral), Cicely Tyson, Grace Jones, Tina Turner and Pam Grier.

These starlets were active in their communities, talented and looked beautiful doing it!  My friend at livingfiesta.com has some tips to achieve that perfect red lip.



Using decoupage adhesive glue your images to the surface and smooth it out.  I used a popsicle stick.


After all your images are glued down you can decorate with glitter if you like.


Seal the images with decoupage glue. Let dry.




Apply a 4-5 thin coats of Polyurethane and buff in between coats with fine sandpaper. *Note* Polyurethane takes up to 3-4 hours to dry in between coats so get a snack.


The colors I used here Eggplant and Wampum. These colors look kind of familiar. Hmmm. Remember what I said about priming your surface? It is important. You can do it before or after you work on your images, your choice. 

Expedit Shelf $39.99

Printed images $8.00

Polyurethane $12.00

Paint $4.00

Other materials (sandpaper etc) $6.00 

Total cost $70

You have completely transformed a piece of furniture to suit your home! Wipe the sweat from your brow and take a bow you deserve it. 

This technique can work with any kind of table or images. if you are looking for a great functional way to preserve to old pictures and keepsakes this is perfect!  Old maps if you are a traveler, excerpts from your favorite books, baby photos etc.


Yay open storage!



The final product.  Make sure you come back so I can show you how to build a lighted vanity mirror to go over your server. “A Star is Born.”



1 Comment

  • Do It Yourself Just Not All By Yourself - A.V. Does What!?

    […] As a DIY blogger often I take pride in doing things myself anywhere from cooking my favorite recipes to being a master ikea shelf builder. […]

    January 30, 2017 at 12:22 pm Reply
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