Okay, so there don’t seem to be any cute hanging file solutions that fit the Ikea Expedit. Sure you could get a drawer insert or insert with door, but a) you’d still need some type of hardware for the hanging files, b) they’re EXPENSIVE! and c) they don’t come to match the birch finish.
What I wanted was something that matched my decor, was cheap, and was easy. Enter the “DIY File Drawer”.
I’m a big fan of banker’s boxes. They’re a handy size and cheap. Bonus that they fit files. For my project I choose the [IN]PLACE brand banker’s boxes from OfficeMax because they had easy glide file rails (for letter size hanging files) built in and I could get a pack of less than a dozen (they come 6 to a pack).
** UPDATE: Office Max no longer seems to carry the [IN]Place brand bankers boxes. That’s really too bad since they were a great product. I’ve looked for an alternative. The closest I could find was Bankers Box® Hang’N'Stor™ boxes, though they don’t have the plastic rails and are more expensive. You can buy them from Staples, Office Max, or Amazon. **
For each drawer front I used a 13″ x 13″ square of mat board (
you could use scrap cardboard).
** UPDATE: It’s one year since I made these…scrap cardboard would have been too flimsy. The mat board is still intact but is starting to bend a bit. **
I cut out a piece of fabric about 1–2″ bigger all the way around (so 15 or 16 inches square). I lay the fabric right-side down on my work surface, and centered the mat board on top of it. Starting with two adjacent corners, I glued the fabric around to the back of the mat board (I used fabric glue). I then glued the corresponding edge fabric too:
At this point, I placed the drawer front on top of the short end of the banker’s box, centering it horizontally, and lining it up so it was flush along the bottom of the drawer front and the box front.
I then draped the still unglued portion of fabric back over the glued portion so I would have access to the mat board beneath.
Use an awl or the sharp point of a scissors to bore small holes through the mat board and box front. I spaced these about 1–2 inches in from the inside corners of the banker’s box. Using regular office paper fasteners, I attached the drawer front to the front of the banker’s box. I used small washers on the inside of the box to reduce stress from the paper fasteners on the cardboard.
Glue the fabric at the top corners of the drawer front to the back of the mat board.
Next, apply glue to the back of the mat board at the sides of the banker’s box.
Then wrap the fabric around the edge and attach. You will likely need to loosen the paper fasteners for this step and it helped me to use a thin pointy object to force the fabric between the back of the mat board and the front of the banker’s box.
Now, glue fabric at top of drawer front to back of mat board.
I attached a label holder/finger pull as described in an earlier post.
And voilá, my homemade file drawer is finished!
And here it is with the other containers!
Related post: DIY Magazine Files