Hack for Ikea Bookshelf with Missing Cross Brace

In 2003, while I was still in college and living in Baltimore, MD, I moved into an unfurnished apartment for the first time. One of the items I bought for the apartment was a 50 usd contemporary bookshelf from Ikea called the Enetri. It is a book shelf with four shelves supported by two wire stands (see link for a picture).

Since then I’ve moved from Baltimore, to Pittsburgh, PA, to Austin, TX, and finally to Los Angeles, CA. Somewhere along the way, after disassembling it, moving it, and reassembling it multiple times, I lost the cross brace that came with it. The cross brace connected the two wire supports of the bookshelf and kept the whole thing stable. Without it, it was still pretty usable as a book shelf, but it would wobble ever so slightly if you pushed on it. Because Ikea no longer sells the Enetri, I was not able to purchase a replacement cross brace.

Estella and I recently moved into our first house and finally retrieved all of our things from storage. One of the things we wanted to do as soon as possible was to sell, donate, or throw away as many of the possessions that we had accumulated over the years that we no longer needed. It seemed like the right time to finally get rid of the Enetri bookshelf. However, as we started to unpack our books, it became pretty clear that we needed all of the shelving we could get.

Unable to obtain a replacement cross brace, I came up with the idea of somehow securing the wire supports to the wall. Like the cross brace, this would prevent them from tilting side to side. As a bonus, it would also secure the bookshelf to the wall in case of an earthquake.

These wire straps from the hardware store looked like they would do the trick.

Wire Straps Used to Support Enetri

I bought these wall anchors to secure them to the wall since I knew the wall studs would not line up exactly with our desired placement of the bookshelf.

Wall Anchors for Securing Enetri

I attached wire straps at the top of the metal supports and the stability of the bookshelf improved dramatically. I put another set just below the top shelf for good measure. I used eight wire straps altogether.

Wire Straps Supporting Enetri

Wire Straps Supporting Enetri

With books on the shelves, the wire straps are barely visible. Also, without the cross brace, there is now room to store things in the center, under the bottom shelf.

Enetri Fully Populated

Please excuse the haphazard organisation of our books. We’re still moving in.

Materials used:

  • Wire Straps
  • Wall Anchors
  • Level
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Screw Driver

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