DIY Tips – Fill Them Holes


So you know how Ikea (or any prefab) cabinets & bookcases have all those shelf holes for allowing you to move your shelves around willy nilly? They’re super useful, but they leave unsightly dark holes that clearly give your shelving unit away as not being custom built. I happen to hate these holes. So much so, that I painstakingly filled them all with paintable caulking in my Custom Ikea Billy Built-In Bookcase project. This took me 6 hours to do, but well worth it. At the time I thought there could be no easier way…

This past weekend, the clouds opened, angels sang, and I found the answer to all your shelf hole problems.

While waiting in the Ikea Kitchen infodesk line last Saturday night, I spied a basket full of strange little objects. I picked one package up and regarded it curiously, then a light bulb went off in my head!

Do you know what these are?
Do you know what these are?

Yes, brilliant brillant Ikea has made SHELF HOLE FILLERS! They’re little plastic pieces that you pop into your unused shelf holes. AWESOMESAUCE! These little guys come in packages of 100 for a whopping $1, and in either black or white.

I swiftly grabbed 4 packages, and then insisted on telling the helpfull (but probably slightly scared) Ikea sales rep about how amazing this invention was.

As soon as I got home I set to filling all the holes in my upper cabinets in the coffee bar & the rest of the glass door fronted cabinets in my kitchen.

Shelf Holes Before
Shelf Holes Before
Shelf Holes After
Shelf Holes After

YOUR MIND IS BLOWN, RIGHT?! (or am I the only person in the world who gets this excited about filled shelf holes…)

Total Cost: $3 ($1 per cabinet) my fingers did get a bit sore after pushing in 300 of these puppies, but a small price to pay for sexy looking cabinets.

Go pick some of these up at your local Ikea, then send me tearful letters about how  they changed your life.


*UPDATE!* Variera Cover Cap’s are now available online at

Author: Kristen

Kristen & her husband El Granto & their Vizsla Odin live in a converted Storefront in downtown Toronto.

48 thoughts on “DIY Tips – Fill Them Holes”

  1. You have absolutely made my day. I searched high and low last time I needed them 6 years ago and was about to start that whole process over again. I feel like you have saved me hours if not days of searching. I removed the tops of white push pins last time and forced them into the holes! It was not the best but I made it work. Ikea here I come! thanks again!

  2. I’m confused. I bought these and they’re so big! They don’t even fit in the Besta holes, which everyone says they’re great for. Am I supposed to cut them down? I just cut the part attaching them to one another…

  3. I don’t know why everybody claims these don’t work in a Billy bookcase. I have filled the holes in all three of my black billy bookcases just fine with these. Just make sure you have completely cut off all the excess fine stuff that joins them all to each other, and make sure you push them in straight. I cut them off with a stanley knife and shoved them in with my thumb. No problems.

    I have also used them in the cheaper Ikea Gerbsy bookcase just fine. And a few older crappy bookcases from cheap shops. With a bit of paper lining the back and some glorious ikea hole-fillers, none of my crap looks as crappy as it could. I love them so much!

    1. They do not fit. The holes in the billy bookcases I just bought are too small. You can trim them all you want, they will not fit. Something changed perhaps???

  4. Hi Kristen,
    hopping over from Iheartorganizing: If you ever decide to adjust the shelves to a different hight: How easily can you remove those little plugs from their holes? Do you use just your bare hands? or plyers? or a needle?

    1. Hey Kili!

      Short answer: not so easy. I found a butter knife and a pair of needle nose pliers worked best. Re-using the plugs however was not an option. When you get them out they are pretty bent. BUT it can be done!

    2. But these do not fit the holes in the Billy bookcases. It would’ve been a great idea and maybe they’re different in the U.S., but they’re definitely too big. Save yourself the trip and the agony.

  5. I was wondering if you have come across a good way to fill the side holes on the Kallax type of shelving units? They are the allen type screws and are ugly! I was hoping to find something to cover them.

  6. hey all looking for wooden ones, I saw wooden ones at home depot and lowes. They were in the aisle with wood trim, dowel rods etc. They may be in different aisle at your store. I am not sure the size of the ikea shelf holes but both had several sizes in store.

    A google for “wood hole plug” found several options

    such as

    Also a google for “shelf hole covers” found these that are colors

  7. I just bought the Variera Cover Plugs at Ikea and got them home, but they don’t fit. I believe the Ikea entertainment center I built is a Billy. Any suggestion for taking care of the holes in this case? Thanks.

    1. I found the exact same thing! I bought Billy shelves to do a built-in and was so excited when I saw this blog about filling the holes with the caps. So, I ventured back to Ikea, bought way too many packages just to be sure and brought them home…. only for them not to fit, either. They’re too big. I tried force, but to no avail. I, too, wonder if there are additional suggestions? Thanks.

    1. Hey dude. I just read this awesome article on how to turn the Caps Lock key off. I will see if I can find the link and send it to you.

      Unfortunately, I still can’t find a link to How to Stop Being an Asshole. Maybe you should Google it.

  8. I was seriously wondering how I was going to fill all of those shelf pin holes since we’re going to remodel our kitchen with Ikea cabinets. Thank you for your post, google picked up my search for “shelf pin holes filler” and led me here!

  9. I am in the process of making a bookshelf dollhouse for my daughter for Christmas. I wanted to keep the shelf sides white and only paper the background of each room, but the adjustable shelf holes were cramping my design. I happened upon this post, and I was able to just pick up these awesome covers while I was at Ikea buying dollhouse furniture. It looks great! Thanks!!

  10. Hi. Had

    new kitchen fitted which came with these lovely little fellows. Wifey threw them away. Glad to see I can get some more.

  11. Hello
    These wonderful plugs appear to be unavailable in the US. Could you be persuaded to buy/resell for your poor American cousins?

  12. I stumbled onto your blog when I googled solutions for filling in those holes. Brilliant product…but they don’t seem to sell them in the United States??? WHY?????

    1. I needed these hole covers too but couldn’t find them on the US IKEA website. And IKEA Canada does not ship to the US. But when Kristen said that these were a relatively new item I took the chance, went to our IKEA here in Utah and low and behold…. there they were! In the closet/wardrobe section. If I hadn’t seen the picture of it above I would have never known what to look for, so thank you, thank you! I bought enough packets to fill holes in the next 5 book cases….

  13. Ooooh!! Genius! Since literally every piece of furniture I own is from Ikea or Target this is going to come in handy. I’m definitely picking up a few packs the next time I’m in the Swedish wonderland. 🙂

  14. Excellent! I didn’t know they made these, but now I’ll be all over them. Thanks for the tip. (Be on the lookout for my tearful letter…)

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