How to Model IKEA Furniture in Sketchup

Featured image_How to Model IKEA Furniture in Sketchup

When working on a project in Sketchup you may use the 3D Warehouse or download files from the manufacturer to add into your model. Sometimes a product doesn’t always have a 3D model you can use and you have to make the model yourself. In this article, we’ll teach you how to model your own IKEA furniture in Sketchup!

As an example, we are going to use a traditional looking shelf that we found on the Ikea website. Lucky for us, this product includes detail drawings with dimensions! In case yours doesn’t, we’ll show you how to use the product information to build your model too. Let’s get started!

First, you’ll have to capture a portion of your screen. We use a program called Skitch, but you can also use the Snipping tool on windows, or press CMD+Shift+4 on mac to capture a window.

Skitch > Screen Snap. Open Skitch and click on “screen snap.” Click and drag your mouse over the area that you want to copy. You can use the “drag me” feature to drag your image into Sketchup to simply use as a reference, but for this example, we want to use photomatch. So we’ll need to save our photo to our computer somewhere and then import it into Sketchup.

save Skitch of IKEA furniture in Sketchup

File > Import. Open Sketchup and go to “file” > “import.” Select your image and make sure “new matched photo” is selected. Click “import.”

import image of IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Drag the red and green perspective lines to align them with the lines in the photo.

If you need more help with this, feel free to check out our other tutorial specifically on photo match.

align perspective of IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Trace IKEA Furniture in Sketchup

Begin making the model by tracing the end support. You may have to adjust the perspective lines by right-clicking and selecting “edit match photo.”

Trace Edge. Use the line tool to trace the bottom edge of the shape. Then draw a vertical line up that aligns with the back corner. Draw another vertical line down to the starting point to close off the rectangle.

trace end support of IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Draw Curves. Draw a horizontal line at the tangent point of the curves. Click on the arc tool and select the bottom corner and the line at the tangent. Make sure you are in the correct plane and hold “shift” to lock to the plane. Align the arc with the curve of the drawing. Repeat for the top curve.

draw curves of IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Erase. Hit “E” to open the eraser tool. Hold “ctrl” while using the mouse to hide the extra lines.

Extrude. Use the “push/pull” tool to extrude the shape back.

Make Group. Double click on the shape you just created. Right-click and select “make component.” Name the component and hit enter.

name component of IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Copy Support. Copy the support to the other end of the shelf. Type “/2” and hit enter. This will ensure the center support is directly between each end piece.

Trace Shelf. Use the line tool to trace the face of the shelf that connects to the middle support. Extrude the rectangle so that it connects to the first side support. Copy and paste the shape directly below it.

trace top shelf of IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Make Component. Double click on the shelf. Right-click and select “make component.” Name the component “shelf” and hit enter.

Copy Shelf. Copy and paste the shelf to the other side. Then, select both top shelves and copy and paste them to the bottom.

Scale. Use the scale tool to push the bottom shelves so that they align with the edge of the supports.

Model Top Molding

To make the top piece of IKEA furniture in Sketchup, we will need to use the detail drawings as a reference. Take a screenshot of the dimensioned image and drag it into your Sketchup model.

Camera > Standard Views > Top. Go to “camera” > “standard views” and select “top.”

Camera > Parallel Projection. Make sure you have “parallel projection” turned on by going to “camera” and selecting “parallel projection.”

Trace Profile. Use the line tool to trace the shape of the corner piece. Look back at the reference image to make sure you are getting the shape as close to the real thing as possible.

trace profile shape of IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Scale. Now we need to make sure the shape is at the correct scale. Draw a line from the edge of the shape to the right. Then draw another line from the endpoint that connects the top and bottom of the shelf. Select the shape and the lines you just drew. Select the tape measure tool. Type 18.5” and hit enter.

scale profile shape of IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Make Group. Right-click on your model and select “make group.” Double click into the group and use the same method to scale your shelf using the width to scale by.

Rotate. Use the rotate tool to rotate your profile shape so that it aligns perpendicularly to the shelves. Move it to the back corner of the side support.

rotate profile shape of IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Follow Me Tool. Use the line tool to draw a path from the side support, across the top, and along the other side support. Select the 3 lines. Then click on the “follow me” tool and click on the profile shape. Right-click and make the top piece a group. Then select the entire model and right-click to select “explode.”

finished molding of IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Edit Matched Photo. Your model will now be a different scale from the original image. To get it back to the same size, right-click on the top tab of your model window. Select “edit matched photo.” Click on the blue axis and drag your model along the axis to scale the model. You may need to move it back to the origin point.

Model Back Piece

Use the line tool to draw a horizontal rectangle on the bottom plane. Extrude it up so that it meets the bottom shelf. Then use the “push/pull” tool to push it back.

push back edge of IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Use the line tool to trace the edge of the chamfer. Draw another line for the middle edge and move it back so that it aligns with the image. Double click on the shape and make it a component. Then copy and paste it over to the other side.

finished back piece of IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Model the Beadboard

Draw Rectangle. Draw a rectangle that covers one half of the back of your shelf. Make it a group.

draw back of beadboard on IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Trace Gaps. Trace the gaps of the beadboard using the image as a reference. Copy and paste the lines across the beadboard, making sure you stay in the green axis.

Push/Pull. Use the “push/pull” tool to push the spaces back 3/16”.

Erase. Use the eraser tool to erase the faces between each beadboard piece.

erase faces of IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Move the top shelf up to the top edge of the model. Use the scale tool to push it out to meet with the front edge. Move it down slightly so there is a gap between the trim and the top. Then scale the beadboard down to align with the top shelf.

scale beadboard of IKEA furniture in SKetchup

Draw a rectangle that extrudes ¼” out from the beadboard to cover the back. Double click on the beadboard and make it a component. Copy and paste it to the other side.

Add Color to IKEA Furniture in Sketchup

Take a snapshot of the colored image on IKEA’s website. Drag the image into Sketchup.

Explode. Right-click on the image and hit “explode.”

Make Unique Texture. Draw a rectangle over a small section of the image. Right click on the area and select “make unique texture.” Under the “materials” tab of the “default tray,” uncheck the box that says “use texture image.”

make unique texture for IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Paint. With the new material selected, use the paint bucket tool to paint your model.

final IKEA furniture in Sketchup

Now you know all the tricks you need to model IKEA furniture in Sketchup! You can also use these tips to model any type of furniture in Sketchup! If you found this tutorial helpful, be sure to check out our full list of tutorials here. What types of furniture do you model most in Sketchup? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Hacking!


  1. allstarcarpetandtiles June 24, 2019 at 10:31 am #

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  2. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  3. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

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  5. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  6. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  7. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  8. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  9. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  10. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  11. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

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  12. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  13. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  14. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  15. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  16. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  17. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  18. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  19. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  20. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  21. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  22. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  23. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  24. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  25. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #


    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.


  26. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  27. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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