Saturday, 23 December 2006

Vote for the ikea hack of the year

i can't believe that i'm posting the last entry for the year. yeah, this is the last till we hit 2007. i'll be off tomorrow for a break with family and friends. then i'll be flying to bali to usher in the new year. i am so looking forward to the trip and hope to pick up some interesting pieces for my home.

when i started ikeahacker 6 months ago, i did not anticipate the response i would receive. for that, i am thankful. i've enjoyed meeting every one of you who have commented on the blog, helped me with my logo, html and questions. most of all, thank you for sending in your ikea hacks. that kept this site (and me!) going.

i figured we should end the year by voting for the 2006 mother of all hacks. i've shortlisted 10 of my favourites, which was really difficult as that meant filtering out some good ones. but here they are, the top 10. so get clicky clicky.

vince's sliding door room divider is still a hot favourite and one of the most searched pages on this blog.

our hack of the month for july. cheap and very stylish solution to light the stairs.

i like how striking this post-it lamp is. and not forgetting how easy it is to hack.

am loving the opaque sliding doors and how beautifully they hide the media clutter.

the nudie stamps do it for me. naughty and nice.

ingenious idea. who would have thought a potholder could take such good pictures?

lovely lovely. a terrific sideboard indeed. a fine specimen of a hack.

drab pillowcase made over into hot skirt.

now possible, every colour in the rainbow to match your moods..

i really think this banquette looks way better than the original daybed. ikea, watch and learn!

update: voting is now closed for this poll.
andrew's hemnes daybed turns banquette takes top spot!

<a href="">View MicroPoll</a><br /><a href="">Web Survey</a><br /><a href="">Free Web Polls</a><br />
we've had a great haul this year, haven't we?
i'm excited to seeing what turns up next year. please do keep your ikea hacks coming!

enjoy the holidays. merry christmas and see you next year.

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

have a scandinavian christmas

bored with turkey and trimmings? a swedish christmas may just be the change you've wanted. ikea has just about everything you need to host a party: meatballs, salmon, cheeses, chocolates and even a spiced red wine base to make gl�gg, a traditional scandinavian hot drink. [via apartment therapy chicago]

Monday, 18 December 2006

organise your expedit bookcase

not quite a full-fledged hack but i liked richard's idea of sanding down the mackis drawers to fit the expedit bookcase. a great idea if you're thinking of ways to organise your bookcase.

"the drawers are stock ikea drawers, but i had to sand quite a bit (3/16", i think) off the boxes to make them fit. it's really annoying that they don't just naturally fit in there, but with them stuffed into the shelving unit it has a bit more structural integrity now. i also added a wine rack out of some plywood left over from building a pair of donald judd-style benches." link.

Thursday, 14 December 2006

last minute gift guide

i admit it. i usually do my last-minute-i-m-out-of-ideas shopping at ikea. where possible, i'll add in a simple personal touch so that i won't appear so utterly "thoughtless". here are some items i was thinking of for the last dash before the ho ho holiday season.
1. fantasi barnslig $7.99
i like the fun looking animals. i may decorate the frames too, if i have the time.

2. bastis hook $1.99 each
4 of these cute hooks for the quirky friends i know.

3. motorp cd storage box $4.99
help a music fan organise his/her cds.

4. trollfjorden toiletries bag $4.99
one of the most useful things i ever bought. my frequent traveller friend will appreciate this gift. will also stuff in a luxurious body lotion for a nice surprise.

5. isig lantern $14.99
eucalyptus - that's her favourite scent. so, a scented candle block goes in with this.

6. lykta table lamp $12.99
siren red lamp for a friend who could use a dash of colour.

7. statist decoration tree $3.99
some thing that i probably will never buy for myself (because i am too practical for my own good) but makes a great accessory stand for my diva friend.

8. hanna pillow case $6.99
tie a fancy bow over the cushion and add a handwritten tag for instant sweetness.

9. hanna blomma cushion cover $4.99
stuff into the pillowcase a sachet of scented potpourri for a heartwarming touch.

10. skimmer candleholder $9.99
classy gift for a classy lady. glass is in.

11. ovation vase $12.99
love the black and the smooth finish. great addition to aunt z's collection.

12. myken table mirror $9.99
i always feel pretty and girly when i look into this mirror. it must be magic.

13. vurm 4-bottle wine rack $9.99
include a fine bottle of red, if you don't want to look cheapskate like me.

14. groggy ice crusher $12.99
bring the party kit. a few whirls and voila, you have margaritas.

15. falang vase $6.99
simple and understated. a posey or christmas berries to complete the gift.

16. glansa candelabra $9.99
just right for the season.

17. greppa spice mill $9.99
include a sachet of spices with the gift for a personal touch.

18. tripp tin $2.99
fill this with your favourite tea, coffee or cookies and give them away.

for more ideas, view ikea's online holiday brochure.
happy shopping!

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

need ideas on mounting scavenged lack shelves

"i have what I have identified as two lack shelving (light birch) units one long, one short that we lugged home after finding them on the curb. they did not have hardware and i am trying to find out how to mount them - any help would be appreciated. i am thinking sweged bolts into masonry walls." - beth

i'm assuming that they are the lack wall shelves. the original would have a concealed mounting hardware (a multi-pronged bracket that you fix to the wall and slot the shelves over the prongs). you can try checking with ikea whether you can buy just the mount, though i doubt it. if not, the stilig brackets may work to hold them up but they won't give you the floating shelf effect.

any other ideas?

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

hang up your tv

james has this awesome idea for mounting your television set on float mode. also included are shelves for home theatre peripherals neatly tucked under. i love its clutter-free good looks and how amazingly space saving it is.

home theatre set display unit"since the wall i wanted to mount my tv to is only a 1" drywall, it would not hold up my tv. therefore, i devised a way to use the ikea stolmen wardrobe system to hold my tv. very simple and an awesome way to remove the clutter of cables to/from the tv to peripherals.

lcd tv mountthe tv is a 32" lcd tv and i used this peerless smart mount (pic). the rear plate of the mount is supposed to be attached to a wall but since my wall won't support the weight of the tv, i chose to use the stolmen rails. the rear plate is attached to the two rails by 6 1/4"x2" hex bolts. if you look at the picture of the tv mount, there are also two vertical pieces; those are screwed into the back of the
tv. then you just hook the two vertical rails to the rear plate. real simple, very sturdy, and looks great!"

taking a cue from here, you can easily build an entire home theatre display unit from the stolmen series. best thing is, simply add more shelves and poles if your set grows.

jacob's version (updated 30 april 2008)

Monday, 11 December 2006

diy mood lamp

i was very glad when i stumbled on toon's mood lamp. this lovely ikea mylonit table lamp changes moods faster than a chameleon, and just as seamlessly. toon used the larger mylonit lamp (18"), combined it with some nifty wiring, programming and soldering on tiny circuit boards. the end result is totally worth it. great stuff, toon!

of course, nothing beats a video to fully appreciate its multicolour moods. click to view.

for how-to instructions, go here.

Friday, 8 December 2006

happy winners!

the results for the curbly "happy place" ikea contest are out! and the retro happy place (living room pic below) is top dog. congrats to veeeee who wins a $200 ikea gift cert.

can you spot the ikea? heh. sorry. bad habit. anyways, i adore the colour scheme - white and grey with bursts of warmth. also, the kidney coffee table ... way sexy. you know where i can get one?

bruno also announced a new contest - cheap is the new black. lol. how does he come up with titles like that? this round, post your under $20 diy projects and win t-shirts.

Thursday, 7 December 2006

andrew's daybed turned banquette

hack no. 2 from andrew, as promised. he took parts of an ikea hemnes daybed (can't locate the link on ikea site) and turned it into a banquette! this has got to be the most ingenious hack i've received thus far.

stoic bunk bed turns into ...

... sexy seating for two! wow!

andrew says that "the frame is basically complete here. made it more sturdy than was necessary. head and foot board from the hemnes day bed were used to create the backs of the banquette.

i covered the frame by cutting up the main back piece from the hemnes daybed set. provides a nice uniform look. added some moulding around the bottom and covered the seats. some people have asked if the whole thing was bought in a kit!"

if only!

andrew completed the look with an ikea docksta table - after trimming the table top from 40" down to 30" to fit the space perfectly.

simply cozy.
love it. love it. love it.

click here to view andrew's flickr set and instructions.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

andrew's tv bench turned floating desk

andrew sent me two amazing hacks which i can't wait to share with you. the first is this gorgeous floating desk, hacked from the ikea lack tv unit. when i first saw it i was amazed at how this...

... turned into this.

andrew says, "the steps to creating it were pretty simple. just basically took the two main pieces of the lack tv bench, cut them to size, attached them together and affixed them to the wall. from this angle you can really get a sense of the 'floating effect'. "

he then cut a hole at the back of the desk for the wires, wisely hid his cpu behind the drawers and mounted another lack shelf on the wall to complete the look.

it all comes together beautifully. simple and sleek.

while i don't recommend hacking up a new piece of lack tv bench (because you could just easily get 2 pieces of mdf to do the same), i love the idea of creatively re-purposing your old ikea furniture.

view andrew's flickr set and instructions here.

come back tomorrow for andrew's hemnes banquette hack.

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

create a picture rail for your workstation

when alyssa moved from an office cubicle to a home office, she found her workspace short on space for personal touches.

so, she used ikea deka (a curtain wire with clips) on her ikea jerker and fastened the ends with a set of 6mm - 1.0 X 50mm hex bolts.

then, added photos for instant warmth.

Monday, 4 December 2006

can you decipher this ikea word art?

"i need a hacker of a different sort...

for a wedding gift in 2000, we received a piece of ikea word art that all of our linguistic friends are unable to decode or even guess the language of...

it appears to be an actual language since it has a word root, prefix, and suffix, but i have to face the possibility it's simply art made to look like language...

however, i would really like to know what is hanging on my wall!

if it is written in some little-known language from the third world, and the artist knew that it would hanging in living rooms all over north america, i have a guess as to what it would say:


the longer it hangs there unhacked, the more worried i become that i'm right!" - greg, surrey, bc.

dear greg
i would be concerned too about what i hang on my wall. but i'm as clueless as you.
so, please crack the code, some one?

Sunday, 3 December 2006

$1 is a fortune!

while i think it is better to give the whole sum than just a dollar to save the children and unicef to benefit the world�s children, if you do have to buy a soft toy this christmas, pick one from ikea. the big yellow and blue will be giving a dollar on each toy purchased to the funds.

to get the dollar in perspective:
- one dollar provides one child with a polio vaccination
- one dollar could provide a pen and note book for five children

this event will go on in 200 ikea stores worldwide between nov 18 and dec 24.

hey, perhaps you could even tell the kid receiving your toy that his or her gift has gone to help another boy or girl. it's a long shot but if it helps my nephews see christmas as more than gimme-gimme-gimme, it's money well spent.

Friday, 1 December 2006

simple way to hide ugly cables under your desk

barbex sent in another one of her smart hacks. though not totally an ikea hack, it's useful for people with a home office and who wants a nifty way to hide those hideous cables.

from the back of barbex's ikea desk, cables and wires dangle "like snakes for my feet to get caught in or for children to play a little pull-game ("look, mom explodes!"). and it looks ugly.

my solution is a wooden wall that stands up by itself because it is shaped like a Z and can be easily removed if necessary. it is cheap, black veneered chipboard that i had cut at the store. the black does not quite match the dark brown of the desk but the difference is not noticeable. the small part is just glued, the bigger side is screwed from the back so that you don't see the screws. it is not flush to the table top to make it easy to move but you don't see any gap because normally you don't sit on the floor and look under your desk all the time!

i think it took about five minutes to make and look how much nicer my messy desk looks now!"

simple yet what a difference! and i'm also totally loving the red and dark wood colour scheme.

barbex's other hack:
> barbex's smart tv recorder

Thursday, 30 November 2006

light up with a homemade sun jar

erika tipped me on this fabulous hack. i'm liking it a lot - this homemade solar-powered cookie jar by cre8tor, as featured in instructables. it's so whimsical and reminds me of my firefly catching days.

making it seems simple enough. take an ikea glass jar (one from the ikea slom series would do great) and place the parts of a solar garden light into the jar. use blu-tack to adjust and keep the parts in place.

solar powered sunjarto frost the jar, use a strip of tracing paper or a glass frosting spray. close the lid and you're done. keep the jar by the window with strong sunlight and the light sensing diode at the top of the jar will charge the batteries. when the light goes down, your sun jar lights up. makes a great gift too. link.

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

salvaging an ikea lack coffee table

well, we know that ikea furniture is not made to last forever but before you trash it, get a little crafty and you may just give it a new lease of life.

chris salvaged his ikea lack coffee table - gave it new legs and a new look. first, he dismantled the table and his wife did a pretty decoupage for the top. then he cut pipe legs and mounted them to the bottom of the table to form the pipe base.

the end result is a totally new table, which looks anything but ikea. seems wobble-proof too.

just a thought - how about putting in the original lower shelf (after decoupage too) for additional storage? and perhaps finding a way to paint or wrap the pipes to match the table? the steel feels a tad cold to me.

step by step instructions here.

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

another way to view pics in craigslist

this probably belongs to a craigslist hack site but i found this amazingly useful. if you've ever used craigslist, you would have wished that you didn't have to click each entry to view the pictures. now, you don't have to thanks to ryan who created listpic.

just enter your keywords and listpic will search craigslist for entries with pictures. 100 thumbnails on one page, whoopee! browsing becomes a breeze.

give it a whirl. click here to see ikea furniture on sale in the new york area. or enter the city of your choice to see a fresh list.

Monday, 27 November 2006

an international analog clock

sylvia tipped me on a new ikea hack group on instructables and her favourite entry, which is also mine - this super cool international clock by fungus amungus. sadly, nothing much of the ikea rusch clock remains in this hack, except the mechanism.

"this is an international analog clock so you can see what time it is in other cities. with a lazy susan bearing, some magnets, and a couple of bolts this baby rotates and then locks in place, thus changing the time along with the city name on top."

click here for step-by-step pictorial instructions on how to make one.

Saturday, 25 November 2006

picture them in light

this one's from steve and i must say that i do like them quite a bit. perhaps they are a reminder of my sis' art school days and me helping her pick out slides or cut transparencies on the backlit contraptions. anyhow, it's old school with new style.

steve made them out of "ikea bas display boxes with a modified ikea light fitting and a small energy efficient bulb. the light fitting throws light up the white back to the frame and glossy white photo paper lining the sides, and gets diffused by a piece of animator's paper just behind the transparency."

what i like best is that even during the day, the pictures show through. nice.

Thursday, 23 November 2006

riddim's cocktail shaker light

another lamp from the prolific hacker riddim. an ikea coctail shaker + 25W bulb makes one moody lantern.

riddim's other lamp hacks:
> it's grate lightning
> a basketful of light

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

need help taking ikea furniture apart

"we finished furnishing our one-bed apartment with exclusively ikea furniture and just when i thought everything was perfect, we found out that we have to move out of state! i want to take everything with me, but there is no way to get the ikea bed (malm) out of our bedroom unless we take it apart. is there some place where we can get instructions on dis-assembling IKEA furniture?

we also have the following:
1. lillberg sofa
2. a futon no longer shown on the ikea site
3. magiker sideboard

but the bed is the one i really need to take apart if I hope to vacate my apartment. please help! thanks." - tweety

(tweety also wrote to ikea's customer service and the 'official' reply is that they "are unable to give advice on how to dismantle ikea products as they are not made to be taken apart once assembled.")

not sure if i'm much of a help either. i guess i'll just back-track how i put it together. anyone?

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

wrap your side table in lovely o'keeffe

a pimped lack table by emily, which she also posted on craftster. she says it's not decoupage but can you tell the difference? it looks just as good to me.

"i made this table years ago but i'm still proud of it. it's made from pictures of Georgia O'Keeffe paintings from an art book i bought at a thrift store and a small ikea lack table my neighbor was throwing away! the pages were nice and thick so i could line up the edges of all the pictures very easily. after i glued all the pictures down nice and flat i covered it with many, many layers of varnish (top and legs separately), which yellowed the lighter parts of the pictures, but that's okay because they're bones and flowers!"

lovely. link.

other lack hacks:
> lack media storage with sliding doors
> lack table music console
> a mosaic lack side table