Monday, 31 July 2006

unflatpack your ikea

aah, you guys in the uk have a good thing. unflatpack is a business that well, unflatpacks your flatpacks. you call them, place your order, they go to ikea, buy the stuff, deliver it and set it up for you. no manoeuvring of big clumsy carts. no queues. no blisters. ikea served on a silver platter. they will even fix up your furniture, if you give up diy-ing half-way.

some one, start an unflatpack franchise, please.

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Thursday, 27 July 2006

dressing up billy

vanessa of la apartment therapy spotted this while browsing her copy of style at home, "they show a great way to dress up that blah bookcase. in the photo they purchased billy doors - attached small rods to the top and bottom of the inside of the doors (or you can use a staple gun for a quick fix), and displayed damask looking fabric in which they cut the fabric larger than the door to create a gathered look."

blah to babe in a wink. here's the link.

an otherworldly billy hack:
> make a coffin from 2 billies

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hacking ikeahacker

voila! new looks.

i'm kinda hoping the tabs at the top makes it easier for you to browse. that said, i do know it's still kinda dumb navigation wise, because you'll have to keep hitting your browser's back button or the tabs to return to the category listing after reading a post. unfortunately that's the best i can do - cause blogger doesn't support categories. (sigh. i should've gone with wordpress.)

rant aside, i'm pretty pleased with it. except for the ikeahacker logo - which i slapped together using microsoft paint! it's bleeding inky blue as if i shot it. help, someone!

you'll also find new columns like the resource guide and ikea helpers, featuring complementary ikea services or products. i hope to grow this list. if you sniff anything interesting or useful, drop me a line.

so this is the new look. test run it a bit for me, will ya? and squeal on any kinks. suggestions for new columns, categories, are also welcomed.

and yes, thanks andreas and gecko&fly for the template design. love your stuff.


timtom's trio: #3 romantic palanquin bed from tupplur blinds

the third in timtom's series - a beautiful peekaboo bed.

"we also have a 'palanquin' bed. it's the fairy-tale kinda bed, with curtains, but I always found curtains were a bit too ... well fairy-tale-ey. so we replaced the curtains with two ikea 'blinds strips' (also tupplur, these are long pieces of fabric of about 60cm wide and 2m long you are supposed to use for these �bercool sliding blinds), which I weighted on each end with some metallic bar. the electric lanterns add to the romantic touch.

not some very mind-twisting hacks, but I'm quite happy with them. life without ikea would be only half the fun."

nice. tupplur blinds, we think, are no longer in production. but enje blinds would work just as well for this hack.

the trio
> #1: tupplur home cinema screen
> #2: movable dvd player storage

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Tuesday, 25 July 2006

timtom's trio: #2 movable dvd player storage

the second in timtom's series - a movable feast for the eyes.

"i had to place my projector and dvd player on a movable support, since our living room is a bit too wide and the projected image was larger than my screen. so we have to move the projector forward a bit before enjoying a movie. I chose the bekvam kitchen cart for this. I just added an extra shelf so that the projector is at an optimal height, plus it makes just enough room for the dvd player on the middle shelf, which makes it quite a neat fit.

i still have room on the bottom shelf to store some stuff. power cord and stereo connections to my hi-fi system run from the cart to the wall (with some reserve in length), into a cable canal so they become invisible. curtains made from fabric we brought back from india complete the setup by hiding (and protecting) the electronic equipment when not used."

smart move, i say.

the trio
> #1: tupplur home cinema screen
> #3: tomorrow

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ikea 2007 catalogue now out!

the 2007 catalogue is now available online at the ikea site. click here to go there directly.

you can also pre-order your catalogue by completing the ikea catalogue request. besides getting it snail-mailed, you may win $500 in ikea gift cards too. it's about time we made money from them instead. (update: my bad! the sweeps is for ikea canada.)

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Monday, 24 July 2006

timtom's trio: #1 tupplur home cinema screen

i'm always impressed with the creativity of ikea hackers. a few weeks back, timtom wrote me and told me of his home filled with ikea stuff and hacks. of course, that got me hooked instantly, and I pestered gently coaxed him till he sent me 3 hacks and some pretty pictures. this is the first - a home cinema screen made from tupplur blinds.

"i use a tupplur plain white blind as a home cinema screen. it works almost as well as these costly screens, for a fraction of the price. it's quite a popular hack: do some googling and you will find out that there are plenty of people out there having set a similar setup. if a plain white screen is not your mojo, you can always apply a layer of reflective paint over it, and paint a black frame on the area that's not being used for projection (leave a 16/9 window). the results will be way better, allegedly, because it will absorb the diffracted light hitting the side of your screen, and you will have better contrast.

i was too lazy to do this, but maybe i will upgrade my setup with some buckets of paint. the tricky part is to apply the correct quantity of paint so your blind can still be rolled up without messing your paint job. again, scout the 'net for directions' such as this one."

tupplur blinds, we think, are no longer in production. sigh ... some times you just wonder why ikea goes and kill a good thing. you can still use the same idea with plain white fabric or other blinds like the iris may work.

the trio
> #2: movable dvd player storage
> #3: coming soon

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Switch to handsfree psp viewing

holding your psp for hours on end is a drag. and tired hands fuels invention. ck [via make] posts a cool diy psp stand. his prototype was a crappy cardboard version but since then, he has engineered it to this alien form below.

ck writes, "well, I attached it to what used to be a cheap ikea desk lamp and ran the charger cord through the thing, so now I have a fully positional desk stand for hands free movie viewing on my PSP." link.

other hacks you may be interested in:
- zieak's wierd cam creature
- jwrl's hip mobile music console
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Friday, 21 July 2006

sound of silence

i had second thoughts about posting this hack, because, well, it's ugly. but then, i thought perhaps some other hacker out there may have a better solution to this piece of conversation stopper. isn't there a way to hide those horrid wads of sponge?

in case you're still wondering "what the ... ?", they are deflector/absorbing panels - made from ikea shelves. the hacker writes: "i'm thinking of a way to make them look a bit more pro, but the idea works acoustically." link.

other audio visual hacks:
> hip ikea music machine
> make an audio cabinet from lack tables
> fixing gaje speaker stands
> make your own cam creature

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Thursday, 20 July 2006

ikea fado lookalike at half the price

this is another budget saving hack from greg of ecoroofs everywhere. "i wanted a plastic globe instead of the glass version from ikea so i could hang it pretty low over my bed and not worry about it shattering when someone hits it or in an earthquake or whatever. it's also lots cheaper than the ikea fado."

you'll need:
  1. an ikea hemma cord set
  2. a 10" white acrylic replacement globe. (i ordered it online from azpartsmaster for $13.00 plus shipping.)
and here's how:
  1. drill the top "belly button" from the center of the lamp; that's the little nubbin from the mold -- I think they all have this. it's opposite the 3 1/2" hole where the "fitter" usually holds the globe on the lamp.
  2. tap the nubbin with an awl or nail if you have one handy, just to keep the drill from wandering away from the center.
  3. unwire the hemma cordset, and thread it through the hole.
  4. hook up the electric wires exactly the way it came apart (pay close attention because it's really important to do it correctly so it's safe!). remember black wire to copper colored connector (on mine at least).
  5. and you're done.
i'd only attempt this if you're really good with electric stuff. if you aren't sure right away how to take it apart, then you should have an electrician friend do it for you. this is a super easy hack if you're handy with electrical stuff."

other lighting hacks:
> make your own ikea dna lamp
> cheap yet chic stair lighting

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Wednesday, 19 July 2006

make your own ikea cam creature

i love weird looking creatures and this one, by make flickr photo pool member, zieak, [via make] seemed to have walked right out of a tim burton movie. he writes - "this little guy (ikea unicef brum bear) i bought at the thrift store for 25 cents. i could feel an articulated skeleton within." after some surgery, zieak attached his webcam to the "head" portion of the skeleton. he adds, "now my cam can hang on my laptop monitor, stand on my desk."

way cute. link.

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Tuesday, 18 July 2006

Cheap yet chic stair lighting

i call this one hack of a sexy stair lighting. simon says "putting lighting into our entry stairs has proven rather, err, problematic. I haven't managed to electrocute myself trying to fit traditional lights, but it can only be a matter of time...

... it was sale time, and they [ikea] were clearing out some of the christmas lighting. that's when we saw it. several metres of electroluminescent wire (with mains transformer) for a crazy price - only �1.99." and after some tinkering ... "we now have a rather attractive and rather different lighting source for the stairs. not so bright as to dazzle, but more than enough to stop people from killing themselves on their way out of the house."

love it. love it. love it. link

other lighting hacks:
- make your own ikea dna lamp
- ikea fado lookalike at half price

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Monday, 17 July 2006

assemble a colouring book

it's cute overload when i found mike tsao's entry in he gives us a great tip, "recycle and parent in one step: ikea assembly instructions make great coloring books." my! indeed.

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Thursday, 13 July 2006

through the ikea 2007 peep hole

following my entries here and here on the ikea 2007 range, i've found more pictures. i'm happy to see that the new range carries the usual ikea clean lines, strong colours and playfulness. i like!

to look through the peep hole, click here for a slideshow on ikea 2007 sofas, audio visual cabinets, lighting, bookcases, fabrics, and accessories.

here takes you to a slideshow on ikea 2007 children's range, bedroom furniture and wardrobes.

and here are some yummy ikea 2007 kitchen units, dining room furniture, bathroom, storage and organisers. happy viewing! and let me know what you think of the new range.

related entries on ikea 2007:
> more to hack in 2007
> more pixs on the 2007 range

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hate the fabric colour? just paint it!

nothing like new colour to bring an old piece of furniture back to life. but when you have non-removable fabric covers ... bummer? maybe not.

greg of ecoroofs everywhere shows us on his ikea skruvsta how you can paint the fabric and even make it look like vinyl.

this is greg's skruvsta. in its previous life, it had prints and a pedestal with castors. 
he painted it honey yellow and added in a retro looking pedestal he scavenged.

"i used acrylic paint and added fabric medium, sometimes called textile medium. that turns the paint into fabric paint.

tip! most people use 'art store paint' you buy in expensive little bottles, but a little known fact is that you can use regular old house paint, as long as it's acrylic. I think it might have to be latex too but I'm not sure.

i then did a test patch on the bottom of the cushions.

but the old print/colour showed through the yellow paint. i got kilz primer and had it tinted yellow at home depot. you'll have to make sure that the primer is water based latex as the oil based version has chemicals in it that would eat the foam that the chairs are made out of.

next, i washed the fabric to remove any sizing stain blocker that interferes with paint adhesion. i didn't wait for it to dry, just painted on the kilz with a brush after adding a little (few ounces) of fabric medium.

tip! i bought the biocolor brand from earlychildhood as it was by far the cheapest and easiest to use, as no heat set is required and costs around $10 for a 16 oz bottle, (with shipping).

i sunned the chairs for a couple of hours till they were dry, then painted two additional coats. i bought a gallon of paint for two chairs, but could have gotten away with just one quart, i think.

i'd say you can probably paint any fabric this way. acrylic paint is by nature extremely flexible and there's no cracking at all. the texture is more like vinyl than the original cotton. the colour doesn't seem to fade in the sun. so far no problems at all after 4 months."

sounds complicated to me. but i'm sure you diy pros out there dig this.

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Tuesday, 11 July 2006

pimp my boj

help! my boj is so boring!

marion from sydney writes me asking for ideas how she can spice up her boj drawers, and cover the flaking bits. (boj is no longer produced by ikea, i think.)

"i've been wanting to hack my tired looking white boj drawers for years but haven't worked out a good way to attack the white laminate. mostly, i am wanting to change the colour and cover the flaking top. i figure i can change the handles easily enough and find some funky alternatives to white plastic, but i'm over the white laminate. i was wondering if you or any of the readers might have any ideas on how to hack it?" - marion

this is a picture i found, not marion's actual boj drawers.
but you get the idea why marion desperately wants to hack it.

right on, marion. i have 2 ideas for you.

#1. masking tape magic
the first is inspired by jonathan fong's walls that wow where he uses masking tape to dress up a wall (see pix from ivillage). i thought the same neat trick could add a lot of sizzle to marion's boj.
  1. think of your colour scheme and how you want the stripes laid out.
  2. buy coloured masking tape in your scheme.
  3. stretch it across the top of your boj from one end to the other, and if you like, down the sides in unequal (or equal) lengths.
tip! if after sticking the tapes, you want to re-arrange the stripes, squirt some lighter fluid on the tapes for easy removal. but first, test the fluid to see if it leaves an oil stain on the laminate.

pro: no mess. cheap. and will mask the flaking beautifully.
con: you might not get masking tapes in the colours you want.

#2. blik it beautiful
if you have a bit of cash to spare, you can turn up the sex appeal of your boj with blik. this paisley decal will set you back $45 for a set of 10. let's assume that you're feeling generous and you do get the decals:
  1. arrange them on your boj till you are satisfied with the layout
  2. stick them on
  3. sit back and admire
pro: no mess. lots of design options.
con: pricey (to me, at least).

these are my 2 cents. any other takers? please click on the comment link to leave your ideas and save marion from boredom.

and yes, marion, if you do hack your boj, pretty please send us a picture. we would love to see what you made out of it.

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ikea flatpacks rearranged into art

found these beautiful pieces at mocoloco. the humble bumerang clothes hanger is reborn as a stag's head. with a few more hangers, you can form a crossbow to shoot ikea pencils at the stag, with no animals harmed in the process. how neat is that? it gets even better - take ikea's bestselling poang armchair, add a few some twists, and out comes a sled. wow.

these were university of brighton (uk) kieren jones' brilliant design concepts for the the british council�s annual student design competition - a diy ikea project called 'flat-pack re-arranged'. perhaps the more ingenious part of it is that kieren has created do-it-yourself manuals that guide the user through the creation of the new products - suped up versions of ikea assembly instructions, i reckon.

i hope he sells the manuals, cause i'd be first in line. link.

you may also be interested in:
- vince's sliding door room divider in apartment therapy's smallest coolest 2006 contest
- ragnhei�ur's benjamin stool with motif in design*sponge/fred flare's spring spruce up contest"

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Monday, 10 July 2006

an ikea bookcase for a swede by and by

i may be an ikea fan but being buried in a billy? it gives new meaning to flatpack.

anyways, diehards (no pun intended) among you may want to check out joe scanlan's 112-page-perfect-bound-tome - diy, or how to kill yourself anywhere in the world for under $399. he'll show you how to hack a coffin out of two billies and some odds and ends from the hardware department. "it is a great choice for anyone who prefers that their funeral be a modest but stylish affair." remember to serve swedish meatballs at the wake.

it's $27.50 shipped. read more here.

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Saturday, 8 July 2006

make your own ikea dna lamp

seeing this hopf & wortmann dna lamp, available from next [via design*sponge and reluct], i had an "aha" moment. i remembered seeing a similar lamp hack at boingboing - the fractal chandelier from sean michael ragan. with a few adapters and energy saving bulbs from ikea, you can stamp your very own dna on this lamp. except, maybe, you can't get it in pretty pink.

sean explains, "this is a suspended light fixture 'grown' from 31 nested twin-lamp socket adapters. 32 7.5 watt bulbs draw a total of 240 watts. all the adapters and fixtures are rated for 660 watts, so this figure is well within the safety range. 15 watt bulbs would also be acceptable, and would generate more light. as it is, the fixture puts off very little heat. you can put your finger on the surface of one of these tiny bulbs for an indefinite period of time without experiencing any serious discomfort.

the chandelier is essentially a binary tree in 3-space. it is symmetrical, with each adapter, except the top one, being positioned at a 90-degree angle relative to the axis of its parent. after assembly, a drop of cyanoacrylate glue was applied to the junction of each pair of adapters to keep the structure from deforming if the chandelier is moved or jostled."

simply electrifying. for full instructions, click here.

(update! and so it seems there is a little hoo-ha going on about who first designed the dna lamp. michael silverberg from metropolis wrote to apartment therapy to clear the haze. as much a hacker as i am, i think it is important to know the origins of a design and give due credit. so, it's irving harper, people. link.)
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how to submit your ikea hack

after days sweating over an ikea hack, you deserve your moment of glory here.

just write me at ikeahacker[at]gmail[dot]com

in your mail, you should include the following info:
1. a short description of the hack
2. the link to the hack (if any)
3. attach photos or the link (videos are welcome too)
4. your name and site link (if you want to be credited)

the only rule is that the hack must involve at least an ikea item, however it is used. easy. peasy.

if you didn't hack it but came across an interesting one, you can also get in the game. i'll even credit you for your find.

update! upload your ikea hack instructables
you can also now submit your hack via instructables. just create an instructable on the ikea hacks group and it will be published on the projects page instantly. (please do not email me if you've uploaded it to the group to avoid duplicates.)

so turn your allen keys. i'll be waiting to hear from you.

one happy hacker,

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Friday, 7 July 2006

a cool cuppa

when i saw this i almost scalded my lips with hot coffee. what brilliant use of ikea items. can you spot the cabinet door handles masquerading as coffee cup rails?

cgfan's coffee contraption is the "brewtus with two simple accessories added: cabinet door handles as cup rails and a timer, both courtesy of ikea. the timer works particularily well as a shot timer, as it has a strong magnet that keeps it parked securely enough right on top of the E-61 grouphead. a nice feature is that it works as both a countup or a countdown timer, the latter providing an alarm when it reaches 0. it also recalls the last countdown time used at the moment you silence the alarm, ready to go again for timing the next shot." read more here.

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Thursday, 6 July 2006

ikea hack of the month - june

i survived a month of this blog. and we did alright with a pretty neat crop of hacks. thanks, everyone, who sent me their hacks. i really get a kick out of reading your mails.

and *drumroll* for the month of June, these are my favourites - vince's sliding door room divider, the benjamin stool with motif, the lack table audio cabinet and the ikea bag hack. which is yours? click the poll and let me know.

{The poll has ended}

Wednesday, 5 July 2006

a little more fabulous

hey, i just found some photos promoting the ikea everyday fabulous exhibition. i know, i know, it's a done deal but i couldn't pass over these clever new york city hacking ideas. i wonder, though, didn't anyone haul off the sofas?

see more here.

Tuesday, 4 July 2006

custom cabinet

this hack is a dated. but i've just stumbled across it and i am a sucker for awesome mood shots. love the different hues on the frosted doors - how did you do that? and david, where did you get that chic clock? anyways, he says that "the frame is from the ikea bathroom selection, the sliding doors are from the kitchen collection and the feet, plinth and lights are from various other collections. ... by combining furniture parts from different areas, she (his wife) was able to come up with a combination of units that fitted our measures. the total sum of shopping was around �500 and this included all kinds of ikea goodies like plants, carpets, baskets, swedish food and more boxes." read more here.

you may also be interested in these cabinet hacks:
> magiker shoe cabinet
> enetri display cabinet

Monday, 3 July 2006

can't stand it

i don't have audio speakers so i'm not sure whether these gaje speaker stands are as bad as this hacker makes them out to be. nonetheless, fluffy rants gives a nifty solution to the problem: "yeah, the gaje stands are kind of dumb... normally to mount a speaker on it, you either have to attach it using some velcro (which it comes with), or drill holes into the speakers themselves. my old rear surrounds I used the velcro on, but my fronts were too heavy/big for that and so I just had the other pair taking up space.

i'd planned on doing a modification like this for a while, and since my rear speakers developed a bit of a rattle a while ago (which i was unable to fix; i think the driver itself went bad) and i finally had enough of it and decided to buy a proper 5-channel matched setup, and the new speakers were definitely too big, since the rears are bigger/heavier than my old fronts.

so, this way I have some pretty nice stands (with cable routing) which can actually support decent speakers and have great isolation, but didn't cost much at all (basically $62 for all four, plus a bit of time for assembly)."

click here for fluffy rant's step-by-step pictures.

other audio visual hacks:
> a hip mobile music console
> the very clever audioasylum lack table music cabinet