Wednesday, 28 February 2007

winning ikea storage

here's a double bonus from francine reculez of milano, italy. one of them even won a prize in an "ikea decorated items" contest.

francine adds, "the first is a piece using the ivar storage system, added with a couple of home-made cabinet doors and decorated with sides from vegetable & fruit wooden cases. of course, it stands in my kitchen."

"the second piece is a wooden cabinet from a few years ago, no longer in the ikea production line. i simply painted them with acrylic paint (bronze, light gold, dark gold and silver) and pasted on ikea wooden leaves. i also wrote some lines of poetry."

i can see why this beauty bagged the prize.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007


elizabeth thomas created the kvintol mosaic lamp to sell at a craft fair but her husband swiped it instead for his office. now, she says, he meditates on the beauty of illuminated glass when coworkers are being annoying.

"i had lots of small pieces of left-over stained glass which i glued (with weldbond - great for glass-on-glass gluing) to the curved glass shade of the lamp. i mosaiced the base to match."

Monday, 26 February 2007

kai's sleek stolmen desk

this is from kai muller of germany. i'm really loving it - the desk and the lovely wall art.

kai says it is really simple - he drilled holes on the desk and then threaded the stolmen posts through. the hack (and painting of the mural) is documented on his site, even if you can't read german, the pictures say a thousand words.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

ikeahacker forums now open!


you can now post your hacker help questions in the forums, rather than email me. hopefully, you'll be able to get your advice, ideas, solutions and answers much faster.

to fully access the forum, you'll need to register yourself - it's quick and painless. all it takes is a username and email and you're off and running. you'll get to post, reply, vote and send private messages to other users. do drop by the watercooler and introduce yourself as well. it'll be great to finally get to know you.

for starters, i've posted some questions i've received such as:

also, i've decided to move the genius ikea hack contest submissions to the forum. don't email me - just post 'em there. to kick things off, i've posted tay's super shelf. go check it out. you still have a bit of time before the contest ends - so post your ideas pronto to win prizes.

besides that, i thought it was time for a new look, so i've made a new banner out of ikea's assembly man! :) and also improved the search system with hacks now listed in categories on the right side bar.

phew! seems like there's a lot happening. skip on over and have fun at the ikeahacker forums. see you there.

- jules

Friday, 23 February 2007

ikea pet bed

the things we'll do for our pets. even if mine are just guppies, i understand the lengths we'll go to spoil them. so thuy's pet hack really made me smile.

"it's a a pet bed for a cat or small dog. it's something i haven't seen anyone do yet. i had this idea for about 2 years when i bought the bed and never got to paint and add a cushion until recently (2 years later and my cat finally got the stylish bed she deserves, though it seems she prefers to sleep next to me. aw.)

the hack is very tools required:
  1. take one ikea duktig doll's bed:
  2. buy or make a cushion to fit the bed. in my case, my talented sister made the cushion with faux fur. she made it to be used as a throw pillow, but i thought it would be cute for the cat to have an animal print bed.
  3. paint bed any color. i used one can of black matte paint. the cost was $1.99 at home depot. it took several coats - i used the whole can.
the project cost less than $30, and a couple days (of not actual work, but to allow coats of paint to dry thoroughly.)"

Thursday, 22 February 2007

ikeahacker forums coming soon!

well, i've been working on a new thingamajig for ikeahacker. with the increase in traffic, i've been receiving quite a few hacks, hacker help questions and mail in general. which are all good. do keep them coming.

that said, i feel that i am a bottleneck to the process, especially the "hacker help" section. i currently post one or two hacker help questions per week, which simply translate to a long, long wait. very frustrating if you're looking for answers, like NOW!

so, in a day or two, depending on how much sleep i get, you will get to post your questions at the ikeahacker forums. it's not quite done yet, still some minor tweaks and should be ready to roll.

if you do have a question, please do hold off emailing it to me and wait for the forum launch.

- jules

ikea spotting: soyburger's mac basement

thursday eye candy. mark friesen tipped me on soyburger's collection of macs [and i do like macs :) ] housed beautifully using the ikea stolmen system. and i must say very good use of it.

anyone remembers the name of the low white media unit on the left? i wish it wasn't discontinued.

especially like this countertop from the stolmen too.

stolmen drawers make such handsome display units.

love the red klippan. i never tire of its simplicity. the skruvsta looks really good in this set up too.

go here to view the entire flickr set.

an effektiv bar counter

this is from eric gunderson - a neat and compact bar bench made from the effektiv high cabinet, which is usually used for the work area. add a cheap pragel countertop and 2 vika byske adjustable legs and you have a breakfast counter.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

can i make customised pax plexiglass sliding doors?

"i have two questions and i wonder if anyone can help.
  1. pax wardrobe - i don't want to pay for the glass sliding doors... i was thinking of gettting a pax frame, buying the malm sliding door runners, and then buying plexiglass of a pleasing sort and making sliding doors out of that. has anyone tried this?
  2. failing that, i might go for aneboda doors (pix, right) ... but i hate the plastic on the center panel! does anyone know if it's possible to remove their cheap plastic panel and insert something else more sturdy and/or attractive? i'm not sure how the plastic is attached to the door, if it can be unscrewed, or cut out, or what." - michelle

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

play it again, zach!

once in a while, you get a really far out hack and this one, about ranks up there. not your regular diy but when pj doland tipped me on it, i was impressed. zachary of zachary guitars builds guitars out of ikea table tops!

he writes, "this is one of the most interesting guitars i ever built and it is also one of the best. this amazingly figured top is from ikea furnishings. i bought one of their unfinished end tables for $15 and i can get three guitar tops from it. what a shame that they would use such amazing 'tone-wood' for their cheap furniture. it's a sacrilege." link.

Monday, 19 February 2007

oppli tv bench

some times you just have to repurpose furniture to fit your spaces. when linda moved her tv bench - the oppli (pic, right) - to the cellar it didn't fit. so linda's husband sawed the sides and made new holes. and put them together again with plugs. lastly, a new coat of black and white paint to match the sideboard. and voila! it's as good as new.

link to linda's ikea hack post in swedish.

Friday, 16 February 2007

cute draft stopper

with you people freezing your behinds off, this is timely. not a hack but this, sent in by angorian, was too cute to pass up. did you know that the ikea snake (i'm not sure what it's called and i can't find the link on ikea's site) makes an excellent draft stopper?

cute overload!
link to angorian's flickr page.

ivar media centre

honkymcgoo sent me this mini-hack of an ivar media centre. with the ivar system, you would normally need to use the side units if you want to give it "legs". in this hack, the ivar is given 8" parsons legs instead (from lowe's) and nickel hinges for the doors to hide a not so pretty tv and vcr.

details over at the flickr photo set.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

ikea bed making contest

damien wrote in to ping us on an ikea video contest on shycast. he writes, "it�s the "IKEA Break The Rules Bed Making" sweepstakes that's asking people to record the fun, weird ways they make their beds in the morning (or, for those of us who just don't because we haven't had caffeine yet to deal with that type of stuff, to rate the videos of more hyper people). you can win a $5000 shopping spree or one of five $500 ikea gift cards."

guess i should have paid more attention when mom tried to get me to make my bed. anyways, get your video cam out and your entries in before 12 march. link.

weave your own style into ikea

while i do like the minimalist non-fussy look of ikea items, there are times when a girl needs some frills. this simple but sweet embellishment of the polarvide blanket by jennifer w of the felt mouse does just that.

nothing over the top but enough to make your mass-produced ikea item so much more personal and homely.

change ribbons in an instant!

a clever bit of advice from jennifer: "drag a new ribbon through the holes by pinning it to the first ribbon you wove through. in this way you can change your look in seconds without having to weave through all of the holes again!" link.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

the kullen gets glam

this is from morgan satterfield of l.a. while morgan's first choice was the pax, it was added up to be too pricey for a rental. so, he bought the cheaper kullen instead and the rest is ... one project after another.

"i recently moved into a loft in downtown los angeles with zero closet space. the pax system was my first choice, but once I sat down and added up all i wanted, it was just too much to spend on a rental.

so i bought the cheapy kullen wardrobe (pic, left) and painted it a high gloss white. i used an oil based sign painters enamel called "one shot" (since i had a gallon of it lying around). once the wardrobe was sanded i filled the handle holes with spackle and rolled two coats of paint on it. the paint is great! it gives a very smooth but tough glossy enamel finish. plus it sticks really well to the veneer.

i drilled new handle holes and changed the handles to the lansa 9 5/8" handles. i love them!

i was so happy with how it turned out that i built a tv stand from some MDF i had cut at the home depot and four casters. i painted it with the one shot paint to match the wardrobe, and will eventually put a long door on the front that flips down with a lansa handle.

although it still is a work in progress, and not an extreme ikea hack, i think it turned out better than expected. if only i can figure out how to get rid of the gap between the two large doors."

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

do you have problems ordering ikea online?

"i want to know if anyone else has had difficulty ordering ikea merchandise through their online or phone services? i have had about five orders "mysteriously" disappear from their system. i have the email inquiries i've sent and i've documented the frustration on my blog in this post.

i originally ordered the vika amon/vika artur desk on september 8 and have yet to see it. it seems the trestles are always out of stock, even when i call first to see if they have any then immediately place the order. i still get the "out of stock" email. i even had one phone rep give me a delivery date, which came and went. i know someone else would have given up a while ago, but there is no other desk that i want. in addition, the nearest ikea never has this part in stock either.

so i would like to know if anyone has had this problem or if anyone has recently received this table through phone or online ordering. also any suggestions that someone can give me would be greatly appreciated. thanks." - lisa m. williams

sorry to hear of your frustration. anybody has advice for lisa?

click to view all hacker help questions

Monday, 12 February 2007

jerker desk cable management hack

one of the questions i get quite a lot is on cable management. hiding those ugly wires is always a challenge. while you may not be able to get rid of them all, mike seymour's cable management hack for his jerker v1 desk does at least lift most of them off the floor.

what you'll need for the hack:
  • 12 outlet 4' Noma metal power strip (Canadian Tire # 52-7269-6)
  • duct tape
  • drill
  • 13/64" drill bit
"my problem was managing all the data and power cables snaking around my jerker v1 desk. i have no idea where it all came from! the hollow lower brace for the posts was great for containing cables and power cords, but there was also no good place for a regular power bar.

the outlets of the power bar are oriented 90 degrees to the strip making power cord routing much easier. it was too long to fasten to the desk by the end brackets. the back plate was removed and two holes were drilled in it, corresponding to the screws holding the metal cross-member to the bottom shelf of the desk. the plate was affixed to the desk using these screws. the remaining part of the power bar was screwed on the back plate and the power cable threaded through the opening of the brace to the floor.

before each cable was inserted into the brace, it was folded over into a 10-15 cm bundle and zip-tied. for tidiness, the bundle should hang below the top edge of the brace. a gap along the bottom of the brace was covered by a strip of black duct tape while leaving the ends open.

all power cords and cables have been contained in the brace, and the only things that remain on the floor are the power bar cord and possibly network cable!"

related hack:
simple way to hide ugly cables

Friday, 9 February 2007

the genius ikea hack contest

i'm so happy to announce ikeahacker's first contest in collaboration with the good folks at arash and kelly. woo! can you tell that i'm excited?

best thing is, you don't need to have scored an ikea hack to take part. just your ideas, your brainchild, juice, the eureka! i'm sure that's wonderful for all you "some day" people who may have an ikea hack idea brewing but never got round to actually doing it. now is the time to put it down on paper and win some goodies in the process.

here's how it goes.
  1. pick ANY one or more ikea item(s) you would like to hack.
  2. on a piece of paper (no larger than A4) draw/scheme out your genius of a hack idea. please remember to identify the ikea item(s) hacked. (sample below) just go crazy. get creative.

  3. scan and email your drawing to ikeahacker [at] gmail [dot] com. please write "genius hack" in your subject line. in your email, also include your full name and address, should we be sending the pressies to you.
  4. entries will be posted on ikeahacker and open for votes. your votes will determine which hack gets into the finals.
  5. our panel of judges will then pick the top 3 winners from the finalists.
easy. so, what's to win?

these amazing genius pads! giant sized (approx 12"x12") sticky presentation pads for big ideas. great for brainstorming, planning, doodling and keeping all your important telephone numbers on one page.

1st prize:
300-sheet genius pad

2nd prize:
150-sheet genius pad

3rd prize:
80-sheet genius pad

and finally, introducing the judges:

  • armand of positive fanatics, ikea's unofficial web journal. he is an artist and aspiring photo documentarist based in illinois, usa. armand also runs, the world's premier fan site for moleskine notebooks.
  • arash and kelly of well, arash and kelly. they are designers based in west london, uk, and creators of cool stuff such as the genius pad and big clip.
  • lastly, me! not much to say in this department except that i live 15 minutes away from ikea. :)
hacks will be judged on creativity, good use of the ikea item(s) and originality. so, blow us away.

get cracking. submissions and voting ends march 11th.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

a mid-century inspired tufted headboard

paul sent me his hack a while back and i almost lost this goodie in my very disorganised inbox. so glad i didn't because i really like the hacked headboard.

"this particular hack involves a metal ikea heimdal bed frame (i can't find it on the ikea website). the frame was fine, but it definitely lacked the elegance and mid-century appeal i was trying to go for. well after surfing a few furniture websites, i came across the tate bed from crate and barrel. i like the look of the tufted headboard and the tight upholstery along the sides. so, i headed to the local fabric store (joann's) and luckily they had foam padding and faux suede fabric on sale.

i cut the foam padding according to the bed's measurements and used heavy duty spray glue to adhere the foam to the metal frame. the hardest part was sewing up the faux suede fabric to wrap around the foam padding and bed frame. to make it look more tailored, and not look like it was just fabric wrapped around the bed frame, i sewed seams running down the sides of the faux suede fabric that would be used to cover the side rails.

the hardest part of the entire project however was measuring out how many squares to make, and to make each of them perfectly even on the headboard. on the back of the fabric, i used a straight edge to draw the grid pattern that would guide me in sewing up the fabric to create that seamed, tufted look. once i drew my grid on the back of the fabric, the next step was to create the seams on that are on the headboard. i didn�t want to cut each square out and sew them together one by one to create the seams running across the front of the headboard since that would have taken way too much skill and time. as a shortcut, i just folded the fabric over itself ever so slightly at each of the lines i drew on the back of the fabric and sewed a seam, using the lines i had drawn as a guide.

once the headboard fabric was all sewn up i wrapped the piece of foam that was for the headboard. finally, to finish the headboard, i took the same fabric to make buttons. joann�s fabric or any fabric store should have button making kits. i sewed the buttons onto the headboard at corners of the square seams. you have to used fishing twine to achieve this tufted look, because you have to pull the buttons down very tight to achieve that depressed, tufted look. my fingers were in so much pain from doing that many buttons because the foam was incredibly thick. lastly, wrap the foam and fabric tightly around the headboard frame and you�ve got yourself a great, mid-century inspired bed!"

bravo, paul. i could never be as good, nor as patient, with the needle.

custom made footstool cover

i cracked up when i saw this hack sent in by winnie - a custom made chocolatey-marshmellowy (is there such a word?) footstool cover for the solsta pallbo. the top are covered with pompoms, hot glued on, and the sides are made from warm and fuzzy faux fur.

chocolate sundaes, anyone?

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

ikea fabric shopping tote

just wanted to share this update from the shopping sherpa who sent us her zippered pouch made from embellished akseline fabric a while ago. the matching bag is finally done. voila!


Tuesday, 6 February 2007

peek-a-boo billy

here's a fresh take on the ubiquitous billy bookcase. vincent had a white billy bookcase that he refused to dump or sell when he moved to a smaller apartment. so what's left to do but hack it?

"the hack includes a white billy bookshelf, a small pint of acrylic green paint and two vattern doors. there are two reasons why i used shorter vattern doors. the first is to create a contemporary and unique look. the doors are intended NOT to cover all of the contents of the billy. the overall effect is to give a glimpse or tease of the interesting books i have. the second reason is to avoid installing puller handles to open the doors. by leaving a gap, i can easily open the open doors by pulling on the side.

the center portion of the billy displays dessert plates and hopefully a set of interesting tea pot and accessories, if we eventually find ones we like."

Monday, 5 February 2007

need help choosing bookcases for heavy books

"i'm trying to figure out which bookcase would be best for lots of books (meaning something in which the shelves won't be prone to sagging). the space for the bookshelf is approximately 76" long by 18" deep by 102" high. i have a nice galant desk setup in beech veneer, and would like to match that finish if possible. i'd like the shelves to fill up the space as much as possible." - kristine

for heavy books, it would be better to choose shelving made from solid wood. the particleboard bookcases such as the billy or bonde system tend to sag under weight. as for solid wood bookcases, you do quite a few choices, though colour wise, you're not so lucky. the norrebo (pic) in solid birch is a modular shelving system that lets you cover as much space as you want but the colour is not a great match. or you can also try the leksvik or ivar, which you could stain to match your desk.

other ideas?

Friday, 2 February 2007

50 cent cord dispenser

not quite a hack, but if you're ever like linda, who gets her gift wrap ribbons tangled up, this is a nice way to keep your cords organised.

"i went to my favorite little thrift store and bought this glass sugar container for 50 cents. i had a hunch that the ikea string cording that i absolutely love would fit perfectly inside the container, enabling me to dispense the cording with ease as i wrapped a present. and it did! perfectly!"

Thursday, 1 February 2007

we have a winner

voting is closed for our "ikea hack of the year 2006" poll. and the winner is andrew's hemnes daybed turned banquette at an overwhelming 43% of votes. congrats, andrew.

second place is perennial favourite, vince's sliding door room divider at 26%. this happens to be the first hack i posted, which sparked off my love affair with ikea hacks. congrats, vince. and i still love you.

unfortunately, i can't give out anything but a warm, fuzzy title. perhaps, i'll be able to save up enough for a nice prize for the ikea hack of 2007. or if anyone knows how to wrangle some ikea gift cards, let me know. heh.

on another note, i'm currently in talks with arash & kelly of genius pad for an upcoming contest. and i'm so excited about it because i can't wait to launch ikeahacker's first contest AND give away a prize. details will be out soon.