Friday, 30 March 2007

declutter your jerker desktop

i have yet to join the wireless bandwagon so i love this de-cluttering hack from van mardian. a few readers [thanks! aaron, kath, nicole] tipped me on this, so i'm guessing that this is going to be a favourite for many.

see van's decluttered ikea jerker desk, the source of desk envy.

what's the secret?

van says, "actually, everything is mounted underneath using mdf pegboard and some wire.

the pegboard is suspended using these shackles and small wooden dowels. if i ever need to make changes, the pegboard can be easily removed simply by removing the five dowels."

brilliant! van has very, very good pictures and instructions on his site. there are also currently 8 reader submissions of their versions. link.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

zebra solsta pallbo cubes

i had the nagging feeling that i missed something when i posted the solsta pallbo footstool hacks earlier. further digging in my inbox led to this zebra cube from theresa choi.

"i bought two of these cube frames (they had a cushion on top) without the cover. then i bought some 1 inch foam, cut it to size and covered all the 4 sides with it, using spray glue. then i bought this great zebra print sort of soft and fuzzy fabric and made a tight cover, pulled it on, and stapled it to the underside for a quick upholstery job. and now we have two zebra cubes that are great for extra seating, or for our kid to practice walking or chewing on!"

related hacks:
> things to do with a solsta pallbo footstool
> chocolate marshmallow solsta pallbo cover

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

a little light for the wall

been to modernself lately? it is always full of fantastic diy projects besides glimpses of eric's very cool apartment, which incidentally, will be vying for spot on the apartment therapy's smallest coolest apartment contest 2007. anyways, he sent me one of his projects - a LED light box - which is a great idea if you want to add interest to your pictures.

"what we built was nothing more than a simple LED light box, and it would be perfect for displaying any picture. the basic materials for this project were the ribba frame and the trettioen LED light strips from ikea. the ribba frame is perfect for this project because it features a deep set wood frame and it is inexpensive at $20. i was also able to get the LED strips for $20 even though the retailed at $50.

the LED light box is a great way to make artwork a very bright focal point of your room. plus, it usually gets the, 'how'd you do that?' comment from anyone who sees it."

click for instructions on modernself.

eric's other ikea hacks:
> diffused kitchen lighting
> alang pendant lamp

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

forum updates

all sort of questions are popping up at the ikeahacker forums. like these ...
got a clue? head over to the ikeahacker forums then.

triple toilet paper roll storage

bathroom hacks are rare to come by. here is hans zetterberg's toilet paper rack hack.

"i've used a cd-rack from ikea (i don't know the name of it). i wanted to use the existing drilled holes in my wall so i used a piece of steelband to fasten the cd rack to the wall (and that's also why the left steelband is much longer than the right). the orginal cd-rack parts are used except for the top steel rod, which i removed to allow placement of the toilet rolls."

hans is still figuring out a system to collect the empty rolls. any ideas, anyone?

go to hans' pictorial instructions.

Monday, 26 March 2007

padding up benjamin

like mike, i really like the benjamin stool. it's a good looking stool that can be used as a side table, footstool or occasional table.
mike writes, "i like the aesthetic of the benjamin stool, but it lacks the padding necessary to be comfortable as a foot stool for any length of time, so i made a cushion. essentially, it's a pillow in a custom made pillow case with heavy duty snaps on the short ends. the cushion wraps around the top of the benjamin and snaps together on bottom side. it's not the most perfect upholstery job, but it's comfortable, and it can be easily washed."

another benjamin stool hack:
> benjamin stool with motif

Friday, 23 March 2007

ikea fashion parade

i received quite a few emails on apparels made from ikea duvet covers, blankets, fabrics. obviously, not very hack-y (for lack of a better word) but i thought i'll have some ikea runway fun.

this is from lynsey searle who made a cute little skirt for her 3 year old from an ikea korall manet quilt cover.

another one from quilt covers. katja made a fresh summer tunic from the bibbi snurr. link.

this "crazy picnic dress", as andrea avery calls it, is made of the belinda fabric. "i made it from a pattern. i can't figure out where in your house you'd want to have anything made out of a fabric this loud, but it sure suits this 1960s-style emma peel-esque dress." link to andrea's flickr set.

moving on, we have two more using the ikea polarvide fleece throw.

charlotte made a made a shawl for her friend using the blanket. she calls the shawl the 'longhorn' as it reminds her of a texas longhorn. "i drew circles on a watersoluble stabilizer. with felting wool and an embellisher machine i felted black dots. i cut them out and felted them on the shawl. in doing so i had more control over the form. the red cables are wet-felted and then attached to the shawl with the machine." link.

and next we have a clever ikea hack by jennie's mom. "she took a polarvide blanket, and cut a hole in the middle to make a shawl. i like how the decorative edge built into the blanket is really highlighted, and she even created a little collar.

it is so simple, but so functional. if you like curling up in a blanket, you know that even when you get up from the sofa, you want to stay wrapped up in the blanket... this way the blanket doesn't fall, you don't have to hold it up, you have more flexibility than in a robe, and the length is just perfect so it does not get in the way of your hands if you want to do something like make breakfast...

even though ikea sells ponchos (i never knew this, did you?-jules), this version is a much cheaper solution. the polarvide is only $3.99. mom has them in several colors!" link to jennie's flickr.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

winnie's upside down man lamp

a new hack from san francisco based winnie lam. you may remember her as the one who gave us the chocolate marshmallow solsta pallbo footstool covers and the rapunzel bookcase, an entry in the genius ikea hack contest. now, she's back again with the very adorable upside down man lamp.

"the lamp is ikea's fado table lamp, approximately 11" in diameter. the hat is just two pieces of wood. the bottom piece of the hat came from a round wooden box from the crafts store michael's. the top piece of the hat is just a circle piece of wood. the facial features, i.e. the eyes and the mouth, are cutouts from adhesive contact paper (also known as shelf liners). the legs are made of toilet paper rolls, and the shoes are boots for toddlers.

(note: the fado table lamp was available on the 2006 catalog, but doesn't appear to be available anymore. the fado ceiling lamp, however, is still available.)."

winnie also sent me some of her other works. she tells me that it's her passion and what she indulges in after work. though non-ikea, i can't help but share the joy! hope it makes you day, cause it sure did mine.

the cheese storage cabinet and cow table. (note the udders :-) )

the egg and sperm clock and toilet seat dining chairs

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

curtain room divider

another curtain room divider idea. this one is from marc who used lightweight muslin with the kvadrant curtain rail system. i can no longer find it on the ikea site, but i think the ikea kvartal may work the same.

adding to marc's idea, if you choose not to use fabric, you can also try ikea's curtain panels to divide a room. may not be as cheap, but they are pretty good looking.

other room divider ideas:

and the winners are ...

votes have been cast and the judges have chosen their favourites.

armand's picks:

1st - lack shelving in the style of charlotte perriands.
witty, stylish, cheap.

2nd - ikea meldal greenhouse.
anything green get my GO signal.

3rd - ikea skubb monster kite.
what would the world be without whimsy?

arash and kelly's picks:

1st - tini because the transformation comes 'alive' and a great game for kids and dogs. the most imaginative of all we thought

2nd - randall for the Charlotte shelving.
most stylish idea

3rd - giusy's greenhouse.
a great new line for ikea

my picks:

1st - tini's skubb kite.
most creative use of an ikea item. taking it totally out of its usual parameters.

2nd - randall's shelving.
a touch of class for the lack shelving unit

3rd - winnie's rapunzel bookcase.
i think it's such fun.

popular vote

1st - randall's shelving with 77% votes

2nd - winnie's rapunzel bookcase & tini's skubb kite (tied at 11% each)

after tabulating the scores ... i'm proud to announce that we have the winners of the genius ikea hack contest.

first prize goes to randall kramer for the lack shelving in the style of charlotte perriands.

tini's skubb monster kite takes second prize.

and coming in third is guisy's meldal greenhouse.

congrats winners! your geniuspad, compliments of arash and kelly, will be enroute to you soon.

thank you everyone who sent in an entry or voted in the polls. it's been fun! if you have ideas for a new contest, do let me know.

click to view all entries.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

10 secs

was pleasantly surprised today when i saw a surge in traffic. further checking my stats, i found that i made blogger's blog of note! must say that i've always harboured secret desires to get listed. so i'm so thrilled i can pee in my pants. thanks, blogger.

also, kim of girlrobot, a geeky girl site, contacted me a few days ago for an email interview. it's my first! and it was fun thinking back and seeing how ikeahacker has taken shape in 9 months. almost 200 hacks and counting! thank you for sending your hacks in. you're what makes this site happen. read the interview on girlrobot.

- jules

things to do with a solsta pallbo footstool

the humble solsta pallbo footstool is more versatile that you think. a little imagination is all it needs.

1. give it a new look like what lynn did
"i have my own little baby ikea hack from a while ago. they had a bright lemon yellow floor sample solsta pallbo footstool on sale. i can't recall how much it was, but it was far less expensive than a new one. i had some fabric at home that i'd been holding for the right project and i new this was it! the fabric is a crushed black cotton velvet. i'm really happy with it!"

2. stow a media player like how rick johnson did it

"i have a computer that i was using for a media player and it looked really dumb beside the tv. i decided to stuff the computer into the footstool. now the computer doesn't look totally out of place in the room and a dvd drive in the side of the footstool is a good conversation starter.

Monday, 19 March 2007

storage scored from the bargain corner

becky kremer from scotland sent me her hack of miscellaneous wardrobe pieces scored from the as-is section. i'm envious. see what she got for 8 bucks.

"at our ikeas in scotland, they often sell a stack of wood from various pieces of furniture for about �4-5 ($8-10) in the bargain corner. on one stack we bought for �4 we got about 20 pax wardrobe shelves, some darker wood shelves/countertop pieces, various bits of other things and a full pax wardrobe shell that we put together for a friend. from the shelves, we kitted out a few wardrobes we use as storage and put shelves in an closet where we had ripped out a water storage tank. we also put some nice looking shelves in a funny alcove formed by our stairs.

the real hack though was building a custom shelving unit for under our stairs. ours is a hundred year old house that has a quirky and oddly shaped under stair cupboard. standard shelves just wouldn't fit so the hubby designed shelves to fit on the computer and then assembled them out of the various bits of wood. we wanted shelves to make room for our recycling bin and boxes for different household chores like painting or tiling. we used cardboard fruit boxes to organize that and they work like sliding drawers that we can take out and bring to the project. In the far back, we have a wide low shelf where we store little used items. it's amazing what �4 got us!

some tips from the projects - the nice thing about these bits and pieces is that there is usually a nice finished side to the pieces. as you can see from one of the pics, we got one of the shelves turned around but it was too late in the process and not that important aestetically. the other thing we've found from the pressed board stuff is that it makes a huge mess when you cut it so be prepared. when drilling, be sure to start from the 'right' side as it will tend to splinter if you come from the back and mess up your pretty side. but otherwise, it really works similarly to regular wood and can be used for lots of things!"

Friday, 16 March 2007

patterned fabric art

bruno of curbly tipped on this fabric wall decor by artiswork - an easy way to add a bit of colour. not a major hack but i do like how the panel of colours cheer up the place.

"recently we took down some shelving we had in between two ivar (ikea) units and replaced it with a band of patterned fabric (bettina) we liked. this ended up being a great way to accent the room. my wife subsequently used the same fabric to cover two pillows on our couch (adjacent these units) which helps tie the whole thing together. we hemmed the edges, and tacked the top and bottom to the horizontal rods (in our case 1x2 pine) with a staple gun. the fabric cost $10.00 for 2 yards from ikea, which was enough for the hanging and the pillows. none of this helps us clean up our living room when we're sleepless from a brand new second baby, but it does keep things lookin nice!" link.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

having fun with children's table and chairs

i guess one of the reasons ikea carry so many unfinished wood products is to give us room to create. here's what lisa did with the latt children's table and chairs.

"i've very recently opened a home daycare, and had purchased the $19.99 latt kid�s table and chairs. they got scratched up and fingerprinted and jam'ed and such pretty quickly due to the unfinished wood. so, i got artistic with them.

first, i spray painted everything blue. then i sponge painted on a bit of purple. then the golden castles and the freehand artwork. i then put on a few coats of polyacrylic, but i wasn't very happy with the protection level on the recessed pieces as the original surface i painted on was that slick white pressboard and i worried it would scratch. i bought some acrylic epoxy and finished it up.

these photos don't capture the depth of the different colors so well, but the general idea comes through."

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

enlarge your art

update! so i live and learn (and the past few days have been a crash course on copyright issues). and this hack lives again. please only use public domain artwork or seek the artist's permission when applying this hack.

i totally dig this hack from randall kramer, who previously gave us the expedit grande (and now has an entry in the genius ikea hack contest). this may finally end my hunt for artwork for my apartment walls.

"i always like the karl blossfeld images ... a great book of his is ONLY $220.00. so, in the spirit of... 'i know another way to get his work' ... i took an image from a reproduction on a set of art cards from ikea, went to a digital imaging house in chicago, had a 'high end' scan done, then, had them photoshop in a bit of a sepia, 'old-ified' quality to the image, and had it printed on a super-duper high end printer for about $25.00 for the 3 images. took 'em to get matted - had a cabinet maker make the frames, took em back to a frameshop for archival framing - and the rest, as they say is history.

lot of work, you say... yes, but if you compare the cost of purchasing one of his prints (always too small for my liking, too!) and the way i was able to get what I wanted ... the end result is priceless!"

enlarge your art 2

thanks everyone who commented on this post and highlighted the copyright issues.

- jules

update: the hack has been reinstated.

vote for the genius ikea hack

submissions for the contest has ended. thanks, peeps, for your entries. we have 6 really fun ideas and i'm loving them. i hope that they will be realised some time.
  1. tay's super shelf which is a suped up billy shelf with secret panels.
  2. bj's emmabo rocking chair with premiar wall art. definitely fresh and funky.

  3. guisy's ikea meldal mini greenhouse which is great for the balcony.
  4. tini's skubb monster kite which will eat up the sky.

  5. winnie's rapunzel fairy tale bookcase. a dream come true for any little girl.
  6. randall's charlotte perriands lack shelving unit - designer furniture without the price tag.

hop on over to the forums to cast your vote for your favourite genius ikea hack. your votes will decide who gets into the finals and win the prizes from arash and kelly. click here to vote. voting ends 18 march.

Monday, 12 March 2007

kitchen bench and dog beds

jarett of jarrett house north recently completed this kitchen bench for the dining room. it also serves as a place for their bichons to sit on.

the bench without the top

completed bench with pronomen countertop

the bench is build from two 27" varde wall cabinets, fastened side by side and propped up on six capita legs. a pronomen countertop goes on top.

"overall it's a pretty functional unit, and it's rock solid. and the dogs love it- we put in 24" dog beds and now if we're in the dining room, they're in the bench. if they�re not begging, that is," says jarrett.

to jarrett's blog post and more photos on Flickr.