Monday, 30 April 2007

a frame up

prettify your ikea frames. jon's mom, leena (who previously gave us the grono lamp hack) used some buttons on the malma mirror. link.

the next one is from anittah who added old wine corks to the ikea kolibri frame. link.

it could make a sweet mother's day pressie.

Friday, 27 April 2007

zieak's towel rack

zieak's cam creature is one of my all-time favourite hacks. he recently sent me another - nothing as far out but it is still pretty interesting.

"i finally hung my vurm wine rack (which he bought from the salvation army for 2 bucks) in the bathroom. i used four over-sized stainless steel screws to attach the vurm rack to the wall near the shower. the best configuration seems to be rolling up two hand towels and hanging two bath towels." link.

anatomic factory's nata vintage chair

presenting the first "designer" hack. AnAtomicFactory sent me this ikea stefan chair hack, which they call nata vintage.

the italian on the site reads: "nata vintage stems from a reflection on the eternal return of the 'old' as a recurrent tendency of the market. new objects are created, not only with the idea of reproducing old styles, but also of simulating imperfections, the wear and tear of the materials, due to the passing of time: the new is already born old. therefore lets make a provocation: what better way to sell a vintage chair than to borrow a walking stick (stereotype of the old) and to replace it to a leg of the chair?"

i have no idea about all that but i do like how it looks. link.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

simple cable management on the galant desk

we've seen this cable & computer peripheral decluttering hack from van mardian. now, we have a lazy man's version from dymtns.

"i got the idea from this site but i was too lazy to get a pegboard and screw up shackles in the desk so i came up with a more simple 'construction'. the desk (galant) has a metallic frame with about 1mm gap to the actual desk. in this gap you can easily put through some cable strappers and use the frame to strap up not only your cables, but also everything else."

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

another winning stolmen media unit

i'm loving this media cabinet with matching bedside table from susan, who blogs at

"i wanted something long, linear, and floating on the wall, definitely not something connected/anchored to the floor. this provides great storage, at a height that is well above the normal dresser, it's a very comfortable height, it's close to 36" off the floor, the top of it. i had countertops left over from a previous project, so used those to put on top of the wardrobe (stolmen) cabinets. they are mahogany. there are holes at the top of the wardrobes, so a countertop is necessary to hide them.

it makes the room look huge, as it is very linear, and it's simple and useful, especially with the hand cutouts. i also considered stacking one above the other or using other combinations, but ended up with this combination. we love it. these are frequently out of stock, so you have to get them when you see them. they are supported with angle brackets on the inside, attached to studs in the wall. the cable tv box goes under the center wardrobe cabinet."

other stolmen media storage hacks:
- brett's stolmen tv bench
- hang up your tv with stolmen poles

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

a turtle tank hack

deirdr� has been reading ikeahacker for a while and it suddenly dawned on her that she has an ikea hack in her house.

"we own turtles (red-eared sliders) that at 6 years old are getting quite large, so they need a big tank (custom made, 50 x 70 cm). they also need a special lamp to sunbathe under (as one is doing in the pictures), to help them produce vitamin d and keep their bones and shells healthy, and that has to be suspended over the tank somehow. and we don't want the tank sitting on the floor.

we already had this cheap closet unit (i don't recall the name) which can be closed with doors or curtains - we used to use these with curtains in our daughter's room. so i had a curtain made which covers the top part of the closet with all the messy stuff (games, dvds, music) but leaves open the turtles. i screwed the fluorescent lamp into the underside of one of the drawers - there's enough play in the wiring that you can pull the drawer out."

Monday, 23 April 2007

fabric covers for storage boxes

storage is a necessary evil but hey, if we can pretty it up, why not? siri from norway gives these apa storage boxes a makeover.

"we made very nice boxes out of these apa storage boxes. we used some fabric, the kind of fabric that you would maybe have on the kitchen table - glossy and easy to clean. we glued it on, and painted the wooden parts brown." link.

Updated! February 25, 2009
Scrapbooking the Apa toy box
Divya has a small kitchen and did not have enough cabinet space for her pots 'n' pans. So, "We went to Ikea with an intention of buying a shelf, but we had the challenge of dealing with the aesthetics as well. We live in a small unit with combined living and dining and did not want to display a shelf full of pots 'n' pans.

In the kids section, I found the Apa toy box with lid. I hoped it would work! Back home, happy that it could hold everything, I had an idea to improvise. Here's what I did - I stuck my scrapbook layouts on the box and now it serves the purpose and looks interesting and colourful as well! At $20, it's a steal! I now use it to hold my craft supplies also. No more beads, paper & stuff lying around...all organised!"

Bamboo dish clock

the hultet bamboo dish transformed into an elegant clock by tuck loong from malaysia. nice!

Friday, 20 April 2007

funky art lamp

pascal from belgium, an art student, sent me this lamp he did for an exhibition.

"in my art academy, we had to make a lamp object. i used a ikea frack mirror (just the base) and attached a car headlamp to it. it can be used as a wall or ceiling mount lamp."

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

missing pixs

blogger is a little screwy today. my header's gone missing! at least on my screen. i don't know if it's the same on your connection. also some pixs like the hensvik chest and bowl sink hack are gone too. hope it gets restored quickly. :(

freestanding kitchen storage from wall cabinets

this is from alex, editor with this old house, where she blogs about the work she does on her apartment.

"i took 6 varde wall cabinets and stacked them one on top of the other to make some floor to ceiling storage in a tight space. basically, i turned the bottom three upside down so they open by flipping down, then bolted them together and put legs on the whole piece. the top three open upward and hang from the wall, but they're positioned directly on top of the bottom piece, so the whole thing looks like one tall freestanding cabinet."

love how it fits so snugly into the space. link.

Splatgirl's stylish bathroom hacks

wes, claire and jonathan all tipped me on this awesome bathroom hack by splatgirl of modern in mn. jonathan called the site the 'holy grail of ikea hacks'. check it out. you'll see why.

splatgirl writes on her blog, "in the case of our guest bathroom, i wanted something completely unique, which, when it comes to bathrooms can be really hard to do on a budget. there is just very little out there for fixtures and furniture that suits my style and doesn't cost thousands of dollars.

enter ikea's ps cabinet which suited the style of our house so perfectly and which i loved so much that i just couldn't resist buying. at $99 bucks, it's hard to go wrong. as it turns out, it was a great size for our guest bath, so with a little tweaking, i turned it along with a piece of oak butcherblock countertop, ikea's numerar, into a spare yet interesting vanity.

i wanted to continue the wood theme over from the vanity, and since this is a closet i figured why not use the same numerar oak butcherblock to make shelves? it was quick and easy enough to cut up into shelf-sized chunks, but i wanted them to be floating, because i've never met a shelf bracket i got along with."

click for how-tos on the bathroom vanity and floating shelves. do also snoop around modern in mn for inspiring home ideas and photos.

got instructable?

notice the shiny new tab on top of the header? as mentioned here, we're all set to roll ...

you now have two ways to submit your ikea hacks:
  1. email me at ikeahacker[at]gmail[dot]com as usual. yes, i will still be very happy to receive them and post them up on the front page :) or
  2. 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.)
seriously, if you have those step-by-step photos and a penchant for details, an instructable is the way to go. like these very noteworthy ikea hacks on the group:
> eric's ikea mini server rack
> a very cool ikea dj console
> the persistent vinyl clock

you may also remember some of these hacks i've posted previously like the tord coffee table edition, international analog clock, homemade sun jar and ikea lack coffee table hack. all from this very hacky bunch of people. go join them. i have.

visit the projects page for more hacks from the group.
happy hacking!

[thanks jeff! for making all this possible. hugs!]

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Stairway to cat heaven

pet hacks are often the most fun hacks i come across. whimsical, cute, funny. i think it just goes with the territory of being a pet owner.

regan sent me this catstairs hack, inspired by and entries from apartment therapy's pet decor challenge.

"it's pretty self-explanatory and hardly hacky, but i had to share since i didn't see it on the site yet. it's cat stairs made of two sets of the cascading lack wall shelves, minus a few pieces (two in my case), and a lack side table, minus the legs.

to get this look, you'll want to flip the table upside down so that the unfinished side faces the ceiling. the amount of lack shelves you use will depend on the agility of your cat (how far off the ground you put the first step) and how high your ceiling is (the top of the landing on mine is at 70 inches and leaves just enough for a kitty to stretch without hitting the overhang).

i used metal braces from the hardware store under each horizontal shelf and large brackets on the table, plus glued a corrugated cardboard slip guard to each step, to ensure any felines occupants would be coming down of their own accord. plus, since i didn't use two of the pieces from one of the lack shelves, now i have a matching mini side table, once i drill holes in the proper spots to attach the unused legs from the table."

i promise not to run around like a whacka tourist

major digression in this post. that's because i'm in the midst of researching my big outback adventure and decided to pick the brains of those of you who have been to oh-so-delectable-mr-jackman's homeland or lucky devil you, actually shared the same air space with him in his pre-hollywood days.

i'll be down under for 2 weeks in july. sydney for a week's conference and then, 7 footloose days in alice springs, uluru and darwin, not necessarily in that order.

the last time i was in sydney, i totally didn't know where to head for great food and got lost trying to find the famed australian-melt-in-your-mouth steak. is it true? is it really droolworthy? please tell me it's not a myth.

also, is it a good time for the outback in july? what are the must see's and do's? besides the spectacular uluru of course. should i do the harley davidson or the 4WD trip? barbecued kangaroo or grilled croc? hugh or julian? decisions, decisions. but oh what fun.

whacka: australian for idiot

the malmese twins

this has got to be my current favourite - dinah and derek's tv storage solution. love, love the floating shelf effect.

"my boyfriend and i both have apartments filled with ikea goodies and hacks. recently i was having an issue with space in my tiny studio. i needed something to hold my tv and would give me a little storage space. nothing i saw was small enough or 'cool' enough until my boyfriend came up with the idea of putting 2 malm bedside tables together to create my 'entertainment' center.

at first we thought about putting feet on them to make them stand but that takes away the cool 'floating drawer' look, so what he did was bolt them to the wall. he took the drawers out, bolted the back side of the malm to the wall, then replaced the drawers. he also added a bracket to the top to keep them from separating due to the weight of the tv. he also added some silver drawer pulls. i call it 'siamese malm'. :) "

Monday, 16 April 2007

hensvik chest for the nursery

ikea furniture colour range is not the best in the world, admittedly. unless you're okay with white, silver, black, oak, beech and birch, you just have to diy if you need some other hue. andrew painted the hensvik chest of drawers a pretty baby blue for his daughter�s nursery.

"the colors of the nursery are yellow and blue, so i roughed up the vinyl on the chest of drawers and painted it two coats of Tahoe Blue paint and then added some larger ceramic pulls that i found at lee valley hardware (great prices and amazing stuff). the chest of drawers are currently working double duty as a changing table with a pad on the top and clothes storage in the drawers."

smart underbed storage

an impressive hack from bryan stuart, who tells me he loves hacking ikea.

"i made a storage bed made from an ikea dalselv bed frame. i cut the legs off the bed frame, attached some hinges and handles to what was left, built a box out of mdf, 2x2's, pine trim and voila, a great storage solution."

making the storage bed base

adding hinges

the bed frame sits perfectly on the storage box

open sesame!

and the secret storage place again safetly concealed

forum updates

the forums were down for a bit last week due to a server upgrade. but it's up and running again.

on the matter of spam in the forums ... urgh ... i'm up to my eyeballs trying to keep them in check. spam bots are getting smarter by the minute. they now bypass user registration and even those graphic verification thingies which i currently have in place. i shudder to think what they will do next? take over the world?

me, a non-techie person and all, i need some ideas on how to get rid of them once and for all, if that is possible? or is there other forum / software / host that i should consider. any input much appreciated.

Friday, 13 April 2007

a time bomb clock

this time bomb clock from lulubean is a blast. originally sent in for a contest in craftster, this ticker surely won my heart.

"i started with an ikea clock (the rusch, i think) i had hanging in the bathroom. i never liked the yellow but my mom bought it for me and it worked, so meh. i took it apart, painted it black, made a new face in photoshop using fonts from, added some polymer clay and viola! a time bomb!

i had to add a counterbalance to the back of the clock because the bomb top made it crooked. if i had thought about that before i glued the face on i would have adjusted the face instead. the fuse is i-cord with wire stuck up the center and a little pink pompom i had lying around tied to it. i think in the future i'm going to have to repaint it with some of that spray paint made for plastic but for now i'm happy with it. i thought about painting the hands to make them stand out but I decided that in the theme of the clock, the only really important hand was the second hand - ticking away the time until the bomb goes off!"

here's what it looked like when it started its life:

ikeahacker meets instructables

i've always been a fan of instructables, the ubercool how-to site. when jeff wrote me about collaborating ... to say that i was thrilled to bits would be an understatement.

we are still working out the details and i hope to make the full announcement some time new week. in short, you will soon be able to contribute your ikea hacks via instructables.

so if you're hacking this weekend, remember to snap 'em step-by-step photos. we want them!

stolmen tv bench

brett's tv bench from stolmen chests - simple but sexy.

"got an easy one, but think it looks pretty hot. i got 3 stolmen 43" chests, and put them together to make a long tv bench, removed the drawer from the centre bottom chest, and added the trettioen LED lighting strip to the back to give a nice glow when watching tv at night."

brett has yet to add some hinges to make the old drawer front into a door that folds down.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

how to hack a bowl sink

finally, i'm getting more bathroom hacks. this one is from scott.

"my family and i used a 3 drawer bath unit with beech front in this hack. we used an existing pedestal sink, put the ikea 3 drawer unit below as well as an ikea grundtal double towel rack. then, we took a black laminate shelf, cut out around the sink and put it on top. we added towels below and you have a poor man's bowl sink!"

not at all. i think it is pretty classy.

adding a spacer to the lack tv bench

what do you do if your ikea tv bench are a tad too low? frank serritelli hacked 2 lack tv benches so that the tv sits higher and their tv addict pug can't reach the screen, presumably to chase cars.

"our solution was to combine 2 of these. we assembled the first one per the instructions. the second one we built without the legs. i then took 1x2 oak boards cut to go under 3 sides for the spacer. i stained the oak mocha brown and spray polyurethaned it. i then attached this spacer with glue and screws to the underside of the top unit and placed the whole assembly on top of the first."

looking good, frank.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

drawer mat madeover into pretty bag

the first thing i asked anna after she sent me her hacks was "can i buy them?" it's always been hard for me to resist pretty bags.

my bag weakness aside, these are made from the rationell drawer mats with fabric lining the inside. don't they look cool? definitely better than the big blue ikea bag. click to view more patterns.

these use the smycka decoration stalks as bag handles. click to view more patterns.

if you're wondering, nope, she doesn't sell them anymore. :(
visit anna's norwegian craft blog here.

ikea party invitation hack

not only ikea furniture gets hacked. the assembly instruction manual is also fair game. ann wiens from chicago hacked it into an office party invitation.

"i work at an arts and media college in chicago, and my office mate and i outfitted our former-storage-closet-turned-office with ikea furniture and accessories. it's a great office. we even made a point of learning the actual ikea name for everything.

so, when office holiday party time rolled around, i hacked a strala lamp instruction booklet to make the invitation. i replaced the instructions for putting the lamp together with the info about the party, and the warning about how to avoid electrocution and such with:

CAUTION: serious injury and disaffection may occur with inadequate socialization within the office during the holidays. to reduce the likelihood of ennui and seasonal cheerlessness, take care to attend this fabulous party.

and the ubiquitous ikea help-line picture, as you see, is replaced with food and drink images."