Wednesday, 30 April 2008

please take a seat

long post ahead. you'll probably want to grab a chair and enjoy these hacks.

fine tune your klippan
jenny from stockholm found a way to add style to her klippan without having to change the whole works. she gave it a skirt. am loving the kjol disco!

she says, "i made some skirts for the classical ikea sofa klippan. with it's square design it's perfect for tuning, like a Volvo 244! tuning your sofa encourages you to keep your old sofa for a few more years." see more on her blog.

kjol bal

kjol disco

kjol klass

joakim returns
faintly macabre from portland, oregon, saves her joakim swivel chair from the dump. "here are some images of a joakim ikea chair that i reupholstered. it was 3 years old and headed for the dump, but with the addition of a little batting (to fill in where the foam had worn away) and some noguchi-print heavy cotton fabric, and a klappar b�ver looking on - it looks like a million!"

stefan scream
jennifer, an interior design student, was given a stefan chair and asked to use it in some way that would express her approach to design. she says, "well, it was the end of a long and very demanding semester and the last thing i felt like doing was this #$#! chair project. so, this was my solution - a scream chair.

first, i switched the parts around so. then, i rented Airport '75, starring karen black as the stewardess who has to land the plane when the pilot dies. i paused the dvd on the shot of karen black screaming when she gets sucked out, and dies. what a great scream shot! i took a photo of the tv screen. and printed out numerous copies. then i decoupaged it all over the chair, tearing it into strips here and there. finally, it was sprayed with a clear coat.

it took forever, but once i start something it must be done to perfection. after all, i had a point to make, which was - don't give exhausted students who've been awake for more than 72 hours another project like this! i think it was a success. and it was worth the effort because it now resides in our upstairs hall."

harry punk
karen, another uni student personalised the harry chair (i think!) for an assignment. she adds, "the chair came as a plain white chair with a benchwood legs and i then hand painted the design and added a tie, a face mask, badges and scarves. i also added leopard skin print onto the legs and a sort of door handle on the top for the accessories to be put around, to make it look like a 'punk's chair'."

pello chair upholstery
amy takes on the pello chair and sews up a cover for it. she says, "i made these pello chair cushions for a friend in TX. the cushions are not too hard as long as you already have the existing cushions to double-check your size as you go. the fabric used is Amy Butler's Nigella 'Imperial Fans'. see more on her blog.

the kip chair
eliza does a kip on a svenning chair. she writes, "if you�d like to try it, just cut an oversized t-shirt in half and staple or baste the fabric to the underside of the seat cushion, and use a butter knife to push the second piece between the top cushion and its plastic backing. it takes four minutes." see more on her blog.

more svenning

june saw the post on holly's re-covered svenning chair and did the same to hers. she says, "i don't have a staple gun, so i left the old fabric on, and sewed the new fabric to the old with a curved upholstery needle. i'm really pleased with the result - my 4 year old chair looks better than new! see more on her blog.

stefano gets pretty
angorian, also inspired by holly's svenning reupholstery and this one on designsponge, decides to recover her boring grey stefano chair. see her mini-tutorial on flickr.

klappsta cover
mandi sews her own slipcover for the klappsta. she says, "i bought two klappsta chairs from as-is. the covers were really dirty, and since i didn�t care for any of the covers that ikea sells for this chair, and the ones at were so pricey, i decided to sew my own!"

here's how to do the slipcover: "i bought an old, dirty cover from as-is, and just cut it up for a pattern. for fabric, i used these great damask curtain panels from target. ($35 each) i just cut it out, sewed it up, and they turned out fantastic! the real trick is having a pattern - buying an old cover that you can cut up is your best bet. if that�s not an option, you can take large sheets of newspaper and lay them up against the chair, attempting to trace the size and shape of each fabric piece. then you simply use these paper templates as your pattern, tracing them onto fabric and cutting them out. if you use this method, i�d recommend using a fabric with a little bit of stretch to it, so that the cover will be sure to fit. and using a patterned fabric, rather than a solid color, will help hide any mistakes you may have made!"

curtain slipcover
mary does an about turn with the curtains she bought and sews slipcovers for her loveseat instead. she writes, "i bought the ikea stockholm blad curtains but when i got them home i decided to make a slipcover for my new loveseat instead. i kept the seat pillow plain on purpose to keep it from looking over-patterned."

another curtain slipcover
sallie says, "here's an old family chair that i had professionally upholstered in a fantastic set of hedda curtain panels! she used the pieces taken off to create the new pattern. it took two sets of curtain panels to get the stripes to match up just right."

sea themed stool

guisy does a decoupage on an old ikea stool. she says, "i've decorated it with pictorial decoupage method, acrylic colours, a sea landscape paper napkin, some jamaican sand (original) and finished with water shine and matte varnish (for the legs)."

lucia adds some colour to the jokkmokk. more pictures here.

and lastly, the most important seat in the house
donn� noom gives us a hack for the seat we often take for granted. "you take a racken toilet seat. take the lid and the seat apart (some screws for the lid and you split the seat by using a screwdriver). you drill two holes, one at the back of the lid and one at the back of the seat. you take a string of garden lights (skina, 40 bulbs waterproof 6 volts, any colour you want). glue 24 of them inside the base of the seat and lead the rest of the lights through the hole in the lid.

press the seat back together. glue the remaining lights in the lid. screw the cover of the lid back on. attach the lid back to the seat. the skina has an extra six meter of wire, so enough to get to a socket. in my case, i connected it to a motion switch. when anyone enters my bathroom the main and toilet seat lights are switched on. i've installed several now, for some of my friends (in different colours). i'm working on a version where the switch is triggered when you lift the lid."

[added 27 May 2008]

harry cleaned up
"i found a cool printed fabric that i thought would look great to reupholster the chair with. the first thing i did was spray paint the legs black to match the fabric. then, i ripped open the old cover and used that to make a template for the new cover.

the only alteration i had to make was including a seam at the top since the fabric had only one direction and i didn't want the pattern to be upside down either in the front or back. i think it turned out really hip for a free chair!"

frosta gets pimped
eve bought a frosta stool and did some decopatch (similar to decoupage). she says, "it was very easy, i used a red acrylic paint, then, i bought a special sheet for decopatch. scissors, glue and a lot of glossy varnish. that's all!"

Monday, 28 April 2008

hackeas: ideas that make you go 'why didn't i think of that!'

this hackea post is about quick and snappy repurposing. no big hack but neat ideas nonetheless.

slim solutions for narrow hallways
paula has a long narrow hallway that needed some lighting and storage. here's what she did.

she says, "i had a long narrow hallway with 2 wall sconces. i was looking for a low profile lighting sconce and found these lock ceiling lamps. i painted the white bases with gold spray paint and wall mounted them. for the opposite wall i bought 2 three packs of trones shoe storage and mounted them side by side. the books are held by invisible bookshelves from the whitney museum.

simple clothes hanger
paul repurposes a shelf bracket for his shirts. he says, "the short story behind this is that a while ago i had a rather large ikea wardrobe that took up quite a bit of visual as well and physical space. because it was a bit aesthetically jarring i was looking for other smaller and simpler options. i looked at a lot of the clothes storage systems at ikea but couldn't find anything minimalistic enough. when i was walking through the store one day (perversely not buying just looking!) .... i saw the slinga shelf bracket and thought it would make a good hanging rail for the clothes. a few screws and wall plugs later and voila. it's been completely stable and frees up a lot more visual space while hanging the same amount of clothes as previously."

summer lovin' place mats
andrea uses place mats instead of table cloths for camping. she says, "this past summer my vinyl camping table cloth wore out and i couldn't find a replacement that i liked. while in the as-is area at ikea, i found a bin loaded with place mats (possibly from the amulett or hurra range), shrink-wrapped in sets of four for like 95 cents. they are made of a stiff plastic-like material.

i bought a package to use on the picnic table when camping until i found a table cloth. as it turns out, i like them better for camping than table cloths or those floppy vinyl place mats you can get at other stores.

they clip into place with a table cloth clip (the silver piece each one has on it in the photos). as you see in the photos, i can re-position them on the table as i need them, so it isn't a big deal that they don't cover the whole table. it's much easier to clean the back side than a table cloth. they are much more durable and they look sooo much nicer than a red-checked table cloth (which i'm not crazy about)."

Friday, 25 April 2008

hopen to store all your dvds?

daniel, a self-professed slave to the ikea lifestyle, and a hacker by heart, has repurposed the hopen dresser into a hip dvd cabinet.

he says, "i really liked the hopen dressers, and when i saw them at ikea, i noticed the semi-transparent glass, and started getting ideas. a large format printer, some 3600 DPI scans, some Office Depot poster roll paper, and about two days of construction, and you get this."

dvd cabinetdvd cabinetdvd cabinetdvd cabinetsee daniel's instructions for the hopen dvd storage.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

sandrine's show and tell

sandrine means craft queen in french. okay, it doesn't but after seeing the bunch of stuff she sent me - all crafted from ikea items - i am inclined to think that way. i am especially taken by the tindra candle collages. aren't they just so fun?

she says, "my name is sandrine. i live in nantes, france and i do things like these...

the magnetic frames bubbla are decorated with a collage of photos cut from magazines.

the pillow aina is intended for a girl who likes purple. the horse is decorated with ends of fabrics (tissues), pearls and glitter stuck onto it.

cut out collages of photos and pictures from magazines varnished onto the tindra and tindra ljuv. more here and here.

the pillow hanna (can't find the link on ikea's website) is transformed into an owl, using fabric (tissues), some wool and buttons. on one side is the first name of the girl to whom it was intended.

visit sandrine's blog (it's in french) to see more do-it-yourself goodies.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

crochet table decorations

have dinner guests and want to pretty up your table? if you can crochet, here's one quick hack from marion.

she writes, "for last year's silvester-party i needed a bit more sparkle on my table, we had more people than usual, so i had to bring out my long table cloth that i hardly ever use... and of course i had no fitting table decoration.

so i picked two galej from my shelf, picked beads and a thin silvery wire (more filament than wire, probably) and an equally thin crochet hook.... and crocheted these covers for the glasses.

they were rather quickly done (one evening watching TV each), didn't cost anything because i had everything at hand and they are removable. my guests liked it."

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

fancy lamp at a down to earth price

gun brooke creates a column lighting from ikea curtains. be sure to treat the fabric to fire retardant sprays to minimize fire hazard.

column lightinghe says, "i used curtains from ikea to create a column lighting that i�ve seen in a fancy lamp store (cost a fortune there!) and i figured i could make it. i took steel wire and made a circle. before i closed it, i threaded two thin ikea curtains on it. (i think the curtain i used is out of production, but you can use either wilma or sarita � both very inexpensive.)

wire for column lightingi then let the wires run across the circle, making a loop in the middle to be able to hook it to the ceiling. i hung cheap christmas lights in the center, across the wire. and there you go! looks pretty much exactly like the expensive one i saw in the fancy store!"

Monday, 21 April 2008

an armoire to organize craft supplies

stranda wardrobei love the idea of adding an interesting back panel to cabinets, so kimberly's hack on a plain pine stranda wardrobe (left) is really working for me.

first, she stained the pine black and layered on polyurethane. then, kimberly wrapped the fiberboard back with a few yards of vintage black and white print fabric. the wardrobe was then assembled as per instructions.

the final touches were the hardware on the doors - hammered, silver knobs from anthropologie. nice!

craft cabinetwrapping the back board with fabric

craft storagethe cabinet assembled

craft armoireorganizing it into a craft cabinet

craft armoireone good looking craft armoire!

click to see more of kimberly's craft armoire and instructions.

Friday, 18 April 2008

glam up your glimt

tanya hung antique crystals on her glimt pendant lamp and what a difference it makes!

antique crystals pendant lampantique crystals pendant lamp

(Updated July 21, 08)

Christie's version of the Cellula Chandelier
She says, "I have long coveted the Cellula Chandelier from Design Within Reach (pic right) ... (with it's $2200 price tag it was out of the question). I found the Glimt at Ikea and crafted my own version of the Cellula that is pretty darn close. Below are photos of an up close of my version, and a glimpse of it hanging in my room!

What I did to make it:
1) Bought the 6 light Glimt for $79.99
2) Assembled the light, omitting the glass shades that cover the bulbs
3) Scoured Ebay for crystals in various sizes (I bought a couple big lots of them all for less than $100)
4) Used clear fishing line to hang the crystals at various lengths

The Glimt is meant to be a low hanging table chandelier, so I did have to do some surgery to the electrical wires that hang the fixture to get it as close to the ceiling as I have it hanging.