Thursday, 31 July 2008

Hackeas: No sweat hacks

I've not posted hackeas (quick and easy Ikea hacks) for a while. Here are a few quickies that do not require too much hacking, drilling or sawing. Enjoy!

Add a little some thing extra
To get away from your Liatorp bookcases looking soooo Ikea, add some knobs from Anthropologie, like how curlywurlygurly did.

See more on her blog.

Shoe rack monitor stand
Fr33z turns a shoe rack into a monitor stand. "I needed a stand for my TFT screen so that I could put my keyboard underneath it when i needed my desk space to work/solder/etc. So I bought myself a Babord shoe rack and chopped half of it off. The result is a nice clean, transparent monitor stand with space underneath for my keyboard and mouse."

Book stand as laptop stand
Dario repurposes the Bokis book end into a laptop stand. Just flip it over and prop your laptop on it.


See more on Dario's blog here.

Easy cover up
Jessica B covered a plain white computer table with a piece of picnic table vinyl. She cut it to size and simply taped it underneath the tabletop to a snug fit. It cost her the price of the Ikea table and the vinyl ($2) found at a fabric store.

CD tower book shelf
Caro bought a scruffy Benno CD tower from a thrift store and converted it into a narow bookshelf perfect for her tiny cloakroom toilet. A fresh coat of paint, some 'L' brackets and impact adhesive, she added the spare shelves as useful extra space for plants etc.

See other hackeas:
- Cheap and easy to the rescue
- Ideas that make you go 'Why didn't I think of that?'
- The tiniest hack ever and more
- An instant attic, legs and kitchen utensil holders
- Ikea hacks you can do in 30 minutes or less

Simone and Bubo says "hi!"

Simone won our last contest with her heartfelt story of Bubo, the abandoned kitten and the need for a new slipcover. I contacted her recently for an update and to see how her sofa (and Bubo) is doing.

With her prize, $500 to spend at, she's changed her old sofa from this ...

to this ...

Camera shy Bubo
Simone tells me, "I've finally gotten a chance to take pictures of my beauuutiful new slipcover! I tried to get Bubo in the pics with the couch -- but I'd just used the vacuum cleaner and he was hiding on top of my Expedit bookcase!

Thanks again for this wonderful contest, and for helping my new apartment look so good!"

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Ivar cages for your degus

When I first saw this, I thought they were hamsters but I learnt some thing new today. It's a degu, a small caviomorph rodent that is native to Chile. And they are getting very popular as pets. So if you have degu and are looking for a cage, this may fit the bill.

Antonia found a way to convert her Ivar racks into a home for four degus.

She says, "On the top there is enough space to decorate it with some flowers etc. Under the cage you find a drawer where you can store everything you need for your pets. Also, the Forvar jar from Ikea is a wonderful sand bath and helps to keep the environment clean.

Thanks to my boyfriend Sven, these racks are a wonderful adventure playground for the four clowns."

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Besta work station with lots of storage

The Besta, though a storage system, came together really well as a work station for Thomas.

He says, "Searching for a desk for my workplace was very hard and I could not find anything which fitted my new appartment.

So I came up with my own solution: Building up a rack with Besta and leaving a gap for the countertop. The base for the countertop are Besta racks as well. The countertop itself is a high gloss Personlig with a stainless steel border at 7.6 cm height (about 3 inch).

The length of the countertop is derived from the size of the Besta racks: For this one the depth of the racks at the wall and the three Besta racks at the front are all together 228 cm (about 7.5 feet). The depth depends on the gap between the wall mounted racks, in my case 100 cm (about 3.3 feet)

It was very easy to install this desk. The countertop was delivered finished, so the only work I had to do was put it up on the Besta racks and fix it with some screws. I have cut in some holes to put the cables under the countertop. Because the countertop hung down 7.6 cm at the edges, I had a lot of place to hide the cables underneath the countertop.

See more of Thomas' Besta work station photoset on flickr.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Cooking for kids

I received toy kitchen set hacks that are absolutely adorable.

Jenny's play oven
Jenny and husband, Per, turned an item from the as-is department into a play oven for her 2-year old daughter.

She says, "We found a small, laminated and hinged cabinet, which was probably a 'Vattern' bathroom cabinet (33x35x37cm). We then bought two extra flat laminated panels (at 1 Euro each) 1 in black and one in white, to create the missing side wall and oven top.

We added from the hardware store:
- 4 pinewood wheels designed for making a toy cart, painted them with black enamel paint to make them shiny, superglued to top panel, to create hotplates.
- 6 pinewood doorknobs, again enamel painted black, then once dry added numbers and dial-style icons, using a tippex pen - for the oven and hob controls, superglued to front
- red electrical insulation tape (self-stick), to smooth out the plywood rough edge of the top panel (chance, it was exact width)
- some self-stick coat hooks, for hanging the play oven glove, toy pots and pans and accessories
- one red handle to use as a pull down on the door

Portable baby stove
Ariacielo made a box stove to complement the Duktig set. The stove is a cardboard box covered with white and red self adhesive paper. Knobs are ingeniously made from bottle caps!

See instructions for the baby stove.

Related hack:
- Play kitchen for under $200

Friday, 25 July 2008

Light feast #3

Birch table lamp
Adam picked up the Basisk table lamp recently and incorporated it into a nice piece of birch he found. I love it!

He says, "All I did was saw the birch level with a miter saw, drill a 12mm hole through the middle and inserted the light fixture. I also sanded the top and added felt to the bottom."

See more of his birch lamp on flickr.

Light up with music
Maxd spotted a discarded Ikea Tertial when he helped his sister move. He salvaged it and added a set of speakers to it. Adds a whole new meaning to Light and Sound.

See his Tertial speaker lamp instructions or Maxd's other hack, a bedpost alarm clock and lamp.

Handsfree music stand with light
Laura rehacked a version of the handsfree music stand (made from an Ikea desk lamp). This version adds a lamp onto the stand for instant lighting. She says, "I actually used two Ikea lamps in the process. I disassembled one lamp from its arm. Then, I took the metal clip base off of another metal lamp (can't find it on the site anymore), and screwed the loop at the bottom into the metal arm. Then I screwed a clipboard into the side of the arm."

Skimra light show
Erin, aka Lilybee, who did the gorgeous Bug Table a while ago is back again with a simple light hack. "It's a lamp I've made using the Grundtal lamp base and Skimra Shade," she says, "it has cut outs that cast light onto the wall and ceiling, in a sort of (not terribly exciting) light show. Weirdly enough it also features bugs."

See her step by step instructions here.

Suspended aquarium lighting
Marc while shopping at Ikea came across these rails in the clearance section and decide that they were perfect for suspending some lighting over his aquarium.

Marc says, "I think they were intended as drawer pulls or maybe refrigerator handles. They were only .49, and using a hacksaw, I was in business.

They were too long for what I needed, so I cut off about 3" from one end. Then I drilled holes in the Sheetrock so that I could pass these through. On the backside, I placed a board with holes drilled just the right size so they would be fit snugly. They are almost impossible to move, which was my goal. The board was screwed to the Sheetrock with Sheetrock screws. The light fixture isn't heavy, so I knew the rails could handle this task, and the board plus Sheetrock on both sides of the wall would keep it from drooping over time.

The hardest part was feeding the steel cabling through the holes in the handles, originally intended for threaded screws. It was pushed in one hole, passed through the rail into the closet area, then back into the other rail and out the other hole. Using fishing line and a tiny bit of electrical tape, a friend and I were able to fish it through after two attempts. Then the light fixture was secured to that cabling. Now I can not only adjust the height by shortening the length of wire, but I can keep the light level since it is on a single loop of wire.

A Cellula chandelier look-a-like
I've also added Christie's version of the DWR Cellula Chandelier to a similar lighting hack. Scroll down that post to view her instructions.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

The light feast #2

A Rimfrost chandelier
Jim's hack was to make a more substantial chandelier.

He says, "I originally bought only one and it looked really sparse so I decided to increase it. This involves three Rimfrost pendant lamp shades.

I stared with a wooden disk, and tin material that I got from the hardware store. The tin comes in different patterns. The pattern I picked had small holes all over it, making it easy to put the screws thru and the nails to hold it into place.

Wrapped the edge of the wooden disk edge with the tin leaving a � inch extra on the top to make room for the wires, put small nails thru the tin holes to hold the edge on.

Then cut out a circle of the tin material to cover the bottom of the disk. Spaced out three holes for the wires and used the ceiling clips/loops to hold the wires above and in place.

Wires are Hemma with the plug cut off and spliced to connect to the ceiling wires. Wired the three lamps into the one switched outlet, and put large screws 6 of them up thru the disk directly into the ceiling to hold it into place. Voila, an inexpensive chandelier."

(And in case you're wondering about the gorgeous window, Jim's wife who owns SGO Designer Glass of Phoenix made it.)

Light play with the Regolit
Nina was really tired of her Not floor uplights, so she mixed them with the Regolit lampshades. She tells me, "All it took was removing the original lampshade of the Not, cutting the wire in the smaller opening of the Regolit (the one on the downside when used as a pendant lamp) to make room for the lightbulb, putting that side on top of the Not and then fixing it there with some adhesive tape. The upper opening is big enough to change the light bulb if needed, so the lamp shades don't have to be removed.

Since I wasn't sure it'd work on first try and Regolit lampshades cost only 1 � over here in Germany, I bought five of them, just in case. It worked like a charm without me messing a single one up, so after pimping my two Nots, I still had three Regolits to play with.

I attached two of them to each other with some wire to get a pendant lamp for my bedroom.

The last one is now my bedside lamp. I simply put the base of an old lamp into it and tore a small hole into the paper (using adhesive tape to prevent it from widening) to let through the cable.

One of the original NOT lampshades is now used for a pendant lamp, btw.

Since you just posted all those gorgeous bedroom room dividers, I'll send you mine too, which is nowhere near that nice, once again not really a hack but also extremely simple and cheap. I just mounted an INDEX curtain rod to the ceiling and hung BOMULL bedspreads using ADELE curtain rings with clips It does it's job hiding my hideously ugly wardrobe and it goes surprisingly well with the REGOLITs.

Make no bones about this Grono
Andreas has this great idea of covering his Grono lamp with an old x-ray. I must say the results are quite Xtraordinary.

Fado street lamp
Mathias made some changes on a Fado lamp and the Not floor lamp. He says, "The globe fit perfectly, and gives a very nice glow. I also combined the lamps to get the look of a street lamp."