Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Post Christmas hacks

Now that all the feasting is done, I have a couple of post Christmas hacks.

Christmas chalice
Tara says, "I made a Rattvik white wine glass into the Ye Olde Pimp Chalice! I used a Rattvik white wine glass, faux gold leaf, decoupaged images I made using digital collage of copyright-free clip art, resin and faux rhinestones to make this pimp chalice for my man for Christmas. I was my first attempt at doing any of these things on glass and my first use of resin at all and for the most part I'm really pleased with how it turned out! The inside of the bowl really does glow like movie special effects gold in the light! If I had to do it again, I'd use higher-quality rhinestones, though." 

See more of the chalice on craftster.

Digital Ribba photo frame
John from Australia shares with us his Ikea hack, put together as Christmas presents this year.

He says, "I decided to purchase two cheap 7" digital photo frames on sale from K-Mart for $30.00 AUD and mount them in Ribba frames.

The larger frame is the 30 cm x 40 cm Ribba ($20.00 AUD). Since the window cut out of the mat board that comes with the frame is larger than the LCD, I had to get a mat board cut to size with a window that matched the size of the frame, this cost me another $20.00 AUD. I simply removed the clear plastic frame from the digital photo frame before mounting the LCD inside the mat board. Total cost was $70.00 AUD.

The smaller frame is the 18 cm x 24 cm Ribba ($9.00 AUD). The window on the mat board was smaller than the LCD, so it was simply a matter of cutting out a larger window before mounting the LCD. Total cost was $39.00 AUD.

I apologise for the poor lighting in the photos. I don't have access to a digital camera at the moment so my iPhone had to suffice."

Friday, 26 December 2008

Hopen/Komplement walk-in wardrobe

Laura turns a spare room into a walk-in closet with parts from the Hopen/Komplement range. The results look pretty good too.

She says, "Recently my hubby and I moved into the downstairs part of this house and we decided to create something new in an old little room. So we decided to do awalk in closet!

We found someone selling the Hopen/Komplement system really cheap on Craigslist, and we just went for it. The whole closet could not fit inside our little room, so my husband had to take it all apart and start from scratch. After a whole week end planning, measuring, cutting, and drilling, we end up with this:

Tah dah!!

We are planning on hacking the closet doors into sliding doors for the closet, but that will be another week end and another hack!"

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Polarvide tumble mat

Hey you, Merry Christmas! My folks, sisters and their families are converging in Kuala Lumpur to celebrate. Turkey is on the menu (we cheated, we ordered one from the deli!), a shrimp version of Nigella Lawson's Christmas menu, bruschetta, baked potatoes and more stuff my more domestic sisters will whip up. Yummy. Hope you'll be having a Christmas filled with joy, laughter and love too.

I'll be taking the day off tomorrow. Which means, no blogging. But I'll leave you with one more with the Polarvide blanket. This one's from Kerstin of Germany.

She writes, "I wanted to sew a blanket for tummytime and playing for my son, but could not find any fabric I liked. I did like the children's quilt covers at Ikea, so I simply cut them in pieces. For the other side I just used a green Polarvide blanket. Really easy, the whole blanket was finished in a day! My son loves to play on it!"

Monday, 22 December 2008

Last minute Christmas hacks

Kex gift tags
Sarah has a super easy and quick hack that is great for this gift-giving season.

She says, "After eating the Kex letter biscuits I decided to use the box for another purpose. The Kex package is great; a bright design and with a background of red cloth. After breaking the box down, simply trace a tag pattern on the package and cut them out. The last step is punching a hole at the top for the string to go through. The inside of the box is a neutral tan so it's ready to write on. Super easy!"

Sleeve Blanket from the Polarvide
Want to give some thing warm and fuzzy this Christmas? Tien's Sleeve Blanket may just make the cut.

Tien says, "Here's my $8 holiday gift that I'm giving a bunch of people this year. It's based off of the Slanket. It's really easy that even I, who cannot sew worth a crap, can make it. It's simple straight cuts and sews with little measuring (more eyeballing, really).

It just requires two $4 Polarvide blankets from Ikea and a sewing machine. You can use a larger $15 blanket like this one, but for double the price and little difference. Plus, the Polarvide has a nice decorative trim on the ends that makes it even more interesting and festive.

If they're good with sewing, there are many ways to personalize it - monograms, patches, case for the blanket, etc. You can also use ribbon trim to hide the middle line or even highlight it with a different color of fleece. If you're really wanting to put forth an effort, you can also sew pockets on the outside middle for stuff like tissues or remote controls. (I suggest pockets like a pullover hoodie so they can stick their hands in it.) Instead of buying extra material, simply cut off a small section from one end since the blankets are rather long, so no one is going to miss 8 inches off the bottom. I was just too lazy to make pockets.

I've made about 10 of them and so far, everyone's loved it. Oh, one last thing - you can actually get two gifts out of it, the blanket and a cool scarf. Just take the decorative edges that are leftover and sew them together (either back to back or connected).

Click here to download the pattern that I made."

Thursday, 18 December 2008

French chic hacks

Guillaume sends us two of her his hacks. One is an end table with the feet painted black and covered with coloured paper. The second is a tray, painted back and embellished with a menu of a restaurant.

Barb's shabby chic bedroom

Barb's bedroom came together from bits and pieces. Who would have known! Very shabby chic.

She says, "The bed started with two Ikea TV benches from a few years back (sorry, don't know the name) and grew from there - a sheet of MDF on top, an old door for the footboard and a couple of found pallets for the headboard. Lots of storage and a very comfy place to sleep!

For the closet, I wanted mirrors and storage. My budget was tight, so that ruled out the Pax mirrored-door wardrobe solution. Instead, I went with two Stark hall units, built out from the wall. Basic closet guts and curtains added the extra storage I needed. So it's light, cheerful and cheap!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

TV shelf with door stoppers for legs

This is neat. Door stoppers as legs for the Lack shelf. Kudos, Scott.

The door stoppers are aluminium rubber-tipped door stoppers and fixed to the bottom of a Lack wall shelf using the screws provided. It also happens to be the perfect snuggle height for his DVD recorder and sound system.

See more of Scott's Lack TV shelf.

Updated! February 23, 2009
Door stoppers as legs for computer shelf
Brian stumbled upon the above entry when he was looking for a monitor stand to use in conjunction with his laptop.

"I stole most of the idea from "Scott's Lack TV Shelf".

Hensvik Ikea Shelf - $9.99
4 Door Stoppers - $12.00


It took about 10 minutes to measure and then screw in the 4 door stoppers! Super easy and cheap project!"

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Starry starry canopy hack

Handem gave her daughter the stars.
Handem says, "I wanted to decorate my daughter's bed but could not find anything special enough... I bought fluorescent stars and bugs and had a canopy. (name forgotten) As I was going to put those up, this great idea came up. I sewed all bugs and butterflies on the inside of the canopy. A hot needle helped me put holes into one spike of each star, which were also sewn into the canopy, but at the highest level.

When we turn off the lights at night it looks like she's sleeping under the stars with many little bugs flying around her.

Some ribbons in matching colors tied to a bow around the hoop makes it even more girlie romantic to look at during the day."

Monday, 15 December 2008

Francesca's steel shoe rack

Shoe lover Francesca hacks a shoe rack that offers plenty of storage and doesn't cost a lot.

She says, "Well, everything started with the fact that I did need a place to put myshoes in and, like every Italian girl, I've got plenty of shoes! This made the traditional furniture for shoes completely useless, unless I was ready to pay a fortune (and of course I wasn't :)...thus I thought to have a look at what Ikea had to offer and, "ecco fatto", I found exactly what I was looking for.

At Milano-Carugate Ikea I've bought two pieces of Hyllis, a 4-level steel shelf really cheap (not even 10,00 euros each!) and about 5 meters of Gisela fabric (about 5,00 euro per meter), the one with huge colored squares on it (but of course I've just tried to find a fabric which could suit the other colors of the room, there are a lot of different kind of fabric to choose from!)

I put together the shelves, and trust me it was quite an easy job. I assembled the shelves, paying attention not to screw in all the screws... I left the ones on the vertical elements (let's say the ones on the legs of the shelf) free from any screws, and you will soon understand why.

I then took the fabric and covered 3 of the 4 sides, overstretching the fabric, aiming to have the best result. And then, to block it, I screwed in the rest of the screws and, voil�!, here you see the nice result!

After repeating the procedure a second time for the second piece of Hyllis, I decided that it was better to cover also the front of shelves, and this is what I did: I used one of the traditional curtain-holder by Ikea (Index 70x120cm) and hung what was left from the Gisela fabric, exactly like a window curtain. I like the results!"

Thursday, 11 December 2008

The sustainable heaviness of hacking Ikea

An aspiring freelance designer tries his hand at Ikea with surprising results. Alex's personal project called "S.p.A. - L'insostenibile pesantezza dell'avere" focuses on recycling and reusing objects made by 2nd (3rd or even 4th) hand material mixed with original Ikea elements.

I am loving his Alvaro stool - inspired by Finnish architect Alvar AaltoAlvar Aalto's famous stacking stoolstacking stool and its faithful replica Ikea Frosta. Alex's version uses the Vika Oleby legs and a salvaged seat.

Alvar Aalto stool

There are more on his site, including a coffee table, lamp stand and chairs. All his designs are under Creative Commons License (3.0 non commercial) which means you can take his ideas for free and recreate them.

A little bit more about S.p.A
Alex explains, "The name "S.p.A." is an acronym of the Italian sentence "la Sostenibile Pesantezza dell'Avere" which means the exact opposite of the sentence "l'insostenibile leggerezza dell'essere" that is the title of Milan Kundera's book "The Unbearable Lightness of BeingThe Unbearable Lightness of Being". In Italian that makes a funny word-game which - in the end - means "the sustainable heaviness of having."

Curious enough? Click to visit Alex's S.p.A project (in Italian) or the Google translated version in English.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Changing table to crayon storage

Gulliver changing tableAlexa shares her changing table/bench cushion hack and how the Plastis ice cube tray makes a fantastic crayon mold for chubby fingers.

She says, "It started with a wall-mounted, Gulliver fold-up changing table (not available on Ikea website), an Apa storage bench, a Chris cork board, and an old dry erase board. (The dry erase markers are also from Ikea.) I had meant to use the changing table as a drawing center, but with raised sides and a wire base, it didn't seem right. So I mounted the pockets on the wall and (will) use the wire part for a sweater drying rack. The changing pad turned out to be as wide as the Apa bench and twice as deep.

So I cut the foam in two, moved the velcro fasteners, and folded the cover in two as well. (Then someone had a late-night crayon session on the nice white fabric of the pockets. I could probably wash it, but that would involve unscrewing the whole thing from the wall.)

crayon mold
We keep art supplies in the bench, and water balloons, a Bob the Builder phone and a white tiger in the pockets. So much for trimming and organizing the crayon collection.

I did use Plastis triangle ice cube trays to melt down and reshape our broken crayon collection, though. I sorted them into a rainbow, put them in tin cans from the recycling bin and melted them in hot water. The shrinkage of the wax as it cools gives a nice dip in the center that makes them easy to hold. There's a significant crayon residue in the trays, but now we use them to make fun shapes for ice sculptures.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

An extra surface for your work top

Another work station. Lawrence was looking for ideas for ways to increase the vertical space on his Galant desk and decided to assemble a platform for the needed flat surface.

He says, "The desk is really deep but a lot of this space gets wasted so I needed some vertical space. I saw people on your site had basically gotten random shelves/doors/pieces of wood and just stuck legs of them so that�s what I decided to do. I made the plinth type thing by buying a Lack side table and attaching 4 21cm (8") Capita legs to it. I think it fits in really nicely with the desk and provides me with some more room, it also overhangs the gap at the back where I wouldn�t have been able to put anything otherwise.

Not quite a hack but I really took the cable management to town using a Signum cable trunking thing and a lot of cable ties. I also attached some cheap CCFL lights under there that cost about �8 with delivery for four from ebuyer.com. They�re just hooked up to the computers power supply and have a separate switch to turn them off."

Friday, 5 December 2008

Home office make over

Jennifer and Sean does a lovely makeover of their home office. Lots of storage, well balanced and great use of Ikea cabs. I wish I had so much space (and did I mention storage) for my home office.

They write, "We started off with a very boring and bland 8x10 room with an off-center window and rad to contend with. What we ended up with was a functional and stylish office space for two :)

Here's what we worked with:
- 2 Expedit bookcases
- 4 Expedit drawer inserts
- 4 Expedit door inserts
- 2 Mikael drawer units
- 1 Benno CD tower
- 8 Numerar 4 3/8" legs
- 1 Galant leg
- 2 Numerar countertops in aluminum/white (96" long and 73" long)
- Gunvor fabric

To maximize the desk space in the small room, we wanted to have an L-shaped configuration. Wall mounted bookshelves would provide the storage we needed while not using up the valuable floor space. After a bit of research, we found that using 2 Expedit bookcases (one mounted on the wall, one sitting on the countertop) would fit our needs. The Ikea sales guy wasn't entirely sure if the Expedit was suitable for wall mounting, but we figured by using extra wall brackets and strapping underneath, we would be okay.


First, we installed some wood strapping to provide support for both the countertop and the wall mounted bookcase. A little hack on the Expedit bookcase was next: we measured out the studs on the wall and installed 4 wall brackets underneath the top frame of the bookcase so they would hit the studs. Then we lifted the bookcase so it sat on the strapping and screwed the wall brackets into the studs.

Next, we assembled the two Mikael file cabinets and put them on Numerar legs instead of castors. One of the Numerar countertops was then installed, attaching it to the strapping and sitting it on the Mikael cabinets which formed the support leg at the other end. The second bookcase was then put in place sitting on the countertop, over the file cabinets.

This side of the room was a little heavy, so we cut down the Benno CD tower and used it as a support leg at the other end of the L-shape. The second Numerar countertop was then put on top and attached to the strapping. Ikea has a $2 aluminum transition strip which we used to cover the seam between the two countertops. At this joint, we installed a Galant leg under the countertop for extra support. Also, since the CD tower had a shallower depth than the countertop, we found an Expedit piece in the "As Is" section and butted it up to the tower to make it look deeper.

A few final touches - sewing curtains from Gunvor fabric, using some Ikea picture frames and magazine files, and throwing down an existing Ikea area rug - and the room was finished. It took a bit of work but now we love working in our new space."