Thursday, 31 December 2009

Work table for sound equipment

Day 365. Phew. I made it.

It's been a good but exhausting year for me. Working solo from home is not as easy as I thought. But still, I wouldn't have it any other way. I've learnt lots running my own freelance writing business. Mainly, how not to be so hung up on work. Ha. To realise that other things are just as important as the next paycheck. Getting my health and fitness back on track, strengthening ties that matter, getting enough sleep ... they are easy to overlook when a deadline looms.

Anyways, a woman needs to pamper herself so I will be packing my bags and stretching my legs over at Siem Reap, Cambodia. For a change, I'd usher in the year with a good dose of peace, serenity, and hopefully, a fine flute of champagne. Aaah, sipping the bubbly while my eyes feast on the sight of the sun setting over the famed Angkor Wat. A perfect end to a year well spent.

But before I scoot, thank you for sticking with me through the years. For sending in your hacks, for commenting, for cheering me on, for feedback, for constructive criticisms, for writing to me with your funny Ikea stories, for sponsoring this blog, for making Ikeahacker happen. Big hugs and kisses.

With that, I give you the last hack of 2009. This one's from Magda of Montreal who sends in her husband's handsome desk hack.

"Here is another Ikea hack made by my two handymen (my husband and my father) and designed by my mom. We needed a work table for my husband, who is a Mac lover and also a sound designer, so he has tons of cables and some weird machines to do sounds. Our house is really small and we don't have a room for all that stuff. So we just made a great working space in our family room. It was really cheap since I'm a queen of our Ikea store "as is" section.

The top of this table is made with a headboard of a white Malm bed  (found at "as is" section for $10 Canadian!) As you can see on the top (right corner) we drilled a rectangular hole to fit one of my hubby's weird machine.

The leg is made from an Akurum basic kitchen cabinet. With some shelving inside we were able to hide all our electronic stuff, such as a printer, camera and all the cables needed by my husband. The inside shelf for the printer is a sliding one just to make it easier to print.

Just to make it more appealing in design we placed an Imperativ stainless steel wallpanel (also found in "as is" section) at the front and an Antonius shoe rack (yes, an "as is" item also..) at the back, just to have easy access to our computer and to ensure some ventilation for all the electronic equipment.

The work space , front view.

Sliding shelf for the printer with the stainless steel wall panel on the front part of the kitchen cabinet.

The back panel made of the shoe rack and installed on the back side of the kitchen cabinet (leg of our work station)

Top of the work station with my hubby's weird machine installed in the rectangular hole made especially for it.

Some additional views...

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Trofast Igloo

Remo and gang definitely had a white Christmas with an icy hack to boot. The igloo is made out of snow blocks pressed out from the Trofast. Cool alternate use of the storage box and fun to do if you still have snow in your backyard.

"During the last snowstorm we built an igloo in the front yard using Trofast storage buckets as block molds. It turned out really well actually, the only downside is that it was so very temporary, lasting 5 days before the rain turned it into a small sad pile of snow. But while it lasted it was OUR IGLOO.

See details, pictures and a video of Remo's igloo.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Expedit hamster home

Martina from Austria probably has the luckiest hamster in the world. Here's the home she built for Sonic the hamster.

"I am an adult keeping a little dwarf hamster. I don't like the traditional cages - I find them indescribably ugly and also most of them are much smaller than the space recommendations given by animal rights organizations. So I looked for a solution that would provide my hamster with a lot of space to run, high levels of bedding to buddle and give me something beautiful to look at when watching the little furball go about her activities.

After lots of research and planning I hacked a 5x5 Expedit into my dream hamster cage. I got the Expedit used for �50,- and shortened it to 3 rows of 5 columns as the room would have looked too full with another 5x5 Expedit in it. I then added 2 sets of Capita feet (8 feet in total) to get the height I wanted (eye-level when I sit in my chair) and to get a more floating look.

The cage area has a deep area on the left side where the hamster can buddle 40cm (~16in) deep. The right side has less bedding because you have to secure heavy things like stones and wood so the hamster isn't squashed when she buddles under them. Securing everything with 40cm high platforms or "legs" was not an option, therefore the shallow area. A back plate was added to close the cage and to give more stability I screwed the backplate also to the inner divider plates (esp. the shortened top one) of the Expedit. Air holes are in the top and on both sides. The front of the deep area is plexi glass, the sliding doors are real glass. I then used aquarium silikone to seal all the little gaps between the cage area and the non-cage area so no bedding (or pee ;) can go through.

I used a set of white Dioder strip lights for the cage illumination plus a red LED christmas light chain so I can choose between white and red light. Hamsters are red blind so you can watch them under red light without disturbing them. (I could have used another colored Dioder but I was too cheap for that. The Xmas-lights were only �5,-.)

The interior also contains Ikea products: the 2 houses were hacked from a Fira set and the little food bowls are actually Glimma tea light holders.

I added 2 red Lekman boxes and some Krus food storage bins for hamster stuff and food. The rest of the space will be filled with office stuff as the cage is in our study and we have a lot of binders."

Click for more pictures of Sonic and her Expedit hamster home.


I'll be celebrating Christmas with family and friends tomorrow, so will lay off the computer for a day. For all you peeps out there celebrating too, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Expedit shelving unit as an open kitchen bar

Solangie transformed an Expedit shelving unit into a bar counter for an open kitchen. Nice one.

"I bought the Expedit shelving unit and placed it horizontally. Then went to Home Depot and bought two peace of lumber 2x4 and made a base to bring it up by 7". Also I got a plywood, cut it to fit the shelving unit (I wanted to hide it and not leave open on both sides) and spray painted the plywood black. I used the Lagan countertop which only cost $40 dollars for 8'. And here is my result."

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Ikea light wreath

More Christmas hacks. This is a classy wreath from Claire.

"I wanted to share my ornament wreath hack with you as I'm very proud (I'm not usually so do it yourself). I bough an Ikea Glansa LED light wreath and large pack of different sized silver ornaments from Ikea. I borrowed my aunt's hot glue gun and got to work. It turned out much better than I expected and I love that it lights up at night!"

Monday, 21 December 2009

Ikea green christmas

Rose shares her "green" Christmas with us.

"I bought my sister an early christmas present, a Cyril desk, and instead of throwing out the massive amounts of cardboard, we decided to go green this christmas."

Friday, 18 December 2009

Advent calendar made from Wilma tab-top curtain

Sonja is here to spread some Christmas cheer. An advent calendar has pockets of treats for each day leading up to Christmas.

"With December here, I thought I'd share with you the advent calendar I fashioned from a ready-made Wilma curtain.

It simply involved cutting the curtain to the required size and then sewing strips of white fabric onto it in order to create pockets into which the little treats could be slipped."

Click for more detailed instructions on Sonja's advent treats calendar.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Stolmen post room divider

Very clever use of the Stolmen poles to create a room divider. Kudos, Andrew!

"An Ikea hack I just completed in order to create a partition in my studio apartment in Greenwich Village.

I used two Stolmen posts as the spine for this partition composed of 8 bowed spars I designed and built across which will be stretched over by a large canvas drop-cloth. The aim was to create a partition for the studio to preserve a separate sleeping area without leaving any trace on the walls, ceiling or floor.

Ikea Hack Partition from Andrew Schwalm on Vimeo.

It's actually quite sturdy and we will eventually hang a painting on it."

I've just realised (quite recently, duh!) that embedded videos, don't turn up on some feeds. So just for you guys reading this post on a reader, click here to view the video.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Stolmen bike stand mod for carpet flooring

This smart idea from Andrew lets you build the Stolmen bike stand on carpet flooring. Sturdy enough to hold two bikes in mid air.

"This Ikea-hack is mainly an extension of a design already featured, that adapts said design to more applications. The Stolmen Bike Stand seemed like such a great idea, I wanted to make a similar one for my apartment. The basic design is the same, with one significant change: an adapter to use the Stolmen post on carpet.

Normally, the Stolmen posts are only good for wood floors, as the post is held by compression between the floor and ceiling. Using the standard base on carpet, the carpet compresses over time causing the pole to become loose and eventually fall (a well documented issue). The version I made eliminates this problem by replacing the bottom connection with a different design.

Items used:
 - 4" diameter, 1" thick aluminum round (from Alro metals supply store)
 - "Speaker Cabinet 3/8" Toe Spike Set" from PartsExpress (p/n 240-725)

1. Drill a 1/2 inch diameter hole, 1/2" deep, into the center of one side of the aluminum round.
2. On the other side of the aluminum round, drill and tap four holes for 1/4-20 thread pattern
3. Install speaker spikes in threaded holes.
4. Use base instead of standard Stolmen base, placing the extendable metal nob from the post into the 1/2" diameter hole.

This design works because, as you tighten the post (using standard Ikea assembly methods), the speaker spikes drive through the carpet base and into the wood subfloor. This gives them a solid, non-giving, surface and allows the pole to be tightened properly and not fall over."

Related hack:
- Bike extension for pizza delivery

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Big roomy cat litter

Karla finds a litter box solution for her two big cats.

She says, "Originally, the litter box was in our spare bedroom, but a visit from my out of town parents prompted me to build/hack a litter box enclosure that could be placed in another part of the house. We have two large kitties (Stardust and Thor), so we needed something with lots of space. I decided to go with the Varde sink cabinet with countertop.

The kitties enter though the cat flap on the side of the cabinet, walk through an "entry" area lined with a litter mat, and do their business in a large tub.

Instead of installing an entire pet door, I bought a replacement flap and secured it with wood screws. I put a border around the flap to conceal some not-so-straight jigsaw work and to make it look a little more like a door. I used industrial strength Velcro to secure the box to a piece of plastic coated particle board, which I then mounted on drawer slides. The box slides out for easy scooping, and because it's attached with Velcro, it can be detached from the board for thorough cleaning when necessary. I also cut out three rear vents on the back of the cabinet for ventilation. In addition, I installed two mesh trays for storage - one above the box and one above the litter mat. The tray above the box holds a carbon filter for absorbing odors and the one above the litter mat holds a small hand held brush and dustpan for cleaning up litter.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with how this turned out - litter tracking is mostly contained in the cabinet and odor is pretty non-existent. The kitties love their private and spacious litter box too!"

Monday, 14 December 2009

Ivar shelving comes alive as Enzo Mari dining table

This is wonderful. To see Ikea raw pine flesh out Enzo Mari's Autoprogettazione table. Thanks Greg!

He says, "Almost two years ago, I had the idea to make an Autoprogettazione table ["self-project,"] designed by Enzo Mari in the early 1970s, but instead of using 1x2 pine lumber, I'd use unfinished Ikea components.  Well, I finally got around to construction this summer, and finished the table last week.  After surveying every piece of unfinished pine in the store, I ended up using Ivar shelving, which I varnished with a dozen or so coats of hand-rubbed tung oil."

See Greg's post on Enzo Mari's Autoprogettazione table with Ivar and the photosets.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Old Ektorp cushion slipcover to a dog bed

No hacking here, but if you have a doggie, you may appreciate the tip. And yeah, I couldn't resist posting up the pic of Molly's cute dog, Colonel Mustard.

Molly shares, "After 5 years of heavy use, my Ektorp Lindalen sofabed slipcover needed to be replaced. I sprung for a new one when I bought my house, but had the old one left over and didn't know what to do with it. I also needed a place for my beagle, Colonel Mustard, to hang out...and preferably not my newly-recovered couch.

The Colonel has had a rough time with dog beds - either he figures out how to chew them up or he ignores them. I noticed one day that his favorite place to curl up was my laundry pile, so I came up with the idea to stuff the retired cushion slipcover with old/stained/torn/worn-out clothes as well as a few old, deflated pillows. Stuffed it all in, zipped it right up, no sewing or construction needed.

It didn't cost me a dime, it's heavy-duty canvas, and more importantly, he LOVES it and hasn't even tried to chew at it. I'm thinking it calms him when I'm gone because his owner's scent is already built in by nature. But even if he ends up nibbling at it, it's ok - I've got 3 more cushion covers left from the old slipcover!"

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Ung Drill Chalk Board

Kathleen chalk board with the Ung Drill frame.

"I painted the frame with a simple white acrylic paint. Quickly covered the black for intended imperfection.

Used a spray paint primer for glass, then a couple coats of chalk board spray paint.

(the empty frame even looks kind of cool on the wall).


Note: The glass is not cut into a perfect oval shape. Make sure the side you are painting fits into the frame right side out!"

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

The bench, the bag and the Snudda

Raquel and Oscar from Bilbao, Spain, send us a trio of hacks. I'm pretty taken by the bench, composed from Lack side tables and Adel drawer fronts. Nice one. If you have a tight corner, this is definitely a solution you can consider.

Kitchen bench
Bench for the kitchen, made with four Lack side tables (4,99� x 4 units= 19,96�), covered with �del drawer fronts taken from the as-is section (0,50� x 44 units = 22,00�). Everything fixed with carpenter's glue and small metal squares. All the set for 41,96 �. Very cheap!! The back is topped with ceramic mosaic.

Carved Snudda
The Snudda lazy susan, carved by my father. Smart!

Reusable shopping bag
From the Elisabet fabric, hand sewn.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

A closet to snuggle in

Kathy added a few touches to the Pax wardrobe to create this warm, woody closet. If I didn't know better, I'll think it's a spa and stretch out for a massage.

"I found your web site quite by accident and felt I had located long lost relatives I never knew existed. I have been hacking Ikea items for years but never knew the practice had a name (or a following). Here are photos of just one of my favorite projects. This is my master bedroom closet that I outfitted entirely in Ikea pieces (mostly Pax wardrobes but also drawer units that I�ve forgotten the name of and the ever-popular Expedit. (I worship at the altar of Expedit.)

I started with plain, birch wardrobe doors and embellished them with 4 elements:
- brown and black toile wrapping paper
- expanded metal that I custom-painted with hammered bronze spray paint
- wood trim that I also painted with hammered bronze spray paint
- and finally, door handles made from curtain rods screwed in sideways

I also mounted a Christmas wreath around the main light and wired it to a remote control switch. I use it for ambient lighting.

It is my favorite room in the house, even though it's only a closet. Enjoy!"

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Kong is in

I can't forget my Donkey Kong days so this hack is especially heart warming. Casey pays homage to the game with some ingenious tilted Lack shelves.

"Here's a little project I came up with using some Lack shelves to add some flair to my game room. Using some tape, paint, and a lazy afternoon I put together a Donkey Kong homage to keep my old systems on. The ladders were made from 1/4" square wood and the barrels are beer cans painted."

Click to see more of Casey's Donkey Kong shelves.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Entertainment unit from Stolmen and Lack pieces

A new take on one of hackers' favourite items, the Stolmen pole. Instead of stretching it all the way to the top, dragon_ll screws the poles to the underside of Lack shelves, which are then bolted to the wall.

"Back Story - I wanted a TV unit to mount my 52" LCD. I liked the ones that have a back panel where you can screw the mounting bracket on and have shelf space on the side for your A/V components. Most places were expensive including Ikea ... So I decided to make my own using whatever from wherever. Ikea was a great place to start as their stuff was easy to modify. 

Hacking - I came across the Stolmen system that I liked a lot and it even had the back panel for the LCD TV. The problem was it was white. I needed black to match my decor.  So I searched the Ikea store for something to use as the back panels. The good thing about Ikea is that they have variety within each system... The annoying thing is that they don't have each piece in all the colours.

Anyways I was limited to the Lack side tables that came in black. I used 5 Stolmen posts each spaced equally apart (Lack table plus connectors).  Used 4 Lack tables to create the back panel and 2 Lack tables per side for the shelves and because my ceiling was too high I used a Lack table and shelves at the top of the posts and then screwed the stablizers from the stolmen posts to the underside of the Lack tables to the wall.  That makes it look like it's floating.

To connect the tables to the posts I used the Stolmen shelf connectors but with the standard wall hangers from any heavy shelf/wardrobe system.  Screw them into the sides (for back panels) or underneath (for shelves) and with nuts and bolts for Home Depot they attached nicely to the Stolmen connectors.  The LCD TV bracket was centered between the 4 back panels and each has 3 bolts with predrilled holes through each Lack panel for a total of 12 bolts.

Now I know the Lack tables have a semi hollow core but I knew it was strong enough.  It's been almost 2 years holding up this 130lb LCD TV.  I later added the besta storage to the bottom to store my blurays and games (also using the Stolmen connectors and heavy duty metal angles from Home Depot)."