Friday, 31 July 2009

DIY hacked cold frame for the garden

Lorene presents us with her "urban hillybilly chic" hack - a cold frame to protect your vegetable patch from chilly weather. Anyways, if you're one with a green thumb, better start scoring some cheap Gorm shelving from the as-is. You'll probably be wishing you did in ... er ... Jan?

She says, "Cold frames are devices to protect your tender vegetables from wet, chilly weather. They are a god send in cool climates when you�re itching to plant and Mother Nature thinks winter is not quite over yet."

See her instructions for the DIY cold frame for the garden.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Billy bird

Handem tips me on this hack found on the Blog on the Bookshelf. Thanks Handem!

Dan Black and Martin Blum of design consultancy Black + Blum, do their thing on the ubiquitous Billy bookshelf. They say, "Our main priority was to give this piece a bit of character. In its basic form, it is very recognisable as the cheapest bit of shelving you can buy from Ikea, so we wanted to give it a new identity as well as a function by turning it into a self-contained home-office unit."

I thought it was smart of them to add a work surface by joining two shelves with hinges, resulting in a neat, compact workspace. Better yet, it can be folded up to hide a laptop when not in use. What I am not so hot about are the magazine racks on the sides and top, which are supposed to give Billy the appearance of a "winged creature". Huh? It would be like working in the belly of Big Bird."

This Billy hack is part of an article by the Independent, "Pimp my Ikea: How to bling up your 'Billy' bookcase."

What to do with the ugly side of things

Andy shares a very useful fix should you screw up putting together your Billy Bookshelf and end up with a shelf with the unfinished side out.

See more of Andy's quick fix for Billy bookshelves.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Ikea PS locker into litter box

Hiding the cat litter is really no big feat. All you need is a metal cutter and a steady hand to cut a hole, big enough for kitty to crawl in and out.

Ben says, "My girlfriend recently moved into my loft with her cat and her great dane. I needed a solution that would both hide the litter box from view and keep the dog out of the cat�s food and litter. I first bought the Ikea PS cabinet, which perfectly fits the alcove inside my front door. Then I used metal snips ($15 or so) to cut out a hole for the cat to enter through the bottom. This was easier than you�d think, because Ikea already has holes punched in the bottom for cords, so it was easy to start cutting. I filed the edges to make sure no metal splinters would harm the cat, and then covered them with red electrical tape. The cat took minimal training before she learned to crawl in and out of the bottom. The litter box is to the right, food bowls to the left.

You may also want to check out these other cat litter hacks:
- Entryway cat litter and bench
- Flaren stealth litter box
- Quick and easy cat litter box
- Snack cat litter boxes
- Compact kitty box
- No pooper cat litter
- More pet hacks

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Recover your armchair

Jill B got sorta sick of the outdated fabric. She says, "Ikea makes such nice fabric by the yard. Why don't they use it on the furniture?" So she updated it with a new cover she sewed herself. 

Via designspongeonline.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Ikea blue shopping bag into messenger bag

My local Ikea has just started to turn green. (Yeah, we're slow.) So no more free plastic bags. Everyone is encouraged to buy one of the blue Frakta bags and bring them along whenever they shop. I think it's great and I love my blue Frakta bags. Sturdy. Roomy. You can sling it or carry it. I keep one in the car to haul groceries and whatever I buy. I have another at home for laundry and bring recyclables to the centre.

But the Frakta is more than just a plastic bag replacement. Sara has made it into a really cool messenger bag. I want one!

She says, "I made a small messenger bag out of one of the large blue Ikea bags last night. Apart from an Ikea bag, it is also made of a couple of buckled straps from a bike rack, an old inner tube (for the rubber on the base of the bag and the piping around the opening) and reflective strips from an old hi-viz jacket. Oh, and lots of swearing from getting pins in my fingers!

See Sara's messenger bag photos.

You may also like:
- Ikea laptop bag
- Blue diaper bag and changing pad

Monday fun!

It's Monday! And I figured we could all use a laugh or two. Here's a video a friend sent me and it features some pretty great hacking. (I heard that this commercial is banned!)

Friday, 24 July 2009

Desk for IKEA Lo bed

Bart makes a desk for her daughter's loft bed.

He says, "I made this desk for my daughter�s Ikea Lo loft bed. It was her idea to make the desk under the bed, as she likes sleeping high. It also makes good use of the space in the small room. Actually most of the work was figuring out the design and the dimensions. To make the desk rigid but not too heavy I made a cheap hollow core from two 6mm MDF sheets and some whitewood. Making the core was pretty straightforward. I marked the rough dimensions on the MDF and glued on some whitewood 22x48mm. This didn�t need to be precise as I cut the core to exact dimensions with the circular saw after it was all glued up. When the bottom was ready I glued on the top MDF sheet: some crates of beer came in handy as weights. The curves I routed with a template and a bearing guided bit.

I covered the core with white laminate and trimmed the edges with a router. We thought about selecting some pacific blue color, but decided on the boring off-white in the end. It would just have been too much color in the small room. For the supports and back I used 18mm Baltic birch plywood, same kind of wood as Ikea used for the bed posts. In the plywood I screwed so-called Rampa nuts to thread the Ikea hex bolts into. As I wanted the desk to be height adjustable I installed some extra Rampa nuts. As the holes in the Ikea bed posts are at 96mm, this means the bed can be adjusted in 48mm intervals.

On the left side I needed some clearance for feet climbing up the ladder. If the ladder is ever changed to the right side of the bed, the whole desk can be flipped over to right-hand configuration. The plywood was glued to the core with Lamello biscuits (a wood joining system using small wooden plates). This was a fun project and not too much work, I�m pretty pleased how it turned out. I suppose the whole project could be done without the machines I have (router, Lamello) if a circular saw, scroll saw and a lot of sandpaper is available. The core could be painted instead of glueing on laminate."

Bonde sideboard

Oscar Cederwall from B�lsta, Sweden converts the Bonde TV Add-on into a handsome sideboard.

Oscar says, "I did this hack a couple of years ago. The color of my Bonde side board is not available any more as far as I know. The main reason for why I decided to build my own side board from Bonde is because I liked the frosted glass doors and I really like the CD drawers for the Bonde series. I don't think there is anything like them in any other Ikea series. There are several side boards out there but I really liked the aesthetics of Bonde.

So, I soon found out that there are no single cabinets in the Bonde series. There are only double cabinets in the form of bookcases or add-on units for the TV bench. So, should I split the bookcase in two halves or cut of the bottom of the TV bench add-on? My decision was to modify the TV Bench Add-on. If I had decided to cut the bookcase in two, I would have needed to buy an extra top. This way I could get a nice top for my furniture in the same color and material. The picture below shows the original piece of furniture and where I made my cut. (the add-on is enclosed by the red rectangle, the TV Bench is not part of the add-on)

I was very fortunate to be able to do this hack at my father's friend's place. He has his own carpentry workshop with loads of tools and materials. So we made the cut very slowly in a circular saw which made the cut very clean. I also had to fit a wooden beam in the bottom to attach the legs to and to carry the entire construction. I had to save a few inches on the sides and in the front to hide the girder. Six legs were needed per side board. I can't find the legs I used. They're probably not available any more. The most similar legs I can find are the Besta legs. When I reached the last stages of my hack I realised the CD drawers are actually not made for the TV Bench add-on but for the Bookcase, ie there were no holes in the sides to attach the drawers to. But it wasn't very hard to figure out where to drill. The frosted glass doors hides all your gadgets but you're still able to use the remote with the doors closed. This is my Bonde sideboard in all it's glory."

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Cijaye gets the Perfekt scrapbooking room

The hacking is minor but the idea is a nice one. Instead of plates, the Perfekt Plate Racks houses her papers and books. Two of them form the legs for her craft table.

Cijaye says, "I had a small extra room (previously used as a spare bed/craft/toy room) that needed to be converted to an organized scrapbooking room. To accomplish this I had to have extensive work space, as well as organized scrapbook supplies storage. I found the perfekt solution. I converted 4 �Perfekt� Plate Racks from Ikea plus a PVC table top (found in the as-is room) into storage and workspace for this scrapbooking room haven!

I stuffed 3 of the shelves with collapsable storage bins (again from Ikea) and sorted all of my supplies. Then I kept one of the racks as-is to work as book ends for my many scrapbooking books and magazines. Behind the two shelves on the desk side � are 4 computer towers and my garbage bin! They are out of sight from everyone entering the room and they are all fully functional! I could not have asked for a better hack. I am in love with this space now! It is my home away from home for sure!"

See more of Cijaye'sscrapbooking room.

Leksvik craft table

Frida hacks a stand-up-and-craft table.

She says, "It is the Leksvik bar table that I have altered with a shelf and painted, also shortened the legs."

The legs are shortened about 4 inches from the top. And Frida fitted a glulam shelf at the base for her sewing machines and other crafty things. Finally, a coat of paint.

See more of Frida's craft table.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Ordning cutlery stand lamp

Andrew pairs an old lamp base with the Ordning cutlery stand for a one of a kind lamp. Not bad for salvaged stuff.

Andrew says, "This lamp was put together with a found 1950's - 60's timber lamp base and a couple of found Ordning cutlery stands (they throw out a lot of interesting stuff around Bondi!). The original shades had long since disappeared. All that was required was to make a hole in the middle of the Ordning (drill it first and then ream out the hole to the right size with a circular file), unscrew the sleeve that originally held the lamp shades, pop the modified Ordning on and screw the sleeve back in to hold the new shade in place.

If you use clear tungsten bulbs (not those energy saving ones!), the shadows it casts are rather good. The flexible arms are a bonus and can make it a nice lamp for reading. I first made one of these for a friend about 10 years ago and was delighted to find that it qualified as an Ikea hack."


Monday, 20 July 2009

Grono gets some legs

Randall, a furniture designer, does his thing on the Grono lamps.

He says, " So many times I tell people - I look at Ikea as a "hardware store" as much as I do a Furniture retailer...No offense - I think Ikea's awesome....just that many items they sell are so adaptable - and likely candidates for "hacking"- that I see many items there as "components" for a project - or a "project-to-be"...which is how the Grono hacks occurred.

I was in the lighting area of Ikea - and saw these cute little inoffensive cubes - I was attracted to their simplicity; and their clean lines and volume.

But, they seemed too "elemental" to me.

So, the designer started sketching...

And this is what came out!

It helped that business is slow now - and I have some extra time to "play-around"....designing and building these items as Prototypes - for a future collection of products for sale on a soon to be created "rePurposed Furniture" website.

Plenty of years of metal working  (and woodworking ) skills went into the fabrication of these "hacks".
Like they say on TV- not recommended to try this at home.

Welding, Mag-Drill Machining, Dado-Cutting, Sandblasting,and Powder
Coating are a few of the more "Industrial" processes that I used to create these new lights - that most folks don't keep in the garage, or basement workshops!

I hope that you and your readers may find some enjoyment from these new Lights I created using the Grono - and hope that IKEA will give me a job designing some for them!"

Randall's other hacks:
- Seena's bathroom countertop
- Expedit Grande

Oh la la ... it's a beauty

Randall, a furniture designer based in Chicago, finally gets round to finishing girlfriend Seena's renovations. This post will feature Seena's bathroom countertop. Later today will be Randall's other hack, a set of Grono lamps.

He says, "Her Condo in downtown Chicago is one that she has occupied way before The Donald (as in Trump) ever laid eyes upon her neighbor to the south - The Chicago Sun-Times building, which he has torn down to build a major skyscraper - and, so when Miss Seena started to actually rehab her tiny Condo - the Economic Crisis started to weaken The Banks confidence in Real Estate resulting in her Construction Loan (Line of Credit) being slashed to next to nothing! So - out went many custom crafted touches- and in went many shopping trips to Ikea.

The results are stunning!

Knowing that the small bathroom had a "width" of only 59"- we set out to scour Ikea's cabinet selection(s) - not just the freestanding Cabinets, not just the Office Solutions, not just the TV stand - but everything, in the entire store was measured and considered to be a possible candidate for an Ikea hack!

How fortuitous, when we put the tape measure to the Torsby!

Exactly (OK - on 1/8" of an inch larger) than we needed.
But what about the internal shelf support?
Won't that be in the way of the plumbing/drain????

Not for an experienced Ikea hacker like the Furniture Designer boyfriend.....(me!).

And - what about the Torsby finish to the top - how will that hold up in a moist bathroom environment? A scrap piece of honed white Corian from a local cabinet maker, helped solve that concern - a piece was cut at 59" by 16" (a 1" overhang in the front) to give a nice detail - as well as a bit more countertop space (we know how girls can use up counter space in a bathroom!)

So working from an elevation drawing I created - we went to work.

After much sweat and tears.....we are almost done- just the tempered glass shower doors and a bit of Corian for baseboard moulding..... and that's all!

Check out Randall's previous hack and studio.

Friday, 17 July 2009

This is no wallflower

Chuck Herren goes for the floating desk. I really love stuff off the floor though there is a fear (an unfounded one though) that it may come crashing down in the dead of the night. Nonetheless, I am sure Chris did a great job securing his desk to the wall.

This is made from two Pronomen countertops measuring 49 5/8 x 25 5/8".

Conglomerate media desk

T. Hutchinson marries a countertop with a table top for a work and media space.

He says, "I wanted a sleek desk for a while, but wanted room for my turntables nearby and some storage. Not only did I put together both, but managed to hide the ugly cords pretty well.

The desk at the left is a Pronomen countertop in the discontinued depth of 18". My girlfriend had the idea of using 3 legs, and we went with the Vika Inge. I already owned the simple black table with adjustable Vika Kaj legs, which puts the turntables at a good height and clears the filing cabinet. The corner is my favorite part: a Vika Furusund "leg" unit that fits records at the back, and hides my power strips in the front. It's tidy but still easy to get to stuff. I have my less-used stuff plugged in on the top shelf so I can switch it off. The wall shelves are Antonius hardware, with shelf boards I had around and shortened.

Next to the computer, I have some nesting trays for a compact charging station. I've managed to find USB charging cables for my portable devices: IPod, phone, camera, bluetooth headset, and wireless mouse.I plugged those into a USB hub that came with a power adapter, and I was planning to use it in another room without a computer. It fit nicely by my desk, and my computer supplies USB power when off. Super handy and efficient, no bulky wall adapters. Oh, and that's a Gregor chair. Not very comfortable, but most office chairs look too futuristic for me. The lamp is a Lack LED lamp, with an Erserud lampshade over it. Haven't gotten it to stay in place very well yet."