Saturday, 30 October 2010

Chest of Dreams

Materials: Fira Boxes, legs, etc.

Description: For two different classrooms, I did an auction item called a Chest of Dreams. I interviewed each of the kids to find out what they were interested in when they grew up and created a box for each of them. The item did really well in the auction and here is the finished product.

I added legs, painted the finished product black, decoupaged each of the drawers, found unique knobs, added some detail and voila. Great auction item, although the Fira boxes are no longer available.... ;-(

~ Lise-Marie Wertanzl

Friday, 29 October 2010

How to fit a Samtid floor lamp in a corner

Materials: Samtid floor lamp

Description: Not much to describe actually, since there's not much of a hack, but still - you can see everything on the photos - in order to put the lamp in the corner get rid of the footing, drill several holes, and attach the stand to the wall with perforated interconnect tape.

~ Denis, Moscow, Russia

Billy rat cage

Materials: Billy bookcase, some shelves, hinges, ...

Description: The cage of our rats became too small and we had problems with the old cage because of litter falling all the time. So I reused a Billy bookcase (because I bought a new bookcase) and I separate it into three parts: one part storage, one part for our young rats and a part for our adult rats.

I bought some shelves and put an edge of 5 cm attached with dowels to prevent the litter from falling. Finally I painted everything.

For the doors, I assembled boards with dowels and wood glue and I put the grate recovered from the old cage.

~ Laura V, Li�ge (Belgium)

Mykea - updated

Materials: Vinyl

Update: 31 Oct 2010. Gert of Mykea sent me an update to what was published (previously submitted by an enthusiastic student) to tell us a bit more about their vinyls especially designed for Ikea furniture. ~ Jules

Furniture by IKEA is good priced and well designed. But we don't like the fact that we see the same Ikea interior everywhere around us. We came up with the idea to make your Ikea more beautiful, unique and personal. MyKea makes it possible to ad a layer of unique en beautiful designed vinyl over your Expedit, Malm bed and billy bookcase.

How it works is easy: select your IKEA furniture, choose one of the many designs and personalize IKEA in your own style!

~ Gert van de Cappelle, Amsterdam.

See more here.


Not really a hack, but perhaps nice to show on this site anyway. We started a project a while ago to personalize Ikea products without physically altering them. We are now selling stickers designed by the community. The designers make money when we sell the sticker for them.

~ Niels, Amsterdam

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Small cheap IVAR hack: from cupboard to low cabinet

Materials: IVAR cabinet, 1 Trecket, 4 Besta legs, 4 screws, 2 pieces of wood

I had the IVAR small cabinet fixed to a IVAR unit which I dismantled. I needed a small cabinet unit elsewhere in my kitchen but didn't want to spend too much so I hacked the IVAR.

Paint the Ivar AND the 2 pieces of wood. (better to do this first contrary to what I did)
Use plenty of paint in successive layers.
Drill 4 holes at the bottom of the IVAR. Drill not in the middle of the wood base of the cabinet, but at the bottom of the wood sides to have more wood/support for legs.
Fix each Besta leg per hole.
They'll go a bit out of the size of the cabinet so...:
screw the two pieces of wood at the right size to Ivar.
Fix the Trecket handle and that's it!

Instead of Besta legs, you can also fix castors or other models of legs. I simply took the less expensive as it was the goal of the project to invest a minimum.

~ Jerry, Belgium

A mini shelf for books, toddler sized

Materials: Ribba Picture Ledge

Description: We are renting, so I couldn't attach something to the walls. And we didn't have the space for a big reading nook but I wanted our toddler to be able to see his books and have them be at his height.

I looked through the garage and found 2 IKEA Ribba photo ledges we were not using.

1. I used a scrap piece of wood I found in the garage, that just happened to be the perfect size. I chose this height because I had two shelves - you can choose to make it higher. Your local hardware store may have a scrap wood section which could be a good place to look. They will usually cut to size for a very small fee.

2. One shelf is flush with the bottom to serves as the base - it is free standing on the floor as we can not make holes in the plaster walls. The top shelf I measured by the size of the books it would be holding - works since toddler books are generally short.

3. Used a remnant piece of fabric to cover pine board. Used staple gun to fasten - first the long ends, than the short, pulling taught with each staple. The seam of the fabric I hid under the bottom shelf, so back is seemless. As for the edges {short sides} - cut fabric short, like you are wrapping a present and then fold into itself and staple. You will see the staples on those edges - you can cover with a pieces of ribbon if you choose.

4. With fabric on, I attached first the bottom shelf, using a level to make sure it was even. You may need to choose shorter screws than the hardware that the shelves come with, depending on the width of board you used. Then I attached the top shelf.

Just his height and perfect for 5-6 books, a toddler doesn't need much more.

See more of the toddler bookshelf.

~ Alex T

LACK Monster Entertainment center

LACK bookcase

Description: A variation of this classic hack which involves eliminating one shelf and drilling new holes for the two remaining shelves. The result is three separated cubbyholes which are perfect for right, left and center channel speakers. The unit sits on six small stainless steel legs. I also covered the back of the unit with hardboard to give a cleaner look without any unsightly wires. The monster on top is 73 inches of DLP awesomeness.

~ Blair Hyman, West Palm Beach, Florida

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Multi-hack Bedroom Desk and Chair

Materials: Vika Leif trestle, 1 Nexus cabinet door from As-Is section, Stefan chair and some IKEA fabric

Description: On my most recent trip to IKEA, I wanted to get a frugally-priced laptop/writing desk and chair for my bedroom.

The one I was thinking about getting was the Laiva, which was only $20. It matched my existing furniture and was small enough to fit in the space I wanted to put it. Well, unfortunately it looked like it only cost $20.

My next try was the Micke at $49. I wasn't completely sold on it, as it looked a bit juvenile for an adult bedroom, but I went ahead and put it in my basket.

Whenever I make my IKEA pilgrimages, I always check out the As-Is section. You can find a lot of bits and pieces to get creative with as well as some decent furniture with just a few nicks and scratches. I found a Nexus cabinet door, which sells new for $38.00 (15x39), for only $1.99! Yeah, you read that right - one dollar and ninety-nine cents! It was the exact color of my existing furniture and the perfect size for the space in my bedroom.

So I put the Micke back on the shelf and headed upstairs to the showroom to look at leg options to create my own desk. I found the absolutely perfect Vika Leif table base for just $30.00. All I needed to do was to use five 2" wood screws to attach the Vika Leif to my Nexus cabinet door and, voila, a laptop/writing desk is born!

Of course, I needed a inexpensive chair to go with my inexpensive desk. I found the economically priced Stefan ($19.99) which fit the scale of my desk perfectly. Of course, I can't leave well enough alone, though. Back down in the Marketplace, I found some lovely black and white print fabric and decided I would cushion and cover Stefan's seat.

On the way out, I picked up the Hemma lamp base with a Klavsta shade in black and white to complement the fabric for the chair seat. The lamp and shade only set me back $17.99.

In total, my desk/chair/lamp combo only cost $59 (including fabric and cushion).

See more of Laura's bedroom desk and chair hack.

~ Laura, Virginia

Barbeque splatter guard and wind protection

Materials: Patrull cooktop guard, hammer, drill, screwdriver

Description: Basically, my new barbeque came with a wind shield that did nothing much more than supporting the warming rack.

When cooking with the hood up, the worktop panels would be greased down with fat, when cooking with the hood down, the oversized ventilation holes at the back would let too much wind through.

I was looking for something I could use for my little project, when I came across a hack here where someone had used a Patrull cooktop guard as a splatter guard around a lathe.

The Patrull turned out to be the perfect solution to my problems (more annoyance really).

The stainless steel fixture is "slide to fit" between 23 1/4" and 37 3/8" and therefore quite versatile when it comes to fitting it to a wide range of barbeques.

All I had to do was to remove the hood, remove the old shield, drill a few holes in the new one to match the existing holes on the cooktop, and put the hood back on again.

In my case, I had to hammer flat the edges at the base and the (now) front to make room for the hood, but this might not be necessary with other barbeque brands (mine is a Campingaz Adelaide 3).

The loss of the warming rack is a small prize to pay for a professionally looking and functioning barbeque.

~ Erik, Norway

Minimal Desk with VIKA Molinden Legs

Materials: 2x Vika Moliden - Underframe, 2x Vika Moliden - Leg

Description: For my studio office, I required a wide enough desk to accommodate my laptop, a secondary big screen and a flatbed scanner while leaving some additional room for paperwork. The desk had to look minimal and contemporary, and also fit my small sized office (4mx4m), and not cost a fortune.

Immediately after checking the table tops and legs section of the Ikea store in Kuwait, I realized that they either came too small, or too big for my purpose. It was then that I decided to take the leg combination I liked the most and hack it with a custom-made table top into the desk I need.

I liked the Vika Moliden leg and decided to use the underframe versions to support the table top at both ends. Since wire-management was of importance to me, I came up with an elegant and easy solution to wire all my equipment and keep my desk clean and minimal. I decided to split the table top all along its width by 2.5 cm (just enough to pass through the wire-ends). To keep the tops from falling in, I cut and welded two Vika Moliden legs along the top side of the underframe version to make a complete square rather than a U shape at both ends of the two wooden tops. The Tops were made thicker by stacking layers of Oak wood-boards with glue and nails, then finished with a dark-brown paint.

~ Faisal Alawadhi, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Posh Candy Grab Bowls

Materials: ARYD + plastic bowls + screws + metal washers


1. Pre-drill into the top of the ARYD candle holder with a metal bit.
2. Drill a hole in the center of the plastic bowl.
3. Place the screw through a large metal washer, then through the bowl.
4. Screw into the ARYD candle holder.

I used several different ARYD holders and different bowls for an interesting grouping. You can use these for candy during the holidays and to display other items the rest of the year.

See more of Alan's posh candy grab bowls.

~ Alan, St. Pete Beach, FL

Monday, 25 October 2010

Turn your studio apartment into a 1 bedroom with PAX - Part 2

You asked for it! thedesignguy has shared more photos and I've posted them below the original post. Click to get the whole shebang on turning your studio apartment into a 1 bedroom with a Pax room divider.

Quick Besta hack with Inreda magazine shelf

Materials: Besta structure, Besta shelves, Inreda magazine shelf

Description: I changed recently my kitchen cupboard opting for Besta. I had jars/boxes I wanted to show but there were a lot of them. During my 54 412 555th visit my Ikea store, I saw the Inreda magazine shelf (which exist in aluminium or plastic) and this made a bell ring in my brain.

Back home, I put it on a Besta shelf, put my jars on, pull and all was perfectly sliding.

As I wanted it on a shelf put above a space closed by a Vara door, I added a shelf directly on the fixed first shelf. Inreda went onto it and 'clipped' on it at the back.

When I pull the Inreda plastic shelf the wood shelf slide with it. This is heavier but also gives more support. If there is no double 'shelving', the Inreda will clip in the fixed shelf and you won't be able to make it slide.

You can also do this hack onto an open shelf (with no space closed by a door below). Inreda won't 'clip' at the back of the shelf as there is no space left, so Inreda will be elevated of some millimeters at the back but this won't prevent it to slide correctly (see drawing).

The Inreda magazine shelf exists in aluminium which is stronger to hold jars but can scratch the shelf below.

N.B.: note you have to hold the shelf when you slide it and take sthg with the other hand. It won't stand by itself.

~ Jerry, Belgium

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Super Rabbit Condo

Materials: Gorm Shelving, wood trim, hook latches, hinges, staples, furniture tacks, steel mesh, galvanized wire

Description: After adopting our new English Lop, my husband decided to take on making a cage that would be functional with our space and give her as much room as possible.

We used The Gorm shelving system:
2 longer shelves (Width: 30 3/8 "Depth: 20 1/8 ")
3 shorter shelves (Width: 19 5/8 "Depth: 20 1/8 ")
3 corner shelves (Width: 29 7/8 "
Depth: 20 1/8 ")
9 Posts (Height: 43 1/4 ")

We assembled the shelving, and then attached steel mesh to wood frames using industrial staples and furniture tacks. He then drilled these frames into the Gorm in sections. We made door frames and attached the galvanized wire via staples. We attached the doors with hinges and latches. They open and close with latches.

We added a long ramp so she could run up and down to the second and third level.

Finally we laid down rubber on the bottom and covered all shelves with carpet.
The best thing is we can continue to expand it as she grows in both length and height!

Total cost about $150.00

~ Elsa, New Jersey

After building Murphy bed I hacked the leftover 48 legs

Materials: Lack side tables and legs

Description: I built a Murphy bed using the Ikea Lack side tables on the front to make a very aesthetic and artistic wall piece.

The bed required 12 lack table tops, and after the project I was very inspired to make good use of the left over 48 table legs......which inspired several more hacks.....I sawed the legs to a short height and attached them to a black rectangular table top which also acted as a reinforcer to the murphy bed when it is down it lays on top of the flat zen like table.

Additionally, I bought two long wooden shelves to match the dining table I was using and created two side benches by attaching six hack side table legs under each shelf.

I also created a queen size bed platform for my tempurpedic using apporximately 20 of the left over legs and two interior standard sized doors with flat hinge reinforcers. The tempurpedic lays comfortably on top and I have amazing additional storage under neath.

~ Nicole Persley, Delray Beach, Florida