Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Stairway To Ikea

Materials: Billy Step Shelf

Description: Tools needed:
Phillips screwdriver
Flathead screwdriver
Cordless drill
Drill bits (for pilot holes)
Assorted sized drywall screws. (3/4, 1 1/4 inch and 2 1/2)
Wood glue
Tape measure
Chop saw
Table saw

From Ikea (all the same color)
2 - Billy hanging wall shelves
1 - Billy 31 1/2 inch height extension unit
1 - Billy 15 height extension unit
1 - 4 inch plinth (ripped down the middle to create two 2 inch pieces)

From Hardware Store
Rubbermaid 6 ft shelf
2 - 1 1/2 inch 90 degree angle brackets with screws
4 - 1 1/2 inch straight casters

Before anyone says a word: yes, I realize I could of gotten an Expedit and done something similar and just installed a back to it, but the Expedit is too: deep for the hallway; difficult to hack because of the cardboard honeycomb fill; and they only make it black or white.

This is a MAJOR hack. Due to all the modifications and planning needed, it took me two days to complete. Word of advice, work slowly and very carefully. One mistake and you will ruin the shelf and have to buy another one. (IKEA will not take back furniture cut with a table saw.) This is not of a simple hack. If you do not own/cannot rent/borrow a chop saw and/or table saw, I strongly advise against doing this hack. I take no responsibility for anything.

Assemble everything, according to the instructions. Note you will be taking things apart again. (On the Billy wall shelves do not nail the back of the shelves until you finish this project.)

Take one of your Billy wall shelf and assemble it, again don't nail the rear panel on it yet. We are going to install our casters on this one.

Using the 2 inch plinth we ripped before, Make a toe kick. Cut to size. I left about a half inch from the edge to make it look similar to the other Billy shelves. I attached the plinth from the bottom using 2 1/2 inch drywall screws. Note: Do not over drill, as it will tear the laminate from the bottom up.

Using the chipboard that came with the plinth, I screwed two pieces lengthwise behind the toe kick for support and to attach the casters. I attached the casters, making sure they were straight and aligned. (Don't nail the back yet)

Stack the other Billy shelf on top. You will notice that there will be about a 1/4 inch gap between the top of the bottom shelf and the bottom of the top shelf. I didn't like it. It would of bowed when I put screws to it and looked bad. The gap is caused by the side supports that extend past the top and bottom of the shelf, leaving gap in between them. They got to go. So what I did is this. I took a sharp pencil and ran a line from the back to the front, except for the top right side of the top shelf. (See picture) Disassemble the units and using the chop saw, cut on the pencil marks. Reassemble, except for the top shelf. Screw the bottom shelf, the one with the casters, to the top shelf using 1 1/4 inch drywall screws. Make sure you drive the screws from the bottom. That way you don't see the screws.

Stack and align the 31 inch bookcase extension to the top of your two shelves. Using a pencil, run a line on each side of the right support. Remove the bookcase. Drill 3 equally spaced holes in between the lines. Stack and align bookcase again. Use the three holes as a guide and drill 3 holes in the right side column. Screw 3 - 2 1/2 inch drywall screws into the column.

Repeat the same for the 15 inch shelf extension.

Now to secure the left side of the shelves... Rip the Rubbermaid shelf to 11 inches deep. Cut to the right height. (I don't remember the exact height, use a measuring tape, it's like 43 inches and something) Using clamps secure the panel to the left side and using the shelf holes as a guide, drill a minimum of four one inch screws per shelf.

Now I came to a dilemma, the right column of the top extension shelf stuck out a 1/4. If I aligned it to the front edge, the top would have been misaligned. So I disassembled it and cut off a 1/4 inch off the back of the right column. It aligned perfectly, though the screw and the dowel would not line up. So I screwed the two 90 degree angle brackets. I secured the right side of the column, like I did above, by running a line on each side of the column. I drilled 3 equally spaced holes in between the lines. Stacked and aligned the column. Using the three holes as a guide to drill 3 pilot holes in the right side column. Screw 3 - 2 1/2 inch drywall screws into the column.

Finally, nail the wall shelf back to the columns.


When you are finished with a section and assembling, for added strength use wood glue on the dowels.

~ Alex Perdomo, Miami

Little Kids Puppet Theater

Materials: Duktig, Ramsta, Trofast

Description: I wanted to get a puppet theater for my 5 year old grandson. There wasn't one at Ikea and the lemonade stand was too big and could easily fall over. So I made one very simply from the Duktig tool bench and he helped me make it! We also added the Trofast bin as directed.

I constructed the bench following the instructions exactly but left out the blue peg board from the back in step 11. This small bridge part is now the front of the stage and holds the curtain and lights. We also used the battery operated Ramsta lights as spot lights for the stage. (His favorite part). They come with two self adhesive pads, but no AAA batteries. Each light takes 3.

I then velcroed a dry erase/magnet board to cover the front opening. This can announce the name of the show with magnetic letters or write with a dry erase marker. Last step is to add a sash curtain rod to hold the drapes in front of the stage. (See pic for all accessories.)

The drapes were made by simply sewing a pocket in the top and pushing the sash curtain rod in the pocket.
The holes in the 'stage' become a handy spot to add scenery to the show or to stand a finger puppet on a dowel.
If you wanted to make the over head bridge part larger you could use the Duktig microwave shelf part instead of the top of the tool bench. This was my original idea, but later decided, it wasn'€™t necessary.

~ Followmetaichi

Brightening up a boring Billy Bookcase

Materials: Billy Bookcase and Ikea fabric

Description: I have a very small living space so I found the Ikea Billy bookshelf which was tall and narrow and suited my space perfectly. It is very box like and needed a bit of livening up so I applied fabric to the backing panel and it looks fantastic.

Simply build the bookshelf structure and then before you place the shelves in - apply fabric / wallpaper/ stencil or any kind of material to the backing section.

This can be done with double sided tape or by cutting some cardboard to size and covering that and then placing it in the bookcase.

Lastly secure the shelves in place and this will hold your fabric backing firmly in the right spot.

It definitely adds a bit of character to a very basic bookcase and can be easily interchanged with new patterns as your taste changes.

See more of the Billy backing.

~ Rebecca, QLD Australia

Expedit Desk

Materials: Expedit 4-compartment (2), 96"x 20" pine project panel, 8' wood mouldings (2 each of 3 different designs), L brackets (4), wood glue, finish nails

Description: I'm a work-at-home author and knitwear designer whose only office space is carved out of the hallway between our foyer and dining room. My desk has to fit against the triangle wall formed by a staircase. Making my own desk from 2 Expedits gives me 8 feet of beautiful desktop real estate, while only taking up 20" of hallway.

While I love the quality and value of Ikea furniture, most of the styles are too modern-looking for me. To make my desk look more traditional, I added moulding from my home improvement center. First I trimmed around 3 sides of the bottom of each Expedit with 1 3/4" moulding, mitering the corners. Then I added 4 1" L brackets to the upper inside edges of each piece to anchor the desktop. After that I layered 2 different mouldings and ran them all the way across the front and 2 short sides of the Expedits. I hid all the finish nail holes with putty and paint. Then I added the desktop (which I stained and varnished beforehand), securing from underneath with the L brackets.

I'm really happy with my new desk; the extra width more than makes up for its narrowness. I got exactly the right sized desk with lots of storage, too. The project took just a weekend, (most of which was waiting for paint and varnish coats to dry, and cost just under $200.

See more of the Expedit desk.

~ Mary Scott Huff, Fairview, Oregon

CD storage/sofa table

Materials: BENNO DVD tower, EKBY OSTEN shelf

Description: Having built the Benno tower, saw it off at around 50cm (tall enough for 3 CDs), and use the piece which would have been the top to create a tiny 3-CDs-tall version of Benno by drilling two extra holes on each side at the top of your sawn-off tiny Benno and using the screws it comes with.

Then make another of these from the remainder of the Benno, using what was the middle shelf as the bottom (leaving the same 8cm section at the bottom as a base) and creating a top for it from a spare side piece, attaching using nails or screws.

Then, place the two small units the length of the shelf apart and nail, glue or screw the shelf on to the top. This should create a CD storage unit which can sit between the sofa and the wall, so you have a surface to place drinks/remote and also some CD storage!

~ Katie Steckles, Manchester

Monday, 29 April 2013

Borrowed Bedroom with 4 little hacks

For wardrobe: Elga wardrobe, wallpaper, matte Mod Podge
For Billy bedside storage: Billy bookcase, Olsbo doors, wallpaper, Liksidig, Jansjo
For Ribba clothes hanger: Ribba picture ledge, Grundtal bar, Grundtal hooks
For lampshade: Fansta lampshade, wallpaper, PVA glue

Description: There are really four little projects in my Borrowed Bedroom, none of them particularly difficult and all spotted elsewhere (hence the 'borrowed' in the title!).

First, and probably most dramatic, is the Elga makeover. Our master bedroom is really quite small and we needed as much storage space for our clothes as we could squeeze in - the Elga was the best fit. However we couldn't agree on colour and finish - I wanted as much light as possible in the room so was inclined towards a white carcass and 3 mirror doors. Husband on the other hand had no interest in seeing himself endlessly reflected and neither of us liked the Aneboda doors. So in the end the Engan doors with black carcass and one mirror door was our only possible compromise. As I'd suspected, it overshadowed our little room but as we were shortly to have no. 2 baby I didn't feel up to doing anything about it for a while. Then while browsing Ikeahackers one day I came across this post and was inspired!

I found wallpaper at Homebase that was a perfect colour and style match for our walls and room...and it just happened to be in their value range at just under £5 a roll.

I cleaned the Engan doors thoroughly to get rid of any dust and grease. Then, using a Stanley knife, I cut 7 sections of wallpaper to fit the 6 inset panels of the 2 Engan doors plus one trial run (leaving them slightly smaller all round as wallpaper stretches when wet). Next I Mod Podge-ed the back of the wallpaper with a sponge applicator and let it rest for a few minutes then did a trial run applying the paper to the underside of one of the wardrobe shelves. Good job I did as I made a complete mess of it! First time I'd ever done anything with wallpaper and I didn't know about smoothing out the bubbles. If you're thinking of doing this have a look on the internet for advice as I don't think I'm quite an expert on it yet! For what it's worth, I used a dry mini paint-roller fitted with the sponge applicator as my smoothing tool and it worked for me. I also found that the smaller bubbles vanished by the time the paper had dried and luckily all 6 panels are now completely bubble-free.

Next projects in the Borrowed Bedroom grand plan were a lampshade, a gently vamped-up Billy as a bedside table-bookcase and a Ribba/Grundtal storage solution for half-worn clothes.

Next job in our Borrowed Bedroom was replacing the low and dark Engan bedside units that we had bought to match our Elga wardrobe with white Billy bookcases, very little actual hacking here. These are the 40 wide, 202 tall Billys.
I left the back off - firstly for aesthetic effect to show our paint colour through the shelves and secondly because the only power point in that part of the room is behind the Billy on my side of the bed. This way I can access it whenever I need to. Leaving the back off compromises the stability quite a lot so we've fixed it to the wall with the brackets provided and, if we find it's still not strong enough in a week or two, we'll add brackets under the middle fixed shelf too.

I put solid Olsbo half-doors on the bottom and a glass mini-Olsbo door on the top, inside which I taped the same wallpaper as on the decoupaged Elga to create a theme and hide the contents.

We found the 'bedside table' shelf too high and awkward to reach from the bed, also our iPhone charger cords are a bit too short to reach properly from the power point so I screwed in a Liksidig napkin holder to the bed-side of each Billy (thanks to this post for the inspiration). I popped a cable drop next to each to hold the charger cables when not in use and now I have my iPad and phone next to me, he has his Kindle and phone.


Last move was to replace our former touch table lamps with Jansjo clamp lamps, we were worried that the touch lamps were a fire hazard as the shelf above them was getting very hot. The Jansjo lights are great as they're nice bright spotlights for reading but can be angled differently to create mood lighting. Getting rid of the table-top lamps means there's more usable space now too.

The Borrowed Bedroom story continues with a crafty 2-in-1 combining clothing storage and picture rail. Our room isn't quite big enough for either an armchair or a towel horse, both classic solutions to the problem of clothes in limbo between wardrobe and laundry-basket. Everybody has this problem so I'm amazed how few decent solutions there are, especially for people with little space to spare. Yet again the internet came to my rescue and this provided the perfect solution.

The only space in our room is a metre-wide inset between the chimney breast and the window. I cut the ends off a longer Ribba with a hacksaw (slow but no power-tools in this house!) - making sure to keep the pre-drilled holes centred. Then husband screwed in an 80cm Grundtal rail to the underside of the Ribba, drilled some holes in the wall, screwed the Ribba to the wall, hung some Grundtal hooks on the rail and that was it!

Much neater and it takes a surprising amount of clothes.

The last, least hacked and smallest project in the Borrowed Bedroom.

I had quite a bit of wallpaper left over after decoupage-ing our Elga wardrobe and was feeling, quite frankly, a little decoupage-happy and generally pleased with myself. I was eyeing up possibilities around the house when I came across this.

The plain Fansta lampshade in our bedroom was the perfect candidate for a makeover and would match my lovely new wardrobe - the Fansta is no longer available but the Jara looks pretty similar. I used watered-down PVA (I'd run out of Mod Podge) but I don't recommend it, I found it a messy, awkward job and the paper just wouldn't sit right. The stretching of the paper when wet was impossible to gauge and working inside something with rounded sides was a pain. It looks fine but doesn't stand up to really close scrutiny! If I ever do it again I'll either use something like Pritt Stick or simply tape down one side of the paper to the shade then curve it around the inside and tape down the other side.

Regarding measuring and cutting the wallpaper, I just cut a rectangle off the roll that was quite a bit larger than the shade top-to-bottom then slowly rolled the shade from one side of the paper to the other and drew a pencil line above and below as I rolled. No photos of this I'm afraid, I was far too involved to remember to take any! Then I cut along the pencilled lines and wrapped it around the outside of the shade, trimming and trying it inside the shade as I went til it fit perfectly inside. If it helps, left flat the final paper is banana-shaped.

A couple of annoying things:
1 - you want the pattern to face out of course but the wallpaper will have been rolled the 'wrong' way, it takes a bit of flattening out and counter-rolling and a lot of steady patience to make it unfold out inside the shade without creases.
2 - as mentioned earlier the paper stretches when wet so the actual measurements are almost impossible to get right. My finished shade has a few little air bubbles and the paper doesn't quite go to the edges all the way around which is fine in daylight but as the pattern is visible through the shade when lit it's not as professional a finish as I would like.

But it's so pretty!

~ ioana

Coffee table from old Nenne computer desk

Materials: 4 dowels, 2 x 6cm screws, 2 pieces of wood 44cm x 5cm x 2cm, 6 pieces of wood 72cm x 3,5cm x 1cm; 1 pieces of wood 44cm x 3,5cm x 1cm; old champagne box(optional)

Description: I decided to turn my old computer table in to a coffee table. Rather than buy one, I liked the curves of this discontinued Nenne. Initially my plan was to use copper pipes, but since I had plenty of leftover wood from other DIY projects, it was better to use it in this. Here are the steps:
1 - remove the castors, net and keyboard tray
2 - the bottom panel which had the castor, needs to the turned 180 degrees, so that the castor holes are facing inside.
3 - mark the inside of the panels where the supporting pieces of wood will be (I marked them at 6,5cm from the edge)

4 - drill the holes on the pieces of wood for the dowels and the screws (I used 1 screw and 2 dowels for each)
5 - mark the holes for the dowels and the screws on the table panels
6 - screw the wood pieces in place (I used a bit of wood glue to fix the dowels, but this is not essential)
7 - take the 6 pieces of wood and make them in to a straddle, and place it above the supporting pieces of wood.(i used the cut-offs for the transversal)
8 - place the champagne box (optional!) and voila!

~ wilson mintilana, London

Narrow Bathroom Units

Materials: LILLA…NGEN Bathroom Units

Description: We have a narrow bathroom, but needed to put some base units in to cover existing pipework and provide some storage. Ikea have the narrow LILLANGEN washbasin cabinets but no other narrow base cabinets - so we used the upper wall cabinets as base cabinets. Batons attached to the wall brought them out to the same level as the sink unit. For the worksurface we used Pragel worktops cut to size.

~ Ian Grange, United Kingdom

Tractor bed

Materials: Mydal bunk bed

Description: My almost 4 year old is crazy about tractors...New Holland ones, to be precise. The only thing he wished for for his upcoming birthday was a blue tractor bed. I researched some tractor beds online and found a John Deere tractor bunk bed which I revamped a bit and turned into this tractor bed, complete with scoop, cab, and play space underneath. We plan on fitting a platform on the bottom slats for a secret hide-out for him.

I sawed the legs down a little so the bed wouldn't be so high. I jigsawed a cab and a scoop out of plywood, put it together, and spray painted it. We added push lights as head lights, a license plate personalized with his name and upcoming age, and added some plywood tires. I added arms for the scoop.

He's very happy with his birthday gift. We just have to add his mattress on top and the plywood platform on the bottom slats.

~ Cindy, Ontario, Canada


Materials: TERTIAL lamp, 4world iPad bracket

Description: Taking the TERTIAL lamp (£8.50) from Ikea remove the lamp fitting and flatten bracket

Then take 4world iPad holder, position the bracket in the centre of the rotating disc, drill a couple of holes get a couple of small bolts nuts and washers.

Fit the bracket and there you have it a multi-positional iPad bedside holder for less than 20 quid!

~ Simon Knowles, Liverpool, UK

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Hacker help: Coffee to Dining convertible table?

Materials: unknown

Description: I'm looking to build a coffee/dining convertible table. Convertible furniture is becoming more appealing with smaller condos, but the prices are ridiculous. I think we can do better.

What I'm looking to accomplish is a table like this one (pics above).

Any initial thoughts are welcome!

~ marek, Toronto, Canada

Photos: Modernika.net

Please check out an earlier post and discussion on something similar. Hope it will kickstart some thinking. Here's the link. ~ Jules

Molger 2.0

Materials: For this hack you need 2 Molger shelves and 1 (or 2, I used 1) Molger benches. Saws, drill, screws, nails and "brackets".

Description: After moving we had too many Molger units, and to save space I decided to build a shelf that fit around my washer.

It would be sweet if the Molger bench and shelf could play together like Legos, but they don't. So you'll need a lot of screws and plugs. Good tools are a must (or at least makes thing a lot easier).

What I would have done different:
Make the "seat" first, I made the over washer shelf first, and it was difficult moving after.
Make the shelf in a room with a flat floor, (not the bathroom, like me).
Make more support brackets.
For a nicer finish use the remaining boards to make a "tile" like finish. It also hides inaccuracies.
Measure properly!
Allow space for the tubes on the side of the washer (also some space over he washer to avoid shaking). For me it was a tight fit.

~ Hanskro, Trondheim

Unnu inspired media bench

Materials: Besta

Description: Just bought my first apartment and have begun the process of furnishing it. When it came to the TV area I wanted this one. It wasn't only the look of it that caught my attention. The doors are covered in speaker fabric, and this way I would be able to hide my old, ugly stereo system in it. It would let IR signals in and sound out. Only problem was that it costs about $1000 here in Norway.

So I turned to Ikea. Here's a list of the items i needed to create my own version:

- BESTÅ Shelf unit (120cm)
- BESTÅ Shelf unit (60cm)
- 3x BESTÅ VARA door

I also picked up speaker fabric and a stapler from the local hardware store for about $25.

The clue with creating the bench the way I wanted was to trim the size of the doors and move the placement of the vertical bench plates. This way the doors would be placed within the bench instead of in front. This might not seem like a big deal, but in my opinion the bench gets a completely different look by doing this.

So I did my measuring and sawed off about 3 cm from the top and bottom of the doors. I then sawed out a rectangular from the two doors I was going to cover with fabric. Using a normal stapler to cover them is not recommended. I wasted about 300 staples in the process just because these were clearly meant for paper, not wood. But whatever, I was just focused on the end result.

Total hours spent: 10
Total amount spent: 1300 kroner ($220)

Check out the pictures and don't hesitate to leave a message if this inspires you!

~ Henrik, Oslo, Norway

Kroby into Skurar pendant double lamp

Materials: 1 x Kroby pendant double lamp, 2x Skurar plant pot

Description: This hack is made by my friend from Hamina, Finland. She turned her old Kroby pendant lamp into totally new look by changing the glass lamp shades into Skurar plant pots. It took only a driller to make a few holes to put those Skurar plant pots into the lamp and voila, great new lamp! She gave her permission to put this hack idea. Thank you Taru!

~ Mona, Helsinki, Finland


Materials: LOCK ceiling lamp, napkins, PVA glue, brush

Description: To add an creative touch to a simple LOCK lamp you can use simple napkins with the design you like.

1. Release the LOCK glass from the mount
2. Detach the top layer of the napkin (the lower layers without print are not needed)
3. Apply glue sparingly to the glass and use the brush to gently press the napkin motive to the glass
4. Use more glue to seal the napkin to the glass. To avoid cracks and creases, always work from the inside out.

~ Svenja, Germany

Friday, 26 April 2013

Malm Dresser Turned Dog Window Seat

Materials: Malm Dresser, Paint, Plywood, Foam, Batting, Fabric, Staples, Upholstery Nails

Description: I created a window seat for our dogs so that they are able to sit and look out the window.


Paint dresser (optional).
Cut a piece of plywood to fit the top of the dresser.
Cut a piece of foam the same size as the plywood.
Wrap batting and fabric around to backside of plywood and staple down.
To create tufts, I used upholstery nails hammered down through the fabric, batting and foam into the plywood. (optional)

See more of the window seats for dogs.

~ Lauren, Ohio