Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ikea hacking

So I know there are a lot of design types who poopoo Ikea.  But I believe Ikea has some great design opportunities!  Definitely creative ones.
You can do a quick google on ikea hacks, and a ton of sites will come up.  
A few of them offer before and afters of some really great projects.

Here's one I think is super easy, but adds so much - 

Those nail heads are available individually (uhh if you have the patience for that sort of thing) or in strips that you nail every several inches or so.  I know Joann has them in various finishes as well. Changes the look so much in my opinion, I like little details like that.

This baby seems so simple to do, but would make such a great statement in a room -

I think it was for a teenagers room, but I would think many areas in a home could use this type of kick. The colors and patterns you could do are just limitless.

We've got our own ikea hacks going on around here.  Sadly, I don't have any "befores" or "in process" pictures to show you though.  Bad newbie blogger, bad!

Ok, so the Ikea Billy bookcase is a great piece of storage furniture, especially if you're on a budget!  You can buy them for under $100 directly from the store, or I see them on Craigslist all the time for under $40!  The shelves are adjustable, which is awesome!   Ikea also sells the shelves individually should you choose to add more or replace any.

If you're thinking you're going to paint that backing, really think about it first!  Whatever finish is on the backing really does NOT want to be painted!   
I tried Krylon primer, rolling on latex, and plain ol' spray paint without success!
 It was a total beeotch to finally get a good coat on.  
So heed my words here sweet ones - get Killz brand primer and make your life a lot easier!  But my teenager doesn't listen to my "learn from my mistakes" advice, so maybe you won't either?!  Just don't say I didn't warn ya!

I did finally get the Tiffany blue color on the back like I had intended, and am happy with the finished product for sure.  It was worth all the grief in the beginning.  I suppose the difficulty in painting the backing may be why a lot of people paint or cover fiber board and just pop that in the back of each shelf section.

I attached a few of those Command hooks on the outer side of the shelf for necklaces, bags etc.

Bonus tip having nothing to do with Ikea hacking...
I stuff my boots with empty water bottles to retain their shape.  I hate when they crease and fold over.
I don't doubt there is a product you can buy that will do this, but this was free!  
And it works really well!

Onto more Billy bookcases!

My daughter has 2 of these bookcases flanking her dresser.  I found a roll of wrapping paper that I liked and attempted to attach that to the backing.  
I originally thought I could just use spray adhesive and smooth it out, I even bought the type that you can pull up and reapply. (like a post it)
WRONG!  It kept wrinkling and was a total nightmare for someone like me who has only a teeny amount of patience, and that is usually spent by 8:15 a.m.!
On a positive note, the width of the roll was perfection, and the length was plenty, which was dumb luck because I didn't have the measurements with me when I bought them!  I wasn't even looking for paper for this project, as I assumed I'd look for fabric instead.  But hanging out in the stationary section at Target makes your brain start some creative streams.
Ultimately, we just glued a few inches on the back at the top and folded / hung it over the front.
Viola! No wrinkles!  When you attatch the backing (original) you're supposed to tack it in several spots along the back edges.  So when we did that it helped to secure the paper.

It's a great blast of color and pattern in her room!  Sorry for the lack of full length shots.  She's 12, those who know, KNOW this was the only neat section I could snap! 

I hacked a few other pieces in her room too.

This metal side table has been painted so many times, I honestly don't even 
remember the original color!

Couple cans of rattle can du jour - and BAM! Whole new table!

We purchased a glass and natural unfinished wood curio cabinet as she used to collect tea cups, and we needed desperately for something to display and corral them!  But it looked totally unfinished when we put it in her room.  
Because it was unfinished.  
I'm a smarty.

So the whole thing got a quick coat of white paint, and I freehanded a cherry blossom flowering branch all up and down the back.  Again, this is something that the colors and patterns you can do are just limitless.  Definitely look to the net for inspiration!

I did this one years ago when her room was themed around all things chinoiserie.  I thought I'd be redoing it this time around, but I think it works just as it is, so cherry blossoms it will be forever.
Or for a long while, ok?

There's also a Hemnes dresser in white.  We'd previously swapped out the knobs, which is the easiest way to change the look of a simple dresser.  But while checking out blogs I saw a dresser with chevrons painted on the drawers and totally loved it!
If you don't have a chevron template it does make it a bit trickier to get the lines even.  Unless you're all smarty with math.  There are several places online that offer free templates, but I thought I could just wing it.  I just wasn't happy with how it was turning out, so I went in another direction. 
As an aside, I downloaded one for the chevron painted rug that I did.  

Hey! That rug was also from Ikea!  The tutorial is on my Facebook page!
I'm really jumping all over today!  Just trying to force you to read the words!
 Back to the dresser...
I was using metallic duct tape, so I had the freedom to try a few patterns without commitment.
Duct tape has really stepped up their game, there are so many great colors available now.

I love the way it turned out, and it's holding up really well too!  Adds just enough shine and sparkle to that area of her room.  A friend later suggested I try an actual duct tape, in that it's used for wrapping ducts, available at Home Depot etc.

I love the shiny quality, and it doesn't have those ridges like regular duct tape.  
So you wouldn't immediately KNOW it was duct tape.
I like it.
My only concern will be if it can be removed as easily as crafty style duct tape.  
Will have to report back another time if I decide to switch them out.
My project list only seems to grow longer, not ever shorter!  Yours too?

And the last hackity hack hack!

I saw this in the latest issue of House Beautiful.

My snapshot of House Beautiful July/August 2012, Photo pictured by juliana sohn

I immediately thought to the 4 Orange Sanela velvet curtains I have in some closet somewhere!  
That deep orange would be fab in Lila's room!

So I used 3 of the panels I had, connecting them left to right to one another with heat n bond.  Ikea actually provides you with some of this to hem the curtains.  I love that stuff, although I think what I had on hand is called Stitch Witchery.  I have used most brands of this, and don't think I could say any one is better over another.  Anyhow, worked out great!  I still have to add some snaps on the opening side, but let's just add it to that ever growing project list, shall we?

I chose to leave a couple of the finished seams since it wasn't large enough to make it without any seams other than the sides.  Her duvet is queen sized, a twin would be much easier.  You'd only have to use 2 panels, not 3.  She loves it because it's so super soft.  (cotton and machine washable- yay!!)  And I am totally loving the color!  Looks total luxe, and didn't cost me anything additional!  I've had those curtains for years, and they were just taking up space prior to this.

So many new items coming into the shop this week!  I've been a polishing fool! 

Even though it can be tedious, I really get such pleasure from what's hiding underneath all that dirt and tarnish!  Sometimes, like yesterday, an item is actually silver plated instead of brass!  And the above bud vase I thought was going to have marks I couldn't remove, turned out just about spotless!

Or you discover an engraving you couldn't see at all- like this little gem!

Have to wonder a little if Ray and Pierrette are still together since 1-29-81?!

Those interested in Hollywood Regency style, are going to LOVE this pair of pearlescent glitter lamps I picked up last weekend!

GORGE!!!! Now I really try to research everything I list on Etsy, in order to provide as much insight to the original use or manufacturer and or date of said item.  
But once in a while I just can't find what I need.  

These fabulous little lamps are elusive little shits. 

Everything iridescent or pearlescent in the vintage art glass lamp world, look nothing like these!  
The finishes I find seem to be much smoother in appearance, not so glittery.  

Either way, they're spot on for the style, they're glam as hell and just gorgeous, and they'll be available by mid week!

Have a great week, go take a 2nd look at your Ikea goods, can you mix them up?  Tailor them more to your style?  Worth the little effort to customize them and make them all your own!

Thanks for reading!

sparkle & shine,


  1. Was just at Ikea just year picking up LACK media table, fits perfectly in that big tv hole in my living room... Now time to so nailheads, it'll look great!

    And love the duvet... Genius...

  2. Coupon for Joann in today's paper too! Send me finished product pix!