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IKEA hack!

August 9, 2010

in Blog,Crafts

Once again, I haven’t been doing much bento making but I have a little surprise for bento loving people tomorrow. But for those who are just bored, read on!

We’ve been trying to “finish” our apartment since we got a little free time now. We moved into our place February 2009. We unpacked, got furniture and our place was 80% done within a week! Then a year and a half passed…

We were using an IKEA TV stand I got for free when I moved into my old apartment. It had four fixed shelves and it’s served its purpose, but if you’re a gamer and like to watch import DVDs like us, you know you need to have a media center that’s almost custom made for your Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, Wii, GameCube (which basically a decoration now), a multi-region DVD player, and all those plastic paraphernalia for the games to fit in it.

The most important thing about getting a TV stand for game consoles is ventilation. Game consoles get really hot!! The PS2 had an infamous problem in which the console would get so hot that if you were using it in a hot room, it’d just shut down. During the Summer my boyfriend used to stick his PS2 into the fridge for a while to cool it down before he could play it.

The second most important thing is accessibility. If you have your Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii hooked up to your computer and TV, you know how messy the space behind the consoles can be. If you have a back panel on the TV stand and a cord or wire gets loose, it’s a pain in the butt to fix.

We didn’t want to spend too much money on the furniture, so we measured almost all TV stands in IKEA to find a good TV stand. But the one we wanted to get was a bit too pricey for IKEA furniture ($250!!), and still not exactly what we wanted. So I searched around IKEAhacker.com and found the perfect solution.

The original hack was a LACK table with L-brackets which holds the middle section of consoles and electronic equipment with copper tape. (See the website for how they did it.) But I found out that the Container Store in NYC will cut their elfa wire rack for free. The elfa shelving system wasn’t exactly the cheapest option, but they are very sturdy, so we decided to splurge ourselves and paid about $11 per rack.

A little bit of drilling and screwing and voila!

ikeahack2

For now, I only have the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii and PS2 in this hookup, but I'm going to put my multi-region DVD player and add another rack under the Xbox 360 and put a Wii fit board.

ikeahack3

The rack from the side. (I will take care of the cords behind the table...)

ikeahack5

I was originally going to use a screw and bolt to secure the wire rack onto the L-brackets, but I ended up using a wire because that's what I had in my toolbox. It works perfectly fine! If you don't move your electronics around too much, even a little twisty will do a good job.

I wanted to have the lower shelf be the same as the top shelf which is supported by L-brackets, but the first time I had the wire rack cut, I made a huge mistake, and it came out too short to use the L-brackets with. T_T “Measure twice cut once” had totally slipped out of my mind. I was a sculpture major in the School of Visual Arts, and I had built staircases, rooms, etc… so I was pretty embarrassed by this. But I didn’t want to waste the wire racks, so I bought 10-inch nuts and hung the shorter rack from the top rack, securing the rod with washers and bolts.

ikeahack1

The mistake aside, I do like the industrial look. I might add L-brackets where the bottom rack is, and place wooden or metal rods across it to support the shelf's weight though.

Now, if you’re thinking of doing this, I want you to know one thing…

The legs of LACK table are hollow inside! The leg is made with 1/4 inch thick piece of particle board.

I realized this when I was pre-drilling the holes in the legs, and it was AFTER I already got the wire rack cut. I really wish the original hacker mentioned it in his hack. The wire rack is sturdy but not super light and the Xbox 360 and PS3 are pretty heavy. So I was worried that the screws on L-brackets would come out if I put anything heavy on it. I’m always worried about how much weight a screw/nail can hold, so maybe I’m just paranoid. It’s been a week, it’s not loose and it’s holding up fine. But I won’t recommend putting a bunch of heavy stuff on it. If you have the right tools, you can just cut a lighter wire rack or wood piece for the rack.

Anyway the total cost of this hack is…
TV stand with one rack
IKEA LACK table — $7.99 each
L-brackets — under $2.00 for 4 pieces
elfa wire rack — $11.99 (I had a 16-inch deep, 24-inch wide rack cut to 21 1/2 inch wide for the top rack)
Total — about $22 before tax

TV stand with two racks
IKEA LACK table — $7.99 each
L-brackets — under $2.00 for 4 pieces
elfa wire rack — $11.99 each
10-inch nuts, washers and bolts — about $10
Total — about $32 before tax

Even with the hollow legs, this little table is actually extremely sturdy. We have a 46-inch flat screen TV on it, but it won’t wobble at all. Just make sure you screw the legs onto the table really tight.

Since I’m doing my IKEA-hacked furniture, I’m going to post some pictures of my other hack.

When we moved in, I wanted to a get coffee table that had a lot of storage space. We have at least 2 controllers for each game console, and we wanted to keep them very close to our sofa. So we got this coffee table which has pretty big drawers on the both ends.

RAMVIK Coffee table

RAMVIK Coffee table - before hacking

But the problem was that I didn’t want to put this box-like coffee table directly on the floor. So we got legs from IKEA ($10 for 4 pieces, I used 6 pieces), and screwed them onto the bottom of the coffee table.

IKEA hack - coffee table

Hacked! Now off the floor!

It has a glass top and you could put your favorite photos, prints and such between the table and the glass top. But I wanted to display my boyfriend’s alphabet robot toys he has had since he was little. So I got a bunch of Rubik’s cubes online for very cheap, and put them between the table and the glass top.

IKEA hack - coffee table

They are very cheaply made, and not very good as Rubik's cubes, but they make a great and nerdy glass top riser.

IKEA hack - coffee table

Can you spot a wireless WaveBird? ;)

I love the drawers on this table. They’re HUGE and hold tons of stuff. The picture is the inside one of the drawers. These are only the half of controllers we have. I keep my boyfriend’s school journal from when he was 5~12 years old at the bottom storage part. It’s so much fun to read and look at his drawings.

The next one isn’t really a hack, but when we moved in, we also got this shoe bench thing from IKEA. I wasn’t crazy about the country look, so I decided to make cushions for it. First I bought foam and blue fabric. I found images of the stars and mushrooms from Super Mario Bros., blew it up, cut felt, sewed it onto the blue fabric. Then I made cushion covers with the fabric.

Super Mario Bros. themed cushions

One side is a Mario mushroom.

Super Mario Bros. themed cushions

The other side is the star.

Super Mario Bros. themed cushions

I put a zipper so I can even wash the cover.

Super Mario Bros. themed cushions

I like mixing them up though.

So yeah, a little tweak here and there can make your boring furniture unique and very practical! Don’t be afraid to modify your furniture, and more great ideas for IKEA hack, check out ikeahacker.com!

For more pictures of my IKEA hack, visit IKEA hacked furniture and other stuff! set on my flickr page.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

HazNo Gravatar August 10, 2010 at 3:05 am

wow…
just wow…

words escape me…

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HazNo Gravatar August 10, 2010 at 3:06 am

* I mean Escaped :)

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Mr KikiNo Gravatar August 10, 2010 at 6:18 am

excellent stuff. I love the hacking idea. and the super mario cushions are brilliant! :) nice one.

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*~kAy~*No Gravatar August 11, 2010 at 2:41 am

I love your cushions!!! ><

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hoyoyiNo Gravatar August 22, 2010 at 11:19 pm

i think i still have the alphabet robot, mine is K i think hehehe we are almost same age i think~

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Tipa LimsonNo Gravatar September 2, 2010 at 2:37 am

so my friend sent me a link to your photos and blog and I just wanted to say that I LOVE your kyaraben and your plushies! :) esp. these furniture hacks and mods! such great ideas!

I’m going to try making some bentos/sealed sandwiches now he hee :)

I hope you continue to churn out wonderful things because you are so talented! (and the fact that you share your talents with others is inspiring.)

Thank you thank you thank you,
Tipa Limson

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AndytizerNo Gravatar January 18, 2011 at 7:12 am

I love the hacks you’ve done with the Ikea furniture :) .

I also have a RAMVIK table and I’m curious – how can you make sure the glass top isn’t knocked off in your setup? It would see a really easy thing to do by accident!

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AnnaTheRedNo Gravatar January 18, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Andytizer,
Glad that you like my hack! The glass top of a RAMVIK is heavy enough to stay on the top of mini-Rubik’s cubes, but if you’re thinking about a similar hack, and worried about the glass top sliding, maybe you can put some gooey robber stuff (like rubber cement) on top and bottom of whatever that’s between the glass top and the table. I never tried it so I’m not sure about what it does to the surface of the table though.

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