Each January, IKEA Hackers invites its readers to vote for the best furniture/technology hacks of the year. Here are the winning creations from 2007 to 2012 along with the instructions on how to make them.
We’ve featured DIY projects from IKEA Hacker many times over the years. Some recent examples include the cabinet that was turned into a high-end render farm, the wall fitting-cum-vertical bike rack, the sit-down arcade cabinet made out of a $30 coffee table and the lamp-turned-“hands free” iPad holder.
The below IKEA hacks were voted the best on the website during the year they appeared in. You can assemble most of them yourself by paying a visit to your local IKEA store (we’ve supplied links for the furniture items available locally). Just be mindful of the fact that the results are unlikely to be quite as frugal: Australia has the most expensive IKEA products in the entire world.
2007: Hemnes Daybed Turned Banquette
“The frame is basically complete here. I made it more sturdy than was necessary. Head and foot board from the hemnes day bed were used to create the backs of the banquette. I covered the frame by cutting up the main back piece from the hemnes daybed set which provides a nice uniform look.
“I added some molding around the bottom and covered the seats. Some people have asked if the whole thing was bought in a kit!” (Get the full instructions here.)
2008: Benno TV Unit Turned Turtle Terrarium
“All the wood used is from the benno tv unit: I cut the shelves into narrow boards that I mounted in the front and back to get a ‘basin’ for the sand. I cut some holes into the side walls for ventilation, Then I plated the corners with 0.7mm steel sheets, because the turtle really likes to ‘dig’ in there.
Finally, I painted the whole interior with three layers of yacht lacquer (2-component paint that forms a very hard sort of plastic) to make it water-proof and scratch-proof.” (Get the full instructions here.)
2009: 5×5 Expedit Shelf Turned Hamster Home
“I am an adult keeping a little dwarf hamster. I don’t like the traditional cages – I find them indescribably ugly and also most of them are much smaller than the space recommendations given by animal rights organizations. After lots of research and planning I hacked a 5×5 Expedit into my dream hamster cage. I shortened it to three rows of five columns as the room would have looked too full with another 5×5 Expedit in it. I then added two sets of Capita feet (8 feet in total) to get the height I wanted (eye-level when I sit in my chair) and to get a more floating look.
“The cage area has a deep area on the left side where the hamster can buddle 40cm (~16in) deep. A back plate was added to close the cage and to give more stability I screwed the backplate to the inner divider plates of the Expedit. Air holes are in the top and on both sides. The front of the deep area is plexi glass, the sliding doors are real glass. I then used aquarium silikone to seal all the little gaps between the cage area and the non-cage area so no bedding (or pee) can go through.” (Get the full instructions here.)
2010: PAX Door Turned Studio Apartment Wall
“My girlfriend and I bought and moved into our first apartment, with a tight budget we couldn’t afford anything bigger then a studio apartment. We bought the biggest IKEA PAX sliding cupboard doors we could find in light aluminum and frosted glass. We measured the size of our Ikea beds and marked off the new room so it would fit our bed and some clothing space tightly in order to save as much space in the living room as possible.
“I whipped up two wooden frames and mounted them to the ceiling, walls and floor. I then mounted the PAX doors and tidied up the frame. I installed four IKEA LED (color changing) spots in the frame so it would light up the frosted glass. We finished up our new bedroom with some LACK shelves and a little art work.” (Get the full instructions here.)
2011: French Country House Library
“Faced with a 11x4m landing which had been curtained off at either end as bedrooms we wanted to create a ‘built in’ library/office. With a 3.3m ceiling height there was an opportunity to build an impressive floor to ceiling installation to house a large book collection and 1500 DVDs. The house doorways are just over a meter wide and so there was an opportunity to use the Billy bridging units above the doors.
“We ordered 60, yes 60 units to put together and install. 15 full height units each side with half height units mounted upside down on top. Six Benno cases were cut in half, as were four bridging units to fill the space. Trimmed with oak architrave, door frames extended to fill the space. Gaps were filled with Numerar Worktop trim.” (Get the full instructions here.)
2012: KNUFF Transformable Coffee Table
“The size of this KNUFF coffee table is great for singles where you don’t need a huge coffee table, or to place it in your room where space is limited, and its just the perfect size for your cozy reading corner. And the best thing is all four sides can be used as drawer units for all your magazines, books, and controllers etc.
The KNUFF magazine file comes with two pieces (one inside the other). You can use this feature to change the shape of the table anyhow you like. The KNUFF table is quite solid and sturdy and works just like any other tables. Just don’t put dumbbells on it. This is an easy hack for everyone with no heavy duty works involved. All you need is liquid nail to secure everything in place then screw your artist stool under it. If you don’t have an artist stool, you can substitute it with a FROSTA stool and a SNUDDA Lazy Susan to make it rotatable.” (Get the full instructions here.)