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5 of the best Ikea hacks to try

These will get your creative juices flowing

Ikea Metod kitchen cabinets hacked by Denmark’s Henning Larsen Architects.
Ikea Metod kitchen cabinets hacked by Denmark’s Henning Larsen Architects.
Reform via Dezeen

Resourceful shoppers have been making the most of their budget buys at Ikea since virtually the beginning of time. A quick search for “Ikea hacks” will yield endless DIY ideas, whether it’s something as simple as painting over a basic wooden nightstand or mixing standard Ikea kitchen cabinets with fancier cabinet fronts (a trick seen in our latest Renovation Diary and is the basis for multiple design businesses.)

Perhaps the largest Ikea hacking community online can be found at IkeaHackers.net, a website started in 2006 by an Ikea hacker who goes by the pseudonym Jules (named after the retailer’s Jules chair.) In the decade since, the site has collected hundreds of hacks from contributors around the world, covering everything from the bedroom and bathroom to pet furniture and wall decor.

Now, some of the coolest ideas are culled together in IkeaHackers.Net 25 Biggest and Best Projects, a new book featuring detailed material lists, assembly instructions, and step-by-step photos for each project.

Curbed got to take a look inside book and picked out a few of the most fun, doable, or otherwise impressive hacks to highlight below. May these examples inspire your next DIY project!

1. Midcentury-style media cabinet

Ulysses Press

Ikea ingredient(s): METOD wall unit, HYTTAN doors

On the hunt for a compact DVD cabinet that still offers a midcentury look, Meera Pendred from the U.K. combined Ikea’s Hyttan oak doors and a METOD kitchen cabinet. Custom slim black handles and splayed furniture legs complete the sleek, retro aesthetic.

2. Spotlight vanity

Ulysses Press

Ikea ingredient(s): RAST 3-drawer chest, a pair of TOSTERUP handles

What was once a standard three-drawer chest is deconstructed here and reconfigured into a vanity by Jules Yap and Martin Wong. The top drawer remains in place while the bottom two are flipped vertical to become twin cabinets flanking the precut mirror. Plywood sheets add storage compartments while LED lights create a glam factor.

3. Hanging lamp

Ulysses Press

Ikea ingredient(s): 6 BUMERANG clothes hangers

This hack, another contribution from Jules Yap and Martin Wong, is just plain fun. Ikea’s smooth wooden hangers, cut in half here to encircle a lamp base and bulb, take on a sculptural quality.

4. Bookshelf sofa table

Ulysses Press

Ikea ingredient(s): BILLY bookcase, BILLY extension (optional)

Everyone’s favorite BILLY bookcase becomes a sofa table and room divider in this hack by Jochem Cooiman from the Netherlands. Cooiman simply flipped the bookcases on their sides and added wheels and a painted cover on top for a modern look.

5. Brick cottage dollhouse

Ulysses Press

Ikea ingredient(s): BILLY bookcase

Another fun use for BILLY! Tamara Berg from the U.S. turned Ikea’s ubiquitous bookcase into the bones of a meticulously crafted dollhouse. She used pine board and MDF for the roof and attic, rectangular sponges and paint to “stamp” the brick detail, foam core for interior walls, and scrapbooking paper for wallpaper and floors.