Say hi to the ”Sputnik” lamp designed by Jens Pettersson! The lamp was a entry in the design contest ReMake (organized by Stockholms Stadsmission). The shiny, sleek look is a far cry from its origin – the pendant lamp is made of the barrel of an out-of-service washing machine! The great shape of the drum – with its perforated surface and stainless steel finish – creates great hack potential…The lamp is quite the upcycled improvement from the junk yard origins…
As there is a steady flow of discarded machines, finding use of old parts is both smart and eco friendly!
another example was found @ www.recycleit.ie
The Hack backdrop, on a personal level…
I deemed my 4 old Billy shelves as:1. a bit dingy (after years of heavy use) 2. a bit too basic (I bought them a poor student)… 3. a bit boring (being all plain n´ all..) 4. a bit insufficient and inefficient their 202cm height left wasted 80cm space up to my 280cm ceiling… What to make of all of this I thought?! Go to the dump? Buy new bookshelves? Hire a carpenter? …. No – instead I opted for some Pimping & ScrapHacking Action! So I hereby present…… - The Brave New Billy!
Follow my 10-step tutorial below for some D.I.Y action!
A 10 step Tutorial – How to pimp-your-Billy!
- IKEA Billy shelves (preferably 40cm, as 80cm tend to cave in after a while…I used my old Billy 60cm which are unfortunately no longer to be found in the IKEA Billy assortment).
- IKEA Faktum kitchen cabinets (37cm deep, 70cm high, and in a width that matches your Billy. Ex. If you have two 40cm Billies, opt for a 80cm Faktum). You´ll also need to make your own choice on IKEA Faktum kitchen cabinet doors (I used IKEA Lidingö)
- IKEA Integral hinges for Faktum
- IKEA Door knobs, I used IKEA Svep
- (For me with the 60cm Billy- Some IKEA Leksvik coat hangers…)
From the hard wear store/lumber yard
- Beam (to create a bottom base – I used 95mm)
- Base Board, same dimension of the beam (since the purpose of the board is to cover the beam, I used 95mm).
- Board of wood or MDF, approx 40 cm wide and the length of the total of the side-by-side Billy Units (to use as top board on top of the IKEA Faktum and under the Billies).
- Board of wood or MDF, approx 30 cm wide and the height of the Billy (to cover exposed Billy sides).
- Angle Braces (to fasten Billy to wall, 6pcs for each Billy)
- Filler plugs
- Wood trim, about 44mm wide, to cover the vertical mating edges of the Billy Shelves (in Stockholm I found a good choice @ Fredells, Nacka).
- Wood trim, about 20-21mm wide, to cover the horisontal front ledge of the individual shelves of the Billy bookshelf.
- Wood sealer
- White paint (and brushes)
- Some filler (to fill up the holes in the Leksvik Coat Hangers and for a lite smudge over nail heads after fastening of trim)
- Some glue
- Wire nails (to fasten the wood trim)
- Some scrap pieces of wood (to place between the Billy/Faktum and the wall when fastening)
- Some doublesided adhesive pads
- (if you like me will build shelves over a door frame you need to construct a top shelf unit, doing this myself, I needed the following: i.) Board, Approx 30cm Wide×Length, approx the width of your door frame´+5cm ii.) Billy Height Extension units to match the width of your door frame iii.) some scrap pieces of 30cm 28cm wide board and iv.) a top board of 28cm wide×Length, approx the width of your door frame´+5cm.
- Carpenter´s rule
- Circular saw
- Drill/screw driver
- Nail Center Punch
Take the measurements of the wall where you´ll place your customized Billy´s. Compare to the IKEA Billy assortment. For each Billy unit you plan on using you´ll need a Faktum unit of the same width dimension. Look through the steps presented below and I am sure you´ll get the logics of this hack!
2. Sourcing and visiting the lumber yard
What you need from the lumber yard is wood trim, beam-, and board material. Firstly, you´ll need the vertical trims that will go along the vertical mating edges/outer edges of your Billies – I used symmetric 44mm (W) trim for this, and in the lumber yard I sawed the material into sticks that were approx 210cm long at the lumberyard (you need at least 202cm as 202cm is the height of the average full height Billy). Secondly, you´ll need trim that will run along the front ledge of the individual shelves in the Billy shelves, for this purpose, I used 20-21mm asymmetric trim. (If you like me, will build shelf unit over a door frame, you´ll also need trim for that!).
I took my long trim sticks home by public transport…This required some logistical creativity..
2. Paint board & wood trims…
Back home, work can begin!
Start by a.) sealing the wood with wood sealer…
…then continue by b.) applying a primer coat and c.) a final coat (I used high gloss white)
Painting the wood trim is a bit tricky. Using the support of 2 trestles helped me a lot (painting the trims lying direct on the ground will not result in pretty looking edges…)
In my case (working with 60cm wide Billys) the painting bit also included painting of 4 Leksvik coat hangers. They will be used in the hack is as trompe-l´oeil drawers, covering slots at the base of the Billy shelves.
3. Chop board
Top Board (that will lie on top of the Faktum Cabinets): Chop the board to a size which is slightly bigger than the Faktum top (that the board will be resting on). Having ledges ”sticking out” approx 3 cm on each side of the structure and in front, creates a balanced feel.
Side board (that will be mounted onto the exposed, outer side of the Billy shelf): Chop the board to a size which is slightly wider than the Billy (which is 28cm). You want the back edge of the board to lay flat against the back fall, and the front edge to lie tight side by side to the front of the exposed Billy side (the wood trim will be fastened to hide the mating edges…).
2. Work your way up…
Build a base structure using the beams. The base should be of a matching proportion of the IKEA Faktum units. This structure will lift the IKEA Faktum from the ground, creating a ”airy” feel to what will be a rather big structure.
2. Mount the IKEA Faktum cabinet and the board
Here you can see the effect of the ledges ”sticking out”. This step includes a.) Mounting the cabinet to the base b.) gluing the board onto the Faktum cabinets (clamps add pressure while drying) c.) Fastening the cabinet to the wall (I had to use some scrap pieces of wood as a distance between the back of the cabinet and the wall, building approx 3cm).
3. Mounting Billy onto the Faktum
This step includes a.) mounting the Billy on top of the Faktum (with the board in between the two) b.) fastening the Billy to the wall, I used sturdy angle irons (see top left corner of photo below) c.) fitting the side board to between the top of the Faktum unit and the shelf that I installed right on top of my door frame (for the built-in look), as previously mentioned you want the side board to have tight back fit towards the wall and a tight front fit where the edge of the board and the front edge of the exposed Billy side will lay side by side.
4. Creating a snug, customized fit
For my hack, I wanted to use space over the door frame. I did this by following these steps:
a.) I created a base board/shelf using the same width dimension of board used to cover the exposed outer side of the Billy, the length was adjusted to fit the width of the door frame and was made to lie/be supported by the side cover board units (study the picture below and you will see how I did this) b.) On top of the base board I mounted a customized construction which I made out of two old Billy Height extension units I had and some scrap pieces of board.The height of this construction was determined by the distance from the door frame to the upper edge of the big Faktum/Billy unit (on the left)…. As you can see from the picture above, the construction needs to be tidied up, seeing all those mating edges is not a pretty sight…And this is where the wood trims come into the hack!
5. Time for prim trims!
Start out with the trims that cover the horisontal front edges of the individual shelves inside the Billys…In doing this, I used a great little tool called a Nail/Centre Punch. That tool makes sure you wont crush the sensitive trim with the blows from your hammer as it provides a intermediary nail.
Continue by mounting the vertical trims…
Final detail adjustments will most likely be necessary!
6. Mount your choice of door to the cabinets
I used IKEA Lidingö doors. As I used 60cm Billys´and consequently 60cm Faktum cabinets, I opted for a 2×30cm door setup for each unit! The screw-free IKEA hinge system means adding doors is done in a couple of minutes!
7. The Leksvik rack hack!
From rack to trompe l´oeil drawer…Mount the racks by following these steps a.) fasten the door knobs b.) fasten a wooden block (approx W:5cm, L:5cm and D:2cm) to the back of the individual rack c.) add some strong double sided adhesive pads and stick the back of the rack to the front of the base of the Billy.
8. Add doorknobs…
9. Add bottom base board for a chic cover up
As you can see in the photo above I covered the beam base structure with base board. There are great many varieties out there, just remember the width of the board should match the height of the base beam structure (I used 95mm in both instances)…When getting corners right (and matching 45∘angels, I used a great tool where pre-made slots make sure I get the angles right. Unfortunately, I don´t really know what the tool is called, but see below for a features photo where the angled slots are visible! Perhaps you will have better luck than me in Googling the answer to that one!
10. Enjoying the Brave New Billies!
So, now, after lots of work, and heavy lifts of all the books back in place…I present the customized Billy Hack! Hope you will do some Billy Hacking of your own and that you found this hack inspiring! For me, the hack felt like an achievement as I resisted the throw-out/buy new temptation…
Instead of tossing my old Billies, I upcycled them! Deemed dingy, boring, insufficient, inefficient… they morphed into something great looking, inspiring, sufficient and efficient! The hack captures the essence of ScrapHacking as the pimping and hacking turned this ”scrap” to something quite wonderful – simply by investing some time, creativity and practical action in the problem solving process!
Did you know that IKEA has sold over 41 million Billy bookshelves since the 1979 launch?
The Billy shelf, designed by Gillis Lundgren, is a modern icon. I find it somehow simultaneously symbolize the democratization of knowledge (access to/ownership of books), the advent of democratic interior design (access to affordable furniture) and social change (access to living space/capita big enough to have bookshelves).
However, although the Billy is highly practical, and although Billy shelves do have a great inherent, symbolic meaning, they also present a sustainability challenge, at both ends of the production/consumption cycle…
IKEA boasts suberb logistic skills, yet inescapably, millions of bookshelves means millions of flatpacks shipped to IKEA stores around the world. On its way to new homes, a typical Billy shelf continue its journey by car or lorry. After some years of dutiful book storage, the journey of a typical Billy will continue…As your typical Billy shelf do not tend to fall into the heirloom category and as they (being cheap to begin with, and living in a era revolutionized by e-books and new media) don´t really have that much of a 2nd hand value, their destiny will be a final voyage to the dump. On its way there, we are yet again faced with the transportation issue, and lastly the recycling challenge. In my (part of the) city, a Billy bookshelf would most probably be burnt and converted into new energy, but in other cities and in other parts of the world, Billys´ might very well up in land fills…
All of this, makes those 41 million Billys´seem a bit intimidating…However, personally I prefer seeking opportunity over dystopic dwelling. As I love new media (and all of its inherent possibilities!) I find it hard to complain about the fact that the Billys´of the world are becoming redundant. Books and Billys´ will be around in our homes for quite some time to come, that´s why we need to get creative, and start realizing the full potential of our Billys´!
I would argue that the best way to achieve this is to start ScrapHacking! /Best of Luck Billy Hacking!
During my last visit to Montauk (which is situated at the eastern tip of Long Island, outside NYC) I spotted some cool flags outside a giftshop on MainStreet (next to Shagwong restaurant)…
The shape reminded me of wood blinds (i don´t think they are made out of old blinds although they looked like they could be!) – so the flags made me think of a easy scraphack! The idea I got was to upcycle parts of broken/discarded blinds like the ones featured below…As you all know, it takes just a few actual broken pieces to break the function of an entire blind, hence there´s room for some clever upcycling!
Studying the photos above you can see that what you need for the Blinds-to-flag Hack is the following:
The Blinds-to-Flag ScrapHack!Old wooden blinds Paint & brushes 3 pieces of scrap wood/flag (to serve as mid-section and end support, pieces should be the same as the height of the flag). A staple gun (maybe, some additional wire for support)
Well, that´s the idea, so get in touch with your patriotic side and start hacking!
To visit the Montauk giftshop, head to:
This cute stool was spotted in association to a M.Margiela Home display in Stockholm department store Nordiska Kompaniet. It captures the essence of scraphacking, with its basic, almost crude, design and its sloppy inspired piant job – do note the dripping paint, left ”uncensored”… All you need for some D.I.Y is to study the construction and mimic it – you´ll make yourself a solid, quirky yet cute, stool…
Yesterday I had the pleasure of accompanying a friend to the ”opening ceremony” of the Åsogatan (Stockholm) offices of company 4cycle. 4cycle has a great ScrapHacker mindset and a even greater ScrapHacker business idea, they offer a practical toolbox of creative solutions for waste management…Little wonder a ScrapHacker like me found this company very intriguing…Little wonder again, that the 4cycle office space was full of great ScrapHack inspirations, my favorite was the shelf unit made out of old moving boxes, some brass metal clips and some recycled painted mdf topboard…
The party was a demonstration of an abundance of creativity among the 4cycle team, with CEO Pelle Halling and sidekick Norberto Lacourt proving great inspirational skills. Not only were guests treated to lots of yummy treats from CousCous catering…
….but also to lots of inspirational treats such as live music in the elevator (two charming troubadours performed a small tune, specially written for the elevator ride!) and a huge interactive guestbook – the gloriously 4cycled lockerunit!
Guests tagged the locker units….(my tag below…)
Guests played free flipper…
Guests marveled at great attention to detail throughout the space…such as homemade cross-stiched signs…
…and Scrappy Chic curtains of the conference rooms..
..actually made out of old shirts!
Pieces from Stockholms Stadsmissions ReMake collection were also admired…The dresses are ScrapHacked vintage kitchen towels!
A big thanks to 4cycle for being generous with food, drink and inspiration!
Read more about 4cycle @ www.4cycle.se
The Prinzessinnengarten in Berlin´s Kreutzberg area is a dynamic concept in so many ways…As the garden is situated on a plot which is only ”borrowed”, all vegitation resides in flexible pallets. Hence, should the plan for the plot change, so can the plan for the garden…The garden produces 60 kinds of potato, and serves as neutral meeting ground for the citizens of the culturally diverse Kreutzberg.
This sculptural pile of logs, coated pink paint, was spotted at a Hilfiger pop-up in NYC. The idea is fun and simple,
all you need for some D.I.Y action are some logs…
…and some paint in a shade of your choice…
…Have fun ScrapHacking!
I saw some innovative and sculptural ideas on how to use old corks in a great window display of a Anthropologie store…I made me do some research. Did you know that cork has been used as bottle stoppers for more than 400 years? It is argued to be the best suited material to use as it contains a natural waxy substance, called suberin, which makes cork impermeable to liquids and gas, and prevents the cork from rotting, read more about cork here.
Although we all recognize a cork – how many of us actually know where it comes from? Here´s a clip to fill in that blank…
There are various uses for scrap cork (not all can end up as bottle stoppers and then in Anthropologie´s great window displays…). After bottle stopper have been punched out of the cork slabs, there is some leftover cork scrap. This scrap is grinded and then molded into large blocks and baked in ovens to make other cork products such as cork tile flooring and cork message boards!
See this great clip on usages of cork:
Knowing that…I think I appreciate the Anthropologie displays even more…
So, save your corks from now on, and but on your ScrapHacker glasses…This is a great tutorial from www.YourDailyThread.com
- what other creative new ways to use it can you come up with?
Good luck cork hacking!
This is the story of a weekend project that resulted in two canary yellow stools…
A weekend D.I.Y project – Adding some TLC and Vitamin C
I visited a local store for salvaged furniture and came across a pair of stools with woven seats.
The pair were a humble 200SEK (about £16/€22).
In retrospect I believe I might have been attracted to the stools due to some degree of resemblance to the Wagner Y chair…
As my personal style didn´t really agree with the green glazy colour of the stools, I went to the paint shop eager for ideas…
As I´m having a ”yellow moment” i opted for a canary yellow shade:
- But wait a minute! Before the splash of paint can begin, there are some other necessary steps in order to achieve a good result…
What you need for a good paint job…An object to splash! Some protective carton/plastic (unless you opt for ”artists´studio style @ home…) Detersive & Scotch Brite Primer Paint & brushes A tad of patience…
1. Wash up!
Firstly, you need to rub the object free from any dirt or grease… Use some de-greasing detersive and a scotch-brite.
2. Primer (and then wait some…)
Secondly, after you rubbed the object clean and dry…move on to the primer. The primer is a layer that ensures that the final layer of paint will adhere in a nice and even way. Given that I am to paint a my stools in a shade that´s lighter than the original one, the primer also ensures no dark color will bleed through…
3. Go loco (and then wait some more…)
Of course, painting the true color is the fun part…Enjoy! After applying a first layer, leave it to dry properly. You will surely have to go back to to some touch-ups, as you always tend to miss spots…After all is painted – wait for it to dry over night…
A paint job is an easy way to inject some love into an object and some fun into a weekend! The result will smile at you for many long workweeks to come! My canary stools feel like welcome boost of Vitamin C to my home which is preparing for a long, and most likely grim, Swedish winter…
The Etsy shop Woodstock Clocks features tons of inspiration on cool ideas for some D.I.Y action! Their products show that all you really need is some imagination, a movement and some clock hands. The price range of the shop is very humble, so if you don´t feel like making a clock yourself – opt for a Etsy transaction!
What you´ll need to make your own clock is basically 4 things: a quartz clock movement, some clock hands, an object with a hole in it and maybe a pencil and a protractor…
1. A quartz clock movement, such as this one which will cost you about £3 at your local hard wear store:
2. Some clock hands, such as these ones (about £1,50)
3. Any object with a hole in the middle (so that the movement can connect to the clock hands)
(4. A Pencil and a protractor, in order for you to mark where to draw hour markers)
Good luck clock hacking!
Clocks are a great reminder of that time is all we got…Although we don´t always like to be reminded of that:Clocks slay time… time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life. ~William Faulkner
Let´s all make the most out our time…personally and stylewise…here are some more examples from Woodstock clocks and elsewhere:
Below: some more fab examples, snapped @ Selfridges in London (@ their great déco department).
I say seize the day, whatever way possible (…and make or get a great clock while your at it)
Pianos restaurant and bar @ 158 Ludlow Street (at Stanton St) is not only the a great nighttime venue for concerts and drinks – it´s also worth a visit due to an abundance of scrappy chic and quirky cool style…
The nighttime morph into a bustling live music venue (photos from www.pianosnyc.com)
Pianos, 158, Ludlow Street (NYC)
This cute low bench has a seat that´s made out of pleated yarn, and it made me instantly yearn a visit to the yarn shop…In order to make it your self you need to find a stool or bench with a loose seat (remove the seat to expose the naked frame), then get some yarn and get ready for some handy work! The bench on the picture was spotted at a Anthropologie London store.
Automobiles are an integral part of the modern history of the Western world…Yet, although there may be some hardcore enthusiasts out there, most of us aren´t interested in cars that have lost their original function…This re-purposed Ford Truck Grill was spotted at the Williamsburg waterfront Flea. It reminds us of another era and shows a possible way of preserving a sliver of history that would otherwise have gone straight to the junk yard… A pretty cool thing to hang over the mantelpiece, no?!
There are many more Scrappy Chic examples online:
After having put up some IKEA Ekby Ståtlig shelves in my bathroom I found myself with some shelf leftovers…
I didn´t really know what to do with them…I felt it would be a shame to throw the nice bits of solid birch wood. As the Ekby Ståtlig shelves (I had the 28cm´119cm ones) are pretty pricey (for being IKEA) I wanted to make something out of them…
D.I.Y 5-step tutorial – The Ekby Ståtlig CUBE
This is what I came up with – a cube!
Follow me through the steps to see how I did it! I don´t normally have access to a workshop, but recently I had the chance to work with some great tools while I attended a carpenting course!
1. Firstly, Get some clean cuts with a little help from the circular saw…Choose the dimensions of the cube to suit your needs for your place. I opted for a tall, rectangular shape (approx 35cm wide and 60cm high, meaning I used about 1,5 Ekby Ståtlig in total, the one that´s 28cm´119cm)
2. Use a genius tool called a Biscuit Jointer, ideal for angled 90° joints. The jointer has a rotating blade that cuts curved slots into the material. It´s essential that mating edges are planed straight for a tight joint.
3. The biscuits will expand when in contact with fluids. This quality makes it ideal for jointing. Add some white water-based glue (intended for wood) on both mating sides of the biscuit.
4. Lastly, clamp it up! The cube will be ready for action after 20 minutes or so.
5. The finished 3D version of the Ekby Shelf, a solid cube structure which goes pretty much anywhere in the house. Use it as a side table, a stool, a shelf, or anything that´s needed at your place!
This up-cycled radiator chair was spotted @ Anthropologie´s NYC Rockefeller store. A great whack hack! Although my metal working skills aren´t great, I can see the D.I.Y potential for someone with better skills and knowledge…Old style radiators can be found in local junk salvation yards – I found an example from www.salvoweb.com – see below:
Here are some more details on the radiator chair @ Anthropologie.
Visit Anthropologie online @ www.anthropologie.com
The chair was seen @
Anthropologie, 50 Rockefeller Plaza, NYC
Won Hundred -the Danish brand, started by Nikolaj Nielsen- has a great looking shop-in-shop @ Copenhagens Illum Department store. Elegant wood display units made of long cubical hollow boxes, provides practical storage and makes a sculptural statement. The same day I visited the store, I also passed by some street scrap wood in the street…Having seen Won Hundreds great display, I couldn´t help but see the potential of the lookalike scrap…Too bad the latter is probably chopped up at some junk yard by now! Some ScrapHack TLC would have transformed it into a fab scrappy chic sideboard/shelving unit for books and fun stuff – or why not a lavish display for your shoe collection?!
Some details of the great looking Won Hundred display:www.wonhundred.com Visit Won Hundred in Copenhagen c/o Illum @ Østergade 52, Copenhagen