I’ve been redecorating my living room (and entire apartment tbh) and needed a new home bar set up. I’ve been using a bar cart for a few years, but I needed a better set up to store my liquor and glass collection. A bar cart wasn’t going to cut it anymore, so I went on a search for a cabinet. I’m no stranger to an IKEA hack, so I took a trip to IKEA and spotted the VALJE shelf and liked the size and set up of the shelves. It reminded me of some mid-century pieces I’ve seen in my vintage home decor magazines. It took about two minutes for me to figure out how I would transform it.
Paint. Quick and easy.
I didn’t take step by step photos because the process is really easy. All you have to do is spray paint the leg pieces gold and then put it all together by following the IKEA assembly instructions.
When it gets to the part where you insert the backboard, mark a line where the vertical shelves divide the board and then use paint to make the different colored squares. I got house paint samples in custom colors from Lowe’s and painted the cardboard side of the backboard with a few coats. Then insert the backboard and finish the remaining assembly instructions. If you already have this piece you can just carefully paint in the squares.
That’s it! Done!
I stocked it with liquor and filled the shelves with my favorite bar accessories and vintage glass collection.
I love the way it turned out! I used colors that would tie in with the colors used in the rest of the house. It’s one of the first things you seen when you enter my front door so I had to make sure it was good.
Ohhhh man, you guys. I’m reallllly excited about this project. Bear with me because there’s a lot to cover (no pun intended).
A while back I posted about how I was on the hunt for a new sofa and narrowed down a few of my favorite contenders. One of the contenders was the KARLSTAD from IKEA because I knew I could save a lot of money by attempting a hack, and thanks to a pretty hefty tax audit (kill me) that’s what I ended up having to do. As luck would have it I found a perfect KARLSTAD at IKEA for $250 in the clearance section. A lot of you already know that I’m no stranger to IKEA Hacking, but it has been a while since I did one so I was feeling up to the challenge. Luckily it didn’t take long before I knew exactly what I wanted to do in order to make it come close to the couch of my dreams.
The KARLSTAD is pretty much an IKEA staple and I’m sure you’ve seen it in many homes. It has clean, modern lines and comes with an easily removable slip cover. Perfect for my hacking plan. The one I bought had a grey cover and my IKEA was sold out of the white slip cover, but luckily my best friend in Florida found one at her store and was able to send it to me. Since KARLSTADs have completely removable slip covers I knew I could dye it to be whatever color I wanted.
I picked up a few boxes of Rit dye in Petal Pink. I filled my bathtub with boiling water and dye and soaked the slip cover until it was saturated. Then I promptly had a minor freak out because it didn’t turn out the rosey/peachy/blush pink color that I wanted and that appeared on the box.
I took a deep breath, refusing to be defeated, and rushed to the fabric store to grab some Rit Color Remover, a magical powder that gently removes all of your regrets and gives you a clean start. If only I could bathe myself in it. Just kidding…!
After a quick soak the slip cover was back to white. I knew at this point I was going to have to custom mix my own shade of pink so I threw the covers in the wash and went back to the fabric store for the 5th time to pick up more dye.
I can’t tell you the exact ratios of these colors that I used for my shade because I was constantly adjusting and testing the color. I want to say it was something like 4 parts pink, 1/2 part yellow, 1/8 part tan, but I’m not 100% sure so don’t come back yelling at me if yours turns out gross. I also diluted it a lot more than the first time so the color would be more pastel.
My husband and I worked nervously and quickly, scalding our hands and sweating over the boiling dye bath in our typical Melo-dramatic style, but it was worth it. It worked out perfectly!
Dying the slip cover was only the first step. I wanted new legs and pretty tufting, and dammit that’s what I would get. These steps were actually much easier and less annoying than the dye part.
Then I installed a top plate and attached the legs to the corners of the sofa.
I wanted to have legs in the center of the sofa, too. Partly for more support, but mostly because I like the look of it.
For this I just drilled a hole and inserted the leg directly into the wood.
That would have looked great on it’s own but I wanted tufting. I had spare fabric from an extra piece of slip cover that I found in the clearance bin at IKEA. I used this for my color test strips and then dyed a piece with the plan of covering buttons for tufting.
I used 7/8″ button cover kit and thread to make my tufting buttons, much like I did in this past IKEA hack.
Then I attached the buttons to upholstery string and used a long upholstery needle to feed the string through the cushion. I pulled the string tight and used these decorative buttons to anchor the string on the back of cushion. I didn’t want to go through the back of the cushion cover, and a knot would have just pulled back through the cushion insert, so I used the decorative buttons to hold my tufting in place. Am I making any sense at this point? Hopefully these visuals help.
The decorative pillows are also from IKEA.I love the way the warm pink looks with the white and gold legs.I’m so excited to finally have a dreamy pink couch! And for less than $300!
One of the main challenges I always have while decorating my apartment is finding the decor I envision, at the prices I want. Neither of those are ever easy. Either I can’t find what I have in mind, or when I get close, somehow it’s the most expensive item in the store. I can drool over those high ticket items all I want, but let’s get serious, I’m no Rockefeller.
But it’s ok! This is where my handy-dandy DIY skills get to shine. This is where I get to do my favorite task of trying to figure out how to get the look I want for as little money as possible.
For example, I wanted to expand my home bar area by adding 3 shelves above my bar cart. I wanted them to be gold to match said bar cart. My search pretty much turned up empty except for one option that was almost the right dimensions (from a store that will remain nameless) for over $100 per shelf. My other option was an IKEA favorite of mine that I’ve been keeping my eye on for a bit, and it just so happens that the EKBY JÄRPEN/EKBY BJÄRNUM combo was the perfect size, style, and price I was going for. The only drawback was that the brackets are only available in aluminum. Womp, womp.
The right choice for me was clear and I’m glad I made it. Did I want to spend $300 on shelves from Unnamed Store, or around $60 for IKEA shelves and a can of spray paint? Um. DUH. The way I see it is if I can spend $60 total on a DIY version and use the extra $200+ toward other fun things like going away for the weekend or, I dont know, paying my bills, you’re damn straight I’m taking that route.
Let’s all just take a moment to reflect on the magic of spray paint. All I did was spray the brackets and screws with metallic gold chrome paint and it completely changed the vibe of the shelves. Done and done. So easy.
I styled them with the help of my growing glass and bareware collection, and a DIY framed print.
Even though it was super comfortable, I got really sick of having a bulky sofa in my living room. It took up most of the wall and didn’t leave room for things like side tables and lamps, etc. I didn’t want to commit to a really expensive sofa that I might change my mind about, so we went to IKEA and picked up a Karlstad. The standard size was still a little too big so we settled on the loveseat. To be honest it has been great! The feature that sold me was the removable/changable slip cover. The thing I disliked most was the legs.
There are sites and online shops dedicated to making custom legs for IKEA furniture, but if you’re on a budget and want a solution fast, look to your local hardware store.
Standard block legs that did not fit my style at all. Luckily it’s easy to change. Cheap, too!
First you need to change the bracket on the bottom of the sofa to fit the new legs.
Then attach the new bracket.
This bracket is going to make the new legs fit. I got my legs and brackets at Lowe’s for under $15 and I simply painted them the colors I wanted.
Just screw those in and you’ve got brand new legs!
So far so good. Now I can afford to change them any time I want by either re-painting or just picking up a new set for under $10.
I can be a bit of a Halloween traditionalist, you guys. I like my October nights lit by the faces of Jack-o-lanterns and I like those Jack-o-lantern faces to be classic. However, I still like to mix things up sometimes, and get serious, it’s not exactly practical for me to have carved pumpkins sitting around as light sources for the entire month. When I saw the orange FADO at IKEA, I didn’t just see a colorful orb lamp, I saw a potential Jack-o-lantern.
The FADO is a pretty cool lamp on its own. It has a spherical shape that is a throwback to the mid-century space age era and it gives off a nice, soft, glowing light.
Pulling this off is really as simple as drawing or painting a Jack-o-lantern face onto the lamp. I used chalk to draw my ideal face shapes and then painted over it using a charcoal colored chalk paint. You can use a sharpie, a paint pen, or whatever you’d like. I just liked the chalk paint texture against the frosted glass of the FADO. It also looked more vintage to me that way.
I love this little guy. Look how cute he is! And the glow sets the perfect mood light for Halloween movie watching.
I have this problem where I envision something that I want and either it doesn’t exist or the closest thing I can find costs, like, a million dollars and still isn’t exactly what I had my heart set on. I have another little problem where I see something generic in a store and immediately start planning how I could change it to fit my personal style and make it, well, less generic. This happens way more often than you’d think. I’m all “Blahblahblah we can paint it and then cut this off and then maybe screw these together…” My husband stares at me for awhile before voicing his concerns, which I usually just brush off, and reply with a casual “It’ll be fiiiiine.”
And that’s what happened this time. I wanted a cocktail ottoman to use as a table and footrest, in some great color, probably tufted, with a little gold to tie in with the rest of the room. Couldn’t find it. When I saw the surprisingly sturdy VITTSÖ nesting tables at IKEA I instantly knew how I was going to make it happen. I would just need to upholster…and paint…and drill a little. NO BIGGIE. No, seriously, it’s a lot easier than it sounds.
Finding the perfect fabric was actually the most annoying part. I went to 4 different fabric stores before I found the perfect green velvet at Deco Home for $80/yard. Totally worth it. It’s durable and lovely and perfect for a project like this. Exactly what I wanted.
ANYWAY, I’ll get down to it.
I put together the frame of the table and sprayed the entire thing with metallic gold spray paint. You can use whichever gold you like.
I sprayed all the hardware and those little glass cushion sticker things gold, too.
I picked up one yard of 2″ thick foam from the craft store and cut it to the size of the table. Using a sharp knife or blade makes it super simple. Just run the blade through a couple of times. You should maybe put cardboard or something down so you don’t slice up your floor.
The larger table in VITTSJÖ nesting tables set has a glass shelf on the top and a wood (MDF) shelf on the bottom, but since this is a hack, I switched them. Why? Because I needed to use the MDF for upholstering and tufting purposes. The glass shelf would be for holding books and cute decorative items while keeping a clean, floaty look.
After that I did some really annoying measuring and marked where I wanted my buttons to go. Ugh. Math is hard.
Then I used the multi-purpose drill bit on my Dremel to make the holes where I’d be pulling my tufting cord through.
I covered the foam and board in batting and my velvet. I pulled the fabric tight enough to round out all of the edges. The corners were tricky because of the metal nub where the top connects to the rest of the table. I just sliced the corner piece of fabric, pulled the fabric back around the piece of leg, and then stabled it securely into place. When I connected the pieces back together I just tucked any raw edges that were showing.
At this point you can leave it how it is or you can get fancy with tufting. I did a shallow tuft since this will be used as a table sometimes and I don’t want my serving trays to lay all wonky and wobbly on top. I also don’t want to be digging crumbs out of deep tufting craters after every shindig.
These regular button covers are fine but if you’re using a thick fabric you might need to put in a little extra effort.
Instead of securing the fabric with the back of the button like you normally would, you might need to sew the fabric closed on the back using a heavy duty thread. I use “outdoor coat” thread. It works perfectly.
Thread a large upholstery needle with the polyester cord.
Find your holes on the bottom side of the board and push your needle through as straight as possible. Pull one end of the cord through to the top.
Use the needle to go through the back of the button and pull the end of the cord through.
Then put the needle back through the hole to bring the cord end back through to the bottom side.
Pull the cord tight and secure with staples. Stapling in multiple directions makes sure it doesn’t slip over time.
We got these DALFRED bar stools from IKEA as sort of a temporary thing. At $40 a pop they were a pretty good option and close enough to what we were looking for at the time. Eventually I got bored with them and they didn’t go with the rest of our room. I didn’t feel like buying new ones though. I had Rust-Oleum gold spray paint left over from my dresser makeover so I whipped that out and decided to jazz them up a little.
Originally I just wanted to give a gold dipped look to the legs but ended up taking them apart to do the seat and inner ring. First, I taped off the amount I wanted to paint on the legs. I used a piece of plastic wrap to block the rest of the leg from getting overspray. You can use more tape if you want to be proper about it.
Quick Tips: 1) Spray in a well ventilated area. 2) If you get spray paint on your hands use veg oil then dish soap to get it off. 3) If you decide to paint your seat, and it’s going to get a lot of use, it’s probably a good idea to spray some sealer on it.
Anywayyyy this is how they turned out:
I did the hardware too. Ooo lala.
Before and after. It was really easy and took no time at all. The total project (for 2) runs under $100!
Because we have a small awkward space, I thought it would be a good idea to use a banquette style seat to complete our dining set. I’m that person who always requests a booth at restaurants, so I was set on it. We shopped around for one but none were right for us. The size, color, style, and price were always off. I started thinking about how I could pull off a DIY version. I thought about using kitchen cabinets or building a frame like the kind I’ve seen in custom kitchens, but Jvee said NO. We don’t have the tools or the space to pull that off. During a trip to IKEA, I noticed one of the EXPEDIT shelving units was turned on its side (I’d seen it used before as window and bench seating) and seemed durable enough to sit on. It measured at the right size! And it had cubbies! We bought it. [Note: The EXPEDIT has since been replaced with the KALLAX.]
I immediately thought of how I was going make the back for it. I wanted it to be comfortable to lean against and high enough to make a statement. A few years ago we made a DIY headboard for my cousin’s room using plywood, foam, and fabric. That’s how I was going to do it. So simple!
I started with a 4’x6′ piece of plywood. I padded it with 1″ thick foam and covered it with batting. My indoor/outdoor canvas fabric measured 55in wide, which would have been fine if I wanted to run the pattern horizontally. Since I wanted to run the pattern vertically, I needed to cut 2 pieces of fabric to 4 1/2 feet long and sew them together at the selvages, being sure to match up the pattern. I made sure the seam ran down the center of the board.
I started by placing a staple in the middle of each end of the plywood, pulling the fabric taut, and then working my way around with staples to secure it. You can use flushmount brackets to secure the piece to the wall if you want. We felt the EXPEDIT was heavy enough to hold the backboard up, so we decided to forget that step. If you have kids or want the peace of mind, by all means mount it to the wall.
Now it needed a comfy seat! My first plan was to sew an entire seat cover for the foam, but I decided against it. Mostly out of laziness. I considered upholstering the top (side) of the unit like you would a chair, but ultimately I didn’t like the idea of messing it up with staples. That’s when I stumbled across similar types of projects on Pinterest that used a piece of MDF board. Genius! I didn’t screw the MDF into the EXPEDIT because, again, I wanted to preserve the bookcase. But, if you have kids I recommend securing it. I also decided against legs so it’s sturdier by being directly on the floor. We don’t use this piece every single day, but we’ve had game nights and dinner parties and it has successfully held 3 full sized adults with an estimated combined weight of at LEAST 400lbs, several times. Obviously the risk is all yours.
I had the piece of MDF cut to the right measurements at Home Depot and covered it with 2 inch thick pieces of foam and covered it with batting. The 2 inch foam added to the height of the EXPEDIT brings the seat height up to 19 inches, which happens to be the exact height of our dining chairs.
Then upholstered like you would a chair seat. Upholstering pieces like this is super easy. It’s like wrapping a present but with fabric and staples inside of paper and tape. It’s really that simple. Promise!
I wasn’t planning on sticking with that fabric and I’ve since changed it. I found the perfect black and white striped fabric that I’d had in mind, at IKEA, for $8/yard. Find the updated look that was inspired by my favorite cafes in Paris, below:
See! It’s totally versatile and easy to change when you get the whim.