Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I've long been a big fan of altering things to suit yourself, from furniture to clothing to rules. Our new bedhead is my first documented IKEA hack, however, as I only just found out that IKEA-hacking is a 'thing', and ikeahackers.net has quickly become one of my favorite internet hangouts.

Note: I have just discovered, at the end of writing this post, that I didn't actually document as well as I thought. I have lost most of the process photos, and can't find them. Whoops!

IKEA-hacking attracts me for a number of reasons. The first, and biggest, is the creativity involved. The looking at something that is cut-out standard and thinking you don't have to be that way! An insight into my personal philosophy, perhaps. I also love meeting (virtually also) people that see the world in this way too. Budget-wise, IKEA hacking works beautifully for my inner miser (so much second-hand stuff available too), and lastly (although I agree it should be a higher priority), the environmental benefits are great.

So, when I wanted to update our bed for our new bedroom, I looked at our cheap Rykene IKEA bed with a critical eye. The good points? Well, it had a sturdy, simple wooden construction. The bad? That simplicity was pretty darn boring, perhaps even 'stark'. In my new ├╝ber-cold environment I needed something much, much cosier. A padded bedhead that I could lean against whilst reading which would keep my back warm and my head supported. Hack begin...

So, here is the process that I took for my hack. It should have taken only a day to do, but moving house, painting and having fibromyalgia makes time-lines a little longer that most!

We start with a Rykene bed...

www.ikea.com, €79,95

I took the bed apart and then attached plywood sheets to the frame with nails and a bit of wood glue, clamping it until the glue was dry. We had this plywood lying around the house, otherwise I probably would have gotten much thinner stuff as this ply is quite heavy. When attaching the sheets remember to leave the bolt holes clear - as I didn't the first time! Thank goodness that Sander is handy with precision trimming.

Next, Sander trimmed off the angled corners on the top of the bedhead for me, leaving us with a nice rectangle. I then marked out with a texta where I wanted each of the four buttons to go, and drilled two holes for each mark one centimeter apart - just like the holes in an oversized button. I've now seen from other people's hacks peg-board used instead of ply - a great alternative if you were doing more than just a few buttons. Many of the padded headboards I have seen have more than four buttons, however I knew that we would have lots of cushions too (I'm an addict), and so I didn't want the cushions to pull against them.

After this I glued on a piece of 3-inch foam cut to size at the Albert Cuyp Markt, and clamped it until it dried. We selected a dark brown cotton drill fabric to match our colour scheme and for the durability of the fabric. This got stretched over the frame and stapled at the back, taking special care around the corners to fold the fabric attractively.

At this point the bed was able to be put together and slept on. Which we did. Fast forward now three months for the final step!

So, two nights ago, with Sander's muscles, we threaded a needle with quadruple-strength thread and pulled each pucker tight, securing at the back with a knot. I decided to do this in two steps rather than one - pull the pucker and then attach the button - as I didn't want extra stress on the buttons and don't want one to accidentally pop off while we sleep!

And here are the final piccies! Keen eyes will notice an adapted leg post too - Sander boxed in the legs and raised the bed so that we could fit more storage underneath. He's handy like that.

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