IKEA Hacking

Happy Memorial-Day Weekend, friends! I'm really going to enjoy the weekend, not only because we're hosting our very first overnight guests at our house, but also because it will signify the end of "OMG OUR HOUSE MUST BE PERFECT BEFORE REAL HUMAN BEINGS SEE IT" mode at here at casa de Eric and Rachel. Of course, I know it has a long way to go, and it's definitely not perfect yet, but a lot of our initial cosmetic work is winding down. Next week, we just may have a normal life after work!

One of the projects we wanted to get out of the way quickly was setting up our shelving unit in the French room. At our first IKEA trip of the year (sigh... the first of many, I'm sure...), we bought an eight-unit Expedit, as well as some chrome legs to attach to the bottom (The flat packs for this Expedit unit stayed in my car for nearly four weeks straight, until we moved in our house... it was fun). The piece itself is really simple, even with the addition of the legs. We wanted to spice it up and bring some color into the room, so we decided to add a decorative backing.

I went to one of my favorite stores in Milwaukee, Broadway Paper, to pick out some fun paper to use. I swear, I could spend hours in that place (and I nearly have!). They've got the most gorgeous wrapping paper sheets in the world, and I had a hard time deciding which to choose!

But, eventually, I went with this bright and cheery yellow paper, which also matched our color scheme:

Now, the backing is nothing fancy - it literally is a giant piece of cardboard (cut from the box the Expedit came in), covered with the above paper, staple gunned to the unit. But it looks really clean, polished and extremely cute when assembled.

First, we measured and cut the cardboard, then affixed double-sided duct tape to the board.

Then, we ran out of double-sided duct tape. Crap. But then I remembered I had a stash of wall-mounting tape (from way back in college - No nails allowed on dorm walls, gang!), so I brought that out to use. And, yes, I realize holding on to 6-year-old tape is a bit of a hoarding tendency. But, hey: It came in handy, didn't it!?!

I made sure to smooth the paper on very carefully so no gaps or bubbles would form. And... that was that. Backing complete. The hardest part was peeling the liner from the double-sided tape.

Eric then stapled the paper-covered board to the back of the Expedit, and we were in business! PIECE OF CAKE. 

Eric hooked up the record player and receiver and added some records to the cubbies (Expedits are the PERFECT size for holding records, BTW). Then I dug around in our boxes and found a few things to dress up the cubbies a bit more. They're a bit bare now - I'm really looking forward to thrifting and rummaging this summer to find quirky little trinkets to put in there - but for now, this will have to do!

[I'm a huge Kurt Vonnegut fan, so I had to devote an entire cubby to my hero. There are more I still need to dig out!]

The Expedit update was the first thing we assembled in the French room. Since then, we've done a lot more! Stay tuned for updates on curtains and posters and knobs, oh my!

Have you ever IKEA Hacked before? How did you transform a cheap piece of furniture to make it your own?

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