Mei Mei Yap, founder of the popular site Ikea Hackers (, has only praises for the Swedish homewares brand’s universal (though sometimes cryptic) instructions.

“I think that they are one of the most fantastic pieces of communication. Not a word, just diagrams that people the world over follow,” she says.

The website is the perfect retreat for those DIYers who want to ditch the Ikea rules and break away from a homogenized home. And no, you don’t have to be a DIY whiz to Ikea hack, but you will need to follow these simple steps.

Ikea Hack #1


Redesign the plain white Melodi lamp

You’ll need: One or more Melodi lamps and permanent markers

Getting started: Wipe clean the lampshade and allow for drying time. Use the permanent marker to write your favorite verses, poems or anything of your choice on the lampshade. Fit lampshade onto light fixture, turn on and voilà.

Ikea Hack #2

Trick out that Dombas wardrobe

You’ll need: A Dombas wardrobe, fabric and glue

Getting started: Remove doors (or do not install doors). Cut fabric of your choice to size with enough to cover the sides of the doors. Cover the sides of the doors in glue. Stick and tautly stretch the fabric across. Allow drying time. Trim any excess material. Cover the sides with a matching ribbon for a tidy finish. Attach handles last.

Ikea Hack #3

Turn Expedit bookcases into a kitchen island

You’ll need:
Two two-by-two Expedit bookcases, one Vika Amon tabletop, 4 Vika Curry table legs (only the top part), four Besta legs, screws and Schweden-punk drawers (optional)

Getting started: Assemble the Expedits. Screw them together with brackets. Screw the Vika Amon Curry legs to the tabletop. Drill screw-sized holes into the bottom of the Expedit. Install the Schwedenpunk drawers for items you don’t want displayed.

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