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DIY: An As-Is Success

January 19, 2010
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If you enjoy getting your hopes up, making multiple trips to the same crowded store to complete one assumedly-simple project, masochistic activity and cheap Swedish design, you will love the IKEA As-Is section.

I have fallen victim multiple times. My most recent As-Is-Gone-Wrong experience was with a bathroom cabinet. It was a showroom display, in perfect condition, but lacking hardware. After three IKEA trips over the course of a month to get the hardware that they kept telling me would probably come in, I went to Ace Hardware, explained my dilemma, got the parts in a minute, and was told someone comes in with IKEA woes like mine at least once a week. I had a similar experience with a shelving unit Jonathan built, but I won’t go into another negative rant.

However, if you’re willing to endure a little pain and get creative, you can get some great deals in this den of misfits. Last Monday, I took a trip to IKEA and happened upon a kitchen cabinet door being sold for $10. It looked like a giant collage frame, something that might normally run you upwards of $30 or $40, so I got it and thought I’d find something creative to do with it. Worst case, I would have wasted $10, which isn’t ideal but certainly not the most I’ve ever wasted.

Surprisingly, this project turned out very much as I’d anticipated — possibly better. The cabinet already had two large holes carved out in the back for hardware installation, which I used to let it hang on two screws on the wall. Right now, I’m employing it as a sort of picture frame/bulletin board display. If something is big enough to take up one entire space, I’ll tape it to the back of the cabinet. If not, I’ll tape it to the wall and let it have a little dimension behind the frame. I also have one picture just tucked in the edges on the front for now, just to see what I like and because I’m lazy.

I’m kind of excited about the low-tech nature of this project. With everything scotch-taped, I can change things out quickly and refresh what it looks like often. During the holidays I could even put scraps of wrapping paper or holiday photos to give this any look I want — I could even get one large piece of fabric to go behind the entirety of the door.

Total cost stayed at $10 for now, as I already had these photos, scotch tape and screws at home. So far I’ve got a few photos and an illustration I clipped from a magazine a few years ago on display, because I had them laying around. I’ll update if I do something especially exciting with this later. The As-Is section is a “buyer beware” paradise, but I’m coming around after this success.
One Comment leave one →
  1. January 19, 2010 1:13 pm

    Super idea! I am an IKEA lover/hater. Love the design, hate the ambiguous how-to instructions and hardware but find more IKEA furniture and gadgets in my house that I care to admit. Thanks for the great post.

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