A place for everything or: How I learned to start clean and love the mess

The end of the mess

I enjoy reading Ikea Hacker from time to time and a reoccurring theme is Stacked Lack Tables. The Lack is a popular line of furniture; it’s cheap, not very good with water, and is pretty light. Amanda and I use two Lack tables one on top of another to add some storage to our dinning room. The unfortunate part is that it’s open, looks messy, and collects dust and cat hair (a unfortunate side effect of having two cats). I wanted to make the Lacks look better, keep the dust out (as best as i could), and stabilize the two so that it wouldn’t  fall over with a bump. I saw this post on Apartment Therapy and thought I could improve upon the idea to gain more storage and keep it looking sharp.

First step, mark the corners (1 inch in on the corners) and drill it (carefully! it’s cheap furniture afterall) and test the wooden dowel that I got from Ikea’s AS IS bin. 

A problem I quickly found was that the hole I drilled was just a little too large for the dowel, a quick solution was to simply to wrap the dowel in some Gaffer tape to give it a tighter fit.

It took two wraps to get it right, but it worked like a charm. I did only two corners because I knew that I wouldn’t have the patients to line up for corners and two would be enough to get the stability I was looking for. Putting the top and bottom together was pretty simple and I got to starting to adding some walls to the stacked Lack.

I was thinking about added some side panels with thin wood and making a front sliding door but in the end (and after talking with my wife) I decide on using fabric for the sides and front held in by pressure curtain rods. Simple solution.

The rods worked great in my test and took no time at all. Way better then the wire contraption I was thinking about in my head. Next part was the fabric sides and front. I don’t sew, I don’t own a sewing machine, and this is a low budget weekend project. So the next best thing I could find is Heat n Bond tape that will create seams with just an Iron, perfect for me.

The outcome was not perfect, but it was great for this job. I used the tape to clean the sides, and to create the loops at the top and bottom for the pressure rods. I just measured the distance I needed from top to bottom and added 4 inches to allow room for the rod. The results were pretty darn good for a first time using the fabric tape.

The next step was to make two more panels for the front and another for the far side.  Fast forward 2 hours and this is what we have!

The overall look is great. I decided to leave off the front bottom tention bar because it was too hard to easily open with it in place. I’ll most likely end up putting some type of weights on the bottom of the front sheets to give it a cleaner look.

Next it’s time to put all the pans back and admire the work.

In the end, this was a fun weekend project. The storage looks much cleaner. Hopefully this will solve the dust issue. And I got to write a non nerdy blog post that my friends and family will be able to follow!

Let me know if you have any questions about the project.


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