The time was 2006: Jules Yap was looking for ideas to jazz up a pair of Pax sliding doors — her newest purchase from Ikea. After spending hours scouring home decor blogs, she found a tutorial on converting them into room dividers. That was her lightbulb moment.
"There were so many people hacking their Ikea products, but these nuggets were scattered all over the web," she said. "I remember thinking, how wonderful it would be if they were all in one place?"
The Malaysia-based Ikea super-fan immediately got to work, and Ikea Hackers — a site dedicated to repurposing and customizing pieces from the Swedish home retailer — was born. Over the past decade, the directory has fostered an impressive online community of kindred spirits: Ikea "hackers" who send in five to eight tutorial submissions per week, and a community garnering the site some 700,000 page views a month.
The site even caught the attention of the bigwig: In 2014, Ikea sent Yap a cease and desist letter for her use of the trademarked brand name. But, after vehement objection from fans of the blog, the company withdrew the letter and — in a surprising turn of events — flew Yap over to Sweden for a chat and some fika. "Basically, they let me be because they understand that they can't stamp out creativity or restrict what people do with their products," says Yap.
Yap has just published IKEAHACKERS.NET: 25 Biggest and Best Projects — a book that highlights the best tutorials published on the blog, plus never-seen-before hacks. Inspired by the project, we've rounded up our fave submissions on the blog. Click through for eight brilliant makeovers for your favorite Ikea products.