Furniture and Household Items

Latest Update: Added the Metal Ruler Magnetic Board.


No money to buy furniture? Or just love the ‘dodgy student bedsit’ look? When I was a student, I had a sofa built from pallets, with sleeping bags and cheap cushions for padding – it worked surprisingly well, and could even double up as a spare bed when needed. There’s a bit more thought gone into some of these…

  • Lifehacker asked their readers for tips on decorating without a footprint, and got lots of suggestions, mainly about attaching things to walls without leaving holes.
  • Another Lifehacker ‘ask the readers’: Maximizing Apartment Space – plenty of great suggestions as usual, with a few unusual suggestions for that space-hog: the bed.

Living Room

Bookcases

  • How about a bookcase made of books? Certainly looks interesting. Just takes a few books of the same size (the example uses a set of encyclopaedias), and some ‘L’ brackets. (Found via Make:.)
  • ReadyMade Blog have instructions for making one of those cool ‘magic floating bookshelves‘, where the books appear to be stacked, but floating against the wall without a shelf. The trick is using a bracket that’s glued into the bottom book, so the bottom book in the stack is the shelf.
  • Ladder Bookshelf – just a pic on Flickr, but it’s not too hard to work out how it’s done – (via Make:.)
  • Not quite a self-build as such, but here’s a howto on putting together an Ikea ‘Billy’ bookshelf. Ikea’s instructions have never given me any problems, but a set of photos step-by-step make it even more clear. I wouldn’t add this one to the list, but Billy bookshelves are very cheap.

Kitchen

Storage

  • Plastic Bag Organiser – for organising your plastic bags ๐Ÿ˜‰ Made from a length of drainpipe. Might be better inside a cupboard, or in a pantry, unless you go for the slightly ‘industrial’ look.
  • Hanging Pot Rack – another Instructables, using a bit of garden trellis and hooks to hang pots and pans on the wall. Doesn’t look too tidy, but it makes a lot of storage from wasted space.

Work Surface

  • Folding Work Surface – wakeupsilver needed more space, but the kitchen was too small for another work surface – so they made one that folds in half out of the way when not in use. Cool. Cost less than $20, too.

Home Office and Geeky Stuff

Us geeky people have some special needs – space for gadgets, ways of managing lots of cables…

  • Metal Ruler Magnetic Board attaching metal rulers together to make a really clever magnetic board. Great idea. Found on Craftzine
  • Clear-desk Pegboard – a fantastic hack, just attaching gadgets to a piece of pegboard with twists of wire, then attaching the pegboard to the underside of the desk. The external CD drive sliding out from under the desk is neat. (Found via LifeDev.)
  • Use a shoe organizer to store your gadgets. I’ve always been oddly fascinated by the idea of having so many shoes you’d need a special organiser for them, but I can relate to the idea of having that many gadgets. Doesn’t look great, but it depends how often you look at the back of your door. I usually store my shoes on my feet, anyway.

Bedroom

Clothes Hanger

Just a pole and a wall – about as simple as a wardrobe can get…

Scaffolding Bed

It says it will give your bedroom an “industrial feel” – looks more “student bedsit” to me, but if any of your sexual fantasies involve construction workers and being tied to scaffolding, you could have fun with this ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you can get hold of the scaffolding cheaply enough, it certainly should make a cheap and sturdy bed, though.

(Thanks to Boing Boing.)

Bedside Saddle

There’s never enough storage at the side of the bed. Melissa the Action Hero has a solution…


General Indoor

Cushions

  • Ninja Pillows – cute and comfy. Not normally words you’d associate with ninjas, but here it works.

Curtains

  • Roll Your Own from ReadyMade Blog. Can’t say that I like the choice of patterns here, but the effect is good, and it sounds reasonably easy – no sewing.

Floorcoverings

  • Bunny Rug! – transforming an old shag carpet into a bunny rug with the aid of an LCD projector. Love it. Via Craftzine.

Storage

  • Wall Pockets – just a framed canvas, with plain and patterened cloth over it. Actually, this one is a bit more than that, with its patchwork sections, but it certainly could be that simple. I think you could probably put one of these together with a pre-made box canvas, some bits of spare cloth, and a staple gun. Yay! An excuse to buy a staple gun! (Via ReadyMade Blog.)

Decoration

  • Fabrics as Pictures – a fantastic idea from ReadyMade Blog – get some small bits of nice fabrics, and put them on embroidery hoops. Hang on the wall. A grouping of them can look really good, and probably quite easy to change around later.

Temporary Loft

Need more storage in the student room? A temporary loft might do the job, and you can take it down when you move out, so you don’t damage the walls…


Garden

Climbing the Walls

An interesting and cheap way of getting the plants out of the way to make room for a bigger barbecue.

Decking

Sheds

Satellite Dish Treehouse

A recycled satellite dish forms the roof of this funky looking treehouse, made almost entirely from reclaimed materials:

Satellite Dish Gazebo

When you come to the point when you realise that getting that satellite dish just meant 300 more channels of inane crap, you might think you’re stuck with a big dish you can’t use. These guys repurposed theirs in an interesting and pretty way.


Lighting

Fractal Chandelier

The geekiest chandelier I’ve ever seen.

Actually, there’s not a lot of competition in that space, but this is pretty cool. It uses lots of little light bulbs, and lots of two- or three-way splitters to make a chandelier…

Coke Blak Lamp

Macphile, a member of Make’s Flickr Pool, said of Coke’s new “Carbonated Fusion Beverage”:

“The moment I saw the Coke Blak bottle, I knew I had to make a lamp out of it.”

I like the cut of your jib, Macphile!



Pets

Funky Home Aquarium

The fish get the run of the place in this aquarium that meanders from room to room.

Cat Window Perch

Two cats, sitting on a perch. One says to the other “can you smell fish?”

Sorry.

Anyway, we’re seeing some very cool things made from this PVC piping stuff, and I think our cats would love one of these, if every bit of front-of-window space wasn’t already taken up with cat climbing frames. Cat climbing frames that we paid lots of money for, though – this is a much better idea…

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