Who doesn’t love Ikea? Furthermore, who doesn’t love a good Ikea hack? Ikea is great because their products are inexpensive. What’s not so great however is they are a little bit on the blah side… ok a lot bit. But no worries, Ikea hack to the rescue! I was re-designing the seating area of my kitchen and wanted to add an informal, inexpensive coffee table. First stop, Ikea. I saw these VITTSJO Nesting Tables for $59.99. They come in white or black; I chose white.
They are pretty plain but I knew I could come up with some kind of hack for them, so I went ahead and made the purchase. When I got home, I spent a good deal of time on pinterest, perusing all the various Ikea hacks for the VITTSJO nesting tables and let me tell you, they are a plenty. There were several great hacks, but none that I could really say yes, this is the one. So I assembled the tables, placed them in the middle of the seating area and decided to cogitate on it for a while. Then, one day I was at Ross and I saw this bike for $15. I fell in love. It was so old-timey in its style and portrayal of innocence. And then I thought this would look so awesome on the bottom shelf of my VITTSJO table! And you know what would look even awesomer? If it were sitting on a old brick path. And that is how my Ikea hack was born. I was going to paint an old brick road on the bottom shelf, place the bike on top, and then place some green apples in the cart.
When I got home I went to place it on the shelf, and then…um…wait…turn it this way…no, wait, tilt it that way, um… how about….nope. And then I realized it. Noooooo, it cant be! The bike was 1″ too tall to fit between the bottom shelf and the glass top. Dreams of an old-timey bike on an old-fashioned brick road started swirling down the drain. Then I grabbed a plug and stopped up the drain. There had to be a way to make this work. That’s when I had the idea to lower the bottom shelf an inch by hanging it from hooks latched onto the metal tabs, rather than resting the shelf on top those tabs, as designed.
I had a lot of these hooks in my tool chest. Unfortunately I don’t know where I got them, or what they are called, I just saved them because I knew they would come in handy some day. If you need them, I bet you could show this pic to someone at the hardware store and they could tell you what they are.
Then I purchased some small screw eye hooks to screw into the shelf itself. I suppose I could have gone with a single hook and screw all in one (if you could find one small enough), but using the two piece system would allow for a little bit of error on the placement of each one. If I was off a couple millimeters it would be ok because the two piece system was flexible, whereas a single screw hook would not be.
First, I attached all my screws and made sure the shelf hung the way it was supposed to. Then I spray painted the entire shelf dark gray. Then I painted on my bricks. Painting the bricks after the screws were set was a little difficult because sometimes a brick fell right in the middle of a screw so I had to create a half brick on either side. Not the end of the world by any means, just not as easy as if the screws weren’t there. I could have removed the screws prior to painting but the threads on the screws were so tiny that I felt like removing them and re-screwing them in might create a larger hole thus loosening the overall grip of the screws. I also could have assembled the screws as the last step and painted bricks first, however if I misplaced a screw I wanted to be able to do my patch work prior to painting, for a cleaner look.
To create the bricks I took an old beat up Scotch-Brite sponge from the kitchen and cut a rectangular piece from it. The beat-up sponge worked well to create old crumbly bricks because chunks of the sponge where already missing from previous use. If you only have a new sponge, I imagine you could pull off small chunks to create an uneven surface.
For the brick colors, I used two old Valspar interior paint samples I had from Lowes. I had a blue-ish grey color and a creamy off-white color. I poured a small amount of each color into its lid. I pressed the sponge onto the paint, then pressed it onto another empty plastic lid to remove excess paint and then pressed it onto the shelf to create the brick. I just randomly switched back and forth between colors and I did not clean the sponge in-between colors, that way some of my bricks had a dual tone to them, so nothing looked too perfect. I also shifted each row a bit, so they were stacked in an alternating fashion like real bricks would be, not in straight columns.
For the framework itself I wanted it to remain largely white, but I wanted to do a little something to it to dress it up a bit. So I decided to create metallic corners. I used painters tape to tape off the corners and then covered the rest of the framework in newspaper to protect it from overspray. For the larger table I sprayed the corners metallic gold and for the smaller table I sprayed the corners metallic silver. I used Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic Fade Resistant Spray Paint in Metallic Gold and Metallic Silver. And that’s it! It was super easy to do. In less than 5 steps I had turned the tables (pun intended) from simple to stylish.