Thursday, January 30, 2014

IKEA Hack: Lego Display Shelves

So let’s talk more about my family room project, shall we?

I have to tell you something first…

My husband is a big geek.

I mean that in the most LOVING way possible!

But he is.

He loves all things Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Warhammer, WarCraft, Lego, etc.

Some of those I can sort-of get behind… 

(Legos are cool.  Star Wars is cool.  Star Trek is very cool.)

Some of those annoy me so much it makes my eyeballs itch… 

(Anything that has to do with computer games…or Warhammer…)

But even the “cool” things can be overdone, don’t you think?  For example, when your husband’s collection of LOTR Legos takes over the entire top of the chest of drawers…and then spills onto the bench….and the floor….

It got to be a bit much.

So really, the family room project was born from the necessity of finding somewhere ELSE to put all his Legos.  He suggested I build shelves for them in the family room.  That, of course, snowballed into a MUCH bigger project than just shelves!

Red Hen Home IKEA Vittsjo Hack 1

But it is the shelves with which we will currently concern ourselves.  I wanted a little bit of an industrial vibe, and I considered many things…floating shelves, built-ins, a rustic display shelf.  But with cost always a consideration, I finally settled on an IKEA Vittsjo “hack” job inspired mostly by this one at Centsational Girl

One of my issues was that I had to be able to display my dear husband’s two-foot-tall Tower of Orthanc that was his only Christmas wish.  This hack by EAK! A House gave me the courage to do a little cutting to make the shelf fit my needs. 

Red Hen Home IKEA Vittsjo Hack 2a

The biggest alteration was the I removed half of one of the horizontal cross-pieces in order to make a double-tall shelf.  This was accomplished with the help of a $30 angle grinder from Lowe’s.  Say what you like about IKEA (and I often do)…but the metal this shelf is made of is tough stuff!  It would have taken forever and a day to cut through it with a hacksaw.  The angle grinder was super fast, plus it allowed me to shorten my cut-off piece to use for a new middle cross bar (see above), and grind down some of the integrated brackets that had been meant to hold the cross bar. (I had never used an angle grinder before, but it was fun!  Lots of sparks!)

Red Hen Home Vittsjo Hack

I was left with one hole in the metal that wasn’t covered up.  So I filled it…with caulk!  I had to give the whole shelf a quick spray-over with black paint to hide the raw metal edges where I ground them down, so it is pretty well hidden during…shall we say… “casual observation.”  (So don’t look too closely, OK?)

Red Hen Home IKEA Vittsjo Hack 2

This unit came with wood-like shelves for the top and the bottom, but glass shelves in the middle.  I used some scrap 1/4” underlayment I had in my garage to cut new middle shelves, stained with Rustoleum American Walnut stain.  For one thing…I like the look.  For another…it was a lot easier than cutting a glass shelf in half!

Red Hen Home IKEA Vittsjo Hack 3

So now the LOTR Legos have their own new home…although sometimes, they still have to battle enemies unforeseen by Tolkien….

Red Hen Home IKEA Vittsjo Hack 6

Geek parents tend to have Geek children who like to alter storylines….

Red Hen Home IKEA Vittsjo Hack 4


Now I have to figure out what to do with the Star Wars Legos….


Linking up here:

The Inspiration Exchange Elizabeth & Co.
Primitive & Proper Thrifty Décor Chick
Friday Remodelaholic The Scoop!
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Miss Mustard Seed
Beyond the Picket Fence Coastal Charm
Knick of Time
Perfectly Imperfect  
Common Ground My Repurposed Life
From My Front Porch to Yours Mod Vintage Life


Bonnie Schulte said...

I enjoyed your post so much. I think being a geek, is more fun than not..I have a 40 year old son who is really into StarWars, and getting his wife into it too, so I understand this. Love what you did with the shelves, looks great!!

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

oh lord we need like 10 of these! great idea!

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

So clever!!! Love how you altered it specifically for your family's "art"!!!! They look really cool all grouped together by the way!

Tony Derricott said...

Hey, didn't you do an IKEA-hacked desk sometime back? We're looking for ideas.

wisp said...

Awesome!!! :D I need to do something like this for my fossils and minerals. :)

imsovintage said...

Good job, my friend. My grandson would love this display. xo Laura

Bliss said...

This is the type thing that makes a woman hate to hear those words... "well it's his home too". We don't have that kind of a collection, but if I complain my friends say that to me regarding Brawns mess of a garage. Like a mess is ok?

Rachel said...

Must not show anyone in this house what you have done!!!! I live with the ultimate geek squad.... The only decor in my house if I let it would be shelves full of Lego's.

Gail Wilson said...

where there's a will, there IS a way!

great job Korrie!

Angela said...

The shelves look great!