Wall Décor IKEA hacked notecards

Published on March 13th, 2007 | by Jules Yap


enlarge your art

update! so i live and learn (and the past few days have been a crash course on copyright issues). and this hack lives again. please only use public domain artwork or seek the artist’s permission when applying this hack.


i totally dig this hack from randall kramer, who previously gave us the expedit grande (and now has an entry in the genius ikea hack contest). this may finally end my hunt for artwork for my apartment walls.

“i always like the karl blossfeld images … a great book of his is ONLY $220.00. so, in the spirit of… ‘i know another way to get his work’ … i took an image from a reproduction on a set of art cards from ikea, went to a digital imaging house in chicago, had a ‘high end’ scan done, then, had them photoshop in a bit of a sepia, ‘old-ified’ quality to the image, and had it printed on a super-duper high end printer for about $25.00 for the 3 images. took ‘em to get matted – had a cabinet maker make the frames, took em back to a frameshop for archival framing – and the rest, as they say is history.

IKEA hacked notecards

lot of work, you say… yes, but if you compare the cost of purchasing one of his prints (always too small for my liking, too!) and the way i was able to get what I wanted … the end result is priceless!”

More hacks on IKEAHackers.net

vote for the genius ikea hack
having fun with children’s table and chairs

The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

17 Responses to enlarge your art

  1. Anonymous says:

    Do what you want in your own home. Get over it, people. My guess is that the people on here that are offended as “artists” are the ones who haven’t made any money from their “art” and are just looking to complain. Worry about yourselves, not a copyright infringement of a real artist. If they wanted to, they could defend themselves.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I also find it funny that Randall is willing to pay for
    1) someone to scan, edit, and reprint the art
    2) a cabinet maker to build frames
    3) a frame shop to frame them
    yet the art itself he’s unwilling to pay for.

    This is especially troublesome considering he runs a design studio and you’d think he’s respect the value of art and be quite upset if someone copied his work.

    It appears to be a special case that the artist died many years ago so his work is in the public domain, but it sets a dangerous precedent in the general case.

  3. Gloria says:


    Why are you talking about Blossfeldt copyright?

    Actual “copyright”, so to say, would belong to the ferns, vines, leaves, branches Blossfelt lovingly photographed.

    Thank the gods, nature is generous and quite unconcerned about suing people (otherwise humanity would be quite lost!)

  4. Joel says:

    If the prints were copyrighted, odds are that IKEA wouldn’t be dealing them (unless the artist is a young/emerging type that just wants exposure).

  5. Anonymous says:

    You don’t have to pay $225 for the Blossfeldt book. You can buy the paperback one for $9.95 published by Dover books. And why not just enjoy looking through it without copying it. Wall art gets tiresome and it’s a shame for such great art to get tiresome and shopworn isn’t it?

  6. Randall says:

    As a side note to Andrew C’s Mar20 comment:
    the strange irony here, is that Karl Blossfeldt “felt” that his images should be used to educate/inform artists and others in the BEAUTY of Nature, and his goals/ideals for his images were so much higher, than any of us will ever achieve with our work. In other words, his intent in doing his work – for “it” (his body of work) to be shared/enjoyed/studied by as many Visual Folks as possible.
    Thanks for allowing yourself to be “turned on to” such a great and important photgrapher!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I would think since the author of the hack is in fact an artist, that he would be familiar with copyright issues. Karl Blossfeldt’s work may, in fact, be considered in the public domain. Blossfeldt died in 1932.

    From: http://www.utsystem.edu/OGC/intellectualProperty/copypol2.htm

    “Any work published on or before December 31, 1922 is now in the public domain.
    Works published between January 1, 1923 and December 31, 1978, inclusive, are protected for a term of 95 years from the date of publication, with the proper notice.”

  8. Andrew C. says:

    Thank you for reinstating the post. This hack appears quite legit, and the effect is very striking. The photographs themselves are quite astonishingly beautiful too; well worth researching and appreciating. They appeal to me both scientifically and aesthetically, which is a rare and wonderful combination.

    Just to set the record straight, the images in question are in the public domain: long story short, the reach of German copyright law is 70 years after the death of the creator, and Karl Blossfeldt[1] died in 1932[2].

    I would not have known about the work of this artist had it not been for this post. Now I’m seeking out art books containing his work. Thank you again, and I’d like to express my gratitude to Randall too for the hack itself.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Blossfeldt
    [2] http://www.masters-of-photography.com/B/blossfeldt/blossfeldt_articles4.html

  9. Jen M says:

    The pics look gorgeous … but I have to agree with previous commenters: as a photographer, the disregard for copyright law stings.

  10. tia says:

    i’m surprised the imaging house made the scans or print outs. i’ve not been able to make copies of copyrighted materials at kinkos even.

  11. Chris says:

    this has nothing to do with “knee-jerk litigation issues”, it is copyright infringement straight-up, and therefore illegal.

    the situation is that the person doesnt want to pay the price the artist is asking, and so decides to make their own – totally unethical.

    perhaps this post should be titled “blow up some one elses art”…

    as an artist myself it hurts to see other artists have their rights abused – shame on you, randall kramer…

  12. pambamboo says:

    I’m not real uptight about trying this and that – ‘try’ being the operative word though. But this hack struck me as a slap in the face to the artist who is being ripped off (sorry). There is unlimited free and original art in the universe – access it, don’t steal another. You’ll feel crappy in your own home if you do.

  13. Mike says:

    I’m not so sure this is ethical in my book.

  14. Anonymous says:

    both previous anons,
    you guys are way too uptight. go find a legal brief to read or a frivolous lawsuit to be a part of or something…sheesh…i don’t think this hack is intended to make this person money..it’s called a hack because they figured out a way to use something outside of its intended purpose…in THEIR own living space. take it for what it is instead of a knee-jerk litigation issue…

  15. H says:

    Absolutely fabulous!

  16. Anonymous says:

    That’s theft.
    It violates basic copyright law.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This hack troubles me… I don’t think you should be finding “cheap” ways to decorate your living space creating your own copies, and taking money away from, artists you “respect”. You can probably argue that you are not violating the artist’s copyrite, but I wouldn’t be the one to defend it for you in court.

    I thought the idea of the hacks was to use items you could buy in ways not neccessarily intended by the designers. I’ll bet if you wanted, you could find and mounted and framed piece of original art.

    The cabinet depicted in the Genius contest is a piece similar to work by a famous designer. It is not an exact copy.

    What I would suggest is that you use these same techniques to create your own art work, based on a style and technique you enjoy.

    I love the website, and the ideas, but let’s keep the creative juices flowing, and not directly take the work of others.


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