Lack lack hack series logo (1)

Published on April 2nd, 2008 | by Jules Yap


stuff you can do with lack shelves

lack hack series logo (1)

the lack carnival continues. we move on to the lack shelves. i’ve always loved the floating shelves – neat, uncluttered and available in my favourite red. only problem is, you probably can’t put more than a few books and decorative items without it crashing down. let’s see what ikea hackers have done to the wall shelf.

bedside storage
isabelle had an issue finding bedsides to fit her bedroom width. the standard malm bedside tables were too wide. so after looking for several options she decided to use 2 lack stand alone shelves behind the bed. it’s in the same color and style as her malm headboard. easy to install and really effective.

tattoo your lack

sara danielsson, an interior architect and designer in gothenburg, sweden sends me her ikea lack shelves with burned-in tattoos.

Ikea hack

Ikea hack 2 (1)

the shelves were exhibited at Liljevalchs Vårsalongen Formbart 2005 and at the Furniture fair in Stockholm Sweden 2004.

she says, “the idea is that ready-made products are icons of creativity from a few and instead i want to promote the power of creativity in everyone. i add a new meaning to the shelf by giving the skin of the object burned-in tattoos, that last forever. a step towards emotional sustainability in a fast world.”

massive lack shelf bookcase
and here, tine engineers this massive bookcase out of lack shelves and adds vertical reinforcements to hold the weight.


she says, “when we were looking for shelving systems for our new apartment we liked the floating lack shelves best. but even with being extremely creative in order to hit the studs, i realized that they would never hold all of our books without bending or crashing. so i got some blond wood from the lumberyard and cut it into pieces to slide between the shelves. for the most part gravity holds it all together and the woodpieces are still movable. people assume that it’s a whole shelving system and nobody suspects ikea!”

related hacks:
- lack hacks series #1: same table, different styles
- lack hacks series #2: just as versatile the lack shelving unit

More hacks on

same table, different styles
just as versatile: the lack shelving unit

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".

6 Responses to stuff you can do with lack shelves

  1. Nonisioux says:

    Just beautiful! The “tattoo” work on the wood is very innovative, easily personalizing the mundane. So glad I visited your site.

  2. Lukos says:

    Regarding the weight, it depends massively on the type of wall you are fixing to, how good you are at DIY and what fixings you use. If the screws are too short and you have a lot of plaster, expect nothing, if you have some good brick and 2.5 inch screws, the shelves can easily hold the weight. Plasterboard with good fixings will not be massively strong since they are strongest in the vertical direction whereas the Lack shelves are cantilevered and exert a lot of pulling pressure of the top fixings.

  3. Mia says:

    I love the tatooed shelves and the cofeetable and am thinking haw amazing a tatooed cofee table would be

  4. Mackie says:

    i guess it depends very much on the walls you put them on – i had four lack shelves for years, and had books on them – no problem at all.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Love the look but even with the supports, it still seems like Lack should not be trusted to hold that much weight.

  6. Mackie says:

    love the bookcase :-)

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