Published on April 19th, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Pop-up Paper Ikea House

Materials: Images of IKEA products

Description: A while ago I designed a pop-up paper house using exclusively Ikea products: all the furniture, obviously, but also all the accessories, sheets, framed artwork, towels, lights, even the floor treatment came from their store. My idea, of course, was to become rich and famous. I would show Ikea my work, they would hail me as a brilliant designer and give me lots of money to design a new house each year, to match their yearly catalogue. It seemed like the perfect idea for them: if mass produced this could be a very inexpensive toy, it is completely wholesome even though it blatantly promotes their products, it folds flat for storage not just in the store but also for the end user (and we all know how obsessed Ikea is with flat storage), plus they could come out with a new house every year and tap into kids’ natural tendency to hoard and collect!

Sadly, my dreams did not come true. I just got an unsigned form letter informing me they weren’t interested in whatever it was I had sent them. When I wrote back asking if I could use their images to sell the house on my own they didn’t even bother reply, so I went back to the drawing board and stripped my house of everything which is recognizably Ikea.

So here is the Ikea hack which isn’t. If you’d like to build the house you can (by following the links you can get templates with precise instructions), but the book or PDF download no longer contains Ikea stuff. But you know what? It’s much nicer now! (these photos are of the old Ikea version)

~ Katherine Belsey

See more of Katherine’s pop-up paper Ikea house

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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".

22 Responses to Pop-up Paper Ikea House

  1. Anonymous says:

    that is really amazing. it makes me sad that ikea passed up on that. don’t give up though, you’re very talented and creative!

  2. Anonymous says:

    love it!hack of the year, AFAIC. I’d buy it, and love to get even one room of thid on a card.
    You may like to know that Maisy, made a similar pop-up house.

  3. Qaseh Rasheqa says:

    i probably love this!!!
    gonna try dis at home. :) )

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi Katherine, always creative, as far as I see it.
    Very nice idea, hope I will remember it next winter, when it’s so cool to stay home and make that kind of “art”.
    Hug from R’tier, in CH.
    Love, Pi-r

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is seriously the coolest thing I have ever seen! You are amazing. :)

  6. Marcella Marcini says:

    This is so great! Seriously consider pitching this to other stores. While the Ikea near me offers child care, other stores definitely don’t. What a great way for kids to play while mom and dad shop. Kind of like a scavenger hunt while they are being pushed around in the cart. I can see Target really going for this.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I would not assume that anyone in any creative department even saw this. They probably never looked at it and can probably prove they didn’t look at it. They need to isolate themselves from acquisitions that they stoled an idea, just in case someone in corporate was thinking of the same idea. Their public affairs department likely rejected it without looking at it.

    I am sure they get all kinds of ideas and suggestions everyday. Finding the correct channel is necessary.

    Great idea though.

  8. Kevreh says:

    This is a cool idea. You could always approach other companies like crate and barrel. It would be a very unique mailer or in-store “catalog”. Maybe approach stores that offer design services. Because of the cost they probably want to be somewhat discerning how they give these away.


  9. Anonymous says:

    This is fantastic. Ikea’s loss.

  10. Mariela says:

    This is so great. I love pop-ups. I can’t believe you could take catalog images & make something so original! IKEA better not steal it either! I guess we’ll just see. I’m keeping tabs on that. They just don’t appreciate papercraft just yet. I’m sure we will see more from them in the future. Esp. now!

  11. Mobile says:

    Great idea! Love seeing a creative mind work and gain success!!!!!! Hope it continues to grow!


  12. Jojo says:

    In Sweden IKEA recently had tv-commercials that reminds very much of your idea. They showed different kitchens in a pop-up book…

  13. Lisa says:

    Wow! Amazing. I love it!

  14. Carole says:

    I love it and as someone struggling to make one book with some pop up butterflies you have my undying respect.

  15. Szilvi says:

    L O V E I T! :-) This is the best thing in a long while, I think you are definately a strong candidate for the hack of the year!!! :-)

    I think it was quite silly of IKEA not to be interested, I think that you idea is brilliant! I think you should try again in some while. You know sometimes there is just the wrong person sitting at the wrong table in the wrong moment. Definately keep trying, and try other companies too.

  16. The swede says:

    Oh my good! I love it! Where can I buy on???!!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    That’s great!

  18. idlehands says:

    I can understand your frustration, I work for IKEA in the Communication and Interior Design department at the IKEA Concept Center in Delft. When we promote IKEA home furnishing solutions as we do in roomsettings and homes in the showroom, great lengths are taken to make sure that the functions are perfect and that the range is current and combined in the right way according to the style group and appropriate to the living situation of the people who live there.
    While your pop-up house was really fun and inspiring (something that we also hold important at IKEA)I am sure that the people you were in contact with were looking for all the other pieces as well.

    I have responded to this as I can see the passion that you have for your product and I wanted you to know why you may have been rubuffed. I am also sorry that no one took the time or effort to respond to you in a dignified manner which I can assure you is not the IKEA way.

    I hope that you continue to have fun with your paper houses and that you keep posting them for everyone to enjoy!


    • ConsumerKate says:

      Good for you to step in and take the hit for your company. It was rude of Ikea’s customer service department to treat her so cavalierly, and I am glad there are at least *some* employees there who will take responsibility. :)

  19. *annina* says:

    Amazing! I love all things miniature & IKEA!

  20. Honeyspy says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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