furniture

Published on January 26th, 2011 | by Jules IKEAHacker

14

IKEA LEGO Table





Materials: Ramvik

Description: When I moved in I bought an IKEA Ramvik table and while travelling this summer I had an idea (don’t ask why): decorate its top with Lego bricks used as pixels. Here are the steps I went through. If you don’t care about those steps and want to see a nice time-lapse video, scroll to the end of the article!

Lego bricks

First things first. What are the Lego brick sizes and colors available? Oddly enough this question is not that easily answered. Probably because Lego’s site is crappy, or because nobody really cares… I eventually found Brickipedia which happens to be a much richer resource than the official ones. Everything I was looking for was there: the Lego “unit” is 8 millimeters and the color palette is pretty simple.

Table specs

Knowing my table size I had various options, depending on the “pixel size” I’d choose. Of course the number of bricks (and the price) would also vary. So I created a dynamic spreadsheet on Google Docs that’d do the calculations for me…

I chose the 4×4 option, quite cheap and still offering a cool number of pixels.


Design

36×16 pixels of freedom, that’s it. I tried lots of different designs, from lo-fi photos to pixel-art drawings. I decided to go for a Heavy Oblique Futura.

Looking good.

The Lego palette

I set my type to white, on a black background. The anti-aliasing process creates gray-scale pixels to smooth the curves, which is great, but Lego bricks aren’t available in all colors! To have a realistic preview of what it would look like I had to create a Photoshop Color Table matching Lego’s gray-scales.

You may notice that Lego’s black is a little bit light and the grays are yellowish.

Time to order bricks!

Already? Nope, not that fast. Before ordering I had to know exactly what to order, that means counting the pixels. Well, I’m not this kind of guy. I’m a developer; I hate repetitive chores, you know.

So I fired up Flash Builder and came up with PaletteCounter a simple, OpenSource, app to count pixels of each color. I also added some kind of “assembly instructions generator” to help us build it. Handy.

Time to order!

Really? Yup. I placed an order on lego.com’s Pick A Brick and received it a couple of weeks later. Yay!

Let’s do this

I’m not going to describe the process (that happened this saturday), just have a look at this time-lapse vid. 1020 pics shot in about an hour, yummy.

See more of the Lego table .

~ Quentin, Bordeaux, France

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The Author

Jules IKEAHacker

"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".

14 Responses to IKEA LEGO Table

  1. Anonymous says:

    Instant get.

  2. Anonymous says:

    that is freakin awesome. very creative.
    I might have picked a different word, but overall, top notch.
    Anything with lego is cool.

  3. Anonymous says:

    love it!

  4. Anonymous says:

    So awesome!

  5. Anonymous says:

    this is awesome!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sure awesome…..but….how do you clean it properly? Spilled coffee, rest of a meal, wine, cadlewax…..
    Would it not be better to take the briks on its side????

  7. Anonymous says:

    we have this coffee table, there’s a glass cover that comes with it, i’d assume it is used to cover over the lego tiles

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is a superb, very skillful hack! Well done!

    I have the same table and I really love how you can put whatever you like underneath the glass surface and change it. However, it doesn’t really have space enough for 8 mm of lego, more like..for a paper (and some crumbs.. maybe).

    Is the glass ‘floating’ on top of the legos or how do you deal with the space in between?

  9. Anonymous says:

    It kinda looks like they used the flat ones (in the lego shop they are listed as plates I think). They are much thinner, more like the big tiles you build you lego on.

    This is awesome!

  10. nerdi says:

    I actually like that you could then use this table as a baseboard for building on.

  11. Izzy says:

    What did you lay down before starting to build the lego part? – the stuff you roll out in the video.

  12. Anonymous says:

    at about 41 seconds into the video you can see them put the glass top of the table on.

  13. Cherry says:

    love love love it!

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