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My “RFID Shelf”-project is a LACK shelf which is able to play music when you place an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag on it. Essentially, you can say it’s an RFID controlled MP3 player. The reason for this project was I wanted to enable little kids to choose their own music or fairy tale like I did by switching tapes (or even vinyls) when I was a kid. In times of MP3 and Spotify that’s kind of hard, so I created this shelf.

IKEA items used:
Other materials and tools:

Hack instructions for RFID Shelf:

I chose the IKEA LACK shelf to house the RFID Shelf because of its hollow structure.

First, use a hole saw to create an opening for the speaker. The hole should be on the bottom of the shelf.

RFID Shelf for little kids to select their favourite music or stories


Related: Kids’ stereo player in a HEMNES dresser


Remove the paper from inside the LACK shelf.

Drill another hole on the side of the shelf for the USB connector.

RFID Shelf for little kids to select their favourite music or stories

Then put the base board in, using plastic spacers to affix it inside the shelf.

RFID Shelf for little kids to select their favourite music or stories

RFID Shelf for little kids to select their favourite music or stories

Lastly, close the hole with the speaker. It should sit quite tight. And you’re ready to go.

RFID Shelf for little kids to select their favourite music or stories

RFID Shelf for little kids to select their favourite music or stories

Full instructions and files for the RFID Shelf is available on Github.

Testing out the RFID Shelf with 3 different RFID tags, playing 3 different content.

See one of the first users of the RFID Shelf.

RFID cards can be assigned a folder containing MP3 files on a SD card, played when the card is put on the shelf. Using some creativity (and/or the Internet and a printer) those cards can be customized to represent their content, giving the kid the ability to distinguish them. A WiFi web interface gives you the ability to manage the files on the shelf and to program the cards.

~by Claus Naeveke