I left the shelves that I had in New Zealand behind as they were a horrible orangey wood with a super think varnish which proved impossible to get off.
But as Sweden is the land of the original String system it was easy enough to find new shelves. I stuck with plain white shelves with the intention of spray painting the sides... any suggestions? I'm thinking HOT PINK!
The great thing about String shelves is that they make anything look cool and they can pretty much hold anything, they're super strong!
Speaking of HOT PINK, I'll jump straight to the very first IKEA-hack / multi functional furniture / decoration on a shoestring project in 5 easy steps!
Step 1: Take one Frosta stool from IKEA - cost 79kr (approximately $16 NZD)
This is obviously a very similar to the Artek stool originally designed by Alvar Aalto way back 1933 which sell new for 1320 kr ($269 NZD)
Can you tell which is which?
I'll give you a clue, you pay a lot more money for one less leg and you pay a lot less money if you screw the legs on yourself!
Step 2: Go to måleributiken and choose from hundreds of wonderful wallpapers from Sanderson, Cole&Son, Marimekko and lots more. You can get two samples at 1m each sent to you within Sweden
absolutely free, then if you want more they're only 20kr each ($4 NZD)
I chose this wonderful pink and orange wallpaper by Manuel Canovas, ooooph I love the madness of the colours!
Step 3: Get yourself some spray glue 129kr ($26NZD) - this will be used for many more projects to come! Spray the top of the stool, making sure to cover the top of the legs with something.
Step 4: Place the wall paper directly on the stool, make sure you know where you want it to sit though as it sticks really quickly and you don't get a chance to move it.
Step 5: Use a really sharp knife to cut around the edge leaving you with the funkiest little bedside table / extra dining stool!
(I do plan on putting a thin layer of varnish over the top to seal the edges in and protect the paper if it'll be used as extra dining chairs when friends come over.)
This whole project took me all of about 10 minutes and cost me a grand total of around 170kr ($35NZD) for two stools - YAY
Before and after below:
Also one in daylight to show the colours better. Really need to slap some white on that bedroom wall!