Ikea Bar Cart Hack: Go Graphic

Elevate a dreary drinking station with this clever fix.

Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA

Have furniture at home in need of a refresh? Or, are you shopping for furniture and it’s all so plain-Jane? We're calling removable wallpaper to the rescue. There are an abundance of vibrant patterns and colors currently on the market, all for a great price. The best part? It’s temporary. You don’t need to commit to that pineapple pattern forever—once you've tired of it, simply peel it off and swap for something else. 

Read on the see how we transformed this basic Ikea bar cart into a print-perfect scene. Consider it one of our new favorite Ikea hacks.

Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA

What You’ll Need:

*Why use tracing paper to make a template and not go straight to drawing on your wallpaper? If you’re covering more than one area of furniture that has identical dimensions (i.e. the shelves on a bookcase), this template can be used over and over for each.

Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA

Directions
1. Choose your furniture and the area you wish to cover. If it’s a particular drawer or shelf (or, in the case of this specific project, two levels of the cart) you wish to cover, see if removing them is possible. It’s significantly easier to cover something that is not already attached to a larger structure.

2. Using a wet paper towel, clean any dust or debris from the furniture—even a small fleck-of-something will haunt you later as you go to apply the decal as smoothly as possible.

Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA

3. Create your template. Using a flexible measuring tape, carefully measure the exact dimensions of the area being covered. Replicate those dimensions on tracing paper, using a pencil and ruler to create an exact replica of the area being covered.*


*You could also lay the section being covered on top of tracing paper and trace, however measuring will be more precise. When you trace against an edge, one tends to trace at an angle meaning your template could be off by a few centimeters.

Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA


Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA

4. Cut out the template using a craft knife and a ruler for support. Check your work, match the tracing paper template to the section being covered to be sure they are exactly the same shape. Trim if necessary.

Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA

5. Use your template to create the decal pieces. Lay the template on top of the removable wallpaper or decal. Be sure to trace on the side that does not display a pattern as you don’t want to see pencil marks on your freshly upgraded furniture! Trace carefully, then cut out the wallpaper or decal using a craft knife and detail scissors.

6. Check your work again by matching the decal sections to the area being covered. Trim if necessary.  

Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA


Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA

7. Carefully apply the decal—with the help of a friend, if possible (an extra set of arms can go a long way here: one person peels back the decal while the other smooths the adhered surface). Slowly peel the backing off of the decal and press onto the surface of the furniture. 

Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA

Be sure to work quickly and with the plastic smoothing tool in one hand. You’ll need to swiftly smooth over the surface as you adhere the decal in order to work out or remove any air bubbles or imperfections.

Once complete, rebuild your structure for the finalized look!

Published on December 16, 2017 - 5:45am EST

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