Hackeas: Quick and cheap to the rescue

I’ve not done quickie hacks for a while, so here are a few to fill a spare hour.

The first two are from Quari.

Really, REALLY cheap laptop stand

“My laptop spends a lot of time on the kitchen table (googling measurements for recipes mostly – how many teaspoons in a quart?) So I wanted to put it on an angled stand for easier typing and to allow airflow to keep it cool in a hot Australian summer. Then I found the Lamplig trivet for $8.95. Taking one trivet and a couple of rubber furniture feet that cost about $2 for pack of 4 at any hardware shop, I now have an angled laptop stand in cool stainless steel that allows airflow around the whole underside of the laptop. I thought it might need some rubber or anti-slip stuff on some of the rungs but my Dell laptop seems to stay put by itself.”

Nifty narrow shelves for novels
“I wanted small deep shelves to keep novels in that wouldn’t take up too much space in a narrow hallway. As I rent my place I couldn’t affix anything to the walls so it had to be sturdy and self-supporting. Rather than the old planks and bricks option I got a few Lerberg cd shelves for $10 each, assembled them and turned them on their side. Instant novel bookcase that’s also really easy to move around and I can just add more shelving as I need it.”

Frame it anew
What to do when the frame is great but the picture is not what you’re looking for? Carl solves this easily.

original picture

“I recently noticed that my local Ikea (Ottawa, Canada) had a sale going on for the Erikslund (link points to currently available Erikslund pictures, can’t find this one) ‘By the sea picture’ at $4 CAD, that is an amazing price for the size and style of frame involved, but I am not too crazy about the actual pictures. You pop out the staples from behind, pull out the original poster board and affix your own pictures onto it with two sided tape. If you want a cleaner job you can add matting and use glue instead.

I used three pictures out of a Telus Mobility 2008 calendar to quickly see if my idea would work. It added a lot of color to the bathroom and I am happy with it.”

Line up your DVDs
Always wondered how some people have their DVD collection lined up in perfect rows?


Vitezslav lets us in on the secret – just stick a piece of cardboard as stopper.


See more of vitezslav’s dvd stopper.

Updated! February 25, 2009
Philips vinyl stopper

He says, “As any vinyl fan knows the Expedit bookcase is perfect for record storage. However, unless you have it completely against a wall, the records slide out of the back.

Some scrap MDF and  a few drywall screws later – problem solved!  I do recommend using the clamps and pre-drilling the MDF, you only get one shot at Ikea particle board!”

Sponge dryer
Wendy says, “This is not a fancy hack, more of a simple solution. I dislike the idea of a constantly wet/damp sponge. So I got myself a Blanken shower caddy and stuck it to the splash back of my kitchen sink. Now my sponges can dry out after I use them. I even keep the rubber plug in there ’cause water collects in the hollow underneath and then mildrew grows.



Jules Yap