Extra deep display unit from RIBBA frames

Extra deep RIBBA frame

On my recent trip to Papua New Guinea I bought a tribal necklace. Dusty and dirty, I saw same potential in it. Having seen the necklaces being sold in UK for 475 £, the price of 30 £ I paid for the item was a bargain. And, I probably overpaid two or three times the right price.

I pondered two options: to make a stand for it or to frame it to be hung on wall. IKEA website made the choice easy: hacked RIBBA frames would do the job.

IKEA parts needed:

  • Two black 50 * 50 cm RIBBA frames (for one extra deep display unit you need two frames), IKEA article number: 200.780.50
  • One DIODER lights (4-piece light strip, you need one for one frame), IKEA article number: 001.194.19

Other ingredients:

  • silk fabric – darker tone, minimum 60 cm
  • silk fabric – off-white colour, minimum 60 cm
  • wood glue
  • spray glue
  • black acrylic paint – preferably matt (for painting the outsides of inner RIBBA frame)


  • passe-partout cutter (if the RIBBA ready-made hole is too small, you can use very sharp carpet knife but you’d not get 45-degree angle with it)
  • paint brush
  • staple gun


1. Unbox both frames. Unbox LED light strips.
2. Remove frame parts. Take out both RIBBA inner frames. Paint the frames black from outside. Do this at least to one of the inner frames. If you do not paint inner frame/s, the cardboard colour will show from the side when you hang the box on the wall. You need very little black paint – artist stores have small tubes. I did not do this and learned the hard way.

Glue two Ribba together

3. After the inner frames have dried, glue them together on top of the other.
4. Attach DIODER light to the inner frame. Attach the lights so that they are on the side that will be next to the glass. Otherwise the lights will show when ready.
5. Take the passe-partout that comes with RIBBA. It’s the thick white paper thing that as already a hole cut into it. If the hole is too small for your display item, make it bigger with passe-partout cutter or carpet knife.
6. Cut off-white silk fabric so that it’s a little (2-3 cm) bigger than the frame.
7. Spray spray glue to passe-partout. Let dry for a minute or so.
8. Attach silk to passe-partout. Where there’s the hole in passe-partout cut the silk from about 2-3 cm from the edges. In corners make 45 degree cut to silk. Attach the silk fabric to the back of the passe-partout (spray the back side of passe-partout). Let dry and iron gently to attach the fabric firmly.
9. Take the left over passe-partout and attach it to the back of the first. This is only for the DIODER lights – IKEA’s passe-partout is partially see-through when you attach the LED strips. Two passe-partouts on top of each other prevent the led light strips from showing.
10. Take the back of the frame. Cut darker silk fabric about 2-3 cm larger than the back.

Backing board with silk

11. Spray glue the back and attach first the white paper piece that comes with RIBBA to the back. Turn the paper around – the back side has only some writing on it. If you do not do this the brown colour of the back may show through the silk fabric. Spray glue again and attach the darker silk fabric on top of the white paper.
12. Make a hole in the back board for hanging your item inside the frame.
13. Place your item inside and assemble all parts together. Before assembly remove metal stubs from the main frame. They are just in your way. Wash the glass and vacuum all dust from all parts.
14. Find out how to tie the parts firmly together. I used stable gun to attach the back to the inner frame and wood glue to attach the inner frame to the main frame. Wood glue also seals the frame from dust getting inside. Let dry for an hour or two.

Wrap silk around it and staple

Stack them together

15. Ready!

Extra deep RIBBA frame to display my tribal necklace

~ Hacked by Timo Rantanen