I had seen a glass-top table made on an advertising campaign (for a stationers) and thought a LACK coffee table was the perfect candidate. Plus I had seen a back-lit world map wall mounted in an office and thought it was a good first subject to put under the glass.
On the top side I marked the holes for the glass table top stand-offs (using the glass itself as a guide) then secured the stand-offs.
When I was deciding the placement of the stand-offs, I deliberately put them in the corners, so there is good purchase from the long screws, in to the corner blocks that support the legs.
For the two middle stand-offs, I glued some old scrap blocks in between the table top’s thin surfaces to give it more security.
Putting it all together
I laid out the world map on the table top, and drew around them. Then, marked where I wanted the dowels to site.
I glued them in and once dry, I then marked the locations of the LEDs. I originally figured I’d need about 70 lights. But got carried away adding them and when I counted them up realised I had about 160!
Luckily I had ordered 2 sets of the 100 LEDs (thinking that I’d perhaps make another table after this one). I realised therefore that I could just wire them together to give me enough bulbs.
I drilled all the holes from the top, to give the cleanest finish. And then pushed the LEDs in from underneath and secured them with my hot glue gun.
I made sure I kept testing the lights, as I did not want to get to the end to find them no longer working.
The final assembly was following the IKEA instructions to complete assembly of the legs and lower shelf, then gluing the (now painted) land masses to the dowels.
Finally, the glass was secured to the table using the chrome screw tops of the 6 stand offs. And that completes my back-lit world map coffee table.
Other useful information in building a world map table
It took me a weekend’s work and less than £100.
What I like most is the back-lit world map looks stunning in a dim room.
The hardest part about this hack was drilling the 170 odd holes for the LEDs.
What to pay special attention to?
Mounting the battery pack to ensure it can be “seen” by the remote control and that you can unclip the cover to change batteries.
Looking back, would you have done it differently?
1. The dowels were 2 cm long, too long in this case (too easy to see some of the bulbs underneath). I would halve this next time, as this was still plenty to clear the LED bulbs.
2. I’d work out the alignment of the land masses better and not use hot glue to secure them, simply because there isn’t the time/scope to re-adjust before the glue cools and goes hard enough to prevent fine adjustment.
3. I’d use fewer dowels, and even smaller (narrower) ones to avoid them being seen.
Jules Yap started IKEAHackers.net in 2006 as a personal blog to showcase the most impressive IKEA hacks from all over the world. Since then, she has learned a lot more about power tools and DIY. Her site has helped thousands modify IKEA furniture with step-by-step tutorials, craft projects and home styling.