Donkey Kong Shelves: Japanese gamer shows us how to

donkey kong shelves

I’ve always wondered whether IKEA designer Maria Vinka, had Nintendo’s Donkey Kong in mind when she created the IKEA LUSTIGT wall shelves.

IKEA LUSTIGT wall shelves vs Donkey Kong game

Perhaps a mere coincidence but gamers immediately saw a stomping gorilla and bent girders in Level 1 of the classic Donkey Kong retro bitmap game.

A Japanese gamer @miki800 went the extra mile to make the quirky IKEA wall shelves look a real Donkey Kong. Which is awesome in any game room or kid’s room.

Let’s take a look at how she turn the IKEA LUSTIGT into Nintendo’s Donkey Kong shelves.

Donkey Kong wall shelves IKEA hack
Photo: Miki800

IKEA LUSTIGT wall shelf
Paint brushes
Marker pens

Accessorise with:

Drum pencil holder
Toy wood barrel
8-bit figures

DIY Donkey Kong shelves

First, paint the shelves a bright red. She mixed red paint and light blue paint to get the right shade.

paint the girders
Photo: Miki800

Let the paint dry and give it another coat, if necessary. When paint has fully dried, flip it to the side and use a black permanent marker to draw triangles along the side. This mimics the look of the Donkey Kong scaffolding.

Next to make the vertical spine visually “disappear” into the wall, paint it in a matching shade. As a result, the girders stand out more dramatically.

Now for the Donkey Kong accessories

She bought a drum-like pencil holder from Daiso and painted it blue. Then, labelled it “OIL” with white chalk pen.

paint oil barrel
Photo: Miki800

A trip to a second hand store unearthed a toy wooden barrel which was a perfect addition to the set. I would have bought a few more to stack next to the gorilla.  

8 bit gorilla
Photo: Miki800

She already had a set of 8-bit figures and they were just the right size for the wall shelf. This is a similar one on Amazon.

Miki is still missing Pauline, Mario’s kidnapped girlfriend and the reason he scales platforms and jumps over barrel bombs.

And with that, the set is basically done. All that’s left is to assemble, hang up on the wall and see “How high can you get?”.

Donkey Kong wall shelves IKEA hack
Photo: Miki800
What to pay special attention to?

One thing to note, the LUSTIGT wall shelf comes with two green ladders and one black one. Miki bought two sets to get 4 green ladders. The other black ladders were used with the unaltered LUSTIGT set.

Miki is not the only one to have done this.

@atyuriko tweets his version and exclaims, “Oh! I’m glad that there are people who reproduced it the same way as I did!”

atyuriko kept the shelves aligned, and added quite a few more ladders and barrels. He has Pauline too.

Donkey Kong wall shelves IKEA hack
Photo: @atyuriko

Reddit user @PlahausBamBam contained his creation inside a RIBBA 19″ x 19″ frame. After putting it together, he added a UV light bar and paint to give it a more old-school video game look. A very nice touch.

Donkey Kong wall shelves IKEA hack

The Kong is in!

Want it in large scale? Forget the LUSTIGT. Use LACK wall shelves instead.

Like how Casey did, with some ingenious tilted LACK wall shelves.

donkey kong LACK wall shelves

“Here’s a little project I came up with using some LACK shelves to add some flair to my game room.

Using some tape, paint, and a lazy afternoon I put together a Donkey Kong homage to keep my old systems on. The ladders were made from 1/4″ square wood and the barrels are beer cans painted.”

Picture ledges as Donkey Kong platforms

If you prefer a slimmer profile, use picture ledges instead like the MOSSLANDA or STÖDSTORP.

Which do you prefer? Small or large scale Donkey Kong shelves?