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How to Assemble Ikea, So it Lasts!

How to Assemble Ikea So It Lasts!

We all know Ikea comes in a zillion pieces, and it has a bad rap for falling apart. I do love some of their pieces, they are just so functional and you can’t beat the price. However, there is no Ikea in Las Vegas (but there will be in 2016!) so when I do spend the extra money to pick up pieces in LA I want to be sure to assemble them so they last. Here are my tips that will really help the stability of your Ikea pieces. First, invest in real tools. I do own the Ikea FIXA kit, it’s only $8 and I keep it in my trunk in case of emergencies. I also recommend a drill or electric screwdriver, and drill bit kit with hex bits. You can assemble with just the Ikea FIXA kit but having an electric drill or screwdriver is going to save you a ton of time. You will also want a box cutter to open the boxes, and some regular wood glue and thread locker.

How to Assemble Ikea So It Lasts!

Don’t try to assemble using the included tool. You won’t be able to get a lot of the bolts tight, and frankly this tool sucks.

How to Assemble Ikea So It Lasts!

Before you get started use your box cutter to open the box and you can lay the box flat if you need a surface you can build on without scratching the finish. I had this hideous carpet (which has been ripped out yay!!) to assemble on. Lay each of the matching pieces with each other, so it makes it easier to locate pieces when you assemble. Your also less likely to grab the wrong piece. Ikea can be assembled backwards, and upside down, and when this happens you have to remove screws that can loosen up the holes and cause the furniture to be wobbly. So take the time to lay out the pieces, and identify what is what and what is “up and down”

How to Assemble Ikea So It Lasts!

When you start to assemble, use your thread locker on all threaded screws. It’s watery so I usually put a drop on a smooth service and just dip the treads in. I use a glass countertop sample for glues and epoxies, but a subway tile works great and can be picked up for about $1 at the hardware store.  It doesn’t take much thread locker, but it will really help your screws stay in place and not loosen up on you. Keep a paper towel handy for any drips or extra that might squeeze out when you put in the screws. I also use the blue removable thread locker. They make stronger solutions but there really isn’t any need for it.

How to Assemble Ikea So It Lasts!

Next make sure to use wood glue on the dowels. Just like the thread locker you don’t need much. Just dip the tip of the dowel into the glue and tap it into the hole with a rubber hammer. (or the FIXA hammer with the rubber cap on the tip)

How to Assemble Ikea So It Lasts!

The wood glue will make the dowel fit tighter so be sure you lightly tap it all the way into the pre drilled hole.

The wood glue will make the dowel fit tighter so be sure you lightly tap it all the way into the pre drilled hole.

After you assemble your pieces but before you put in the cam locks (those round silver plugs you twist to tighten with a screwdriver) put a little thread locker on the screw head in the hole. This critical step will help the cam locks from coming loose. The #1 item to come loose on Ikea pieces is the cam locks, so be sure to tighten them well after placing the thread lock.

How to Assemble Ikea So It Lasts!

Once you tighten your cam locks, the seams on your pieces should fit tightly together. If they are not tight, then somethings wrong, and be sure you have the right pieces assembled, or loosen the cams, tap the pieces lightly together with a rubber hammer and retighten the cams. The piece will wiggle loose if your seams are gapping.

How to Assemble Ikea So It Lasts!

If you have any hex bolts to put in this is when the drill or electric screwdriver comes in handy. Be sure to apply your thread locker and tighten your screws down. Just don’t over tighten or you could crack the wood. If your using a drill, be extra careful.

How to Assemble Ikea So It Lasts!

And lastly enjoy your pieces. This is a sneak peek of my new studio. (minus the gross carpet thats gone)  These tips will take you a little extra time when you assemble, but after 6 months to a few years and your pieces haven’t wiggled loose it will be well worth it.


O Face Doughnuts

So Lately I have been craving a gourmet doughnut. I blame it on all the Instagram pictures and social media… so many food pictures… must have doughnut. Anyways, it was wonderful to have a mini doughnut date with my friend this morning at O Face Doughnuts, the new gourmet doughnut shop that opened today in downtown Las Vegas.

I couldn’t resist buying an entire dozen and bringing them to my husband at the fire station. Something about a maple bacon doughnut just sounded like a firefighter would like to eat it. Best way to have a happy Monday.

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An adorable must stay…

I am not a morning person at all. In fact I hate the morning and it makes me evil. It could be because I frighten myself looking in the mirror in the morning since I literally have a chihuahua nest on my head because my chihuahua insists on trying to sleep on top of my head every night.

There is one thing that does make me excited to wake up early for and that my friends is the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, CA. When I was staying in LA working on HGTV’s Secrets From a Stylist we got to shop all the great fleas. Now that I am back in Las Vegas, it’s more of a treat to make the drive out to LA. Since it was my birthday the day before the Rose Bowl this month, I decided to treat myself to some birthday fleas. That meant waking up at 2 am, and driving 4 hours in order to get to the Rose Bowl by 6 am, but no worries I had a smile on the face the whole way.

Yes it may seam crazy to get to the flea market so early but it’s a tradition with the Secrets From a Stylist team. Plus you get to see all the good stuff (which gets bought really quickly) And there’s not too many people as crazy as you are to spend the extra $$ and wake up so early on a Sunday. Plus I’m not a huge crowd fan and by 9 the gate tends to look like this…

Since it was my birthday weekend, I decided to make a mini vacation out of the trip and booked a room at the new Palihotel on Melrose. After picking up my husband from the airport (because he is not so much of a flea fan) we checked into this new little gem on Melrose.

First and foremost let me tell you this hotel is in a great location. Park your car in the underground parking (there was plenty of spaces and only $15 for overnight parking) and you don’t need to drive during your stay unless you really want to. About 1 mile away is The Grove, a trendy LA outdoor shopping mall, and of course all down Melrose is plenty of shopping. The best part of this boutique hotel is the fun decor…

So if your making a mini vintage inspired vacation to LA, like me, it’s the perfect place to stay. Best part you can enjoy the evil morning with yummy coffee in the cafe…

or walk down Melrose to the V Cafe for some fresh apple-beet-carrot juice. You can also walk to Taste on Melrose for custom built grilled cheese for lunch (or anything else you may wish for) You may even get some great decorating ideas from the Palihotel like this neat cork wall

or leather Chesterfield sofa with green velvet seat…

So my friends, next time your itching to go to a good Los Angeles flea market (yes pun intended) book your stay at Palihotel get inspired and make a mini-vacation out of it.