IKEA Hack – Vackis Alarm Clock

IKEA Hack - Vackis Alarm Clock

I don’t know about you, but I adore visiting IKEA. The beautiful designs, the low prices, the promise of a Quorn hot dog at the end… I revert into a five-year-old version of myself and go a bit nuts, running around to take in as much inspiration as I can. Some of my favourite things to look at on Pinterest are IKEA Hacks, which are simple ways to modify products from IKEA’s extensive range to more suit your style and taste. Inspired by IKEA hacking and the Pinterest favourite that is washi tape, I had a go at modifying one of IKEA’s cheapest yet most functional products – the Vackis alarm clock.


I am rubbish at getting up in the morning – I always have been, and strongly suspect I always will be. Therefore, when I was moving out to go to university, I knew that my only hope of attending early morning lectures would be with the help of an alarm clock. The cheap and cheerful Vackis clock fit the bill perfectly, so I threw one in the trolley during a pre-university trip to IKEA with my parents.

The Vackis (or Väckis if you want to get technical) is a plain white alarm clock, with an astonishingly low price tag of just 80 pence here in the UK. Despite its practicality it isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing clock in the world, but its perfectly flat front makes it the perfect candidate for some crafty improvements. I decided to use washi tape which, in case you haven’t looked at the millions of Pins featuring it, is patterned paper tape that makes almost anything look whimsical and charming.

IKEA Hack - Vackis Alarm Clock

I bought my washi tapes on eBay where there are thousands of different designs, usually costing £1.99 or less per roll. The vast selection of washi tape available means you can try all sorts of ideas; red and green glitter washi tape would make a wonderfully festive clock for Christmas time, or you could go shabby chic with ditsy floral washi – very Cath Kidston, don’t you think? How about chevrons? Or use different colours of plain washi tape to make a rainbow clock? The possibilities are endless!

For my first clock design I used a white washi tape with coloured stripes, creating a bold diagonal striped effect over the front of my clock. I applied the washi tape in vertical lines across the whole front of the clock (including over the face), making sure to line up the stripes as I went along. I then put the clock face down on a cutting board, and used an X-Acto knife around the edge to remove the overhanging tape. Finally, I carefully pierced through the tape into the small groove at the edge of the round clock face with my X-Acto blade and traced around the circle, peeling the tape off the face when I was done. I later went on to make one for my mum using the same technique, this time using various different patterns of tape and some self-adhesive scrapbooking elements I found in Poundland.

IKEA Hack - Vackis Alarm Clock

Straight after applying my washi tape, I sealed it with a layer of glossy Mod Podge. This makes the washi tape more robust although after time, if you’re using the clock for its alarm and therefore are handling it frequently, there will be some peeling at the edges. You can deal with this in a few ways; you could apply clear sticky back plastic over your design and around the sides of the clock to make your design permanent, you could spread some glue on the front of your Vackis before applying your washi tape (I haven’t personally tried this, so tread carefully!) or you could simply use a spot of Mod Podge under the strips of tape to stick the edges back down if you notice any peeling.

Honestly though, what I tend to do is leave it, and when the washi is peeling all the way around, I take it off altogether and give it a brand new look. That’s exactly what happened to my first diagonal striped Vackis since I was using it as an alarm clock for uni every day, and now I can’t wait to redecorate it! Of course, you won’t really have this problem if, like my mum, you’re only using this clock for display rather than as an alarm – one year since decoration and I’m glad to say that my mum’s Vackis is looking as good as new.

IKEA Hack - Vackis Alarm Clock

Of course, your options aren’t limited to washi tape. Recently, I bought some marble-effect sticky back plastic from Wilko to use in the background of shots for the blog, and this could be used to make a gorgeous marble-effect clock – how very Instagram, right?! Sticky back plastic can be found in a myriad of different patterns, so there is plenty of opportunity for experimenting – wood effect plastic would look great, as would granite effect, or you could go really bold with a holographic rainbow plastic.


Are you feeling inspired? What would you decorate an IKEA Vackis with? Let me know in the comments below!

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Until next time,

- Poppy -