365 Objects Of Design, Mad About . . ., Mad About The House

The Flatpack Survival Guide… The Missing Pages

1st December 2016
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Missing Pages by Special Projects

The flatpack furniture producers of the world would have you believe that you can add a beautiful piece of affordable furniture to your home simply by following a few simple instructions. They think that you will be so pleased by the saving produced by not having to pay a factory to assemble your new bed, that you will be happy to give up an entire weekend, several fingernails and possibly even your marriage for the sake of saving a few pounds.

Missing Pages by Special Projects

But they don’t realise that building that bookcase, assembling that bed, or constructing the new baby’s cot can be a source of frustration, negativity and, well, screaming arguments that have a lot more to do with the time your mother-in-law ate the last mince pie and polished off the gin than the actual assembly involved.

Missing Pages by Special Projects

If sounds familiar then help is at hand. Recently I came across The Missing Pages of the flatpack instructions and here, to celebrate the season of goodwill and all things self-assembly, I am sharing them with you today. The guide was created by the design agency Special Projects and brought to you by Zetteler. it might just help you out this December.

Missing Pages by Special Projects

After all it’s that time of year when there is inevitably some self-assembly involved. It might be the overly-complicated Lego set that Father Christmas is planning on bringing one of the children (I remember you 2005 and the Bionicles set that took three days, THREE DAYS), or the sofabed that needs putting up before the in-laws arrive.

Missing Pages by Special Projects

Ever since the husband and I attempted to paper a single (very square) wall some ten years ago – a feat which nearly involved lawyers – we have been firm believers in the school of paying other people to do these things. It’s cheaper than couple’s therapy as the logic goes.

Missing Pages by Special Projects

Anyway, sometimes needs must. And if I’m honest we have done flatpack furniture together. When I say together, he assembles the furniture in one room and I drink gin in the other. Then I listen to his post-assembly talk of how unbelievably difficult it was while he searches for the rest of the tonic. That also works for us as a system.

Missing Pages by Special Projects

The Missing Pages were created because, as the creators say: “They never put these details in the manual. When every bookcase holds the memory of a different argument and every wardrobe reminds you of your busted back.”

Missing Pages by Special Projects

So now there are three extra manuals you can download consisting of Sleepï, Stretchï and Düo. The first is for after the stress of building the cot – assuming that hasn’t brought on early labour and single parenthood –  to help you calm down by creating a sweet mobile to hang over said cot.

Missing Pages by Special Projects

Stretchï is the antidote to the backache and muscle strain resulting from manoeuvring heavy bits of wood or too long breaking your fingers (and nails) cranking that Allen key. The manual gives you a series of simple 30-second yoga poses that can help ease both the physical and mental pains of an intense DIY session using the box as a mat.

Missing Pages by Special Projects

Finally, Duö is perhaps the most important of the three and is designed to alleviate any relationship tensions that may have sprung up during the last few hours of assembling the bed. You know the bit where one of you is yelling that the instructions are missing or wrong and the other is fantasising about dropping the sodding panel on his head… just me? Surely not.

Missing Pages by Special Projects

This is a little craft-based couple’s therapy exercise designed to diffuse any arguments that are brewing while you mix the restorative alcoholic drinks afterwards.

Missing Pages by Special Projects

And there you have it. I hope you thought that was fun. Now, to really cheer us all up why don’t you share your stories of DIY and self-assembly in the comments below?

Missing Pages by Special Projects


Find out more about the duo behind Special Projects here  sadly it doesn’t tell you about their own DIY experiences.



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  • Sara 1st December 2016 at 10:20 pm

    My wife and I make sexual innuendo remarks about everything possible. It keeps us laughing through the nightmare that is flat pack building.

  • Elaine 1st December 2016 at 12:40 pm

    No pictures!!

  • Skandic Hus 1st December 2016 at 10:40 am

    Every time the husband sets about putting together a flat pack piece of furniture and I do mean every single time, without exception, half way through he will insist that there is a fundamental piece missing, it can’t be done and it will have to go back. It is at this time that the whole household is extremely tense as we move into the all too familiar “it’s not my fault” territory.One hour later and having read the instructions, the chest of drawers miraculously transforms into a completed project.
    Nothing is ever said, no “hands up, I should have put side B up first” …… I note the excellent advice about the gin Kate!!

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 1st December 2016 at 3:47 pm

      Are we, in fact, married to the same man?

  • Kate Watson-Smyth 1st December 2016 at 10:13 am

    Oh No! My pictures aren’t missing. Help – will try and sort out.

    Right, I have now checked on someone else’s computer. I think it’s a phone issue. Have contacted the very helpful person who does my tech support. I hope it’s just a one off. I hope we can sort it out. x

    FINAL UPDATE: Problem solved. Apparently the pictures had umlauts in the captions which the computer didn’t like and decided it didn’t want to read them. Umlauts all now removed. Hopefully you can all see it now….

  • Katherine DIY Ogilvie 1st December 2016 at 9:16 am

    I should have my middle name legally changed to ‘DIY’. Very funny piece. You made me laugh. ??

  • Jill Ashton 1st December 2016 at 9:03 am

    Genius! Hilarious too. Just the kind of thinking I need in this easy fisticuff planet. Thank you.

  • Janet Whincup 1st December 2016 at 8:48 am

    This is hilarious….
    Because there are missing pages, the images are missing?

  • Joss Cripps 1st December 2016 at 8:13 am

    Spot on. I have a solution now. Enrol services of cost centre #1, who finds them a breeze having been weaned on those those monster Lego sets, devours them before we’ve even sat down for Christmas Day lunch. Strangely we don’t seem to argue as much either.

  • Katie 1st December 2016 at 8:03 am

    This made me laugh. We attempted coving, yes coving in a Victorian house when I was pregnant and had morning noon and night sickness. Obviously none of the walls were square so we spent most of it arguing and bickering, especially when the cuts were done at the wrong angle. We can laugh about it now, but that’s only because it was 12 years ago!!!

  • Taste of France 1st December 2016 at 8:01 am

    This is hilarious! I appreciate the generous use of umlauts and the spot-on drawings. Ikea gets credit for keeping prices down and style high. Personally, I prefer antiques–often even cheaper and of far better quality. Plus no assembly required.

  • Christine Herlicq 1st December 2016 at 7:44 am

    Is it just me or are all the pictures of Missing Pages …….missing?

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