We, here at The Things, scour the internet for the most amazing images, excerpts and tidbits to make people laugh and forget their real world troubles—if only for a moment. Sometimes, though, real world troubles are the very things we laugh at. We're talking about the frustrations of these blundering wannabe handymen and handywomen, who only wanted to save a few bucks on home furnishings. So, they rolled up their sleeves, lined up their Allen keys, tried to make sense of nonsensical instructions and attempted to make pre-cut piles of wood into something majestic and…well...
So, let’s all laugh at the following 15 most hilarious examples of DIY furniture assembly fails.
15 Is this woman crying or laughing?
It’s uncertain whether this woman is crying or laughing. It’s clear from this picture that she’s attached the seat of her pristine white, fresh-out-of-the-box chair upside down. Another question we may ask here is why didn’t she notice this faulty assembly before she tightened those screws for the last time? Wasn’t it obvious how things were going south here? Apparently not. For those with experience in DIY assembly, we know that putting chairs like this together are about as easy as it gets. These are like the kindergarten class in the school of DIY home furniture assembly. So, in other words, if you can’t manage to get a simple project like this put together correctly, then there’s no hope for you!
14 We feel her pain
This woman is definitely having a frustrating tantrum, experiencing the same issue as the woman in the photograph with the white chair (she’s managed to screw the chair’s seat on upside down). Ladies, let’s get this most basic A-B-C assembly project done right! We are concerned about what seems to be wood shavings scattered near the discarded screwdriver. That shouldn’t happen. It’s like she was maybe trying to drill in a screw where there was no corresponding hole, but we don’t think she’s qualified to operate a drill. There’s a chair very similar to the wrongly assembled one already lined up at the table. Whoever put that chair together needs to take over this project, stat!
13 The leaning tower of vinyl
Well, whoever put this baby together overestimated its capacity to hold stuff by a long shot! If furniture could talk and we were ‘furniture whisperers,’ we bet this toppling wreck would tell us that it’s so loaded down and poorly assembled (with a surplus of what looks like vinyl records representing the weight of the world on its shoulders), that it looks like the victim in a horror movie shrinking away from some evil entity in the room. Perhaps it detects its maker with a power tool in their hands, once again ready to wreak more havoc on some other helpless, innocent slabs of wood and it’s speaking here in its inanimate furniture way, saying: "Oh, no! They’re dusting off the toolbox! Save us! Save our plywood souls!"
12 Wrong knob, knob!
The doors on this cabinet actually look well assembled: they line up properly, they’re square at the corners, they’re straight with no gaps between and they fit properly into the cabinet. So far, so good. We detect no obvious problems with the assembly of hinging the doors onto the cabinets themselves or the main structure of the cabinet, but the glaring—let’s say ‘knob’ (instead of ‘elephant’) in the room—are these mismatched cupboard knobs (or whatever you like to call them). Was this the work of someone who choose just one knob and so, took one of each—like wearing mismatched socks or shoes—to use for a while and find out which they like best? Well, this is one way to figure out which knob is your knob!
11 A bar stool fit for the kiddie table?
What could possibly have gone wrong in the assembly of these simple stools? They probably have less than 10 pieces to put together and are likely not too difficult to handle. But clearly, something is amiss! It looks like the stool on the right has an extra part (which is missing from the stool on the left) to elevate its height. Maybe that part was lost. Or, maybe it wasn’t in the box and the assembler was a novice who couldn’t figure out a part was missing. That’s why they tell you to make sure each part is there before beginning assembly! Great, so now there’s a bar stool in your home fit for a kiddie table. Do not let your fellow PTA parents know about this!
10 Come aboard this sinking ship
It’d be nice to think that this slanting bed was the result of one wild and passionate night, but since it was posted as a furniture assembly disaster, we’re disappointed to know the truth. You have to wonder if anyone actually sleeps in this bed, since it’s made and even accented with a decorative throw pillow. You could re-balance the bed by calculating the weight of the person who will sleep on the left to counteract the weight of the person on the right. Of course, you could also shove some books under to elevate the sunken side or—better yet—get yourself a new bed and pay someone else to assemble it this time, so that this doesn’t happen again!
9 The struggle is real
What cohabitating couple hasn’t battled over some DIY furniture assembly, at some point in their relationship? The above picture relates to an incident where police were called to a couple’s home because, as it turns out, they were causing a commotion because they got soooo frustrated while assembling their new IKEA furniture. It happens to all of us! We wonder what they were putting together. A cabinet? A television stand? A dresser? Do they look at the piece of furniture now and laugh about that infamous day, when the police were called because of their frustration with putting the damn thing together? This is assuming, of course, that the sad piece of furniture hasn’t already collapsed into a sorry heap of fiberboard kindling!
8 Before and after
Don’t you just love the advertised pictures of your dream dresser perfectly put together? These perfect assemblies always happen in the hands of other people, don’t they? The stuff we, ourselves, assemble always winds up looking like a three-year-old assembled it using only a kitchen knife, instead of a screwdriver or something. Take, for example, the above photo where the top and the third drawers actually look perfectly done—so high five on that! But, what the heck is happening with that second drawer and the bottom drawer? It’s like whoever was assembling this dresser threw up their hands before fixing the second drawer and finishing that bottom drawer because the rest of it took every ounce of effort they had and now—they just can’t even!
7 A perfect illustration of DIY expectation vs. reality
We totally want to make this really cool, condo-sized bar shown in the picture on the left. It's probably really simple to build yourself, right? It’s literally some shellacked slabs of wood, lined up neatly with a two-tier slab counter-top and it looks like they’ve strung some white Christmas lights inside to give the finished product a pretty, lit-up effect. That's the perfect way to recycle an old pallet of wood and we are totally in envy! The truth of the matter is, it’s always easier said than done. When we fool ourselves into thinking a simple bar like this could easily be built by us, we are more likely to wind up with—quite literally—a pile of sticks, as illustrated here in the picture on the right.
6 Shelving for a shopaholic
While this is listed as a DIY assembly failure, a part of us also thinks that it’s a pretty cool way of re-purposing an old supermarket cart. It’s a success in terms of execution: the shelves are aligned and seem sturdy—but it’s also sort of tacky-looking. Could you see Martha Stewart doing this? We think it might be a little lowbrow for Martha.
While this may be considered by some to be a failure in taste, it’s not a fail in terms of functionality. Just use it as an organizer in your pantry, laundry room or some other out- of-the-way room! It’s not classy shelving to show off for its looks, but we say you can brag about pulling this one off because it actually works!
5 The gap-toothed dresser
If this dresser were a set of teeth, it would need to go to the orthodontist. Orthodontists are dental specialists who make braces and correct alignments in teeth—and this dresser needs a re-alignment. It looks like what happened here is that the tracks, which the drawers are supposed to roll on, were screwed on in the wrong place. Whoops! What to do? Well, they could unscrew the tracks for that first drawer and try properly aligning them, but if these people have a pet cat, that gap between the first and second drawer is the perfect size for kitty to crawl into. We bet if you put something soft in there, this would probably be their new hangout! Kitty wins!
4 Litter box bed
Speaking of kitties, here’s a bed that looks like a litter box—if you were a cat hoarder, you’d just spread a ton of litter here and let all your cats go to town. Ew! This is mostly a FAIL because this bed seems to be missing a box spring or mattress. Did they not know that when you buy a bed frame you have to, like, put something soft in there to lie on, too? Do they go to furniture stores and wonder what mattresses are for? Are mattresses unrecognizable objects to them? Have they never slept in a proper bed? Maybe they’re awaiting mattress delivery, but quit sleeping in the litter box in the meantime! Even cats don’t do that!
3 A dumpster diver's nemesis?
We’re not even sure a dumpster diver would pick this up. An optimist might see brand new furniture still in its flat-pack box, unassembled and free for the taking. Someone with a pessimistic world view might see that, but in addition, would also know that beyond its tangible contents of nuts, bolts and pieces of carefully wrapped, Styrofoam-protected wood pieces and glass, this box also contains many pointless, frustrated arguments with your SO. And perhaps it also contains a full-on tantrum (complete with pounding fists and kicking the floor) at some point and the neighbors pounding the wall—which is their way of saying, "Shut the hell up!" Nah, best leave this one for the garbage man or an ambitious, wannabe handyman.
2 Some brilliant advertising
This ad is one the IKEA company ran to advertise their furniture assembly service and their sense of humor is appreciated. Some couple's therapists even use an IKEA furniture assembly exercise to challenge their clients!
Well, this is probably not the first time ‘HELP’ has been spelled using the slabs of Ikea products, since they are often as difficult to solve as a Mensa puzzle. Even those rare times we manage to assemble a bookcase properly and without incident, there are often still loose screws, planks not lined up properly or some slab put on backwards or upside down. But, you decide to live with, instead of taking the damn thing apart again to fix it. Yeah, just call the IKEA handyman/handywoman assembly service!
1 Lost in translation
Interestingly enough, IKEA's products are identified using their Swedish names, rather than bland, clinical product numbers that other boring companies that are not IKEA use. This seems like yet another way IKEA endears itself to consumers, but this started for a very practical reason. IKEA’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad, has dyslexia and found it easier to deal with product names, rather than numerical codes. Hence, Ikea has funny words like ‘FARTYG’ emblazoned in bold letters on its shipping boxes. A ‘FARTYG’ is a lamp, by the way. There is also a desk/work bench that goes by the name of ‘FARTFULL.’
Now, don’t you want to order a ‘FARTYG’ or ‘FARTFULL’, get your meager toolbox out and see how many ways you can mess them up?