Product Design

How to Repurpose Your Bright, Blue Ikea Bag

May 12, 2017

Last month, Balenciaga debuted their Arena bag, made with leather, that ran for $2,145. This obscenely high pricepoint isn't exactly an anomaly for Balenciaga, but the bag bore a suspicious resemblance to IKEA’s Frakta bag that's a similar hue of blazing, Brandeis blue with mustard lettering.

IKEA responded in stride, simply replying that it was flattered by the pricey imitation of this iconic tote. But it followed this up with an ad that clarified how to identify an original Frakta by its defining characteristics: It rustles when handled; it cleans easily if rolled in dirt; it is merely 99 cents.

In other words, it’s much cheaper to pay homage to this design than Balenciaga’s riff. Lately, a good number of designers have taken to Instagram to showcase DIY creations that use the Frakta. IKEA itself has even joined in on the fun, encouraging others to share their creations.

A Frakta bag can satisfy many aims, as I've recently learned through scrolling through Instagram: It can be a smock, a life vest, a snapback, a pair of high tops, a topknot-taming hair tie. If you’ve got a Frakta of your own that you’ve been itching to give renewed purpose, consider this your mood board.

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Frakta, I love you.

@simonlangloisssssss and I @mariechristnefortier have created our own version of the ikea bag #frakta #ikeabag #balenciaga #socialtrend #fun🎉

A post shared by Marie-Christine Fortier (@mariechristnefortier) on

#repost @zhijunwang Tailor-made for my girl @aria.duan 👌 #IKEAMASK #HANDCRAFT #FRAKTA #FRAKTAMASK

A post shared by @museumoftemporaryman on

👍🏽 or 👎🏽 #streetwear #ikea #frakta @chinatownmarket x

A post shared by Adrian Santos (@adriansantos007) on

@vandythepink. BEST IDEA, VEST IDEA, BEST IKEA, VEST IKEA(・・?) LINK IN BIO💙💛💙💛💙💛 #ikea #frakta

A post shared by Bapeguevara™ (@bapeguevaracorea) on

Balenciaga style🔆 🔁@nicolemclaughlin #ikea #belenciaga #FRAKTA

A post shared by SASIA AMALIE 🐼🎥 (@sasiaamalie) on

Shopping with style! #Ikea #frakta #shoppingbag #whatthefuck

A post shared by Claudio Bedino (@jump2clod) on

#Ikea #Ikeafashion #ikeabag #frakta #easycardbag #balenciaga #Taiwan

A post shared by YINGA CHEN (@yingachen) on

Glance at the world's many different Frakta-based creations here. What do you do with your IKEA bags? Let us know in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Whiteantlers
  • Windischgirl
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.


Whiteantlers May 12, 2017
I like mine when I am gardening. I can load it up with weeds, litter and dead stuff, dump everything into a green recycling bin, hose it out and it's good to go again.
Windischgirl May 12, 2017
Best ever!
I'm not nearly as creative as these folks, but the FRAKTA is perfect for toting mega-packs of anything from the big-box stores. A 12-pack of paper towels fit perfectly. The 10-pack of tissues had room to spare. And when I was stocking my kids' college kitchens with cereal, pasta, and crackers..awesome! Also lugging quilts and other linens down the three flights of mist college apartments...