Amanda Naccarato is a lifestyle writer passionate about pop culture, crafting, and all things DIY. When she's not writing, you can find her binge-watching Netflix or spending an unhealthy amount of time wandering IKEA. Published work appears in Today's Parent, Emerge Magazine, and GH360.
Ikea may be known for its minimal style and flat-pack furniture. But it’s becoming readily known for a specific product. And, no, we’re not talking about its Swedish meatballs. Instead, the retail giant’s most iconic product is arguably its Billy bookcase. In fact, according to The New York Times, Ikea sells a set of Billy bookcases every 10 seconds.
If its popularity isn’t enough to convince you to head to your nearest Ikea and pick one up, then maybe the versatility of these bookcases might just do the trick! From secret doorways to under-the-stairs storage, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best Billy bookcase hacks to inspire your next DIY project.
When DIY blogger Kellie became frustrated that her cake stands, baking ingredients, and elegant serving dishes were hidden away, and worse, a hassle to regularly access, she decided it was time to create the open-concept pantry she had always dreamed of. Using two Ikea Billy bookcases she had set up in her basement, along with a thrifted cabinet, the DIYer transformed the pieces into a seamless built-in unique to her kitchen.
Living in a condo often means storage space is quite limited. Mel Vandersluis saw an opportunity to get creative in her small living space by building wall-to-wall dining room built-ins. This Billy Oxberg bookshelf hack comprises two Billy/Oxberg bookcases and three traditional Billy bookcases for a mix of glass-door cabinets and open shelves. The finished product is a custom unit that made her tiny space look more spacious for a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional.
Whether you’re looking to create more storage or simply spruce up your living space, this under-the-stairs Billy bookcase hack may offer a solution. Using five Billy bookcases cut with a circular saw to fit the triangular space, the creator of this eye-catching DIY optimizes both functionality and ornate design.
Shannon of Upbeat Soles, a budget-friendly lifestyle blog, shares her process of converting two bookcases into simple shoe organizers. The DIY Ikea Billy shoe organizer features traditional Billy bookcases paired with height extension units to create floor-to-ceiling cohesion. In her closet, the DIYer separated the two shelves with a mirror, but this could easily be replaced with more shelves to create a custom built-in sure to declutter any closet.
If your home has more of a rustic design, venture no further than this Billy bookcase hack featuring sliding barn doors. Julie of the Sisters That Shop blog details her process of renovating her once-awkward den into a bright and inviting space. Using bookshelves, Julie created a custom built-in surrounding her television. So what’s the purpose of the barn doors? Well, they conceal the TV when it’s not in use, creating an elegant farmhouse chic look.
Drowning in a clutter of unorganized toys and stuffies? Robert and Lauren, a DIY duo, shared a Billy bookcase hack of converting shelves into a built-in toy storage unit. The Billy bookcases are notably smaller in stature for the kiddos to easily access. Take a look at the couple’s complete playroom transformation.
A kitchen island built from bookshelves may seem a little unconventional, but that didn’t stop avid DIYer Courtney of the Golden Boys & Me blog from flipping Billy bookcases into practical yet chic kitchen storage. This creative kitchen trick, among the many other Billy cabinet hacks, attests to the incredible adaptability of Billy bookcases.
Perhaps the simplest Ikea Billy bookcase hack on the list, this hallway bench comprises only one Billy bookshelf turned on its side. There is not much building involved, other than installing the bookshelf itself, so this hack is great for first time DIYers. Add a splash of color to the shelf with a coat of paint, pair the bench with a cot mattress adorned in a fabric of your choice, and you’re good to go.
Caitlin of The Mama Notes blog detailed her process of transforming her living room into a spacious and captivating space with the help of an Ikea Billy bookcase hack. Caitlin created built-in shelves and cabinets surrounding her central television. Not only did the completed unit define the space, but the Billy bookshelves are also multifunctional, serving as both a small library and toy storage.
While a home library may seem to be the most typical of Billy regal hacks, Sophia of Turquoise Toffee broke down the steps of building an Ikea Billy library wall that wraps around the room. The dreamy grand library features a corner unit, which may be a little tricky to put together, but rest assured, Sophia has helpful tips for every stage of installation.
Sure, you could use Billy bookcases as traditional shelves and display your prized possessions. Or you could get crafty and convert the bookshelves into the bar of your dreams. Take it from Lanthus, who shared his process of flipping several Billy bookcases into a mesmerizing home bar. Once you’ve DIYed your own tavern with this creative Billy bookcase hack, you can celebrate your success with a drink — or four, we won’t judge.
Whether you wish to build a dollhouse to display décor or to simply function as a traditional home for little friends, Tamara from Tamara Central blog has got you covered with this clever Ikea bookshelf hack. The DIYer details the entire process from start to finish of crafting two different dollhouses from Billy bookcases. Take a look at the whimsical homes, perfect for either you or the kiddies.
Secret passages may seem to be something exclusive to the game of Clue, but this Ikea Billy bookcase door hack makes crafting a concealed doorway as simple as rolling a die. Meg Salocks shares the steps of her DIYed whisky and tea library complete with a pair of frosted Ikea doors hiding the entrance of her rental home’s guest bedroom/office. Let’s hope there isn’t a candlestick in the study.
The creator of this hidden bed couldn’t decide whether they wanted to use an extra space in their home for a guest bedroom or storage. After deeming both were equal necessities, this crafty DIYer came up with an Ikea bookshelf hack that successfully does both. The cunning result is two spacious bookcases that swing open like doors, revealing a folding double bed. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!