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20 Creative IKEA Bookshelf Hacks

Need some inspiration for your IKEA bookshelf unit? Here are all the ways you can make it looks extra cute!

ikea bookshelf ideas

Good quality, affordable, and functional, Ikea bookshelves are already great pieces in themselves. Can it get any better? Absolutely.

Add a bit of your personality and style to a standard Ikea bookshelf, and the design possibilities are endless.  I will let these examples show you what I mean.

1. Modern Wooden Metal Bookshelf

Modern Wooden Metal Bookshelf


Wooden bookshelves are excellent accents to any room of the home. The problem is, they can get quite pricey.

What if I told you that this is easily achievable by doing a bit of DIY on an IKEA bookshelf for a fraction of the price?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • The Ikea Hyllis
  • Matte black spray paint, like the one, found here.
  • Wooden planks.
  • Wood stain. Use a walnut shade similar to this.

Creating this modern take on wood takes only three steps. Simply spray paint the bookshelf black, stain the wooden planks, and attach them on to the shelf. That’s it: instant, no-fuss upgrade.

Check out more similar IKEA hacks to this one! These unique IKEA Billy Bookcase hacks are just for that.

2. White Showcase Bookshelf

White Showcase Bookshelf


Take advantage of your sizeable blank wall by creating a bookshelf that showcases your beautiful book or art collections. The idea is to combine a couple of Ikea Billy bookcases and transform it into a feature on your wall.

It just takes a bit of paint and carpentry work and the addition of some gorgeous lighting fixtures, like the ones found here, and that’s it. You’ve just spruced up your otherwise blank wall.

Head on to this tutorial if you want detailed instructions on how to create this showcase bookshelf.

Check out more IKEA hacks here!

3. Bookshelf to Frame and Balance the Room

booshelf with blue back


Use this hack to fill the void in your room or to balance out your design elements. If you have a lone window or a fireplace mantle, place the bookshelves on each side.

All you need are some decorative lattice trims available from your local hardware store and white paint to match your bookcase. You will also need a nail gun (check this out if you don’t have one already) for attaching things together.

If this is your first DIY, here’s a detailed step-by-step tutorial on this Billy project.

4. Billy Bookshelf Turned Chic Drawer Cabinet

Chic Drawer Cabinet


Yup, another Billy hack. Just can’t get enough of him. Errr.. it.

Anyway, this hack involves transforming your bookshelf into a drawer cabinet. If you have wooden scraps and leftover paint from previous DIY projects, this hack is perfect for you.

For your drawer pulls, you can use knobs or handles from old unused cabinets. If you don’t have any, check this page for a range of drawer knobs for under $2.

The beauty of DIY is you can style these drawers any way you like. Go modern, choose matching drawer and hardware, or go all out eccentric and go for a mix of colors and knob materials.

Check out more IKEA hacks like this for your bedroom.

5. Bookshelf Turned Mudroom

mudroom storage


If you have kids, a mudroom is essential, unless you want their outdoor gear parked all over the hallway.

You’ll need another Ikea Billy bookcase. Assemble it, but only include the bottom shelving. Use wood scrap for an upright divider.

For your coat hangers, these self-adhesive heavy-duty hooks make your project so much easier. Finish the look by placing a few storage baskets underneath the bottom shelves.

6. Add a Fresh Organic Look to your Billy Bookshelf

natural looking bookshelf


Another simple way of adding appeal to a Billy Bookshelf is through the addition of a French door. Using rattan or woven materials for the doors is an excellent way of adding warmth to your interior.

If you don’t want to spend on rattan or woven doors, that’s absolutely reasonable. In fact, there are beautiful grasscloth wallpaper like this that are available online which can achieve the same look at a lesser cost.

This is a lovely IKEA hack to keep your things organized.

7. Industrial-Inspired Bookshelf

Industrial-Inspired Bookshelf


When you need an additional feature for your foyer or family room, this industrial-inspired bookshelf is the perfect conversational piece to have.

You might need to raid the garage for your partner’s tools to complete this project. Better yet, why not get the partner involved and make this a weekend date.

Some of the things you’ll need for this hack include: (If you don’t have some of these, click on the tool name to see where you can get it online).

Read this DIY tutorial for a full list of materials and detailed instructions on creating your industrial bookshelf.

8. Floor-to-Ceiling Bookshelf

Floor-to-Ceiling Bookshelf


If you’re the organized from head-to-toe type, you will love this floor-to-ceiling display idea. It is perfect for homes that have massive wall space.

This project uses a mix of Billy bookcases to match your wall’s height and width. One crucial thing to note with this hack is that Billys aren’t for stacking.

For this reason, you will need to use brackets to hold it firmly and securely in place. Now that’s a lot of shelves to be screwed, so make sure to make things easier for you by getting a cordless screwdriver, such as this one.

As for the doors, it’s your call. Use a mix of glass and solid panels such as this one, or choose a different door design altogether.

9. Low Bookshelf with Glass Door Panels

Glass Door Panels


This design hack is the perfect inspiration for that low panoramic bookshelf you’ve always wanted to across your family room or den.

This hack is a mix of three Ikea pieces: the white Billy bookcase, the Grytnas glass door, and Utrusta hinges. Look at the one I found here for a generic yet even more affordable version of the hinges.

Go ahead and attach the three pieces together for that beautiful, low-level bookshelf.

10. Ceiling High Bookshelf with a Ladder

ladder shelf


This hack is for bookworms like myself. The idea is similar to the floor-to-ceiling example earlier, but without the doors and with a ladder.

Not only do you get to maximize the hard to reach spaces, but you’d also feel like Belle in the first scene of Beauty and Beast. If you haven’t seen it, watch it NOW.

Back to the hack. You might need expert help and advice, installing the ladder contraptions. You can spray whatever ladder you can get with antique paint (like this) if you can’t find an antique ladder.

11. Cat Maze

Cat Maze


Our hacks aren’t exclusively for us humans. There’s some for our four-legged babies too.

Use a Billy bookcase to create an exciting maze for the furriest family member.

Remember to add a bit of carpet, so it’s not too slippery for your little one. Make DIY easy by choosing self-adhesive ones, found here.

12. Cupboard Radiator Concealer

Cupboard Radiator Concealer


Radiators usually tend to get in the way when you want a seamless interior. But this Ikea hack enables you to hide the eyesore and transform into a stunning space discretely.

Use two Billy bookcases installed with Oxberg doors and place them on each side of the radiator. Install two tiers of open shelves atop the radiator to balance the look.

13. From Bookshelf to Storage Table

Storage Table


Turn your bookshelf on its side for a functional storage table. This hack requires only a few materials:

Simply wrap the plyboard around the bookcase, sand, apply your maple stain, and attach the wooden legs. How’s that for a functional coffee table?

Loving this hack? Check out these IKEA Kallax hacks to increase the storage!

14. DIY Home Bar Hack

DIY Home Bar Hack


Bookshelves are not only for books. Just look at this gorgeous home bar.

This project used a mix of Billy bookcases and wooden beams attached and mounted with screws and nails. If you don’t like manual hammering and nailing, grab yourself a nail gun like this.

If you want to know more, read through this detailed tutorial with before and after photos.

15. Four Budget-friendly Reading Nooks with IKEA Bookshelves

Budget-friendly Reading Nooks


Enjoying a book while curled up in a corner is a genuine afternoon delight. But finding a great spot on your busy household can be a bummer.

This reading nook using four Billy bookcases might be the solution.

16. Billy Bookshelves with Sliding Doors

Billy Bookshelves with Sliding Doors


If you don’t have enough space for French doors to open, try sliding doors instead. Here’s a list of the basics you’ll need:

  • Ikea Billy bookcases.
  • 12 pcs 1-inch casters (there’s a 12-pack variety available here).
  • Drill
  • Masking tape

A full list of materials and instructions is available in this blog post.

17. Built-in Billy Bookshelves

Built-in Billy Bookshelves


By this point on our list, you’ve seen a lot of Billy bookshelf versions, from floor-to-ceiling to Billys covering the entire wall.

This hack has a different take on the Billy: it lines the entire wall surrounding a fireplace.

18. Turn Your Bare Furniture into a Zen-inspired Bookshelf

Zen-inspired furniture


This hack allows you to play with colors and patterns to match your personality. It’s also straightforward to create.

All you need is the Billy bookcase (surprise!), paint, and the wallpaper of your choice. I quite like this birch tree wallpaper. It looks pretty and has a peel and stick adhesion too. Easy peasy!

19. Charming Dollhouse Bookcase

Charming Dollhouse Bookcase


A dollhouse is probably every little girl’s dream. You can buy a pre-made one, but what’s the fun in that?

Use a Billy bookcase instead and create a dollhouse to match your daughter’s personality. Complete the look with miniature furniture, like these bright-colored 5-bedroom set.

20. Bookshelf to a Lady’s Shoe and Bag Shelving

shoe shelving


If your daughter can have her dream dollhouse, why not get your dream closet too? It might not be the grand walk-in closet you’ve forever dreamed of, but it has ample storage, which is good enough for the moment.

Again, just combine a mix of wall mounted Billy bookcases to give your shoes and bags a brand new home.


Now that you’ve seen these examples, I hope you get what I mean when I said the design possibilities for Ikea bookshelves are limitless. There is a hack for every need and every space.

Feel free to share our Ikea hacks to your DIY circle!