Billy billybuiltin

Published on January 28th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Billy Built-in with a top

Materials: Half Height Billy Bookcases

Description: I love built-ins, I can’t afford built-ins so I made my own out of 5 Billy bookcases.
Step 1) Assemble bookcases! Easier said then done.
Step 2) Screw bookcases together, pulling the middle section out 3-4 inches. Creating some interest!

Step 3) Cut MDF into three sections, glue and nail to top
Step 4) Attach chair rail or crown molding to the face (a chair rail is much easier to work with than crown)

Step 5) Fill seams and gaps. Once dry sand
Step 6) Paint, we chose Martha Stewart’s Talc color to match the white Billy bookcases, not an exact match but pretty darn close.

See more of the Billy built-in with a top.

~ Ashli c/o Maillardville Manor, Vancouver, BC

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

28 Responses to Billy Built-in with a top

  1. Renelle says:

    Really love it! I’ll have mine, this week-end. I’m so glad that I find this hack. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great job! I love this. I’ve been dreaming of building half-wall bookcases. This is a creative and simple solution.

  3. Anonymous says:


  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey Ashli it looks great, and I love the chairs! Where are they from? The composition of the room is excellent – you should be proud!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for inspiring me, this is soooo nice wil have to use this some how


  6. Anonymous says:

    Icerabbit: what a jerk. This is an absolutely beautiful and achievable project that many would be proud to show off in their own home. Shame on you.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I love this! Thank you for including the great directions.

  8. Alana says:

    What a beautiful room. It looks like a page from the Ikea catalog. Bet folks will want to hack your hack. I do! lol!!!

  9. 25FLONDON says:

    I love this!
    I really want to do something similar in my bedroom, but all of the wall spans are a little too long (4m x 4m room) so I think it’d end up looking a little awkward.

  10. ginte says:

    Ow wow looks incredible. The amount of books adds additional coziness to this room :) )) Great:)

  11. Anonymous says:

    I really really dig this. I wanted to get the LIATORP set for my entertainment center/living room, but my wall is 2 inches too small for what I needed…the Billy series is perfect, I never even thought of adding the molding and a top to make it look more finished. I’m going to start planning mine now!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Great job! Looks like an expensive built-in!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Very pretty and convincingly “classic”.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This totally inspired me. Thanks!

  15. asishome says:

    I like your hack but I LOVE your room! The wing chairs, the built-in, the way the artwork is hung… even the stool that is being used as a plant stand. It looks very pulled together and chic, like something out of a design mag. Excellent work! :-)

  16. Wow…I’m incredibly jealous. I LOVE buit-in too.

  17. majeral says:

    WOW feel like coming to Texas and making one? We are warmer than where you are. lol

  18. Anonymous says:

    Looks great. Nicely done.

  19. Ann says:

    I think it looks so expensive and high-end, even though its so simple. Love your step-by-step :)

  20. What an excellent idea – and I love your step by step instructions. You’ve totally solved my floor to ceiling cabinet-bookshelf combo. Thank you!

  21. Thanks so much everyone!!!!
    Charlotta, you can subscribe by email, on the top right hand side of the blog, it’s the first widget at the top on the sidebar. Or at the bottom of the sidebar you can follow in a reader!!!
    thanks so much you made my day!

  22. OMG I have landed in heaven here!
    My Swedish heart is beating hard and fast at your brilliant blog. I love it!

    Where can I subscribe to email posts?

    x Charlotta

  23. pope says:

    This is great, I have been thinking of doing something like this but didn’t know how to tie it all together. Good guide.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hey Icerabbit – Go easy – it’s an Ikea Hack, after all…

  25. icerabbit says:

    Not to be critical, but this is not a built-in. The combined cabinet looks freestanding / detached from the wall. There are gaps on both sides and behind the unit, which built-ins do not have by using filler strips on the sides, or a frame that fits flush to the wall, and top that sits flush against the back wall.
    Good effort with the storage and functionality of a built-in, but not there all the way.

  26. Anonymous says:

    looks very, very nice.

    maybe caulk the corners/edges where the bookcases meet each other for a true built in look.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Great Job!

  28. Anonymous says:

    That looks beautiful. Great Job!

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