Published on December 19th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Brave New (Upcycled) Billy

IKEA Billy hack

Materials: Billy Bookshelves, Faktum Kitchen Cabinets, Leksvik Coat Hanger, Lidingö Kitchen Cabinet Doors, various wooden trimmings and additional board

Description: Follow my 10 steps if you feel like upcycling your old Billies instead of tossing them!

Now, lets get hacking!

IKEA Billy hack
IKEA Billy hack
IKEA Billy hack
IKEA Billy hack

1. Build a beam base structure. The base should be of a matching proportion of the FAKTUM units you will be using (which in turn should match the BILLY’s you´re using).

2. Mount the FAKTUM cabinet to the base structure, then glue a painted top board on top of the cabinets (clamps add pressure while drying).

3. Fasten the cabinet to the wall (I had to use some scrap pieces of wood as a distance between the back of the cabinet and the wall, building approx 3cm).

4. Mount the BILLY on top of the Faktum (with the board in between the two).

5. Fasten the Billy to the wall, I used sturdy angle irons.

6. Now for prim trimmings…Start off by covering the horisontal front edges of the individual shelves inside the Billys…In doing this, I used a great little tool called a Nail/Centre Punch.

7. Continue by mounting the vertical trims along the vertically mating outer edges of the BILLY shelves.

8. Mount your choice of doors to the FAKTUM cabinets, I used the “Lidingö” ones. As I used 60cm BILLYs (and consequently 60cm FAKTUM cabinets) I opted for a 2×30cm door setup for each unit.

9. Now, install the LEKSVIK Coat hanger trompe l´oeil drawers…Firstly, you need to fasten the door knobs. Second, fasten a wooden block (approx W:5cm, L:5cm and D:2cm) to the back of the individual hanger, then add some strong double sided adhesive pads and stick the back of the hanger to the front of the base of the Billy.

10. Add bottom base board for a chic cover up. There are great many varieties out there, just remember the width of the board should match the height of the base beam structure (I used 95mm in both instances. I used a Mitre Box tool with pre-made slots to make sure I got the corner angles right.

Best of luck Billy-cycling!

For lots of pics & more details, visit my blog: Scraphacker: Billy upcycle hack.

~ Filippa Malmegard, Stockholm, Sweden

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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".

9 Responses to Brave New (Upcycled) Billy

  1. Filippa, it looks gorgeous! You have me motivated to pretty up my Billy bookcases that I use for tv stuff (DVDs, Blu-Rays, etc.) :)

    Thanks for sharing your hack!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Simply beautiful!

  3. Anonymous says:


  4. ScrapHacker says:

    Hey folks, Billy Hacker here…

    - Yes, the button next to the door is a light switch!

    For the record…I´m no perfectionist, like to get things done quick;-) But I´d still like to add some notes in response to the “sloppy” comment:

    1.) Yes! there is a small error in the alignment due to the fact that I mounted a painted “outer board” (onto the side of the Billy) after having mounted the Billy´s right on top of the Faktum. This creates a somewhat tilted feel, it might annoy some, but I can live with it;.)

    Since I took these pics I have:

    2.) Covered the gap behind the lower Faktum with wood trimming, the look is now fitted and neat.

    3.) The whole section of Faktum cabinets have been painted in the same white high gloss shade as the trimmings, the result was great;-)

    Hope you Billy owners & hackers out there get some inspiration! After all, it´s just an idea to get you started with your own Billy-Hacks!

    I hope to post some fresh pics from the (completely) finished hack in my website during the coming week @

    • Anissa says:

      Hi ScrapHacker, I’m just a casual browser here, but I wanted to say how impressed I am with your gracious response to criticism. Not everyone can manage that.


    • Gm says:

      I concur with Anissa! Clever, and gracious, and humble! Thanks for all the good examples!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I guess I like the idea, but the execution is sloppy. The lower cabinets don’t align with the upper bookcases, there’s a huge gap in the back, the colours are different… basically, it looks like two different storage systems thrown together.

  6. Thomas says:

    Looks like the light switch to me.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Nice hack. What is the button next to the door?

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