Published on March 31st, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Billy Built-in Bookshelves

Materials: 3 Billy bookcases, 3 Billy height extension units

Description: We started with three standard Billy bookcases (11″ deep) and three height extension units from Ikea. We wanted to make a wall of bookshelves that had a built-in look to transform our room into a library.

First, we constructed the Billys according to the Ikea directions. We painted the cardboard backing light green. After assembling the bookcases and securing the height extension units, we added trim to customize the bookshelves.

We used 3 1/2″ baseboard to cover the feet of the bookcases and crown molding on the top of the bookcases. We added lattice trim between bookcases to conceal where the sides of two bookcases meet. The trim was attached with a fast setting epoxy and allowed to dry overnight. The trim was painted Dove White by Valspar which is a close match the Ikea white laminate.

With that, we were able to create a wall of bookshelves which has a custom look for an inexpensive price!

See more of the built-in Billy bookcases.

~ Meredith

More hacks on

Industrial lamp from Ikea Blanda Matt
Billy hanging on the wall

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".

10 Responses to Billy Built-in Bookshelves

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi guys,
    this looks great, really – but where do you get the crown moldings from? And what’s the price for them (roughly)?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The reason it’s done and done and done is because it’s classic, and stunning. Well done. Has anyone got good pics for using billy’s to do built in shelves and desks? I want to have that look, but incorporate 2 desk areas…

  3. Anonymous says:

    It looks fine, but I feel like this has been done and done – nothing new or exciting. I like some of the other billy “built-ins” better. Also, as PP have said, this doesn’t look “built in” to me.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Where is everyone finding the crown moldings and trim for these? Online, everything is sold in quantities much too large for this project and we’d have to cut it at home. In home improvement stores around here, the costs of custom-cut molding would triple the cost of the bookshelf (or more!). I’d love to see someone go into more detail on this step, especially where they got the supplies and if the trim was cut for them, or if this requires having access to serious equipment, and how they finished the corners.


  5. Anonymous says:

    You deleted my comment? That’s a bit over sensitive isn’t it?

    Obviously the pp also feels this doesn’t look ‘built in’, although it is gorgeous, that green is especially nice!

    To make it more built in I would’ve removed the chair rail and skirting and put the bookcases right into the left corner. Then I would’ve replaces trim around them.

  6. bonincontrus says:

    I guess I am missing the built in part. It just looks like a very large, nicely trimmed bookcase up against a wall.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Love seeing these shelves done like this. To make it look properly built in, I would’ve removed the chair rail and skirtings, and butted it right up against the wall on the left. Then I would’ve replaced the chair rail and skirtings, and added trim at the top.
    Love that green colour!

  8. Very nicely trimmed out. Really gives it a built-in feel.

  9. Joana says:

    I love this. It looks like there’ll be so much space to put books, and I do have about a ton…

    You’re one of my favourite blogs about design/furniture!

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