Creative Hacks for IKEA Built-In Cabinets and IKEA Bookshelves

Last Updated on August 15, 2022

Bookshelves add so much character and interest to a room, especially built-ins. If you love the look of built-ins but are scared of the price tag or complexity of DIYing them, check out these customized IKEA bookshelves!

One of my favorite things to look at on Pinterest are the mind-blowing IKEA hacks that people do with simple IKEA pieces. People are so amazingly creative! When I say some of these leave me speechless, I am not even kidding. Some of my favorites are the built-in bookshelves. I love the look of built-ins, especially when they have something special about them that sets them apart. These clever ideas all have a little something special and leave me seriously pondering where I can squeeze some into my home!

The great thing about starting with a basic IKEA bookcase, like the Billy bookcase, is that anyone can put their own creative spin on them and stay within their budget. Pops of color, legs, doors, and fun decorative touches are just some of the ways you can dress up their bookshelves and built-ins. Get ready to get crazy inspired by these tutorials!

Back when we were upgrading the girl's rooms, we put together this awesome Billy Bookcase with Dresser hack. We also figured out the key for how to paint laminate and IKEA furniture! These turned out so cute and have gotten so much use from us over the years in different rooms. I love that they look like beautiful built-ins for a fraction of the cost of having them made!

painted Billy bookcase hack

With so many amazing ideas and tutorials out there, achieving the bookshelves you are dreaming of is totally possible. Using basic IKEA pieces as your base and customizing them in a multitude of ways, you can DIY built-ins that would fool anyone!!!

IKEA Bookshelf Hacks

Billy Bookcases with Grytnäs Glass Doors by IKEA Hackers. This DIY'er wanted midheight bookcases that didn't take up a ton of room. The Billy was the perfect height and depth, but not the right style doors. The homeowner got creative and used the Grytnäs doors and created the perfect mid-height glass door built-in look!

Woven Cane Storage Bookcase by Lone Fox. At under $300, this DIY IKEA hack is a real steal compared to buying a similar piece. Cane furniture is one of my favorites and I love that this can hid anything!

cane door bookcase

Pole Wrap Billy Bookcase Hack by Lone Fox Home. This tutorial shows you how to create this stunning piece from start to finish! I could not believe how simple it actually was when I watched his video tutorial.

pole wrap billy bookcase hack

IKEA Billy Bookcase Arched Cabinet by Alice and Lois. The shape and color of this piece are what make it truly amazing! Hard to believe this was a basic Billy bookcase before its makeover. I also like that it has shelves that are visible and hidden storage areas.

IKEA billy book case into arched cabinet

Gilded Bookshelf with Marble Shelves by Jacquelyn Clark for Style Me Pretty. Can you believe this glam shelving unit started life as a plain old Vittsgö? Amazing what a little contact paper and spray paint can do!!!

gold IKEA book shelf

Bookcase with Glass Doors by Kath Eats Real Food. Get the most out of the height of your room with these tall IKEA cabinets-turned-bookshelves. Made from two wide cases side-by-side with the glass doors and the extender unit on top. I love that it goes all the way to the ceiling!

IKEA shelves with glass doors

Slim Stand-alone Bookcase with Legs by Delia Creates. This small stand-alone is perfect for a small space and is one of the simplest DIY's on this list. This would be great in a nursery or at the end of a narrow hall.

IKEA bookcase with legs

The Best Hacks for IKEA Built-In Cabinets

Billy Bookcase Built-Ins with Arched Tops by First House on Finn. This room received a MAJOR upgrade when they used Billy bookcases to create arched built-ins. Talk about a high-drama moment!

billy bookcase builit-ins with arches

Billy Book Case Home Library by A Beautiful Mess. After doing an entire home renovation, Mandi had run out of steam and money. So to create the library she desperately wanted in her home, she used IKEA pieces to create window framing built-ins for a fraction of the price!

IKEA built-in cabinets in home library

Built-ins using IKEA Kitchen Cabinets and Shelves by Hey There Home. Corey got creative with kitchen cabinetry to create the perfect built-ins for her living space. To make it look like it belonged in a family room and not a kitchen, she used baseboards in the place of toe kicks. What a great use of IKEA to create something custom for a fraction of the price!

built-ins made from IKEA kitchen cabinets and shelves

Billy Bookcase Office Built-Ins by A Carrie'd Affair Blog. The before-and-afters of this office left me speechless! I cannot believe how gorgeous and dramatic these IKEA hack built-ins are. I cannot decide if it is the color or the arches or all of it. Talk about a high-impact DIY!

green IKEA office built-ins

Extended Bookcases with an Antique Ladder by The Lily Pad Cottage. Nothing is more fun in a library than a sliding ladder! This blogger used Billy bookcases and added an antique ladder to achieve this amazing DIY.

IKEA built in hack with ladder

Contrasting Facing and Vented Bottom by Irene Edwards for Lonny. Irene used a carpenter for her IKEA hack-proof it doesn't have to be a DIY, but it can still be a budget saver! The painted facing (learn how to paint IKEA furniture with this trick) makes the IKEA cabinets feel fresh and interesting.

IKEA built ins with contrasting facing

Black and Brass Sconces on a Library Built-in by Remington Avenue. This gorgeous open shelving looks great, but the placement of the beautiful sconces is what really elevates the whole thing. It is hard to believe these are not custom built-ins!

IKEA built ins with sconces

Playroom Built-ins with a Wood Focal Wall by Bless'er House. Lauren is an avid DIYer who knows what she is doing! This built-in across the wall of her family's playroom is the perfect mix of form and function and is super budget-friendly.

playroom built-ins with shiplap wall

Reading Nook with Daybed by Bright Green Door. This sweet window seat with built-in bookshelves is the perfect little reading nook! Who wouldn't want to curl up with a good book in that spot?

reading nook with IKEA built in bookshelves

Sponge Painted Besta and Billy Bookcase by Centsational Style. The brass hardware and lighting and the bright pop of color of the sponge-painted shelf backing really sets this IKEA bookcase apart from the rest. I cannot believe how high-end these look!

painted backing of IKEA book shelves

Playroom Storage with Baskets by Bless'er House. Lauren's semi-handmade bookshelves are perfect for her kids' toys and games. I love the height of them–perfect for little hands to reach!

IKEA playroom storage with baskets

Hanging Grey Shelving with Drawers by Design 69. I love this hanging bookshelf. It gives the look and feel of custom cabinetry but it is really IKEA built-in cabinets!

grey IKEA built in shelves

Besta Entertainment Unit with Storage from Just a Girl and Her Blog. Made from the IKEA Besta system, Abby used trim to upgrade this plain piece into an amazing entertainment center built-in with loads of storage!

 entertainment center built ins

Billy Bookcase Built-ins Framing French Doors by Centsational Girl. Adding shelving in the bedroom can add to the cozy feel of a space. Perfect for books and decor, I love how the molding and dark backing sets the built-in cabinets apart from the rest of the wall.

IKEA built ins framing french doors

Molding Joining Three Billy Bookcases by Claire Brody Designs. This clever bookcase build started with three Billy bookcases and some molding and it turned into this showstopper!

IKEA built ins with molding

Home Office Storage by Just a Girl and Her Blog. Not all bookcases have to be tall! Consider a half-sized one if that works better in your space. Abby used the Besta system and made one for her office that is perfect for books, decor and storage!

IKEA built ins with storage

Aren't these inspiring? I love the ones with color (of course!) and the built-in bookshelves with a variety of storage options in one piece. If you thought you couldn't afford built-ins, think again! IKEA built-in cabinets are an easy way to get the built-in look on a budget. There are so many great options no matter what style of bookshelves you want to create.

Are you feeling inspired to tackle your own DIY IKEA hacks yet? Get even more inspiration from these posts:

Wondering how I approach transforming rooms and spaces in our home? Check out Designer in a Binder®.

designer in a binder--the affordable and simple way to decorate your home

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blog post signature with photo of Tasha Agruso of Kaleidoscope Living

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