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The Best Ikea Billy Bookcase Hacks

Ikea’s beloved bestseller is turning 40, and we’re celebrating with a roundup of the best ways to hack it.

Chances are if you’ve stepped into an Ikea, you’re familiar with the Billy Bookcase. In fact, there’s also a good chance you own one too — according to Ikea, Billy is one of the Swedish retailer’s best-selling items, with one purchased every five seconds. This February marks its 40th year on the market and to celebrate, we’ve rounded up 12 of the best Billy Bookcase hacks on the internet so you can revel in all of their DIY beauty (and maybe try one for yourself).

One of the most-loved ways to use the Billy Bookcase is to use a few to create faux built-in living room shelves. Sure, the DIY may take a weekend, but it’s the way to go if you want a custom look for a fraction of the cost. Amy from Eleven Magnolia Lane shows you how here.

Adding lights to the top of your Billy is one of the easiest ways to turn your living room into a chic library. Kate from Centsational Style added picture lights to the top of hers and shows you how she did it here. (And can we talk about those blue spots she added with a kitchen sponge!)

Corral your entryway once and for all by using the Billy to make cubbies for each family member. Melissa from The Polka Dot Chair made these mudroom lockers by lining up the bookshelves and adding hooks. Now there’s a place for outerwear, shoes and school supplies.

A smaller Billy unit and a DIY roof is all it took to make an (almost) life-size dollhouse by April and May. See how they did it here.

Let’s face it — most of us need more kitchen space, but islands can get pricey. Courtney from Golden Boys & Me hacked her own with three Billy shelves and a piece of butcher’s block on top. Genius! Get the full DIY here.

Transform your bookshelves into a bold decor focal point by lining the back with a patterned removable wallpaper like Erin from Top Shelf DIY did here.

Forget the books — use your shelf to store your shoes and create a shoe store lookalike in your own home.

It’s difficult to find storage solutions for narrow hallways, but this hack is the solution. Rebecca Farrant turned her Billy Bookcase into a drawer unit, which only sticks out 11″ from the wall. Get the full DIY here.

This may just be the most innovative Billy Bookcase hack on the internet right now. Katie Brown from Smile Like You Mean It solved her lack of storage space by putting her shelf on wheels. It stays tucked away when she’s not using it, and accessible when she needs to reach for something.

A coat of paint and some shiplap was all it took to turn the Billy into a rustic farmhouse masterpiece. Angela Marie Made shows you how to get the custom look here.

Tasha from Kaleidoscope Living shows you how to achieve style and storage by fixing a small Billy shelf on top of a dresser. See how she did it (and painted it this amazing pink colour) here.

Not only is this Billy Bookshelf transformation stunning, we love how Mandi Johnson for A Beautiful Mess placed a piece of art right in the middle of the shelf. It breaks up the collection of books and makes the whole thing look a lot more visually interesting.

Here are our picks for base Billy bookcases to start you off on your very own DIY adventure: