Simple but Impactful IKEA Billy Bookcase Hack | Stacie's Spaces

3 Materials
2 Hours

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We lived for several years with this Ikea hack and little by little I made changes to make it work better for our family. You see we don’t have a traditional mudroom area so I borrowed a corner from our laundry room instead. I wanted each boy to have space to put their bookbags/coats/etc. but it just was not functioning well initially. We used the more narrow version of the Billy Bookcase from Ikea (we used the wider version for our DIY Ikea Builtins Hack), drilled them together, and anchored them to the wall and I thought we were good to go. Ha! Of course I started making changes almost immediately. 

The first change I made was to readjust the height and placement of some of the shelves so that the boys could actually grab their own book bags and coats without assistance. I was really proud of myself for this change…LOL. I am big on independence and empowering children to do things on their own very early. So when I moved those couple of shelves I thought I was mom of the year… LOL!

After a while, I was tired of opening the door and seeing the mess inside of the cubbies. We installed hooks very early on but for some reason the coats did not always make it onto those hooks. Of course it was still the goal for them to actually hang their coats properly, but in the meantime, I decided I needed some doors. We added the doors during the 555 Challenge I participated in last Spring and I thought that would be the end of the changes. 

Eventually, I decided that this room needed a different color, something darker. I painted them Charcoal Blue by Sherwin Williams and loved it! We previously switched out the hardware for these pretty, yet simple door pulls and I love the colors of the pulls against this gorgeous blue. 

Once the lockers were painted and the door hardware installed, the spotlights above stuck out like a sore thumb! I have seen several bloggers using a product called Rub N Buff to alter the color/texture of door knobs and other metal finishings so I thought I would test it out on the light fixtures. I am not going to lie… initially I thought it was a fail. Instead of freaking out, I decided to keep trying and eventually I got the hang of it. When I initially applied it, it was two bumpy (I guess that is why they called it Rub n BUFF), but after I buffed it a little it turned out so well! 

The last thing I did, which may have made the biggest impact (after the color change), was to add a textured, paintable wallpaper. I ordered a roll from Amazon and used some adhesive glue that I already had from another project to attach it to each door panel. I used a blade to carefully cut the excess off and then painted it to match the rest of the lockers.

I did learn that it is important not to pull this particular paper but to instead really allow the blade to do all of the work. One the first door I did, I pulled it ever so slightly and it ripped the paper a little bit. In the end it worked out and you cannot tell because it is all painted the same color. However, if you are planning to use this paper and paint it a different color than the bookcase, door, or whatever you will have surrounding it be careful.

A little organizing and styling and BOOM! My little mudroom corner was upgraded! The best part is that the latest phase of changes cost less than $50! I love Ikea hacks! I already want to do another one! 

I can’t wait until this space is all finished (for now… LOL) so that I can take better pictures of this project. For now, this will have to do!

Any questions? Leave them below! 

Stacie Abdallah
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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  3 questions
  • Mary Mary on Feb 20, 2021

    Great hack! Where can I find information about how you found and installed the doors on the book cases? I could not find it on your website, but I found lots of other great ideas. 😃

  • Kim Kim on Feb 20, 2021

    Where did you buy the doors?

  • Pam Galicki Pam Galicki on Feb 21, 2021

    I would think adding the doors would be an obstacle to encouraging kids to hang up their stuff, no?


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2 of 12 comments
  • Amy Wadsworth Amy Wadsworth on Mar 03, 2021

    These look so great! Awesome idea~

  • Win51489097 Win51489097 on Jun 18, 2021

    I want these cabinets for storage in my hall, the only color I can get in my area is white so wanted to know about painting the doors did you prime or use special paint and is it holding up ok?