For the Love of Books: Super IKEA Furniture Hacks Every Book Lover Should Try

Whether you want more storage space for your books or are looking for a simple solution to conveniently store a few magazines, there is an almost endless supply of IKEA hacks to utilise.

From super-easy hacks to ones that will take a few days to complete, there are lots of amazing options in this article, so read on to discover them.

Make a doorway of books

doorway made from books

If you have lots of books that you’d like to store on loads of shelves - to give that library feel - then try this hack, made using BILLY shelves. With over 41 million units sold since 1979 (when the Billy was introduced to the market), it is definitely one of the classic IKEA pieces of furniture.

For this particular project, ScrapHacker used 60cm BILLY shelves, though these are no longer available. Instead, you can go for 40cm options as they will likely be better than the 80cm ones that may to start caving in after some time.

Use IKEA FAKTUM kitchen cabinets whose width matches that of your BILLY cabinets, so go for an 80 cm cabinet if you have two 40cm BILLY bookshelves. You’ll need to obtain doors for the kitchen cabinets and a fair few other items to complete this project. You can check the full list of items and the steps involved here.

This is definitely not a project for someone looking for a simple hack, but once completed, you’ll see that the results are absolutely worth it. Before this project can be completed, you will need to visit a lumberyard and figure out how to transport your purchased items. Sure enough, there is going to be quite a bit of chopping, painting and nailing.

Something closer to the ground

Ground books

If you are not too keen on covering entire walls with books - or simply don't have that many in your collection - you can go for something just as good, but much closer to the ground. In this hack featured on , Erik Linn attached glass doors to a couple of BILLY bookshelves.

While IKEA does make glass doors for the BILLY bookcases, for this project, GRYTNÄS kitchen doors were used instead. If you like the robust feel of these doors, you can opt for them too. Once you’re able to carefully measure the kitchen cabinets, it won't be difficult to fit the UTRUSTA hinges. Drill a couple of holes in the sides of the bookcases and screw on the doors - it's that easy. Pick out the nicest door handles you can find and that’s it - you’ll have yourself a lovely new bookcase.

The advantage of choosing this hack over covering your entire wall with bookshelves is that you’ll have a worktop that can be used for anything you like. Decorate it or work on it, it's all yours.


If you would like a bit of height to your bookshelf, you can add furniture legs. The Legheads brand in particular comes to mind, as they offer such colourful options. What room doesn’t need a zap of colour? You may want to hurry if you would like to try their furniture legs though, because they are currently running a massive giveaway . Check them out - and while you’re at it, browse their furniture hacks page too.

To attach furniture legs to the BILLY bookcase, you will have to remove the plinth and take out the extra bits, because the BILLY does not come with a flat bottom. You cannot attach the legs just yet because you would have to reinforce the bottom of the bookcase with wood first. Then you can add the plate brackets and the legs. This will also work with a longer bookcase, but you would have to attach it to the wall first, so that it doesn't topple over. You can check out for other IKEA furniture and sofa hacks to get even more ingenious ideas.

More walls with more books
walls of books

If you are not satisfied with an entire doorway of books and would like to fill more walls with your favourite tomes, then this is the project for you. Jamie (of ) embarked on an office makeover project, where she covered two walls of her home office with bookshelves.

The entire project took over a month to complete, as she was working on it only at weekends. So, if you have more time to spare and can work on the project every day, it could take just over a week. You won’t really have to build anything unless you want to construct a reading bench, like Jamie did.

As you might have already guessed, this is one project that you will have to plan for ahead of time. You must know exactly what size the BILLY shelves you’ll be using are - and that of your room - so you can decide what to do with the extra space you have left and of course, to create a perfect fit.

We love this hack, because you can go with whatever option you like, whether covering two, three - or even all walls - with shelves. You can also decide how tall you would like the shelves to be - floor to ceiling or somewhere in between. Jamie didn’t fill all her shelves with books, but what are shelves for if not books?!

Floor-to-ceiling bookcase with ladder

floor to ceiling books

What is the point of having a tall bookcase, if you don’t have a ladder that be used to reach the books on the top shelf? The full instructions of how to make this bookcase (with the ladder) are available on . If you don’t like this bookcase however, you can go with any of the other options and still incorporate the sliding ladder.

What is the point of having a tall bookcase, if you don’t have a ladder that be used to reach the books on the top shelf? The full instructions of how to make this bookcase (with the ladder) are available on . If you don’t like this bookcase however, you can go with any of the other options and still incorporate the sliding ladder.

To do so, you will have to reinforce the top structure of your bookcase. This can be achieved by fastening a rectangular box ‘crown’ to all available wall studs. By doing this, you will be providing a solid foundation for the ladder. Later, you will have to cover it with a cabinet header and trim it out.

Be sure to mark where the ladder rail will be placed, so you can be certain to mount the rail cleats into the covered infrastructure later. Once all the units of your bookshelf are in place, you can then attach the trim. Fill any gaps, holes and cracks with painters’ caulk, and your ladder is ready to go up...after it has been painted of course.

Murphy bed with bookshelf

Murphy bed with bookshelf

This hack will be great for any book lover who barely has space for anything - even a bed. You can store your stash of books in a functional bookcase that no one would ever guess conceals a bed, unless you told them of course.

To carry out this project, you’ll need two BILLY bookshelves, a bed, a bed frame, hinges and wheels. The wheels are an important component of this hack, as they will ensure the bookcase opens seamlessly while taking much of the weight off the hinges.

You’ll need to build a frame that is attached to the wall in order to hide the bed. While you’re at it, be sure to fasten the bed to the frame securely, so it only pops out when you want it to.

Once the frame is ready, you can then attach the bookcases to the sides of the frame using the hinges. Whether you are looking to save space in a one-room apartment or would like a bed in your study for guests, this hack is well worth trying. For a more seamless look, you may want to paint the frame the same colour as the bookcases.

GORM bookshelf bench

Gorm bookshelf bench

Whether you want a bookshelf you can sit on or you have a GORM shelving unit you feel is taking up too much useful space, you can make yourself a bench that doubles as a bookshelf in which to display your books. This hack is certainly the definition of multi-purpose furniture.

Only basic power tools and a few extra pieces of hardware are needed to make this hack a reality. You can put it anywhere in your house, but we believe it will look best beneath a window. Other than the GORM shelving unit, you’ll need about a dozen more materials and equipment before you can get started. You can find the full list of items and what to do with them here.

After browsing the list, you’ll realise that you can’t just flip the shelf on its side and place a cushion on it. No, there’s real work to be done here. You’ll have to take the entire shelf apart and then do some wood cutting to make supports for your bench. You will also be doing a lot of drilling, quite a bit of sanding and then the building itself.

Once your shelf is all set up and ready to lie beneath your window, fasten the seat to it, attach ropes to keep your books from falling out, and make a cushion. If you don’t fancy a cushion and a few throw pillows to make your new bench all cosy, stack more books on top of the shelves instead - or even plants if you like.

We bet you spotted a hack you would like to try. Why not get started right away?