Convert IKEA's BILLY Bookcase Into A Display Case To Dress Up Any Boring Wall

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Investing in a new display case can get pricey quickly, especially if you want a higher-end option or style. However, you could instead convert an IKEA BILLY bookcase into a stunning display case where you can arrange a wide assortment of items. All you have to do is adapt and customize one or several of them to suit your interior by adding some doors. The best part? You'd never even be able to tell it was a bookcase at all.

This is great if you want the look of a custom display cabinet on a lower-end budget without having to compromise too much on style and design. For an easy solution, you just need a product bundle from IKEA of two 79-inch BILLYs and four OXBERG doors, starting from around $298, depending on what style you choose. For a more custom look, you can also add trim that matches your style or experiment with different types. A simple trim, such as these wooden moldings from Amazon for about $14, are easily customized to fit into any design. 

Customize your BILLY to fit the space

To create your own display cabinet, you'll first have to construct your BILLY/OXBERG combo and decide where you want to place it, whether it's in a hallway, kitchen, or office. If the location you choose isn't a good fit for the BILLY/OXBERG combo, customize it to fit your space. You can stack multiple bookcases such as this version of the BILLY with three shelves starting at $29 from IKEA. Combine those with IKEA glass doors starting at $15 or solid doors starting at $25 each. 

When it comes to adding them to your build, combine both the glass and solid doors for a unique look, or use all glass doors if you want everything inside your cabinets to be on display. For more spacious areas, a larger BILLY bookcase that comes with glass doors from IKEA for $229 would be ideal, as you'll be able to fit more inside. Or, if you prefer a clean look that hides the bookcase's contents, choose all solid doors.

Once the BILLYs are in place and all your doors are on securely, measure and cut the trim you've chosen, and add it to the gaps between your lower and upper cabinet sections using an adhesive. Allow the adhesive to dry completely before slotting in your items, whether they are plants or ornamental pieces. Finally, you can admire your BILLY display cabinet.

Add your own flair to your display case

While it likely looks great, there are ways to customize your BILLY display cabinet even further. You have the option to paint it to suit your interior, add extra shelves, apply wallpaper to the back walls of each compartment, or even swap out the handles for a more custom look. For example, adding some peel-and-stick wallpaper, such as this floral design for $15 from Amazon or this plant-themed option on Etsy starting at $20, could really help to draw your attention and add an extra "pop" to your piece. 

When it comes to paint, you could go for a creamy neutral for a rustic look or a dark green or black for a modern design. For a great way to use bold colors in your home, opt for a splash of bright yellow or red to draw attention. What you choose will ultimately boil down to how the rest of your space is styled.   

However, it's not just the design that counts — you also have the ability to play with lighting. By incorporating some LEDs or another form of ambient lighting, you can add a high-end finish for a fraction of the cost of professionally installed alternatives. If you're looking for inspiration, grab some STÖTTA lighting strips for $14.99 from IKEA, explicitly designed for its products. If this doesn't quite tickle your fancy, there are other types of strip lighting available. Whichever customizations you decide to make, you'll be left with a gorgeous final product.