The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (2023)


Learn how to use Ikea's inexpensive Billy shelf for pantry storage, perfect for a small kitchen.

Need extra kitchen storage but don't have a lot of room to work? I had the same dilemma, so I turned to my favorite appliance store: Ikea! I'm going to share the easiest way to build your own Ikea freestanding pantry - it's an Ikea Billy Hack and it's awesome!

This hack works perfectly as a pantry AND is cheaper than regular Ikea kitchen cabinets.

And if you're wondering if it's durable enough for everyday pantry use, I built this hack 7 years ago and it's still durable enough for everyday use in our kitchen.

The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (1)

We present: Ikea Pantry Hack

I made this Ikea pantry with simple shelving because traditional pantry cabinets from Ikea (and other stores) were either out of my budget or not the free-standing pantry cabinets (with doors) that I was hoping for.

In this post, I'm going to share some clever tips on how to customize the Billy Bookcase to look as much like your pantry cabinets as possible.

There are a few different options with this shelf, so it's good to know about them all before starting this project.

I'll also talk a bit about pantries and what people keep in them, and I'll quickly go over some organization ideas for how I organized mine, in case you're curious.

And of course, I'm sharing a step-by-step guide on how I made this Ikea pantry hack (it's easy!). We made a nice addition to make opening and closing the door easier, I'll show you a bit later.

But first, let's start with the Billy Shelving, why it makes a perfect pantry, and all the different options available, so you can make the perfect pantry for your kitchen!

Let's go!

Ikea Billy bookcase as a pantry

The Billy bookcase is a popular shelf in the Ikea range. It comes in different sizes and colors.What I used for this hackIt is the tall and skinny version., in white.

Different color options make it easy to match many different decors and kitchen styles.

The Billy Bookcase is one of Ikea's taller bookcases, but it has a slim, narrow profile. This very narrow feature makes them perfect for small spaces and makes great corner pantries.

To make this shelf more like a pantry, you can buy a door that easily attaches to it. The door really transforms this bookcase into a stand-alone DIY pantry!


obilly bookshelf price including the doorIt currently costs $100, which is quite reasonable for a stand-alone pantry. They offered me $1500 for a custom pantry in the same room, so it was a much cheaper option for me.

Another nice feature of the Billy is that it has a groove on the bottom so it sits perfectly on the base of the wall panel and can be placed flush against the wall like a kitchen cabinet.

The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (2)

Here's a list of some additional configurations you can get with this bookcase. It's good to know your options as you plan so you don't have to repeat anything later.

Customize your Billy shelf

  1. this shelf It comes with 5 adjustable shelves, but you can purchase additional shelves if you need more storage space.
  2. To make this bookcase look like a kitchen pantry, Ikea makes doors for the Billy bookcase (as pictured above).
  3. There are different styles of doors that you can get. There are full glass doors, half glass panel doors (I went for this style), and full panel doors. You can choose the door that suits your kitchen style.
  4. If you're looking for a more built-in pantry look, you can purchase additional extensions to make this shelving unit work.all the way to the ceiling- we did this with our Billy bookshelves in our office since that area of ​​our house has higher ceilings.
  5. If you are looking for a larger pantry, you can mix and match sizes (the Billy also comes in a wider option) and install them side by side to create a taller/wider pantry.

Next, let's talk a bit about pantries and what kinds of things you can store in them (I'll tell you what's in mine too!)

Kitchen Pantry 101

Pantry is a room or closet in the kitchen or pantry that can be used forStore extra kitchen supplies and groceries.

Basically, if you're running low on cabinet storage space in your kitchen, a freestanding pantry comes in handy.

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This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see mylegal warning

Here is a list of things that can be kept in kitchen supplies:

  • drinks
  • Groceries (canned beans, pasta sauce, spices, baking supplies, noodles)
  • Dishes (cups, plates, bowls, glasses)
  • household cleaners
  • litter
  • other kitchen items

Organization of our pantry

I made 2 freestanding Ikea pantries in this project. In the first we store food such as cans, bottles, soups, children's snacks, rice and noodles. I used baskets to organize my food.

Functionally, the basket organization makes them look like popular pantry shelves. The storage boxes are easy to pull out, making it easy to grab or place items. Plus they look cute!

I usuallythese baskets, but Walmart doesn't seem to have them anymore (I bought them about 7 years ago). If you really want something like that, I found someWire Lined Food Baskets on Amazon.

The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (4)

In our second corner cabinet we store items like spare glass containers for groceries, small appliances, and cleaning supplies.

These 2 pantry storage shelves from Ikea really helped organize our kitchen and gave it a little more space and storage.

And using pantry organizer boxes will help organize all your groceries and make them easy to access.


Now that you're armed with all that information, here's how to hack one yourself...

Ikea Billy Hack: Shelving as a pantry

Necessary materials

  1. Billy bookcase with door
  2. Optional:Baskets for Food Organizations
  3. Optional: Zuglenker (Home Depot)

DIY Pantry Guide

1.Plan where to put your pantry in your kitchen. In our kitchen, we decided to keep them as corner pantry cabinets at each end of our dining room.

2.Assemble your Billy shelf following the Ikea instructions (it's very easy, for Ikea furniture). See what the finished shelf will look like (without the door).

The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (5)

3.Place your pantry bookcase against the wall, making sure to use the security kit (supplied with the Billy bookcase) to anchor the bookcase to the wall.

This shelf is verytall and narrow so it will tip over if you don't anchor it🇧🇷 This is what the anchor that came with our Billy was finally looking for. Note: We did this Ikea hack project 7 years ago, so now they may look different.

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4.Install the Ikea Billy door on the shelf once it is upright and attached to the wall according to Ikea's instructions.

5.This part is optional, but we found that the handles on the back door make opening and closing the pantry more convenient. We bought our handle at Home Depot for $5 and used a drill to screw it on.

  • The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (7)
  • The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (8)

6. Optional:You can organize pantry shelves with baskets. I find it easy to pull them out and quickly grab the items I need or even put them away. As a bonus, they look decorative!

7🇧🇷 If you want to label something in your pantry (like jars or containers), check out this tutorialHow to make clear tape storage labels

Here are some more photos of our finished Ikea freestanding pantry cabinets.

The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (9)
The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (10)
The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (11)
The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (12)
The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (13)
(Video) Pantry Organisation |DIY Billy Bookcase Pantry | Kmart Pantry Organisation

And there you have it, you can now enjoy extra kitchen storage space with this Ikea Billy Hack! Made from a cheap and popular shelf. Happy hacking!

Oh, and if you're curious to see even more Ikea hacks, e.g.this banquet bench among the pantriesCheck out these other posts in the photos above:

  • DIY Adhesive Tape Storage Labels
  • 31+ Ikea Kallax Hacks
  • Turn a bookshelf into a kitchen banquet {Ikea Hack}
  • DIY Family Command Center – IKEA-Hack
  • Ikea Hack Lego Mesa
  • Storage Bench for a Small Space {Ikea Hack)
  • Artisan Table with Storage {Ikea Hack}
  • 20+ Ikea table hacks
  • Organization Ikea Craft Room Pegboard

If you liked this Ikea Billy hack, go for it!

The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (14)

And until next time stay cool!

The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (15)

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The Easiest DIY Kitchen Pantry Cabinet With Ikea Billy Shelving Hack (16)

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IKEA Kallax Hack: Turn the shelf into a bench to sit and store



How do you make a simple pantry? ›

8 Smart Ways to Create a Pantry in Even the Tiniest Kitchen
  1. Repurpose a bookshelf. ...
  2. Go between the studs. ...
  3. Use your wall. ...
  4. Slide it next to the fridge. ...
  5. Rethink the coat closet. ...
  6. Hang dry goods from your upper cabinets. ...
  7. Devote a cabinet. ...
  8. Hang shelves anywhere you can.
Dec 10, 2022

How do you make a BILLY shelf? ›

  1. Suggested tools.
  2. Remove the bookcase backing and prepare the bookcases.
  3. Prepare the wall.
  4. Determine the placement of your bookcases.
  5. Add trim to connect your bookcases.
  6. Add wood to encase your bookcases.
  7. Finish the built ins with molding, caulk, and paint.

Is IKEA getting rid of BILLY? ›

IKEA announces relaunch of iconic BILLY bookcase — and you can take it apart. It has been a best seller for over 40 years. IKEA will relaunch a newer, more circular version of its iconic BILLY bookcase in January 2024.

What is the best shelving for a pantry? ›

Plywood is the go-to material used for pantry shelves. It's versatile, available in virtually any species of hardwood, and can easily be cut using any table saw. Plywood is ideal for pantry shelves because its edges can be finished with wood trim or iron-on veneer banding.

How can I organize my pantry with no money? ›

Go through your house and find boxes and baskets that fit the shelves in your pantry. Use them to store snacks and open bags of chips. Mix and match and rearrange until you find a configuration that works! This is the key step in organizing your pantry without spending any money.

How do you make shelves look like built-ins? ›

Use Paint to Trick the Eye

“Painting the alcove walls, shelving, and base cupboard in one color will help [your bookcase or shelving unit] to look built-in,” says Hughes. “However, if you're using laminated furniture and MDF, it will need a light sand and priming before you can add your paint.”

How much weight can a Billy shelf hold? ›

BILLY Bookcase with glass doors 31阶11咀79½". Max load 66 lbs/shelf. For very heavy books we recommend the 15¾" wide bookcase.

Is hemnes better than billy? ›

But what really sets HEMNES apart is the quality of materials. Where BILLY is particleboard, HEMNES is solid pine, which IKEA says is sustainably sourced. The feel of BILLY's surfaces is pure plastic, but HEMNES has the satisfying texture of wood grain.

Why is BILLY bookcase so popular? ›

On their website, the Ikea company claims that there is one Billy bookshelf sold every five seconds. The bookcase's popularity is due to how inexpensive they are, how long they have been around, and how easy they are to customize.

Do Billy bookcases fall over? ›

These book cases are not very stable. We have doors on ours and if the bookcases are empty and the doors are open they will fall forward. Putting books in will push the CG backwards however my recommendation is to use the wall brackets to be sure they don't toople over - better safe than sorry!!!

What should you not put in a pantry? ›

12 Items You Should Never Store in Your Pantry, According to...
  1. Maple syrup. "Maple syrup will grow moldy outside the fridge, especially the organic varieties." — Judy Joo, celebrity chef and cookbook author of Korean Soul Food. ...
  2. Cold-pressed oils. ...
  3. Chocolate. ...
  4. Cured meats. ...
  5. Bread. ...
  6. Chocolate chip cookies. ...
  7. Fish sauce.
Nov 19, 2022

What is a good size pantry? ›

The typical size of a standard pantry is 5 feet by 5 feet (U-shaped). However, these dimensions can vary because not all homeowners have the same kitchen size. Also, it depends on the amount of storage the owner prefers.

In what order should a pantry be organized? ›

Set up Your Organized Pantry
  • Start with the middle shelves. These are the easiest to see and access, so load them with daily-use items such as dinner or lunch-making supplies, or with food you want to keep in sight, such as healthy snacks.
  • Move on to bottom shelves. ...
  • Finish up with top shelves.
Mar 12, 2021

How do you stock a pantry from scratch? ›

Getting Started
  1. Clear the decks. Take everything out of your pantry, give it a hard look and decide what you can get rid of. ...
  2. Keep what looks and smells good. “Expiration,” “sell by,” and “best by” dates are not good guidelines. ...
  3. Assess what remains. ...
  4. Fill in the blanks with food that will make you a better cook.

Is it better to store pantry items in glass or plastic? ›

The best food storage containers are made from glass, because you avoid the risk of having potentially hazardous chemicals from plastic leak into your food, says Adrienne Nolan-Smith, founder of WellBe.

How thick should pantry Shelving be? ›

Don't go too deep. Most experts recommend that pantry shelves be no more than 12 inches deep. Any more, and things begin to get buried.

How do you make cheap shelves look expensive? ›

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Bookshelf Styling Look Expensive
  1. 01 of 05. Go Hardcover. Not to diss my favorite paperback titles, but hardcover books just display better. ...
  2. 02 of 05. Don't Display Everything. ...
  3. 03 of 05. Add Accessories. ...
  4. 04 of 05. Add Paper or Paint. ...
  5. 05 of 05. Incorporate Art.
Mar 22, 2021

What is an IKEA hack? ›

That means its products are famously easy to customize or tweak, and over the past decade, “Ikea hacking” has become a common way to describe the way customers change, alter, or intentionally tweak how a given design is meant to be assembled.

How to make a Billy bookcase from IKEA? ›

IKEA Billy Bookshelf Assembly How-To & Help
  1. Step 1: Step 1 - Identify the Parts, Start Assembly. Parts. ...
  2. Step 2: Step 2 - Second Side Panel. ...
  3. Step 3: Step 3 - Attach Left Side Panel With Screws. ...
  4. Step 4: Step 4 - Screw Together Right Side Panel. ...
  5. Step 5: Step 5 - Attach Back Panel. ...
  6. Step 6: Step 6 - Place Middle Shelves.

How many shelves does BILLY come with? ›

1 stationary shelf and 4 adjustable shelves included. Can be used with BILLY height extension unit in the same width for added storage vertically. May be used with doors; available in different colors and designs.

Do Billy bookcases hold up? ›

Billy bookcases are sturdy, but they shouldn't be used in commercial or retail settings. They were not designed for long-term, heavy-duty use, so they may last long in a home setting but not in public.

Do Billy bookcases have to be fixed to the wall? ›

To ensure safety, we recommend that all cabinets sold by IKEA be secured to the wall.

Did IKEA stop making Billy bookcases? ›

IKEA relaunches its icon BILLY with new timeless colours and sustainability improvements – making it more circular. In July 2022, IKEA will launch the new and more circular BILLY bookcase dressed in beautiful wood expressions.

Are Billy bookcases hard to build? ›

They are even easy to assemble alone, although I think the directions recommend two folks. I had no problem putting them together by myself. I assembled the first Billy shelf in the office. That worked great until it was time to slide the back into the bookshelf.


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