I recently visited my best friend, who lives in Pittsburgh. Coincidentally, there’s an Ikea in Pittsburgh. Once we decided a trip there would be in the plans, I started looking online and making plans.
I’ve seen some awesome Ikea projects online, especially the faux built in Billy bookcases that everyone seems to be DIYing. Here’s the pinned image that started the whole plan for me:
This bookcase is on justagirlblog.com, and her post can be found here. She discusses the building process in more detail than some of the other posts I’ve read. Although she says hers is in a craft room as well, I intend to use my shelves more for storage than for display. I plan to try to dress things up a bit with some basket liners, but it will be mostly open shelving for fabric and stamps.
I recently started thinking more about my craft/sewing room when I made laundry basket dressers with my dad a couple of weeks ago. My craft space is in a tiny (probably 6’x 10’ room) that also functions as a laundry room. The room is so small because our house was built in 1883 without bathrooms, and the former bedroom was divided in half in order to add a bathroom way back whenever plumbing became common in houses. Luckily, I do have a nice big closet in there for storage. Nonetheless, it’s quite crowded, and storage is always an issue.
After some planning and discussions with my husband, we decided to attempt the built-in Billy bookcases ourselves for my craft room. I currently have one out of the box, but that’s as far as we’ve gotten so far. I’m hoping we’ll make some headway over the upcoming holiday when my husband has a day off work.
In preparation for the Ikea trip, I measured my van to make sure everything would fit—and it would. My friend (who drives a compact car) also wanted an Expedit bookcase while we had the van to get it home for her, and again, I thought her bookcase would fit as well. However, not only did she end up getting the one bookcase, but she got a second one as well as a shoe cabinet and a very large mirror. I was a little nervous, but we went for it, and this is how the van ended up:
It was raining when we got home, so we decided to wait until the next day to unload. I don’t think our van has ever been quite this full, and I was quite proud of it for carrying so much. We could have packed even more in if we had wanted to—you can carry way more in a van than in an SUV, and almost as much as a truck. My bookcases are all in the middle, and Laura’s are on the sides. I think her boxes were actually bigger than mine, but mine were so long that they went up next to the front seats.
We’re not the only ones who were surprised at the tightly packed quarters. The mirror was so long that we had to rest it on the tops of the middle row passenger seats. It didn’t really bother my little boy, but he was definitely checking things out:
I suppose this isn’t really the safest mode of transportation, but I assumed we’d have even worse problems if we were actually in an accident. There were plenty of potential projectiles in the van. Luckily, nothing happened. We did accidentally leave the back hatch unlatched after stowing some bags—oops. When we got home, it was closed, but completely unlatched. I suppose we’re lucky nothing went flying out on the interstate.
In the end, the actual bookcases cost about $300 with tax, which I think is an excellent deal for a wall full of shelves. I also bought the extension packs, which was almost as much as the bookcases themselves. However, we have high ceilings, and this is a way to maximize storage space, which is the goal in the first place. I have plenty of items to store that I don’t use on a regular basis, so I’m sure I’ll be able to make good use of the higher storage shelves.
We’ll have to buy some molding and some paint and caulk to give it the built in look, but I think it will be well worth it in the end. I can’t wait to see how things turn out. I’ll post updates as things progress. I’ve also ordered some fabric for new curtains, basket liners for baskets on the shelves, etc. However, I’ll have to have the bookcases in and the room picked up again before I can start on those…this could take a while.