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Home » Small Billy Bookcase Dollhouse – at home with Ashley

Small Billy Bookcase Dollhouse – at home with Ashley

  • diy
Small Billy Bookcase Dollhouse - at home with Ashley

Last month, I made a dollhouse shaped bookcase. I love it so much, I thought I’d make a mini version. For this I am using the Ikea Billy Bookcase that’s 15 3/4″ wide (half the size of the last one) to make this. It’ll be used specifically for Lego storage, but would also work for any toy storage and the small Billy Bookcase Dollhouse would be especially good for dolls.

how to make a small Billy bookshelf dollhouse

Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:


If the video doesn’t work here, you can watch it on YouTube here. It’d mean so much if you’d watch the video! I’m trying to get better at my video skills so I can grow my YouTube channel. If you have a few minutes to watch this and/or subscribe, I’d so appreciate it.




The inspiration for this project is a Pottery Barn Dollhouse Bookcase by Julia Berolzheimer. There’s also this Pottery Barn dollhouse shelf option in white. I love how they combine function with beauty in a playful way.

This is the dollhouse bookcase I made a few months ago. This one will be similar, but actually simplified.

step 1- assembly

Start by building the Billy bookcase. Follow the instructions provided by IKEA to assemble the Billy bookcase. We will be modifying it, so this will become an Ikea hack.

step 2- build the roof

Next, build the roof. This will create the house shape on the bookcase.

To build the roof, cut the 1×12″ pine board into two pieces- one measuring 12″ long and one at 12-1/2″ long. They should be. 11″ deep. 

Take the 12-1/2″ long board and at the end push the 12″ board against it at a 90 degree angle. Use clamps to hold them together on the side of the bookcase.

Drill 3 pilot holes in the end of the 12-1/2″ board where they meet.

Attach the two boards together with 1-1/2″ screws.

To secure the roof to the top, use a speed square to make sure it’s on the top at a 45 degree angle on both sides. Then, use 1-1/2″ screws at the inside corners of the bookcase to attach the roof onto the bookcase.

step 3- running trim

To dress up the front of the roof and make it look more like the inspiration picture, let’s add running trim. It comes in 4′ length pieces. This project will only use half that. Use the miter saw and cut two pieces 12-1/2″ long on a 45 degree angle.

Then nail the trim onto the front of the roof.

step 4-  baseboard

And now, let’s finish the base by attaching a baseboard to the bookshelf dollhouse. Adding a baseboard to a Billy bookcase can give it a more custom and integrated look, enhancing its aesthetic appeal in your room.

Measure the length of the front and side of the Billy bookcase where you want to attach the baseboard.  Our measurements are 16-7/8″ for the front and 11-5/8″ for the two sides.

Use a miter saw to cut the baseboard pieces according to your measurements. Make sure to cut them at 45-degree angles at the front corners for a clean finish. The back of the side pieces should be cut so they’re flat.

Next, put the baseboard pieces onto the bottom of the Billy bookcase, ensuring a snug fit. If needed, trim the pieces so they fit perfected. Secure the baseboard in place with a nail gun.

step 5-finish work

And now, it’s time finish up the bookshelf dollhouse! Since the frame is complete, use wood filler in all the nail holes and in the shelf holes. Because the shelves are trimmed in place, they no longer can be moved so the holes for the shelf brackets aren’t needed.

Once the wood filler is dry, sand it smooth. 

Because I want to paint the laminate shelves, I make sure to sand the laminate finish to rough it up before painting.

Wipe the shelves clean with a damp rag.


I use a paint brush to apply my Primer. First I brush on a thin coat and then I let it dry for two hours.

Then, I apply a second coat of primer. To ensure maximum adhesion, I let that dry over night.

To finish up the shelves, I use two coats of paint in the green color Garden Swing.

I had a little over half a bottle of the sample can of paint. It was barely enough for the two coats of paint!

step 7- shingles and chimney

Finally, the roof needs to be finished up to complete this project.

To add shingles to the roof, I first take a ruler and mark the roof every 1″ starting at the bottom and working my way up.

Then, I apply construction adhesive in a thin bead right below the pencil line.

One by one, I put on the shingles making sure to line the top of each one with the pencil line.

To trim the shingles, I just use an exact-o knife. I score the top and then snap them where needed.

Once the roof is fully shingled, add a chimney to the peak of the roof. I painted the bricks on mine white.

To attach it, use construction adhesive. There were some gaps along the peak so I used caulk to close those spaces. Last, I let the caulk dry so I can paint over it to ensure matches the white chimney.

Note, I decided at this point to fill in the holes for the shelves on the Billy bookcase. 

To do that, I filled the holes with wood filler. Let dry for 15-20 minutes and then add another layer of wood filler. When that is dry, sand it smooth. Finish by painting over the holes.


And here is the finished bookshelf dollhouse! It is so little and sweet!

Isn’t it cut how it fits in that little corner under the angled ceiling?! I think it’s super sweet looking!

Next week I’ll be filling this with more Lego storage- stay tuned!

The trim makes the “attic” mostly un-usable. But the trim adds so much personality, that I think it’s worth it!

price breakdown

Here’s how much it cost to make the Bookshelf Dollhouse-

I had some supplies on hand. Here’s what I bought-

For this project, we spent $75 on supplies. 

In conclusion, I love how this small Billy bookcase dollhouse turned out! It’s similar to the bigger Dollhouse Bookcase I made a few months ago, but we simplified it by not extending the shelves, trimming out the frame, or adding bead board to the back. I think it’s so adorable, but it’s also a very beginner friendly project. What do you think of it?

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