How to make a temporary room divider with IKEA Billy bookcases to create a home office

– Hi I’m Isabelle and welcome
back to Engineer Your Space. Today I’m gonna share with
you how I made a temporary dividing wall to separate my home office from my living room. So let’s get started. (funky music) I really do love my office
and it’s a great place to work from home. But the one thing that I
was missing was storage, and I also didn’t like
the fact that it was completely open to my living room. So my solution for this
was to use Billy Bookcases as storage, but also as a base to hold some shelves that complete
the visual separation from the living room, but
without closing in my office. The first part of the project
was to join the two bookcases by first attaching them together
with screws at the front. For the back, I covered it
with quarter inch plywood. I needed a piece that was
63 inches by 41 inches. I had the four by eight sheet
cut at the hardware store, and had the piece cut in half so that it would fit in my car. It’s easier to screw the plywood in place with the bookcases lying on the floor. And you will want to
countersink all your screw heads so that the back surface is smooth. I attached a one by three
board between the bookcases and the plywood, plus with
the bottom of the back of the bookcases. This board
makes the base more stable and it gives a place to screw
in the bottom of the plywood. Next I prime the surface. And you could fill in the
holes of the screw heads with wood filler before doing
this, and that would give you a more even surface. I decided to go with a beautiful
textured metallic wallpaper to cover the plywood. It’s the perfect thing to
cover up any imperfections and the joint in the plywood. Because I didn’t overlap the
wallpaper enough at the seams, when it dried, it shrunk a
little bit and I ended up with a white line. So for a quick fix, I ended
up using some eye shadow that I had that matched
the color of the wallpaper. And I simply brushed it on and then wiped it off with my fingers. Now one last thing that I
wanted to do to the base, was to make a hole in one of the sides. And that’s so I would be able
to put in an extension cord to plug in things like my printer. I used tape to cover the
sides of the bookcase to mark the location of the shelf, the back panel, and the center of where
I want my hole to be. And then I used an inch
and a half hole saw bit to make the hole. The tape helps protect the
finish for a smoother edge, and all that’s needed is a light sanding to take out the rough spots. The next part of the
project was to make the top, and I made mine using
one by fours that I had cut at the hardware store. It’s very important to measure
and have your cross pieces cut carefully because you want
the top to be able to slide over the base smoothly,
but without leaving too much of a gap. I painted all the wood and then
using a combination square, I marked the location
of the shelves across all of the vertical boards. It just makes it easier
to line everything up. I used a corner clamp to hold the boards, and drilled pilot holes and screwed the pieces together,
countersinking the screws. Next I attached the
crosspieces the same way, and I covered up all the
screw heads with wood filler, let that dry and sanded it down before touching it up with paint. I also made a hole in the
side of the top to match the hole in the bookcase
for the extension cord. Next it was just a matter of
sliding the top over the base, and my furry helper here
wasn’t actually very helpful, but she’s pretty cute so
I think I’ll keep her. I left an overhang of half
an inch and screwed the top to the base and covered the
rest of the sides and the top of the bookcase with a one by
six and another one by four. I also added a one by one on
the bottom of the wallpaper side of the dividing wall,
just to complete the frame. And that’s it, the dividing wall is done. Now it’s really just a matter
of dressing up the shelves with some accessories. I used a piece of
driftwood that I had found at the beach to fill
in the middle section. And I did that by drilling
holes in the branches, and using wire and eye screws
to secure it to the top. I also made a double-sided
picture frame by removing the flaps from two
frames, adding some Velcro, and then stapling a wood stick
with a small hole for hanging The Velcro makes it really easy to attach the frames together and take them apart for changing out the pictures. And then you simply hang the
whole thing from a small hook. Having this dividing wall has
made such a huge difference. Now I have tons of storage
in my office that’s completely hidden from
the rest of the apartment. And my office truly feels
like a separate room, but without feeling closed in. The dividing wall is really
stable with all the heavy things that I’ve put in my bookcases. But you could also use
brackets to attach it to the wall for extra support. Well that’s it for today’s episode. If you want to watch how
I use Billy Bookcases to create an entryway in
my New York apartment, you can click on this video here. And if you wanna watch
part one and part two of my home office projects, you
can click on these videos here. And don’t forget to
subscribe to my channel so that you don’t miss any
of my upcoming episodes. You can also visit for more information on
this project and other DIY tips and inspirations. See ya next time. (funky music)

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