Computer hutch hidden away in BILLY Bookshelf

My goal was to build a computer hutch that looks clean and uncluttered for a room that doubles as my home office and guest bedroom.

I use a Mac Mini but a larger computer would probably fit in the bottom space of the cabinet.

IKEA items used:
Other materials:
  • 10” x 21 ¾” x ¾” pine plywood. (Any plywood will do) Corners eased with sander, top sanded and clear coated with gloss spray. After paint is dry, sand, dust, put second coat
  • Two 10 in. Full Extension Ball Bearing Side Mount Drawer Slide ($4.09 Home Depot)
  • Two 10 in. long 1″ x 4″s
  • Two 6″ long furring strips (¾” x 1 ½”)
  • 2 or three packages of 5/8″
  • #8 Pan Phillips metal screws
  • 20 pack of zinc plated
  • 1 ½” corner braces
  • 1 ½” wood screws
  • 1/8 inch drill bit to predrill
  • Makita battery operated drill
  • Black and Decker power file
  • 1 1/8” Forstner bit

How to build a computer hutch in a BILLY bookshelf

I built my slide out keyboard piece first. Attached drawer glides to side edges of the 10″ plywood.

Then, I attached 6″ furring strip aligned with the end of 10″ 1 x 4. I pre-drilled with a 1/8″ bit into the side of each furring strip.

Next, I installed the other sides of the drawer glide on the inside face of the 1 x 4.

Computer hutch in BILLY Bookshelf

Computer hutch in BILLY Bookshelf

Removed the shelf from the BILLY and attached the slide out keyboard upside down on the shelf. For this, I used wood screws going through furring strips and into the bottom of the shelf.

I left about 3 1/2″ of space on the left hand side to allow for an electrical opening to be made. That leaves about 2″ of space on the right side.

Then I drilled an electrical opening using a Forstner bit. It went about 6” deep on the shelf and over about 1 ½” to the side.

I drilled a hole using the Forstner bit. Then used the power file to make additional openings in the circular hole to allow for a variety of power cords to go through.

The additional slots make a cross like opening in the shelf. Repeated this for the shelf that will go above the keyboard shelf so electrical can reach my Mac Mini.

I varnished all unfinished wood to keep moisture from seeping in.

Computer hutch in BILLY Bookshelf

Electrical wiring for the computer hutch

I used a 1 1/8” Forstner bit and power file to make a hole at the bottom corner of the cabinet to allow the plug from my power strip to be threaded through. This keeps the neat appearance, which I’m looking for with no wiring showing.

Computer hutch in BILLY Bookshelf

Computer hutch in BILLY Bookshelf

To stabilize the pull out keyboard, I screwed on eight L Brackets. (2 on each end of the top of the shelf and 2 on each end of the bottom of the shelf holding the keyboard.) I did not screw L brackets into the shelf, only into the inside of the sidewalls of the cabinet.

Last, I did my most dreaded chore. Which was cutting into the stationary shelf on the BILLY to make room for my monitor.

I measured and drew the lines I wanted to cut, adding curves on the corners for appearance and comfort.

After the cutting, I sanded the edges and varnished them with a small brush as a finishing touch.

Computer hutch in BILLY Bookshelf

Computer hutch in BILLY Bookshelf

Finally, here’s how the completed computer hutch in a BILLY looks.

Computer hutch in BILLY Bookshelf
Computer hutch in a BILLY – closed
Computer hutch in BILLY Bookshelf
Computer hutch in a BILLY – opened

~ Sharon Cozad

Jules Yap