Great Storage Idea for Handbags Or Collectibles & All the Details To Create It

Welcome the 511th Metamorphosis Monday! If you’ve been reading BNTOP for a while, I know you’re familiar with this view of my home office.


On the other side of my office, there’s a cozy, little reading corner.


Several years ago I hung a Bucket List Travel Map above the chair here in the office, hoping it would keep me inspired and focused on seeing more of our big, beautiful world.


Sick though I was the day I returned from my recent trip, I couldn’t wait to scratch off Egypt to see what was hidden underneath.

Travel Bucket List for Wall, Scratch Off as Travel


This is what I found. 🙂 If you would like a fun way to keep up with all your wanderlust adventures, you’ll find this map here: Bucket List Travel Map. I started traveling very late in life so there’s still a ton of gray on my map, but it’s fun seeing it come to life after each trip. I just realized looking at this picture, I need to uncover the rest of the Nile River. lol That’s what I get for scraping it off when I was sick…missed clearing off all of the River Nile!

Pssst: These maps also make awesome Christmas gifts. I gave one to a friend many years ago who has traveled extensively and he loved it! He ended up framing his, as I did mine.

Scratch-off Travel Bucket List Wall Hanging


A Great Way to Store Collectibles of Any Kind

A while back I came across a YouTube video that blew me away. Elaine Hau has an incredible handbag collection and she’s found a fabulous way to store them all. Though I don’t have that many handbags, I thought this was an incredible way to store ANYTHING a person may wish to collect. Plus, the cost to create this beautiful lit storage is actually pretty reasonable!

Elaine purchased all her storage cabinets from Ikea, as well as the glass shelves and lighting she used inside to light up her collection. I don’t have enough handbags to fill even one cabinet, but I was so inspired by her ingenuity in designing this brilliant storage system, I jotted down notes on how she created it, in case I ever want to create this storage system for something I collect.

Handbag Storage

Screen Capture from Elaine’s Video on YouTube


This system could be used to store or display many types of collectibles, not just handbags, but I truly do love how this works for a handbag collection. Often handbags get stored away in dust bags in the back of closets where they are soon forgotten. Not only is this storage beautiful to view for us handbag lovers, it’s also a great way to remember what bags you own so they don’t remain hidden away in a closet, never used. Again, this storage system could be used for almost any type of collectible, not just handbags.

Handbag Storage


If you would love to put together a similar storage system for something you collect, here’s the information I was able to gather from Elaine’s video, which can be found here: Elaine Hau’s video on Handbag Storage.

Note: Elaine offers English Subtitles on many of her videos, but I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to get them to work. YouTube doesn’t make it easy! I can’t remember now if I ever did get them to work on her video I’ve linked above, but I’m pretty sure I was able to figure out what products she used to create this storage system.

As best I can tell, here are the products I think Elaine purchased from Ikea to create her handbag storage system:

The cabinets are Billy Bookcases from Ikea with Ikea’s Oxberg glass doors which are purchased separately.

Elaine replaced all of the shelves that came with the Billy Bookcase cabinets with glass shelves, except for the fixed shelf that’s necessary for stability. The way Ikea shelves are designed, when you assemble them there’s always a “fixed” shelf midway down the bookshelf for stability. All the other shelves are removable/adjustable, except for that one fixed shelf.

I believe the glass shelves she used are known as the “Ikea Billy Extra Book Glass Shelf” on the Ikea website. It appears she used 3 glass shelves above and 2 below the fixed center shelf, for a total of 5 glass shelves per cabinet.

Elaine appears to have used 4 of Ikea’s Omlopp Puck Lights in each cabinet, attaching two underneath the top part of the cabinet and two underneath the fixed shelf midway down. That may require a bit of drilling to run the wiring, but I’m sure it’s something that can be easily figured out during the assembly process.

Two cords plugged into a power strip turns everything on with the flip of a button on the powerstrip. Love that! It appears she used Ikea’s Ansluta Power Supply Cord and the Ikea Ansluta Electronic Transformer for this.
I think she found the crystal knobs she has on some of the doors at Walmart online. They appear to be the “GlideRite Hardware Crystal Knob” on the Walmart website.

Handbag Storage


I just had to share this storage system because I think it’s a genius idea and truly beautiful to view, plus it’s much less expensive than hiring someone to come in and build custom bookshelves! Again, you’ll find Elaine’s video of this storage system here: Elaine Hau’s Handbag Storage Video.

Here’s a breakdown of the costs below using the products I detailed above. Of course, if you didn’t add the glass shelves or the lighting, it would cost even less. The cost without the glass shelves and lighting would be approximately $477, before tax. I do love how the glass shelves allow the lighting to shine down through all the shelves. I think the lighting adds so much to this display, like turning this storage into a wall of art!

IKEA Billy Oxberg for Handbag Storage


If you created this storage, what would you store there? It could even be used for shoes by adding additional shelves, something you can easily do with the Billy Bookshelf.

Looking forward to all the fabulous Before and Afters linked for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

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  1. Glad to hear you’re feeling better! Thank you for hosting today… I love your hat rack in the corner of your office… any info on where to find one like that? Thanks, Liz

    • Thanks! I purchased that one on Etsy, it’s a vintage piece per the listing and was shipped from Bulgaria. I just looked at her Etsy shop and she’s only showing jewelry at the moment.

  2. Susan, you DO have a collection and you DO keep it in similar cabinet/cases … your amazing dish/glassware/napkin/napkin ring collection in those cabinets in your garage! They may not be glass doors and lighted shelves , but they are every bit as organized as the purse lady’s!
    Glad you are recovering and getting some energy back.

  3. Thanks for the fun and inspirations today Susan, your map is so awesome!

    • Thanks, Jenna! I need to visit some really big country like Russia, Australia or China so I can scratch off a big section. lol Wonder what’s under those sections, gotta be something good!

  4. Regality (aka The Quing) says

    Do you actually read in your reading corner? The placement of the lamp doesn’t look like it would give you good light.

    I’d be tempted to scratch off more places on that map than I’d been to, just to see what was under there. *L*

    • I do! It puts out a lot of light. I actually like it on the other side of the chest, otherwise, I think it would be too much glare.
      lol Yes, it’s tempting!

  5. Well, that’s one impressive collection and an equally impressive storage system to match. I’d be happy to have either! 😉

  6. Regality (aka The Quing) says

    PS: So sorry to read that you were sick again. Before I get on any plane, I take a dose of Cold-Eeze. If it’s an international flight, I “re-up” mid way. And a carry a full box of it, in case I feel like I might be coming down with something during the trip. In the past, I’ve always gotten sick on trips to near and far. Since I started the C-E regimen, I’ve caught nary a germ.

    PPS: I assume you get an annual flu shot.

    • No, I never get flu shots. When I’m 108, I may start getting them. I got this cold/virus right at the very end of the trip, so at least it didn’t ruin the trip, just made the flight home rather miserable. That’s good to know about the Cold-Eeze!

  7. A while back I showed your garage dish storage system to my husband and said I wanted this. He is a designer so he designed a three unit system much like yours with doors on the top and drawers on the bottom and then had it custom built due to size requirements. We did use glass doors though like Elaine did here. We are considering changing out the shelves to glass and lighting them up though this was not part of the original plan. It is fun having most of my dishes together as I’m sure you know! Thanks for all your inspiration from all of us want-a-be decorators/table scapers/ travelers. So glad you are feeling better. (You really should get a flu shot every year!)

    • Virginia!! What a wonderful husband! I hope you’ll share pictures of the finished product with Susan so we can all oow and aah over them with you.
      I know I’d love to see them and I’m sure the other ladies would, as well. :o)

  8. I have that same exact IKEA Billy configuration with glass doors in my breakfast room, to store/display china! I’ve not replaced the shelves with glass, though I had glass replacement shelves made for a previous IKEA hutch, to nice effect.

    I laid three connected strips of ultra-thin, ultra-warm white LED lighting (dimmable and connected, so a single switch) on top, facing the ceiling, at the back where it doesn’t show. I have the switch mounted unobtrusively to one side. That gives the most wonderful cheery glow!

  9. Thank you for hosting Susan!

  10. Sigh, Susan, sigh… this is so beautiful, I wish I had space for 3 Billy cabinets… no wait, actually I could easily make way for them… OK, I wish I had all those gorgeous (and luxury!) handbags to store in them! lol
    WOW, no wonder Elaine even installed alarms on those cabinets!
    I guess I wouldn’t need any security system, since I’d probably store books, and/or dishes, and/or costume jewellery in them and I have never heard of intruders who steal books, china or imitated gems! lol

  11. Thanks so much for hosting!!!

  12. Peggy W Nodine says

    Hello Susan, Glad you are feeling much better. Your map is a fun thing to do when you go on trips, which you do often, so before long it will all be in color.
    I love the glass cabinets for the handbag collection. Everyone does things differently, so I think I would have arranged all mine in like colors together, like all the pink shades in one cabinet section, all the black in one, etc. But I am probably nuts, I hang my clothes in my closet like that, all black together, all red, etc. Makes it easy to pick out outfits. I think shoes would be very nice displayed in those cabinets, or hats and jewelry too. Nice idea for storage and making it beautiful as well. Thanks for sharing with us, Ikea would be the place to go, if a closet company did those it would cost a fortune. Can’t wait for some great Christmas wrapping and decorating ideas for this year from you. Thanks Again! Peggy

  13. Cyndi Raines says

    The simple joys of life are so fun, like scratching off places we’ve been to on a map! Hehe. Love my U.S. version, it’s fun too for those who decide to stay state-side. That display unit is over-the-top beautiful! Inside and out! Glad you are feeling better.

  14. Elizabeth Roderick says

    Beautiful shelves. Where will you put it? No to flu shots. My husband took one and was sick for a solid 2 weeks. I’ve never had one.

  15. Thank you for this article! Crazy to see how much prices have gone up! I just bought three of these cabinets (2 exactly the same, 1 that is half glass, half wood for some non-displayed storage), and it came to $697 with tax! I just priced out the 10 lights i need (instead of 12) and the 13 shelves I need (instead of 15) and it comes out to over another $400! Definitely worth it in my mind, but wanted to share the new pricing.

    • Thanks for that update, Sabrina! Prices have definitely gone up, unfortunately. I purchased three of the Billy Oxberg bookcases (with glass doors) but just stayed with the regular shelves that came with the cabinets…and no lights. Will you be displaying handbags on your shelves or another type of collectible? I do love how it looks with lights!

  16. Hi Susan, I will definitely be displaying handbags!!

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