Bookshelf makeover … two different ways


My summer of transition is nearly over. Soon I will have all my stuff in one house … along with all the Jedi’s stuff.

Merging stuff is NO FUN. Especially, when you realize you have WAY more crap than you thought. Before I moved, I purged my home of so much junk that had accumulated over the seven years I’ve lived there. Yet, I still feel overwhelmed with the amount I have left.

I really, really want to live like a semi-minimalist. I’ll never truly live that way because the Jedi is the complete opposite of minimalist (maximalist?), and I’ve come to terms with that. But there’s no reason for me to have so much of my own.

For years, I kept it to a minimum. When you work in the newspaper industry, you have to move a lot, so you learn to pare down to the bare minimum. But I’ve lived in the same place for seven years, which is about five years longer than I’ve ever lived anywhere as an adult. Over time, junk builds up. Having a teenage son who, if left to his own devices would be a hoarder, does not help.

Still, I purged and purged my home. Yet it’s all still there.

Anyway, the moving is nearly over. I have a tenant in my house, and I’ve only got a little bit of stuff to move from the garage. Then I’ve got to move some stuff from my dad’s garage to the new house,  and, voila! I’ll have stuff in ONE PLACE! That will be amazing.

I’ll have one week between the end of work and the beginning of school to get things organized and unpacked. I plan to start with books, since I just now finished my bookshelf project.

I had seen on Pinterest and other places online where people were using contact paper on the inside backs of bookshelves to give them a little pop. I had two bookshelves that needed updating. One even had a big, gaping hole in the back that my son had torn out for some reason.

But the biggest problem was finding contact paper in a pattern that I like, so I decided to get fabric and Mod Podge it.

I got this natural duck “zigzag” fabric from Hobby Lobby, and it was kinda costly. But it was the only one I liked.

With a flat screwdriver, I pulled the backing off the bookshelf — just a cheapo shelving unit I probably got at Target or something many years ago — and lay it on the floor. I got the Hard Coat Mod Podge because that’s what some blog told me to do.

I used a Mod Podge roller to get it on evenly, but it didn’t quite come out the way I wanted.

“Didn’t you smooth it out?” the Jedi asked.

“With a roller, even!”

I used a manual staple gun to reattach it, and here’s the result:

ImageI’m somewhat pleased with it. As you can see, the fabric looks a little discolored. It’s not as bad in person, and it will be covered with books and such. It was difficult to get so much Mod Podge saturated into the fabric on such a large surface. Hence the blotches.

As soon as I bought the fabric, I found this contact paper on Amazon:


Gaa! But I bought it anyway, and used that to line the shelves in the bathroom closet, which I will post a pic of later. (It looks awesome!)

For the second shelf, I bought some contact paper at Meijer that I kind of liked. The Jedi helped me with this one, and he got a nice taste of the reason I have successfully avoided most crafts my whole life.

“It’s fine! It’s done, dammit!” I said, slapping the contact paper down, wrinkles and all.

“You really need to work on your patience.”

Anyway, there was a big, gaping hole that we just covered up. The hardest part was getting the two pieces of paper to line up exactly. But we did a decent job of it.

And here’s the finished result:

ImageI’m very happy with the way it turned out. Yes, those are my high school yearbooks and a scrapbook that I put there to cover the wrinkles give perspective.

Now, I can start putting all my books on the shelves to prepare for school. It might become a real office soon, but first I have to get the cat pee smell out of the carpet.

2 thoughts on “Bookshelf makeover … two different ways

  1. Very nice and Martha Stewart of you. Jedi sounds like he gave you good advice on seeking patience…ha-ha!

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