I should have given this post the title of “Restyling the Back of the Bookshelf – Again!” This particular bookshelf has been through several transitions since my father made it for me when I was a teenager. (Yep – a long time ago).
Here is what the original bookshelf looked like for more than 20 years. It was very well made but the plywood chip board backing has always been a little bit of an eyesore. I had lots of books though so you could never really see the back.
Over the years it has been in various locations in different houses. The kid’s rooms for books and toys, back to my bedroom for books, and for the last several years it has sat in the kitchen table nook of our house. Here is where it has seen the most transformations.
First, I decided to paint it and re-stain the top in a dark finish. Then I added a faux back to it using poster board paper and wallpaper.
This look for the bookshelf certainly had a more farmhouse feel to it with it’s light yellow colored strips. I really liked it at the time.
That look has lasted a couple of years now but the poster board has come loose from the back of the shelf and gotten a little tired and boring to me. In fact, you can tell from the photos this bookshelf has become a dumping ground for various things including the paint supplies for our current renovation project in the adjacent family room.
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Restyling the Back of a Bookshelf
For this project you will need:
- Foam Core Boards
- Modge Podge
- Fabric of your choice
- X-ACTO Knife or razor blade
This time, I decided I wanted a more colorful and vibrant look for the shelf.
After a few weeks of mulling over the possibilities of paint, wallpaper, or fabric, I came across a bright fabric remnant at Walmart for only $3.23 that was the perfect blend of blues and greens to make the decor in the living room and kitchen. Score!
I still didn’t want to permanently attach anything to the back of the shelf and poster board isn’t a great option because it is too flimsy. Removing the back of the shelf is NOT an option – did I happen to mention it was very well made? This time I decided to use foam core boards instead.
Since I already had the perfect templates for the sizes I needed from the previous backing so it was just a matter of measuring them on to the foam core boards and cutting them out using the Exto Knife. I did need longer lengths so I first had to tape two pieces together and then measure out the lengths.
To cover the foam core in the fabric, I layed the boards on the fabric, making sure to match up the patterns as best as possible and then cut out the lengths of fabric. To attach the fabric I used the Modge Podge as sort of a glue and folded in the edges on the back of the board much like a present. Very easy and easy to remove the fabric in the future and reuse the boards.
This was a very easy project and it certainly packs a punch on the new look of the shelf.
So much better…
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the person who seeks him.”
Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai says
What a special piece of furniture! Love the foam board and fabric — a fantastic idea for restyling… again! 🙂 #HomeMattersParty
Life With Lorelai
Brenda Young says
Love the makeover Donna, and what a great way to bring in pattern and color that’s easy to update! Thanks for sharing your project at Fridays Furniture Fix!
What a great update I have a shelf that I’ve painted probably 10 times since I was in high school! #HomeMattersPArty
We all have pieces like our shelves that we just keep tweaking.
This is such a great update Donna! I love the design you chose as well! #HomeMattersParty
I love how easy you made that shelf look so good again! I should do this on our bookshelves. #HomeMattersParty
Thanks Nicole. I’m really liking it more these days.
What a creative idea! I might just use it! Pinning!
Natalie @nelidesign says
I find it really funny that we’re both restyling the back of a book shelf for the next party!! 😉 Nice work #HomeMattersParty
Great minds think alike.