Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Backing a Bookcase

We bought a cheap white bookshelf from IKEA after this move for our books which we didn’t end up having space for in other rooms and to take up a little height on the walls. In Germany, we had the top room with a pitched roof that came down low so we weren’t used to our furniture needing to be tall!


I have been happy with it, but I had an itch to try out covering the back with fabric or paper. I even considered cheap contact paper but that seemed like it could become a mess!

Since we planned on this room being our guest room originally, we requested it be painted butter yellow. Once we moved in, we decided we liked the room for ourselves, so we’ve had to be ok with our mostly white furniture fading into light colored walls. Backing the bookcase with cheap burlap was one quick fix rather than tackling a repainting job…at least for now!


The back came off rather easy (thankfully my husband had not glued it together as he’d done with some IKEA assemble-yourself pieces). It is very thin so I could not wrap the burlap around it and staple it (like the bulletin board we recovered). I first tried spray adhesive but it was too non-permanent so I resorted to hot glue. This worked great, but watch your fingers—hot glue comes right through those holes!


I just took pictures of the finished product tonight so the lighting is different in the before and after. {Reminds me of one of those “What is different in these 2 pictures?” games!}

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A little closer up {yes, I think they’re cute!}


and back. 


What do you think? I’m getting used to since it’s still so new. I’ve definitely happy to have it accomplished! 

If you want to see another example of bookcases backed with fabric, check out the craft room bookshelves at Creating by Cami.  I’ve also seen other furniture lined with old pages from books or music sheets. Log that away for next time!

I’m sharing this at   Transformation Thursday   and  Furniture Feature Fridays


  1. Love it! The wheels are turning; I have a bookcase beside my computer that needs gussying up.

  2. You went the extra mile and it looks great. Jane F.

  3. Hey Jenni! Passing through from Miss Mustard Seed's. Great job! I love this idea and how the texture brings so much depth to a simple bookcase! I'm going to feature it on my Saturday shout out...come see it later today! Nice to meet you, shaunna :)

  4. What a clever idea! It gives that ho-hum shelf so much more interest and texture. The items on the shelf really pop against the fabric. This is a great, thrifty update. Nice work!



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