There is a little nook area in our home that I have been wanting to redo for a while now. About 4 years ago we purchased one of those $20 bookcases at Target and it’s still holding up (you’re probably nodding your head because you have one within your home too!). The structure was still in tack, BUT there were a few scratches and it was just very dull looking. So, I decided to add my interior sparkle to it. Let’s just say it’s now one of my favorite areas in our home. All this piece needed was to be “kicked up a notch” in design. I’m very proud of this little bookcase and even though it’s not a “forever piece” it adds just the right chicness with the soft pastel hues I incorporated.
Here’s the honest truth though, it did take a bit of time to complete (mainly because I had a few complications that I’ll share below, but in the end it turned out beautiful)! It’s a chic bookcase that displays collected items I found within my home. Oh yeah, one more thing…I used gift wrap paper to add that special elevated element to it along with some of the refurbished fence post wood I recently found. Just wait, you’ll see…
- 6 fence post boards
- catalina mist spray paint
- gift wrap paper (I found this beautiful design on clearance at JoAnns!)
- mod podge
- paint brush
- and of course an old bookcase
I started with measuring out the wood and cutting it to fit into the slots as shelves. I just used the reclaimed wood that I had. If you’re wanting to do something similar to your bookcase I would recommend finding one solid wood piece to fit within the slot, it would just be much easier. My pieces were not wide enough, so I had to use 3 boards per slot. For the middle shelf I decided to keep the old one and just paint over it using a a grey tinted paint with the lace chalky paint on top. This shelf is bowing in a bit, so hopefully with it flipped over and books on top with time it’ll bend back to shape, if it doesn’t I’ll find a new piece of wood to replace it.
Quick story! I’m not very handy yet with tools. I seriously had a hard time just using a drill (I actually youtubed “how to use a drill”.) PLUS, we didn’t have the right screws, so the boards are just sitting on top of the old ones. It doesn’t look bad for now, I may come around to fixing it at a later point . =)
^^^^This above picture was the plan I had in mind. My goal was to drill the two horizontal boards so that they would attach together. Then I was going to flip it over and use it as a full board for the book shelves. Maybe if I buy the right screws I’ll try again. Right now they’re just sitting on top of the old shelves, which doesn’t look bad, as the old shelves are hardly visible.
AND we’re back to the steps…
Then I attempted to use mod podge to adhere the gift wrap paper to the top part of the bookcase. Not going to lie, this was a bit of a trial for me because the mod podge made the paper wrinkle. (Wall paper would actually work much better.) After about 4 trials (I wish that was a joke…), I kept trying to think of other ways I could make the gift wrap paper stick. Leave it to me to be in this situation! HA HA! I didn’t have double-sided tape or any other type of adhesive, so I decided to go ahead and start spray painting the top of the bookcase using the catalina mist color.
(I didn’t spray paint the inside because my can ran out, talk about problems, huh?! The end result still looks good though.)
Luckily, as I was spray painting I had a thought occur to me that I could possibly use the spray paint as an adhesive (What did I have to lose, right?!) I was really nervous doing it because I thought I would definitely screw everything up.
While the spray paint was still tacky I quickly placed the cut out gift wrap paper on top. (Phew, this is quite a story!) Here’s the surprising part, it actually worked and it’s still holding strong. I ended up using the mod podge on the bottom of the top piece, as the gift wrap paper came around the edge. This was okay becuase no one sees that anyways. Now, like I said this isn’t a “forever piece” so I’m not expecting it to last for many years. I had to improvise on the spot because Little Johnny was napping and I didn’t have time to run to the store once he was up. This is what I could come up with on the spot, and I’m still happy with it.
Quick note: Please excuse the poor quality of lighting with my photos! The only time I could take them was in the wee early morning hour, PLUS this little nook area has terrible lighting!
Wahlah! My beautiful chic & elevated bookcase! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Now, let’s talk about styling decor items…
Tips on how to style a bookcase:
Right now we are at a stage in our life where splurging on home decor is just not in our budget. Well, I didn’t let this stop me from updating my bookcase with decor items. I rummaged through my home used a little bit of spray paint ,and the results are just perfect. Now, remember my style is the shabby chic, beachy & rustic design (a lot of mixture all in one, but they tend to flow together.)
Here are some tips that I found to be helpful while decorating my bookcase.
- Provide a mixture of heights within your decor items…tall, short, long, ect.
- I love going through my home and finding decor items that provide a variety of texture to them.
- glass ware
- sea shells
- Round, square, diamond, triangle, circle, trees, animals, you name it!
- The above picture is an upcycled tiki torch that I am using to provide height within my decor. I took out the tin that holds the fuel and popped in a mason jar. I’m loving the result!
- This adds a unique appeal to your display.You can rummage through your home like I did, OR shop at thrift stores, garage sales, or home
Show off your collection
- Arrange books in a unique way that draws your attention.
- display books horizontal with books stacked on top of each other.
- Display your decor collections at different levels on your shelves.
Picture Frames or Artwork
- When you have too many colorful books displayed use black and white artwork to help to tone the colors down.
Painting your shelves
- This always freshens things up, you can either add a pop of color or keep it neutral with whites and greys (you all! Did you know that gray is becoming the NEW white?)
- OR add a patterned look using wall paper, stencils, or gift wrap paper.
- Use wood, glass, or metal to give your bookcase a dynamic & chic look.
Display Unique Vases
- I used a glass pitcher and placed one small flower to give it more of a soft edge to the decor.
I had so much fun making over this bookcase (even with the little hiccups here and there). I hope you were inspired and found some of these tips helpful!
P.S. The best part about this project was that it cost my $9 and some change. =)
Happy DIY Friday!
Wishing You Well,
Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life