Friday, July 29, 2011

Fabric Bookshelves

If you will remember, my mom came to Houston back in May to help us fix up our apartment. We painted and painted and painted some more! Our apartment was really starting to feel like home when she left, but I still had a few projects left on my list to "complete" our digs.

Scott and I decided that this week would be our week of ultimate productivity. We were going to tackle these projects one by one until all most of those projects were struck off our list! I must say, we accomplished a lot these past few days.
Among my list of projects:

.paint wall shelves in our bedroom
.paint lamp stands in our bedroom
.paint side tables in our bedroom
.put fabric on the bookshelves in the living room
.spray paint antique window with chalk paint

As you can see, the only thing I lack is putting chalk-paint on an antique window. Another day.

I have been pleased with how each of these projects have turned out, but I am the most squirrely (excited) about how the fabric on the bookshelves looks!! It took lots of time, cutting, ironing, gluing, more gluing, more cutting, but it's done and I think it looks pretty swell!

This project is perfect for those of you who are renting and are not allowed to paint anything in the apartment. The fabric is applied to the walls in such a way that it can be peeled off when you have to move, or if you're just tired of the way it looks. We are lucky enough to be able to paint, but I just liked the idea of fabric vs. paint for our little bookshelves.

What you need:

-fabric scissors and/or rotary cutter with cutting board
-liquid or spray starch **this was an EPIC fail when I tried it... I followed the internet instructions, but the fabric just would NOT stick.
It's possible that the fabric would not adhere to the starch because there are layers and layers of paint on the bookshelves, creating a slick surface. ANYWHO, Mod Podge worked SO MUCH better!**
-Mod Podge, a.k.a. magic gluey stuff that adheres anything to everything and dries clear. I. love. this. goop.
-large paint brush
-small bowl
-jelly roll pan (fancy name for a cookie sheet with a raised rim on the sides)
-straight edge
-exacto knife
-iron & ironing board
-tape measure

What to do (these instructions are for applying fabric to one part of the shelf, repeat steps for all other shelves.):
-Using a tape measure, measure the back wall of your bookshelf.
-Cut your fabric so that it measures 1" longer than the shelf dimensions on all sides. For example, if your shelf measures 24"X14", cut your fabric to 26"X16". Iron out any wrinkles, if necessary.
-Fill the small bowl with water and place it on the inside of the jelly roll pan, so as to prevent spillage onto the floor
-Pour a decent amount of Mod Podge into the jelly roll pan
-Using a large brush, wet the brush in the water, then apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the back surface of the shelf, making sure to apply Mod Podge into the corners and edges of the surface

-While the Mod Podge on the shelf is becoming slightly dry and tacky, coat the back of one fabric piece with Mod Podge, making sure to leave a 1/2" un-Podged around the perimeter

-Place the fabric piece on the shelf, leaving the 1" of extra fabric around the perimeter
-Using a straight edge, smooth the fabric over the surface to remove any bumps and air bubbles

-Once the Mod Podge has dried, take an exacto knife and trim off the excess fabric, using a straight edge to guide your cut
-Repeat the above steps to complete your shelves!



I have a confession to make. My abilities in trimming the fabric were not stellar. My knife was not very sharp, so I had several places where the edges were jagged... But! Have no fear! You can cover these places with carefully placed objects...

You can't even tell, can you...?

With sticky Mod Podge fingers,



Anonymous said...

L.O.V.E them! Great job! How did you keep the stripes so straight?! Awesome.


Kaleb Fulgham said...

You did both shelves!!! They look great. Good job, Hannah!

Jana Schofield said...

Love the bookshelves! I tried to do the same thing with ours a while back using contact paper or wall paper, but alas, it turns out nobody sells that stuff anymore, at least not in any cute patterns. Fabric is a great idea! I may have to borrow it to finish up with our shelves. :)

Stephanie said...

Cute! I love the stripey fabric in your bookshelves!