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Spruce Up Your Built-in Book Shelves With A Fabric Backdrop

22 February 2011

Spruce Up Your Built-in Book Shelves 
With A Fabric Backdrop
contributed by Honey We're Home

 In case you missed my guest post last week at Serenity Now, I’m sharing with you today.  I recently did a little more sprucing to the sitting room in the master bedroom by lining the back of the built-in bookshelves with fabric, using starch.  {I first heard of this when I saw Stephanie at Crea8tive Designs’ pantry}
Our sitting room is just off the bedroom and the bookshelves are on the far right wall.
shutters fabric bookshelf 004
shutters fabric bookshelf 025
A nice feature, for sure, but kind of bland as-is.  So, I started by scouring the fabric stores and found the perfect pretty floral print.  *swoon*

Fabric Bookcase finish 004

I decided to paint the back and sides of the bookcase a shade darker than the room to give the fabric a nice color to sit next to.  Rumor has it that after the fabric is applied, it is easily removable without damaging the walls.  If I ever tire of the fabric, the entire bookcase is already painted.
shutters fabric bookshelf 003
The most challenging part of this project was cutting the fabric to the exact width and length of the walls.  I realized my bookshelves were the same height, but the one on the left was considerably wider.  I cut my fabric into one giant piece before affixing the top corners to the wall with command strips. 
Then I used Sta-Flo liquid starch and a kitchen sponge to apply the starch directly on top of my fabric, really saturating it as I went.  I used a wallpaper straightener to stretch the fabric to the end of the shelves.
 shutters fabric bookshelf 004 shutters fabric bookshelf 008
shutters fabric bookshelf 009shutters fabric bookshelf 010
Even though I didn’t encounter any air bubbles while applying, be sure to smooth the fabric down with the straightener because the next day I did have a few.
Fabric Bookcase finish 001
Fabric Bookcase finish 002
Then I simply inserted the shelves back in (using one less than was there before to make room for some large photos I wanted to display).

Fabric Bookcase finish 007
Fabric Bookcase finish 008
I’m still adjusting the shelf heights and need to accessorize them, but here is a sneak peek.
Fabric Bookcase finish 018
Fabric Bookcase finish 025


laxsupermom February 22, 2011 at 7:20 AM  

Love this look! She chose such a pretty fabric and it was smart to paint first. Thanks for sharing.

Roseanna February 22, 2011 at 9:27 AM  

Love that paper...I have done this to all of my bookshelves. Except, I do it on made to measure foam core board (1/4). I have a problem with changing my mine. I use spray mount and fabric sometimes. Easy to change out. I re-use the foam core.

Cari's Ark February 22, 2011 at 3:40 PM  

I love what you have done with your bookshelves, they look lovely! I am in the process of redecorating my bathroom & I have been thinking about adding fabric to the front of my flat (ugly) white cabinets. I am worried about finishing off the edges. Do you have any suggestions?

Thank You!

DIAPERS in the DESERT February 23, 2011 at 6:37 PM  

BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Also, just wanted to let you know I gave you an award on my blog - http://diapersinthedesert.blogspot.com/2011/02/they-say-you-never-forget-your-first.html
Please don't feel obligated. I just want you to know how you are one of my FAV. Blogs!! Seriously, I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!

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