I would definitely consider myself a cheap-shelf-addict. I am obsessed with those little shelves you can buy for next to nothing new and even closer to nothing at yard sales. I love them so much because they are cheap (inexpensive) and VERSATILE. They can be a book shelf, a craft organizer, a toy shelf, etc. etc. The sky’s the limit. Plus you can stack them for taller shelves or add a board on top for a cheap desk solution. Those are just a couple of ideas. The only drawback to these little inexpensive wonders is that they are BLAND.Here are some taller shelves that are more like the one I will be re-doing for this project.
Bland to Beautiful:
There are so many ways to make a cheap shelf look expensive, but one way I have found that is super easy is to cover the back of the shelf with contact paper. You could also use wrapping paper, wallpaper, etc.
The one I am using in this specific post is actually a taller bookshelf, but this could easily be done with any shelf really. You could do this with a hutch too.
Here are the directions step-by-step.
Sorry this picture shows the first layer of contact paper on already, but I forgot to take a pic of it bare.
Step 1: Remove the back of the shelf.
(Sometimes it may be easier to do it without removing the back. It can be a bit more difficult because everything will need to be super straight. Just use your best judgment. This method will just take more patience).
Use a hammer to pry the board away gently. Remove all of the nails.
Usually the back is a thin MDF, particle board, or sometimes even cardboard. If they are the cardboard type and you want something a little more durable, now would be a good time to cut a new piece of board and fit it to the back.
Time to Contact Paper:
Step 2: Unroll the contact paper over the board.
Tuck the end in to hold it and roll the paper down to the bottom of the board. Leave at least two inches overlap at the top, bottom, and side edge. Cut the excess contact paper off.
Step 3: Stick it.
Start from the top corner of the contact paper and begin to pull the backing off. I pulled about 6 inches of the backing off and then creased the backing flat in a triangle shape
Position the contact paper making sure that there is overlap on the sides and that it is straight. Press the exposed adhesive down. Start at the top and smooth it out as you work towards the creased area. Move your hand back and forth, working out any air bubbles.
When you get to the creased area, keep moving your hand back and forth along the seam as you use your other hand to slowly pull the backing away. Work your way to the end of the board, until it all of the contact paper is smoothed on. Make sure to avoid air bubbles as you go.
Step 5: Fold down the overlapping Sides and Smooth On.
I always start at the middle and work my way out to either side.
Step 6: Cut a piece to fit the width of the remaining section (leave overlap) and repeat Stick-On Process.
My “Helper” wouldn’t get off of her runway, so anyways…
Just a Note: If you are going to use the shelf to store anything electrical, now would be a good time to plan out any holes to cut for cords to go through to outlets.
Step 7: Re-Attach Back to Shelf.
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Stephaney - Me Flying Free
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