Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bookshelf Revamp

I was inspired by several pins on Pintrest last month and actually followed-through on one of the ideas in less than two days! (Let's be honest, completing projects alone is an accomplishment but in two days? Yes.) My parents let me have these old bookshelves when I was in college and needed them to store books for my future classroom. When I finally got all of my books into my room I found that I still needed more storage space for all of the books in the room, so I took the shelves to school. If I could identify one area in the room that was most popular, it'd be the Author's Library (thank you hand-me-down shelves). I loved the placement of the shelves in front of my desk because it hid my piles.

Bookshelves in their classroom element (Author's Library).

Blah Bookshelves (Can you tell the back board needed help?)
Boring, brown bookshelf
So! Back to my summer project. When I moved the shelves out of my classroom I noticed how much wear and tear they'd gotten over the years. The bottom of one side is warped from wet mop water and the back boards had seen better days. I took my inspiration idea literally and painted the shelves with some white paint I had in the garage. Then I searched high and low for cute fabric or some other kind of inspiration. Well, I found it in the form of a rectangular vinyl tablecloth from the Dollar General store right up the street from my house!

Here is a tutorial of the steps I followed and photos!

Gluing the tablecloth to the back board.

Before you do anything: remove the backboard from the shelf.

Step 1: Paint the bookshelf! I did not use a primer and it took three coats. (The paint I used was just sitting in the garage. I realized later it was leftover from a house painting project. It is a high-gloss white paint for molding and trim... I like using high gloss paint for school projects because I can wipe down the surface easily.)

Step 2: Cut the vinyl tablecloth into two equal pieces. The tablecloth was the perfect size. Look at all of the excess material I had around the sides!

Step 3: Fold over and hot glue the edges, one side at a time. I had a washcloth nearby to help me press down on the vinyl (so that it wouldn't burn my fingers). Try to keep the vinyl tight as you move from one side to the next so that it won't sag or droop when it's attached to the bookshelf.

Step 4: Lay the bookshelf face down on the floor. (I recommend doing this on carpet, so that you don't scratch your pretty new paint job as you hammer.) Place the backboard on the bookshelf. Carefully line-up the backboard so that it is even on the back of the shelf (not hanging off to one side). Nail down the backboard.

Step 5: Stand up the bookshelf so that you can OOoo and Ahh at your accomplishment!

Total cost: $4.00 + tax
I am SO excited to include these beautiful bookshelves in my new classroom!

( Did I mention that the book basket labels I use in my classroom match perfectly?! )

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