Decorating Furniture Renovation Simple Projects

2 Minute Project: Bookcase Makeover

I generally think of myself as a clean and tidy person…I am…really…until I notice that I have blinders on regarding certain areas in my house. Well sometimes the blinders come off and then…YIKES!!


This is one of those Yikes areas of my home. (Please do not look too closely at the cork board covered in 3 years worth of wedding announcements and outdated Costco coupons.) Bookcases can be useful and necessary, but they can also be a place to shove unwanted items. Well this bookcase in my kitchen nook area was my go-to shove-it-somewhere-because-people-are-coming-over-and-everyone-knows-that-bookcases-don’t-count place. Well, needless to say, yesterday morning while eating breakfast I actually looked at the offensive corner and realized something had to be done.

Commence Project: Bookcase Makeover


The bookcase is one of those cheap, IKEA-like bookcases…you buy them for function, but they don’t really have any style. A girl needs some style in her life. Bookcases that basically consist of a few laminated particle boards and a fake cardboard back do not, I repeat, do NOT equal style.

So I put on my WWAD (What Would April Do) Hat and decided that a fun backdrop on my bookcase would be just the inspiration I needed to keep it clean(ish). This project was very quick and easy and only cost me about $30. I know that others could do it for much less, but I don’t have that kind of patience.

bookcase makeover materials

Materials and Tools I used: (Note the other options I mention below)

  • Scrapbook paper-Note other options below
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Exacto Knife or some razor blade
  • Straight Edge (I used a metal square)
  • Cutting surface

The first order of business was going to the local scrapbook store. There I found some square scrapbook pages that I liked and got about 15-20 sheets. (A way to save money would be to actually know just how many pages you need so you do not over buy, but that requires planning ahead and that is not my talent. Look to my sisters for this. April designed a whole cart from scraps and even designed the plans.)

You could also save money by choosing a different material. Why not use old pages from a book instead of scrapbook paper? You can get the book from a local goodwill for a dollar or two. I also thought it might be interesting and fun to use newspaper, left over roll of wrapping paper, or children’s artwork. My only concern with these options is that it may be slightly more difficult because they are thinner pieces of paper.

But you can count on me to do the quick and easy thing, so the scrapbook store worked well for me. (Despite what my sisters think, I do care about costs, so I passed on some awesome papers that were $2+ a sheet.) The great thing about the scrapbook paper is its thickness. The thickness was helpful in putting up the pieces, because you didn’t have to be concerned that it would wrinkle. This made the project very fast. (It is also very useful to have a Robear in your life; working with someone sped everything up.)


After cutting off the unwanted edges of the scrapbook paper, we sprayed the backboard and the back of the paper with spray adhesive, waited 15 seconds and then placed the pages on the backboard. They will stick together without any chance of getting them apart, so be careful when putting them up. (The thick cardstock made it much easier.)

The paper I chose had a bid of yellowing on the sides which makes it look old. If you don’t want the seams to show up as much as mine do, make sure that you choose a paper without any gradation of color on the edges.

bookcase makeover in progress

Make sure to have a straight-edge and a razor blade to cut the paper to size.


For my bookcase makeover I choose to use two types of paper. One color on top and one on the bottom. Mostly I did this because I couldn’t decide which I liked better, but there is no real stopping anything you want to do.



I really like the end result and perhaps it will even stay looking tidy for a day or two.

bookcase makeover final

If you do a bookcase makeover be sure to show us what you’ve done.


  • And you also cleaned off the cork board. 😉 I like the two tone paper look-great job! It reminds me a little of the old pie cupboards(?) with the designs punched into the aluminum fronts.

  • I love the way the bookcase looks now. It looked fine and functional before, but now it has more personality. Great job. I want to do this to my Ikea bookcases now.

  • It looks so great! Way to go Brooke! It was fun for me to be able to help. Such a crafter you are!