Fabric Lined Bookcases

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I have been struggling with what to do with a corner of our living room for some time.  During the holidays, our 10′ Christmas tree fits perfectly in this corner.  However, the other eleven months of the year, it sits bare and I can never figure out what to do with the space:

When we moved my daughter to her new room and had to relocate my office space to the basement, we lost a lot of book storage.  Hubs and I both have a lot of books and reference materials from grad school with no where to put it.  What we really needed was a bookcase.  I was kind of on the fence about purchasing a bookcase because I didn’t really think it was something we would use in a future house and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t find something at a reasonable price for the “we might not use this forever” timeframe and kind of gave up on the search.

We don’t have a TV in the space so for awhile, I considered getting an armoire to put angled in the corner so we could at least watch the news while we are cooking dinner in the evenings.  The price to buy an armoire did not excite me so again, I kind of gave up on this idea.

I was at Target one day just looking at some of the new fall accent tables and chairs and stumbled upon this lovely Threshold brand bookcase:


Well how about that.  I thought it was at least a contender, so I took a quick picture of the bookcase and texted hubs the dimensions and asked him to get to the living room stat to see if not one, but two might fit in our empty corner… and they did!  Fireworks shot off and… ok actually I was just really excited.

I knew two plain dark wood bookcases were not going to make our room retain the light and airy feel we had from our floor to ceiling windows.  I considered wallpapering the bookcases but I didn’t want the light to reflect off the wallpaper in any way shape or form and knew a fabric would make for the same look, but with a softer finish.  I went to JoAnn’s Fabrics and found this lovely pattern:

This is the part of the project where I probably should have considered buying spray adhesive.  There was no way in H E double hockey sticks I was going to be spraying that in my house.  It was also 95+ degrees so I wasn’t really interested in spraying in the garage either.  I ended up grabbing a container of Mod Podge thinking that might be a good alternative.  The fabric didn’t need to be stuck on like super glue, it just needed to bond long enough for me to adhere the backing of the bookcase to the bookcase frame.
These are the supplies I used:
1.) Foam paint brush
2.) Edger
3.) Mod Podge
I started by trimming the fabric down, but not exactly to size.  I made sure I had a couple inches on all sides to give me a little wiggle room should the Mod Podge bond quickly and not allow for repositioning.  Once the fabric was cut, I laid it down on top of the bookcase backing and folded it back in half to paint the Mod Podge onto the bookcase backing:

I used the foam brush to spread the Mod Podge out in a thin layer over the bookcase backing:

Then I carefully laid the fabric down over the Mod Podge and used the edger to smooth out any bubbles or lumps:

I allowed the bookcase backing to dry with the fabric glued on for at least an hour before I trimmed the fabric off {I used a pair of scissors}.  Then I simply screwed the backing onto the bookcases per the directions.  There was no difficulty with the screws due to the fabric {which was my other concern going into this!}.  Everything worked nicely!

I repeated this process until all four panels were complete.  I positioned the bookcases along the wall together and placed our basket where we store our blankets just in front.  I was tempted to leave them as is, but, unfortunately, I needed to fill the shelves with books.  More on that later this week!



I hope you have lots of fun lining everything and anything with fabric!


7 replies
  1. Carrie
    Carrie says:

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve been thinking about doing this for over a year. It’s now at the top of my “To Do” List.


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