Making bookshelves look better

Remember way back when I showed you this picture of my guest room. I was a little like the Wizard of Oz , telling you "don't worry about what's behind the curtain, I'll show you later." Well that day has finally arrived.

Be afraid! Be very afraid!! Messy, messy, bookshelves. Crammed full of stuff. Ugh!

The bookshelves themselves are also ugly. They are "oak" veneer. But I don't want to get rid of them because they are sturdy and they hold a lot of stuff. I don't want to paint them because, well.......I'm too lazy. ;)

So how to make them a little easier on the eyes????? First I de-cluttered and donated stuff. Then all the books and un-slightly things (like the printer) went on the bottom shelves.

I lined the top shelves with textured wallpaper. I just used packing tape on the back to hold it up and the shelves also keep the paper in place.

Here's a close up of the wallpaper.

My wonderful friend Sarah sewed some simple curtains for me using tan and cream ticking fabric. I hung the curtains with skinny tension rods.

So much better, right!!! A nice, clean ,country, look. For very little money and not too much effort either ( especially when someone else does the sewing for you, lol).

I've been gathering attractive storage boxes so I can still hide away clutter on the top shelves.

Of course I still had to have some accessories!

Garage sale basket, vintage crown tin from Ebay.

I found the ticking fabric at Walmart.

The antique Pepsi crate came from Pottery Barn. It was actually less money than crates at my local antique store. The "twiggy" basket was from the garden department at Lowes. It is meant for planting flowers.

So pretty! If I say so myself! It's amazing how much you can get done when your kid goes back to school. :)

Okay, now I'm "keeping it real' by showing you that I still have another bookshelf to do. I promise I'll show you when the project is 100% complete. I'd better get to work!


  1. oh those shelves look GORGEOUS!! I love ALL the baskets and containers you have on there..
    Welcome back too! Sorry about the virus

  2. It looks great, Lisa! I like how you changed it up and showed how you did it without painting it. The curtains definitely help give it a totally different look.

  3. I love all your cool accessories! The bookshelf look great :0) Welcome back, we missed you and I'm glad your computer is doing better now!!

  4. I love the idea of the curtains to cover all those necessary but unsightly things. You did good. The book cases look fabulous. Hugs, Marty

  5. I think it looks great. Love the easy curtain fix. I'm with you on painting it. YUK! I painted a bookcase like that recently and whatever I did, I did it wrong. The paint is all peeling off. What a mess. I will eventually replace it, but will not try to repaint it. Thankfully, it's in the schoolroom covered with books so you can't really see my mess.

  6. Hi Lisa,
    I was wondering what happened to you. I'm glad that you are back.
    I like what you did with your bookcase. The little curtain looks great. Love the baskets and how you've organized everything.

    Great Job!


  7. Looks great! I made a little burlap curtain for my little bookshelf in the kitchen. The kids each have a basket and it still never looked clean so I just hide it all! Can't wait to see what you will do with the other bookshelf!


  8. That looks great! I love the Thyme box at the top, so adorable.

  9. You are the queen at accesorizing! Love how you decorated the top shelves. Good thing we can come as a team - I do the sewing and you do the decorating. We could rule the world! *evil laugh* If you want to get the curtains to hang better you could weight down the bottom hem. No sew way = taping heavy washers to the bottom hem. Easy peasy!

  10. Hi Lisa, A great makeover, your shelves look charming! The mini curtains with the tension rods is a super clever idea!
    Thanks for visiting :-)

  11. Hi Lisa! fantastic makeover! I love the way you used the courtains!!!

  12. Ha! I had to laugh out loud when you showed the last picture of yet another set of bookshelves yet to be touched!!
    Wow girl!! Well done...your first set looks wonderful. Love the curtain panels!!

  13. What a change a little time and creativity can make! Looks really good!

  14. What a difference! It looks so much softer now with the fabric. Your accessories add just the perfect touch. I love storage baskets of all shapes, sizes, and textures. Great transformation:-)

  15. Ha! You're so honest. I love it. I love your bookshelf transformation. It's so different than what you normally see out there. It kind of looks like a hutch right now. I love it! I'd also love it if you joined my Friday link party!

  16. You did such a great job on this.
    I would have never thought to use wallpaper on the back!

    I adore all of your boxes and vintage things.


  17. Great job with your shelves! An excellent alternative to painting them!

  18. I love it! And I was wondering where you were! I figured you were enjoying your boys for the summer. Glad your computer is feeling better! ;D

  19. I like the new look of the 1/2 bookcase. The white paper is an added bonus. I am sure the other side will look just as nice.

  20. Lookin great, how nice to have a good friend that sews. Kay

  21. What an improvement! You are lucky to have those shelves - they hold a ton of stuff!

  22. LOL!! Your closing statement made me laugh. :) Such a pretty revamp, Lisa! Great compromise when we still need 'ugly' storage.


  23. yeah - what a great cover the choice of ticking too mmmmmm....I did a similar coverup of our dvd storage shelves on my most recent post too! LOVE screening that ugly stuff off!