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The Easiest Way to Update a Ho-Hum Bookshelf

    The Easiest Update for your Ho-Hum Bookshelf / jones design company

    Audrey’s room has been an in-process project for well over a year. (Please tell me I’m not the only one whose projects drag on way longer than expected?!)

    We started with this design board idea, made the first updates, added a darling gallery wall and a cute diy bulletin board.  Things are going slowly, but coming along.

    In my dream world, we would have built-in bookcases and a bench made for the entire wall with the window (sort of like this).  But reality kicks in and this is just not a project we’re going to tackle, so instead I borrowed two nothing-special bookshelves we had laying around and flanked the window with them. They are just your average dark wood pieces of furniture, but they fit the space and are a great stand-in for the dream shelves.


    I had fleeting thoughts of painting the shelves white or gray or even something unexpected like minty-green, but once again, reality struck and painting furniture (and doing it well so that it doesn’t chip or scratch the first time she pulls the baskets out) is not a project this mama can take on right now.

    So on to option B: add cute paper to the back and call it done. This is for sure the easiest way to update a ho-hum bookshelf.


    I used a roll of wrapping paper I’ve been hoarding (I used some of it as the table runner for Audrey’s 4th Birthday party), scissors and poster putty.


    I removed the middle shelf, then cut a piece of paper larger than needed. I could have measured the inside of the bookshelf and transferred the measurements to the paper and cut precisely, but I was going for ease. Instead, I pushed the too-big piece inside the shelf, smoothed it out and creased where it needed to be cut.

    Next, I added a bunch of small dots of poster putty to the back of the shelf. You could use double-sided tape if you’d rather.

    Then add in the paper and smooth down, making sure you press the paper to the putty dots to stick.

    After a little bit of styling, here is the cute new shelf:

    The Easiest Update for your Ho-Hum Bookshelf / jones design company


    The Easiest Update for your Ho-Hum Bookshelf / jones design company

    The Easiest Update for your Ho-Hum Bookshelf / jones design company

    The paper gives the shelf a little more style and hint of color that’s just right for a little girl’s room.

    And the best part is, it took me all of 10 minutes to complete the project :)

    10 thoughts on “The Easiest Way to Update a Ho-Hum Bookshelf”

    1. That cheers up that bookcase! I did something similar in my medicine cabinet. I’ve heard about removable wallpaper from Target that I’d like to look into for putting on the back of my built in cabinets in my sunroom.

    2. What sweet bookshelves you created! The paper is perfect for a little girl’s room. Thanks for the tip on how you accomplished this, I have some bookshelves in mind….

    3. This is such a great idea. There are so many amazing wrapping papers to choose from. My son loves to draw so I might have him create his own.

    4. Cheryl Holsonbake (@cherylreads)

      I love these simple projects for smallish spaces! I have hoarded some 12×12 card stock that I love but that has never made its way into scrapbooks or other projects. I think it might be just the ticket for my bookshelf! Thanks.

    5. Cute idea! I have used bulletin board paper (old barn wood print) behind shelves in a china hutch and tried using double sided tape but it didn’t even begin to hold. I ended up using wallpaper paste. It was not perfect but it worked. Next time I’ll have to try the poster putty.

    6. Isn’t Gaston the BEST chilren’s book ???? . . .I do know some adults that should be schooled ! I Love your Blog , . . . . follow you all the time , Thank YOU ! . . .

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