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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bookshelf Makeover!

After perusing Pinterest and getting real life advice, I decided to take the plunge and makeover the bookshelf in my office/craft room.  The timing is right, because we just finished painting the entire room a lovely shade of lavender.  I decided to give Mod Podge a try.  So please join me on my maiden Mod Podge voyage!

I'm on a budget here, so I've been actively avoiding craft stores, which abound in the area I live in.  Instead, I went to Wal-Mart to get a 16 oz. container of Mod Podge for $6.97, plus tax.

I decided to go with the regular, matte finish Mod Podge, because for 7 bucks it'd better last me for some future projects, right?  I already had some fabric picked out for my bookshelf mod in my stash: a green and white polka dot print from Ikea that I bought at $1.99 per yard several years ago.  It was too heavy a cloth to use for clothing, so I ended up saving all 3 yards I purchased for a future date.  And today was that date!

Here are some before pictures of my bookshelf:

It's not the prettiest bookshelf in the world, but I have to keep it because my husband made it before he met me.  Because it's homemade, the shelves are fixed, so I have to mod it one section at a time.  I did not prep the wood at all; I figured if Mod Podge is all it's cracked up to be, I shouldn't have to sand anything.

MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE:  I did the first section a bit on the fly, thinking that an Exacto knife would take care of the overages.  Boy, was I wrong.  While the "trim away the excess" approach might work with a lighter weight fabric, my Ikea fabric was clearly intended for home decor purposes, so I failed miserably when I attempted to trim it with a knife after adhering it.  

Instead, I took accurate measurements and cut a piece of fabric to match each section, starching and pressing the fabric before attempting to adhere it to the bookshelf.  Then came the fun part:

MOD PODGE: If you've never used this stuff before, beware--it doesn't have the most pleasant smell.  It kind of reminded me of Elmer's glue on steroids.  I brushed it on in sections (I was warned that it dries fairly quickly) with a foam brush straight out of the bottle.  

I don't have many pictures of this process because it took two hands!  I am right-handed, so this is totally a staged shot!  I quickly realized that these type of in-process pics wouldn't help because mod podge is the same color as my bookshelf, so you really can't see it.  

Anyhow, I pasted on the fabric a fourth at a time, smoothing it carefully with my hands and I went.  Because of how heavy my fabric was, I found myself having to hold the remainder of the fabric as I went, because the sheer weight of the fabric would pull on the already-glued fabric.  

I put on a layer of mod podge over the fabric once it was in place, and voila!  The finished product:

You can totally see some of my brushstrokes on the first attempt:  I probably was a bit too liberal with the mod podge, but the subsequent sections seem fine.  I also did not worry about perfecting the edges:  a bookshelf is for holding books, right?  I will be loading up this bookshelf with enough stuff to cover up or play down any imperfections, so I'm good.  For that same reason, I won't be applying any additional sealant.  The mod podge left a bit of tacky feeling to my fabric, but I'm on a budget, remember?  My estimated cost for this little project is $8.00, since I used a little more than half of my mod podge (a more experienced mod podger would use less, I assume) and about 2 yard of my fabric.  This also took between two to three hours of my time.  Had the shelves or backing been removable, that would have decreased the project time greatly.

Now to load up my newly modded bookshelf!

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