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:
Now to load up my newly modded bookshelf!