Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bookshelf Redo

I have had this “Billy Bookcase” from IKEA for five years – since my very first apartment in Dallas. (Unsurprisingly, they still sell it. One of the many great things about IKEA – if you have a favorite item, have no fear… it will always be there.) 
As we were getting rid of stuff before we moved to KC, I was so over this bookcase and tempted to add it to the “no” pile. But then, inspired as always by Pinterest, I decided that rather than having to buy a new bookshelf, I would just redo this one! Here are some of the pretty pictures that made me keep Billy:

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I love the pop of pattern/color in the back of these shelves, and it was also clear after seeing these that I needed to paint Billy white. So, with a little can of white enamel paint and some sandpaper, I got to work. To give the paint some grip, I lightly sanded each of the shelves (all but the middle one are removable) and the sides before painting. The painting was definitely the most time consuming part, as I had to do three or four coats to get the look I wanted. 
I debated how to get a pretty pattern onto the back of the shelves. I looked into wallpaper, but I couldn't find a pattern I loved that would cost under $125 (may as well buy new shelves at that point). I also thought about wrapping paper, but thought that may look cheap and couldn't find a good pattern. Then, my mom gave me the genius idea of cutting out a piece of cardboard that would wedge into the back of the shelf, and covering it in fabric. Simple, pretty, AND easily replaceable! 

I took a trip to Jo Ann Fabrics and lucked into just what I wanted at $5.99 a yard (total cost was $12... how bomb is that?!). I also found cardboard there that could be cut down to fit. The rest was cake...

I had to do the backing in two pieces because of the one fixed shelf. I cut the fabric in half, and Dac helped me cut the cardboard to the shelf measurements. Then, I tightly wrapped the fabric around the back and just taped it on!

Then it was just a matter of inserting the boards and putting in the shelves...
...and VOILA!

Of course I have to show you how it looks decorated too...

What do you think? Better than the old plain brown look??

By the way, that little painting hanging next to the shelves... my little brother Sam painted that HIMSELF. Isn't it amazing?! He's the best. Of course Katie got one in her wedding dress too.


  1. Jayne I LOVE this!!! I want a "Billy" now!!! haha.. we DO have IKEA over here ;) It turned out VERY cute!

  2. Way to "repurpose" Jayne. The book shelf looks awesome. Love your mom's idea to use the cardboard. That Rhonda, what an idea person.
    I didn't realize Sam was so talented in the painting genre. It really does look like you!

  3. I LOVE this idea -- I have a billy bookcase too that is in sore need of a makeover!!!