Bookshelves are a great way to show off your decorative accents without adding clutter to a room; however most bookshelves are one color and lack interest or character, so I’m going to show you a quick and easy DIY Tutorial on how you can line the back of your bookshelf with scrapbook paper giving your boring bookcase a little personality and upscale style.  This is a fabulous upcycle project for an old bookshelf you have sitting around your house or a cheap thrift store find. It’s even great for situations like mine where you purchase a new bookshelf and want to give it a little something extra to make it pop.

After hanging the Wall Mount Bookshelves in the nursery I decided to use the same pattern of scrapbook paper to line the back of the bookshelf that I purchased. I thought it would really pull the pieces together and give the room more of an upscale feel. The bookshelf I purchased was unfortunately  pretty flimsy but the good thing about it was the back of the bookshelf actually came off, so I was able to take the back piece off making it VERY easy to line with scrapbook paper.

This project only took about 1 hour to complete from start to finish, so it’s a great beginner project! Here is a Before and After Picture (There was a huge glare on the glass so the pictures aren’t as great as I would have liked them to be, sorry)

"Bookshelf Before and After"

Here is what you will need:

  • Bookcase/Bookshelf
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint Brush
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Credit Card or some type of card to remove any air bubbles

Step 1: Remove the back of the bookshelf (This is done by unscrewing the screws that keep it in place). If your bookshelf back doesn’t come off then you should remove the shelves and lay it flat on it’s back. Make sure to wipe your bookshelf down with a wet cloth to remove any dust or dirt otherwise the paper will not stick as well.

"Remove bookshelf backing"

Step 2: Start by laying your scrapbook paper on the bookshelf to figure out how you are going to arrange it, this will help you to figure out how many pieces you are going to need (in case you don’t have enough) and how you are going to need to cut the scrapbook paper to make it fit. I started by placing the full sheets on the left side and was able to fit  2 full sheet across and 4 full sheets down. Then I had to cut a smaller pieces to fit in the remaining space (I used about 11 pieces of 12×12 scrapbook paper).

Before removing the pieces you have arranged number the back of each piece so you will know what piece goes where (this will help you keep them in order)


"Arrange Scrapbook Paper"

Step 3:  Now you can remove the pieces of scrapbook paper and prepare to Mod Podge them to the bookcase backing. Take the first piece of scrapbook paper and lay it in the place you are going to apply it. Then take a pencil and draw a mark on each side of the scrapbook paper so you will know the area to apply Mod Podge to.

"Mark where you are going to apply Scrapbook Paper"

Step 4: Apply Mod Podge to the area you marked on the back of the bookshelf

"Apply Mod Podge to Bookshelf Backing"

Step 5:  Apply Mod Podge to the back of the piece of scrapbook paper

"Apply Mod Podge to Scrapbook Paper"

Step 6:  Quickly place the scrapbook paper onto the back of the bookshelf and use a credit card or some type of card to gently scrape across the paper to remove any air bubbles (Sorry I didn’t take a picture showing this step)

Step 7: Continue the steps above Mod Podging all of the big pieces first then moving on to the smaller pieces

"Continue Mod Podging Scrapbook Paper"

Step 8: Once you get all of the full-size pieces of scrapbook paper mod podged then you should start mod podging the smaller pieces

"Mod Podge the Small Pieces"

When you have finished Mod Podging all of the pieces in place, this is what the back of the bookshelf will look like. It’s not perfect but after it’s in place and the decorative accents are placed on the shelf you won’t be able to see any of the uneven seams.

"Back of Bookshelf After"

Step 9: Re-attach the bookshelf backing onto the bookshelf and you are all done!

So….what do you think?

"DIY Bookshelf Backing"

I had to open one of the glass doors so you could see what it looks like (when I took a picture with the doors closed there was a huge glare making it extremely hard to see)

"DIY Bookshelf Backsplash"



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