Wreck The DIY: Bookshelf Makeover

Moving into my first apartment has been, hands down, one of the most exciting things I have ever done in my life. And before you ask, yes, I have traversed Europe, and yes, I have been to a One Direction concert. Getting my apartment still wins.

Getting my first place was exciting because it was one of the first times in my life that I had complete control over something. I got to decide where the furniture went, how the silverware would be organized, were we going to hang paintings above the couch or over the TV? I got to create my space in exactly the way I wanted it, and it felt empowering.

Now, when I get to create something new to add to my house, it gives me that same feeling of when we initially moved in. As you can imagine, that means I have been creating a LOT of stuff.

One thing we have needed since we moved in was a bookshelf in the living room, but shelving is expensive and stacking books on the floor is free. But when I found out that my grandmother’s secondhand shop had a children’s bookshelf that she couldn’t sell, I asked if it could be my birthday present (yes, I do solicit my own birthday presents). She agreed, and I got my hands on a free bookshelf.

The only roadblock was that it was ugly AF.

Bookshelf Before Edited.jpg



Now, I’m sure that some parent worked really hard to paint this for their kid. If I were five, I’d be stoked to have this bookshelf. But I’m not five. I’m twenty-two, and I have standards (sort of).

But the bones of the bookshelf are excellent. It’s sturdy but lightweight, easy to move around but not weak. It just needed a little makeover. Since this week has given us a major cold spell (10 degrees, people. 10!) it seemed like the perfect time to stay inside and knock out this DIY.


I started out with some FolkArt Chalk Paint in a Spanish Moss color. FolkArt is a consistently reliable brand, widely available, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

I like the Chalk Paint for furniture because it has a very natural look, and it doesn’t leave behind that tacky feeling that glossy paints can sometimes create. You can also manipulate it to have a distressed look, if that’s what you’re going for, or you can leave it as-is.



After doing two coats, I let it dry and then loaded my books onto it. I chose to put out my classic books, because I think they look neat and they give the appearance that I’m smarter than I actually am.

One of my favorite ways to decorate the tops of shelves is to drape some leftover fabric over it. I always buy too much fabric for the holidays, so it’s an easy way to use something that didn’t end up in one of my projects. It’s just one of those little touches that adds a lot of personality.

Since Halloween is around the corner, I added some Jack-o-lantern fabric and then placed decorations on top. I chose to add my Pumpkin Patch Hayride candle and two small knick-knacks, but you could also do photo frames or LED candles, both of which look really good for year-round decorations.

I put my camera gear on the bottom, and the Great Bookshelf Makeover was complete.


Books on Shelf.JPG



Do you have a special piece of furniture in your house that you love dearly? For me, it’s my couches. They’re comfy enough to sleep on, but you don’t completely fall into them when you sit down.

If you have any home projects lying around unfinished, let this serve as your reminder to get up and get working. That table isn’t gonna refinish itself.

Until next time, stay warm and wreck your DIY.

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