Sunday, February 1, 2009

a life well lived

I have been meaning to make over this bookcase for weeks now and this weekend I finally got the desire/energy for it. This bookcase has LIVED a long & fabulous life since we've owned it. I think it was originally a beautiful oak tree somewhere that was content to be reincarnated and live forever as furniture. Well, in the 1980's my mother-in-law bought it and put it in Jason's room. He brought it with him (his dowry) into our marriage and I was fine with the 1980's bland syrupy color for years...

until little Paige came along. Then in 2003, it got a coat of white paint and a shabby chic kind of feel. It morphed into this little beauty. It stayed white but lost the chic over the years, and was just shabby - but still well used in my preschool room. It had turned grayish with time (not from fading paint, but dirty little hands, despite my scrubbing efforts) and I decided it was time for another change. In 2009 (just a few days ago) I painted it a soft rust color and decided I needed to somehow add fabric and give it a durable makeover to withstand even the germiest little hands, but look really cool in the process.

So I had a few fabrics in mind and ran them past my 6 year old. She said no to big brown polka dots. She said no to little brown polka dots (do we see a theme here?). In the end she was right & came up with a great combo.

First I measured the shelves to know how long to cut my fabric.

Next I repurposed (fancy word for cut up) an old towel for padding. I considered a royal blue fleece blanket, but it would have shown through the pink fabric and ruined the overall effect.

I'm anal and serged the edges. I could see myself trying to staple gun 3 layers of stuff and loosing it, big time. This step is totally optional (unless your in love with your serger like I am - then serge away)

Next I cut the vinyl just a titch bigger than my fabric pieces. Vinyl is way cheap - just a couple dollars a yard at Joann's & it can be wiped clean and can take some serious wear & tear (that is the reason I didn't choose the easier route - modge podge (my other favorite love!) It's great for the front of dressers or cupboards, but no where that will get any kind of rubbing action.

I stapled gunned all the layers.

I made sure the pieces were long enough to wrap around so the staple wouldn't be sticking out & catch on me or some toy/book.

The finished product. The two top fabrics were bought at Joann's. The pink mushrooms is a cotton & the purple owls is a flannel. The bottom piece is Hobby Lobby & is a cotton.

All snuggling and so cute in my preschool room.

Is that a life well lived or what?


Christie said...

So cute!! I love the new bookshelf. I am finding myself mentally running through all the furniture in my house trying to figure out which one I can makeover. Great job, and great tutorial!

Jill Manning said...

Maren, you did it again! It looks really good. I wish I had a little bookcase to make over. But I will be keeping this stored away with all my little future projects and save it for a rainy day. You seize to amaze me.

Charity said...

ack! i have that same owl fabric :) it's so cute. you did an amazing job on the shelf - it's adorable.
p.s. i stumbled on your blog somehow, hope you don't mind.

J&A Byrnsie Bunch said...

Hey Maren, this looks really good. Who would of thought to make over a bookshelf with material?! It looks fabulous!

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