Monday, October 8, 2012

Bookshelf Makeover

I've been thinking about giving our Expedit bookshelf from IKEA a makeover for a while. The day Daniel bought it, I wanted to buy storage boxes and bins for it, but after buying the bookshelf, that just wasn't in the budget.

Today, I was reading this post, and got inspired all over again.

Here's my bookshelf this morning.
See how it looks organized, but not? Just me? It looks messy to me.

I wanted to get some baskets, to add some texture, and to add some storage for small things. I hate clutter, so I wanted the bookshelf to look neat, but still be functional. I also hate things that don't really serve a purpose.

I've been looking in stores for a while now, and searching endlessly online, and I haven't found any baskets that fit all three of my criteria:
1) The right size. (12x12x15)
2) Natural texture, not canvas or plastic.
3) Under $10 each.

I know. I'm a little cheap. I found several that were around $12, but I just couldn't bring myself to pay those extra $2.

SO, after searching again, and coming up with nothing, I decided to look at some DIY projects on pinterest. I also remembered seeing a tutorial for some fabric covered boxes on "I Heart Organizing" (coincidentally, the same post that inspired me to attack my bookshelf today!)

I saw these burlap covered boxes, and decided I wanted to do burlap.

This warranted a trip to the store. I decided first, to go to the dreaded place. For those who don't know where that is--- WalMart. One stop shopping, right? Wrong. Going there was a HUGE mistake, as always. You'd think I'd learn. After leaving there empty handed, I headed to Lowe's to pick up the supplies I needed. (Because the Home Depot website said they were out of Burlap, and I didn't want to pay $3 a yard at a fabric store.)

After almost changing my mind, and buying wood to make some wooden boxes, I picked up my supplies.

1) 10 12x12x16 Moving Boxes, $0.69 each. (Yeah, 1" too deep, but the shelf sits away from the wall a couple inches, so it works.) :)
2) 1 can of spray adhesive, about $5
3) 1 roll of burlap, 24ft x 3ft, $9.99
4) 1 grommet kit, about $7
5) 1 package of sisal rope, for handles, $6

Grand total, less than $40.

First, I assembled the boxes, and cut of the top flaps.
Then it took me about the first 4 boxes to figure out the best way to cover them in paper. The boxes I bought had red ink on them, so I had to cover them with paper. I used some brown contractor's paper that we had leftover from another project.
The best solution I found was to measure two pieces of paper to 16", and then wrap one side (inside and out) and then the outside bottom. With the second sheet, wrap the other side (inside and out) and the bottom.

Since the front and back of the box was a perfect 12x12 square, I used scrapbook paper to cover the front and back.

Then, I sprayed with spray adhesive, and laid a 15x15 burlap square on top of the scrapbook paper.

I used clear packing tape to tape the edges of the burlap. Not pretty really, but you can't see the sides of the boxes. And I wanted to conserve my supplies, just in case I wanted to make more boxes, or do something else with them.

After taping the sides and corners, I had this.

And forgive me, but I didn't take photos of the next step.
I just used the hole punch in the grommet kit to punch two holes in each box, for the handle.

Then followed the instructions to install the grommets.

The final step was to make the rope handles. I cut the rope to 12", and then tied a knot in one end, threaded it through the two holes and tied it off.

Here's the finished product.

After finishing all of my boxes, I arranged them on the shelf, and moved some books and photos around. I'm pretty happy with the final product. Not too shabby for under $40, and just a few hours of my afternoon.

As usual, there are some things I'd do differently, if I had it to do over.

1) I wouldn't use the brown contractor's paper. For some reason, it wouldn't stick to the box with the spray adhesive, so I had to use a combination of the spray adhesive and packing tape.
2) I would have cut all of the pieces to size and done each step all at once. (First, I would wrap all the boxes with paper. Then I would do step 2 on all the boxes.. you get the point.)
3) I would have covered the entire box in burlap. It doesn't really matter, because you don't see anything except the front, but I think just the idea of only the front being covered bugs me.
4) I would cover the inside with decorative paper rather than the brown paper. No big deal, but I think it'd look nice.
5) I would add labels. I will probably do this later, but I'm not sure what kind of labels I want to use.

Do you have any tips/tricks to making your own storage boxes? Idead for decorating a bookshelf while maintaining its function?

I'd love to see what you've done!