diy: bookshelf brightener

I've been wanting to do something about my boring old Target bookcase for a long time; it's black when everything else in my room is light-colored wood and it kind of weighs the whole place down, plopped off to the side like some hulking beast. Painting it was a possibility, but that seemed like a ton of effort for a pretty low-quality piece (I was also afraid to sand it and bust through to whatever might be underneath the "wood"), especially since I might end up putting it somewhere entirely different in the future. My first thought was to line the shelves with wallpaper, since all I could find in my price range was gingham and weird old flowers -  all the cute contact paper was hideously expensive.

Why, hello there, shelf liners from TJ Maxx. How are you doin'?

You guys, why didn't anyone ever tell me they sold home stuff at TJ Maxx. Oh right, probably because I would NEVER LEAVE. (Okay, I did leave, but just so I could do a project. I will return! For the deals!)

As soon as I saw this paper, I was in love and I knew that it was time to make it happen. This bookcase was going to get a facelift! Or her makeup done, as is more apropos.

The Before

The During

 All my poor books hangin' out on the floor, like dangerous little stacks of enchantment. I did enjoy having Neil Gaiman staring up at me from the back of American Gods (which is a great book, by the way, one of my very favorites. Check it out!)

The actual process of lining the shelves started out VERY easy - the top shelf comes out! I was able to measure the liner out along the length of it, leaving extra room, and basically wrapped it like a present, just folding the overlap down and smoothing it all out. The liners are the best kind of sticky - not too difficult to handle, but I had no doubt that they would stay in place once they were stuck. The middle shelf was a little trickier since it didn't come out, but the bottom shelf was the real struggle. It goes directly into the bottom of the case, so there's a strange little lip that isn't really deep enough to wrap the liner UNDER, but there's no real way to line it up right (no way for me and my inability to cut a straight line, at least). The good news is that it's far enough own that I don't think anyone is really paying attention!

The Sort-Of After

The Actual After

And ahhh, the books let out a sigh of relief once they were returned to their newly decorated home. All in all, this was a super easy project (like, an hour's worth of time, maybe? I probably spent more time rearranging my books on the shelf than actually putting the liners on) that brightens the whole thing up nicely and is easily removable, in case I change my mind! Chalk this one up for Team Me.

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