July 26, 2012

Fabric Backed Shelves, From Drab To Fab

Bookcases and shelving units sell well in my booth and if I add a back to them they sell even better....And if I do something special to that back....Well, they sell even BETTER!


This time I decided to add fabric dipped in starch

I took this very average thrift store shelf


And a favorite Mary Rose fabric dunked in starch...A full "Fabric and Starch" tutorial post is HERE and should answer all of your questions.


I laid the fabric soaked in starch over a board I cut to fit the back of the shelf.  When the fabric dried I used my brad nailer and attached the board to the shelf


While I was on a fabric and starch roll I did this shelf too


I loved the yellow color, so I dug out some yellow floral fabric, then cut the backboard out of a thin board I had laying around


Dipped the fabric in starch and let it dry on the board 


Then with Billie's help (She's actually no help at all, but when you're that cute you don't need any skills) I brad nailed it to the back of the book shelf


This was a really easy way to dress up the shelves


Both are headed to my booth at Orange Tree, I haven't decided what to charge....



......But, whatever I decide it will be more than I would have charged before I gave them a backbone!

Happy Creating!
Carol

61 comments:

June said...

I love them both! You are such an inspiration. I hope to get to Orlando soon to see your booth. If you are ever in Vero Beach, let me know. I am still working on getting settled in my new space after my move from Treasure Coast Antiques in May. It takes a while to tweak the displays to fit my new booth. Love all your ideas!!!

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

These are wonderful. The pretty backing adds so much warmth and interest. This gives me an idea for an ugly hanging shelf I have:-) Thanks for the inspiration Carol.

Gina said...

I love them both! I think giving them a little "backbone" kicks them up a notch.

Jane said...

Oh, my, I'd sure buy them both in a minute! What a terrific idea! Looking around here now to see what I can use to copy :)

Just me said...

Oh wow! I love the fabrics you used! You bumped those shelves up several notches on the beauty scale! Gorgeous!!!

Melodee said...

cute cute cute Carol! love the fabrics!

nádya said...

Excellent idea and they turned out so unique and lovely with the flowery fabrics...but I am just in love with that picture where Billie is posing, really may be she is of no help at all, but how sweet, fluffy and cute she is!!!
Blessings,
Nadya

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Very pretty, Carol! The first one is my favorite! You really took them from plain and simple to stunning by adding the fabric back to them.

A Paris Flea said...

Carol those shelves are just to cute . . . and again,a wonderful idea. But the star of this post is Billie~~~and it takes skill to pose like that!!!

Happiness, Mickie

Marilyn said...

The fabric you selected is gorgeous! Your creative ideas have inspired me to start a painting project in my kitchen! One problem-I ran out of paint and have to wait for more. But you did get me going-always the most difficult part for me! Thanks!!♥♫

lynn said...

adorable, carol! this is something i want to try soon--both are so cute! thanks for sharing:)

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

Hi Carol!
those shelves look absolutely COTTAGE! I love them. I am going to check out this starch tutorial you linked. I am also wondering about starch...I need to do some blocking on some crocheted doilies.
I've never done it. But I remember my granny and mil doing it to their doilies. I'm wondering if this will work for that too!?

We'll see!
Pat

Marydon said...

OMGosh! I am glad I popped by today. This is fabulous, gorgeous, wonderful! What a nifty idea. You are such a great teacher, ty for sharing, Carol.
TTFN ~
Hugs,
Marydon

sissie said...

Hi Carol,
What a great way to make plain shelves looks so pretty. I bet they fly out the door. Shelves always sell well at our shop and I can just imagine how the customers love them with the cute fabric backs.
You clever girl you.

hugs
sissie

marda said...

I love them both, with that fabric background they really pop. What an inspired idea. You don't see shelves with a backing very often, and it looks so much better than just the wall showing through. I'm sure you'll have no trouble selling these whatever the price.

Cheryl said...

Great idea.....love both thse shelves!
What an inspiration you are.
Have fun,
Cheryl

Evulsianka said...

Piękna metamorfoza półek. pozdrawiam cieplutko

Stacy's Shabby Shoppe said...

Carol, these are both really super pretty! I love what you did to them. What a stunning transformation. You know you're the Queen of Makeovers right?! xo

Rosetta said...

Idee bellissime e romantiche!Rosetta

Debbie said...

What a huge difference it made to add the back and beautiful fabric! They went from something that you might walk right on by to something romantic. I won't be so quick to walk by little shelves now.

NanaDiana said...

Love them both, Carol. They are just gorgeous and I bet they will sell in no time flat. When I used to rent apartments before I was married I used starch and fabric to "wallpaper" some walls. I loved it and could take my fabric with me when I left- xo Diana

Createology said...

You have given both of these little shelving units new life. Romantic and chic! They should sell very quickly my dear...

Cindy The Victorian Journey said...

The shelves look awesome.. The fabric puts it over the top. As always beautiful.. Hugs, Cindy

Perfectly Printed said...

Thanks for sharing!! What a great way to embellish the shelves.

chris

Jane said...

Hi Carol,
What a wonderful transformation! Adding the fabric backs makes such a huge difference. I bet they already sold!!
Jane

June said...

That makes all the difference in the world Carol! I have got to go read about the starching process. This is too awesome!
Thank you for your great ideas. I learn so much from you : )
hugs from here...

Mary Ellen said...

It is amazing what a little fabric in back will do for a set of shelves!!! They are beautiful!! Do you use a foam board or is this wood backing? ( you might have said- I will need to go back and re read!)

bee blessed
mary

Debbiedoo's said...

LOVE...both of course. The backdrop really does make them. I have to try this too!

dlw said...

the shelves are great! it gives me inspiration for dressing up some vintage green shelves i have sitting in my kitchen doing nothing but sitting empty on top of another shelf. thanks a lot!
take care!
debra

Shabby chic Sandy said...

Love both of these--the fabrics you used are so pretty. I love the starch method! I have a similar shelf up in the attic with no back and now I want to go find it :)

Maria Elena said...

Love them both! So pretty! Thank you for this wonderful tutorial!

Dawn's Craft Place said...

LOVE THEM!!!
I swear I need to spend a couple days with you so I can pick your brain...lol
How goes wedding prep?

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Carol. I always love this and especially the ivory shelf. So beautiful and what a diffence it makes.
Have a great weekend and stay cool!
XO Celestina Marie

Betty@SouthernGrace said...

A back does make such a difference. I love them. Add that to more good things I've passed up because I didn't think like you!
~betty

rosieinspirations said...

And they are fabulous! Thank you for all the useful info and I am just loving the Mary Rose fabric!! xoxo

Nancy said...

Makes a Huge Gorgeous Difference!! Love that effect. You didn't have to Iron the Fabric before Nailing?

Huggs, Nancy

Rhissanna said...

Oh! Carol!
These are both lovely and your starching trick? It's just amazing; easy and flexible and uses up stuff already in our fabric hoards. (Whoever dies with the most fabric wins, right?)I'm not sure about price. I do need to get a pair of those thrift-store shelves, though...

Debbi said...

Carol, as always you are such an inspiration! And hey the cat is always the helper! We always called our cat the "helpin cat". She seemed to always be there to offer her assistance with any project, plopping herself for a sit right in the middle of it giving her friendly purring advice!

Lynne said...

They are so cute! You are a very clever girl! And I agree with you, Billie is so darn cute.

DownTheLaneWithDaisy said...

First, I love your helper, Billie!! AAAAdorable!! As usual, you are brilliant! What pretty shelves!

Susan Erb said...

Pretty as always! I have done your starch trick a couple of times and love it. No ironing and such an easy transformation. I will be looking for some shelves at yard sales tomorrow!

Sue

Claudia Tyler said...

Absolutely wonderful idea. I have two candidates for this treatment sitting in my garage.

You continue to be a real inspiration!

Marydon said...

Just showed hubby! He loves this also.
TTFN ~
Hugs,
Marydon

SavannahGranny said...

Wow, what a difference. Love those fabrics as well. I am sure they will sell right away.
Hugs, Ginger

Pam@OurAdventuresInHomeImprovement said...

You are so creative! I love the shelves and certainly love the pretty backs.

Have a great weekend.
Pam

Farmer's Wyfe said...

This is a SUPER great idea!!! I just saw a shelf like this at the second hand store for dirt cheap...but I didn't want it b/c it didn't have a back! Never again!! Thanks for sharing this!!!

Farmer's Wyfe said...

I just pinned this on Pinterest. I hope you don't mind (please let me know if you do!)

Little Miss Maggie said...

Do you have any idea how many of these shelves I have passed up? I can't count that high! Terrific idea. The wheels are turning already for makeover possibilities.

Katie said...

So pretty Carol! The fabric you used is amazing! Another fun project from The Polka Dot Closet... XoXo

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Great transformations, Carol! I have a shelf that I am looking to do something with the back and you have now given me inspiration!!

Hugs,
Debbie

Connie said...

These two shelves are so charming. I once saw this woman on TV that was the wife of a military man and moved from one location to another. She said that they were not allowed to paint the walls or to put up wall paper. She did this same trick with starch. She fabric/starched a wall and fabric/starched lampshades to match. When it was time to move she said that she could grab a corner tear it down, wash it, fold it and be on her way. Just another idea. Have a great day, Connie :)

Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

Carol, you are so inspiring! The shelves look so much better now...Thanks for all of your tutorials. You are so generous. I love Billie's pretty blue eyes ... She is quite the cutie!!!

Julie L. Light said...

This is one of the prettiest projects I've seen in quite some time. I love the choice of fabric and that you used the starch...great idea.
Have a fabulous weekend,
Julie

Connie said...

Hi Carol, thank you for your lovely visit. Yes, I think we put too much importance on weight. I'm not knocking trying to be at a healthy weight, but so many women give up on living a fulfilled and happy life because they don't look like the women in the magazines. It is just so sad. I hate how anyone being over weight is so discriminated against. It's like the old saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover". There are so many sweet kindhearted women out there that need an encouraging word. Have a marvelous day, and eat a cookie . . . they are sooooooooooooooo good. Connie :)

Heart Vintage Design said...

Once again, a magnificant tutorial!

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

This is a wonderful idea Carol! I have a shelf similar to your first one, and I want to do this too!! Thank you! Your shabby chic fabrics look so pretty used as backing.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

SO pretty, Carol...the backing really makes the piece one-of-a-kind!

hopeandjoyhome said...

Gorgeous Carol!

FabShabbyRoses said...

Absolutely gorgeous shelves. OMG! I just love your work so much! Wish I was close so I could visit your shop! You are so generous to share your how to's! I've learned a lot! thank you so much! carolyn

❁Velma ~Down Our Country Road❁ said...

Oh so much cuter! Gives simple shelves more character.
I'm planning to line the inside of a storage cabinet with pretty fabric to dress it up. And your little projects have further inspired me :) Thanks!

Ruby Jean said...

You gotta LOVE that Starch!!!! Great idea... And oh I will have to show the children Little Billie and what a GREAT help she is... Picture PURRRfect!!!!