Joining in on the revamping fun this month, Spoonflower staffer Sharon refreshes a thrift store particle board bookshelf in her home’s entryway using pretty Spoonflower decals. Read on for Sharon’s how-to below!
I bought this little particle board bookcase last year at a local thrift store to use as an entry table in our duplex. It’s pretty utilitarian and holds our keys, reusable shopping bags, toolbox, and various decoratives.
I wanted to give new life to it by painting it or covering it with wallpaper or wall decals. After researching online, I learned that painting particle board can be difficult, odorous, and time-consuming. I decided to forget about painting then. After consulting with my fellow Spoonies, I decided decals would be better than wallpaper, since wetting the wallpaper might have disastrous results for particle board! The pattern I chose was a teal papercut design by Mina.
I didn’t want to go overboard and cover the whole bookcase with the pattern, so I decided on covering just the shelves. Two of the four shelves are removable, which helped quite a bit with determining the necessary dimensions of the wall decal. Each shelf measured 13.9” by 10.6” which meant a large decal (30” x 30”) would be perfect.
To cut out the decal pieces, I used two different approaches: one for the non-removable shelves and another for the removable shelves. Both techniques use a removable shelf as a template.
For the non-removable shelves: Lining up the back of a removable shelf to the straight cut edge of the decal, I drew a pencil line right along the long sides of the shelf. Then I used a ruler to extend each line by two inches.
I then connected the two parallel lines with a straight line. This is so there would be a two-inch buffer of decal that can be wrapped around the front of the shelf and along to the bottom of the shelf. I used a ruler, razor blade, and cutting mat to cut out the decal piece to ensure a very straight edge.
After making sure it was straight (it’s easy to remove and reposition the decal), I pulled off the rest of the paper and smoothed using the squeegee provided by Spoonflower. Once the top was smooth, I continued smoothing along the front edge and around to the bottom. The squeegee works best if you pull the decal taut while smoothing around the edges.
For the removable shelves: Again, I lined up the short back edge to a straight edge of the decal, and drew three straight lines around the shelf. However, this time there was an approximately one-centimeter buffer of decal along the two long edges of the shelf. Along the front edge, I again put in a two-inch buffer so that I could wrap the decal around the front and down the bottom of the shelf.
I peeled the backing paper off the decal, aligned the back edge of the decal with the back edge of the shelf, and smoothed down the decal with the squeegee. I continued smoothing along the front edge like I did for the non-removable shelves.
Next, I used my trusty razor edge and a mat to cut away the excess decal along the edge of the shelf.