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Picture of Decoupage a Bookshelf with Fabric
Decoupage is a fun and easy way to update or personalize a boring piece of furniture or similar. You can use this method with covering basically anything from boxes to clipboards, or even to pretty up a homemade journal or otherwise boring schoolbook.

Be sure to read ALL steps BEFORE you start your project, so you know exactly what you're doing, and you'll be less likely to make a silly mistake.

For more details visit my blog: http://notebookchronicle.wordpress.com

This is my first instructable, so if you have any questions or tips, please leave a comment!
 
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Step 1: Gather Materials

You will need the following:

-Bookshelf to cover
-Pretty cotton fabric (around 2-3m for a small bookshelf, 4-6 for medium/large shelf. Measuring is also a good idea)
-Mod Podge -Gloss Lustre/Matte (you should be able to get away with 8oz bottle if it's a small amount, otherwise you'll be right with 32oz bottle)
-Paintbrush
-Sandpaper
-Large Ruler
-Pen/Pencil/tailor's chalk/similar
-Container filled with clean water
-Paint (Optional)
-Primer (If painting)

Step 2: Prepare

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Before you do anything, think about which parts you want to cover, and if you want to paint any areas also. Try to dissassemble your unit as much as possible, to get in all the tricky areas. The backs on our shelves were stapled on, so they were easy to remove. Also, assuming your unit is made of wood, it would be a good idea to give it a light sand to remove any imperfections or stains, and to give yourself a clean surface to work with.

When you've decided which parts you want to cover and if you want to paint or not, be sure to paint first. If you decide to paint, prime the area and give the unit about 2-3 coats of acrylic/enamel house paint, making sure you let the first coat dry before adding the next. Otherwise, measure and cut your fabric into pieces to fit each panel you want to cover. Be sure to cut pieces a bit bigger, as the fabric may shrink a little when drying. Any overhanging fabric you can trim later.

Step 3: Getting Sticky

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After you've cut your fabric, use Mod Podge on the shelf surface and the back of fabric and stick down. allow 15 mins to dry, and be sure to smooth out any air bubbles that appear with a metal ruler or similar. When dry, apply a few coats of Mod Podge to seal, allowing 15-20 mins between each coat, and lightly sanding in between. You should only need around 2-3 coats for sealing, however if you want a textured finish, you can add as many coats as you desire. Repeat until each desired surface is covered.

Tips/Extra bits:

-Be sure to keep your brush wet when not using it, as the glue dries fast and can harden and ruin your brush. If you like, you can purchase a painter's brush from the hardware section of your local discount store for around $1-$2.

-Mod Podge is water soluble, so it will wash out of your clothes and it can even be used for kid's crafts as a regular glue. Though if you're still worried, be sure to wear older clothes that you don't mind if they're ruined.

-Work in a well-ventilated area. Your respiratory system will thank you. Also, it might be a good idea to leave overnight before using; especially in a small room (like a bedroom). I speak from experience.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

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After everything is dry, reassemble if you need, and clean up any globs of glue/paint, and maybe a light sand if you find any imperfections. Otherwise, you're done! Be sure to enjoy your creation, and brag to your friends/family about how crafty you are.
adidame5 years ago
Is the MogPog sticky?  My mom uses it on boxes, but it always sticks to paper.  I would love to do this for my newest craigslist acquisition.  Thanks!
ChrysN6 years ago
Cool, this is a nice way to spruce up old furniture.