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Covering Up the Ugly! - Shelf Makeover

Last year, I took over a classroom mid-year.  I didn't have much time to decorate, so I did a quick rearrange and change bulletin boards on a weekend.  I purged the rest of the year (read about the moldy play dough here) so that I could start off this year FRESH!

I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It to show how I covered up my ugly shelves.

I decided that there was NO way I could look at these ugly shelves in my room anymore!

This one actually had wood grain contact paper on top of the ugly shelf.  :/

I didn't want to take the time to repaint them, so I made a quick trip to Target.  I bought contact paper (not my favorite pattern but beggars can't be choosers), duct tape, and a sheet.

I covered the shelves in contact paper.

To make sure the contact paper sticks, I applied duct tape along all the seams and corners.

I have a TON of velcro in my room, so I ran a strip of velcro across the front.

Then I cut the sheet to fit, hemmed the edges, and applied a strip of velcro to the sheet.

Now my shelves look better, the stuff in the shelves are hidden from sight, and it looks way better!

Best of all, I can easily take this off if I decide I don't like it anymore (or find a better contact paper pattern).  It was cheap.  I only used a little more than 1 roll of contact paper, less than a roll of duct tape, and 1 flat sheet.  And it was quick to do, took a couple of hours to do 3 shelves.


  1. Your shelves turned out great!! I'm in need of new shelves this year. I bought some super cheap ones last year, and they just didn't survive. I love reading about all these shelf makeovers though. I'm feeling more brave about finding an old shelf and redoing it :)

    BTW.... I checked out that play-doh.... WHATTTTT. How gross! I can't even imagine how long that was sitting there, yikes!

    Dirty Hands & Lesson Plans

  2. Amen! I have had to toss probably a hundred pounds of old worksheets! I also took over a classroom mid-year and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. 9 months later I am STILL discovering, cleaning, tossing, and re-organizing. Yesterday I discovered a cardboard box full of sporks--I'm talking HUNDREDS of sporks. Do you want some?! Seriously--please take the sporks!

  3. Wow! They look so much better! I love it. I just wish I had more bookshelves :)

    Brie - Breezy Special Ed

  4. Great transformation! I blogged about something similar with my bookshelves, filing cabinet, and front table last year. It's amazing what a little contact paper and fabric can do to change the look of something- and with little effort!

  5. Those look amazing! I have some hideous cubbies that someone made at some point and I found somewhere on campus and snagged. They look awful though, I was thinking about doing something similar. Thanks for the inspiration!

    You AUT-a Know

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