A Cheap and Festive Bookcase Update

Shawna Bailey
by Shawna Bailey
4 Materials
20 Minutes
With the festive holidays just around the corner, I wanted a really easy, cheap, and fast way to update my living room. I mean, who has the time or money before the holidays for a big redo? So I came up with this idea to line the backs of my bookcases and shelves. I gotta tell you, I was surprised by how much it changed the entire feel of the room. If you're looking for an easy way to change up your room for the holidays, this is a great idea.
Here’s my blah bookcase.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
All I used for this project was wrapping paper, double sided tape, and an exacto knife. I found this great wrapping paper at the dollar store that matched my decor and had some holiday flare without being too Christmas-y. That way I can keep it on past the holidays too.

Step 2: Measure Each Shelf
I took an estimated measurement of the shelf by holding up the wrapping paper I was going to use. Then I cut the paper a little bigger than I thought I needed, by about two inches in each direction.

Step 3: Add the Tape
I put a small piece of double sided tape as close to each corner as I could.
Each shelf had four pieces of tape. If you want the entire back of the bookcase to be one color or pattern, you can take off the shelves and just line the whole backing with a few big pieces of tape.
I actually took off the tape on three corners before putting the paper on. I found it was the easiest way for me to smooth out the paper.

Step 4: Press on the Paper
While pulling the paper tight I pressed it onto the now sticky double sided tape. I found it was easiest to use one straight edge of the paper against the top shelf to keep everything straight. This probably didn't make a huge difference with my paper, but if I used stripes it would have been crucial. Make sure to press it into the corners, because otherwise you'll have a difficult time trimming it.

Step 5: Cut to Fit
I then cut off the extra paper. Because I pressed it into the seems and corners, it was really easy to trim off the extra. Be careful not to scratch up your bookcase.
Here's the before picture again so you can see how much of a change it made.
Look at that update! And it was so cheap and easy, I can change it all the time.
Suggested materials:
  • Wrapping paper
  • Double sided tape
  • Exacto Knife
See all materials
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Cza21357862 Cza21357862 on May 04, 2021

    If you want to go back to the plain bookcase, does the double-sided tape come off the wood surface without marking it?

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 1 comment
  • Nan Nan on Nov 19, 2021

    I love the fact that it's changeable. I used to wallpaper the inside of shelves with the paper from the room it was placed in, but of course it was not easily removed.