Tutorial: Simple Paper-backed Shelves

Happy Superbowl Sunday, everyone!

This week’s tutorial is a really simple project to quickly update a room while adding a bit of personality.  Lining the back of shelves or shelving units is a great way to spruce up a living room, guest room, or in my case, my craft room.  My project using inexpensive, assemble yourself shelves that you can buy at your local Target or Walmart.  This project could also be used on smaller, wall-hung shelving units, or anything with a backing already included

Supplies you’ll  need:

  • Shelves or shelving unit (easy to find in the closet organization section of your favorite Target or Walmart)
  • Craft or scrapbook paper in the designs you like
  • Paper glue; I used glue sticks meant for scrapbooking
  • Scissors, measuring tape


The shelves I chose to cover had a separate backing that slid into place and was nailed down during the final assembly step.  I treated the shelf backing before attaching it to the shelving unit.

To start, I selected the paper I wanted to use to cover the backing.   Make sure you have enough of the same design, or have a plan for arranging the paper if you are using pieces of differing prints.

Tutorial Simple Paper-lined Shelves

Supplies for the Simple Paper-lined Shelves

Next, I trimmed a piece of scrapbooking paper to fit the width of the backing, shown above as the white board folded in half lengthwise.  I started by measuring the middle of the backing in the longer direction.  Then, I started covering the backing by gluing the first piece in the middle of the backing, as shown below.

Tutorial Simple Paper-lined Shelves

The first piece of paper is glued to the middle of the backing

Then, I trimmed the two remaining pieces of scrapbooking paper to the correct width and length, allowing a small overlap with the center piece already affixed to the backing.  I then glued the top and bottom pieces of paper to the backing.  Finally, I let the glue dry and then attacked the backing to my shelves as instructed by the manufacturer.  My newly updated shelving unit is shown below.

Tutorial Simple Paper-Lined Shelves

Completed shelving unit

I covered three of the same shelving units in the same way with different papers to update my craft room.

Tutorial Simple Paper-Lined Shelves

Trio of newly updated shelves

This project is quick and easy, give it a try!



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