Wednesday, May 22, 2013

DIY tutorial. Book case cover, using contact paper. Drab to Fab in minutes!

I am a bit obsessed with Damask as you may have guessed by my blog background and now it should be apparent with my latest project.

I bought a large 5 shelf book case from Walmart and made a big booboo. I nailed the backing the wrong way. I think I was thinking the other side was white too! Or at least that's what I tell myself. Well, as a result, it was a horrible cardboard color for a backdrop. I wasn't about to undo all those nails, nor do I think I could. There were over a dozen holding it in place. So I had to cover that eye sore up, but how? At first I thought I would paint it, but decided it was too messy and wanted something nicer. Then I thought maybe staple fabric but that could get wrinkly and i wanted something i could wipe clean. THEN, it hit me. Contact paper! It's pretty easy to clean things off of, as it's made out of plastic and slick, there are a plethora of nice designs and I can take it off when I want to change the backdrop to the book case. Bam!

And so the DIY project begins...

I picked up this beautiful Laura Ashley Damask design contact paper at ROSS. It was only $5.99 for two thick rolls, so this whole project costed me literally just that. Everything else I had on hand.

Now, i'm not going to say this wasn't especially annoying, because it was. It's easy, just tedious. This got to be a sticky situation. I had to slip that pun in. It really did, the contact paper kept sticking to itself, so I would suggest you have a buddy help you out by holding it as you cut and as you apply.  Other than that, I think it turned out awesome. Hope you like!

Tools needed
  • Sharp scissors
  • Contact paper
  • measuring tape 
  • pencil 
  • Shelving unit with removable shelves

First, I measured the area to cut the contact paper to size. In my case, the measurements were a little different each time, because I did them in different sized panels according the size between each shelf. For example, this particular panel was a little over 23 inches across in width by about 16 inches high.

Then I measured the contact paper, which had very helpful lines to keep on track. Here I'm measuring the height at 16' and mark it off with my pencil.

Then I measure the width across at a little over 23' and mark that off.

Then I use the line and pencil marking to guide me where to cut. I cut from the end of the width measurement, up the height and across. So in a 7 shape. You really need to be extra careful with your cutting. If you go out of line, make sure to cut more than you need, not less, because then you will end up having to patch things, which I had to do once. Blasted shaky hands! If you cut more, just get a razor blade and cut the excess off or tuck the excess behind the shelving, if the backing has some give like mine does. 

Then I took the sticky contact paper and slowly applied it to the shelf backing. Let's just pretend it didn't stick to itself a trillion times and I didn't use profanity. I did use a left over smoothing card that I got from a dali decals not long ago. Though I actually found my hand worked better in the end. I don't think it's possible to prevent bubbles and creases completely. If you get lots of them, it really won't matter much, because things will be covering most of it. Or hopefully. With this particular design, it's hard to tell even , unless you get very close and scrutinize it. If it gives you too much trouble, unstick and try again or have someone help you. I had to unstick in a few spots and the paper did not lose it's sticky effectiveness by doing so. Evidently, it got stickier! O_o  I implore you to use a buddy when doing this. It will probably go much smoother. Oh, another pun. 

I suggest taking a break after two panels, especially if you had a royal rumble with the contact paper. Then come back for round two. 

Put the shelving back in and arrange your books, knick nacks and doohickies as shown. 



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