DIY Projects

April 2, 2014

DIY Decorative Bookshelf Backing

After seeing how designer Silvana D’addazio lined her bookshelves with wallpaper edged in rust-coloured ribbon (H&H, January 2014), senior style editor Morgan Michener decided to try her own spin on it with fabric. It looks luxe, but is as easy as wrapping a present or re-covering a seat cushion.

Materials & Tools:

  • Masonite boards
  • Fabric
  • Staple gun
  • Ribbon
  • Straight Edge
  • Sharp Scissors
  • Glue Gun 

Step 1: Measure the width of the bookshelf and the height of the space between each of the shelves. Subtract ?1?4″ from the width and heights to calculate the dimensions of each panel. (Making them 1?4″ smaller will help them slide into the bookshelves.) Cut panels of Masonite to these dimensions or have a hardware store cut the pieces for you.

Step 2: Pick a fabric to cover the panels and cut into pieces about 2″ larger than the panels on all sides. Morgan used plain silk, which has texture but isn’t too thick. If using a patterned fabric, be careful to line up the print across the panels. Iron the fabric for an extra-smooth finish.

Step 3: Lay each piece of fabric facedown on a clean surface. Centre the coordinating panel on top, and fold one longer edge of the fabric over the top edge of the panel as tightly as possible. Staple in place. Fold the opposite long edge of the fabric over the bottom edge of the panel, and staple in place. Fold in the remaining fabric corners over the sides of the panel, as you would gift wrap, and staple in place. Repeat to cover all panels with fabric.

Step 4: Lay the covered panels face up on the floor. Measure in 1″ to 2″ from each side and lay the ribbon in place vertically on each panel, using a straight edge to keep it in line and snipping the ribbon off at the edge of each panel. Secure each length of ribbon on its panel with a dot of hot glue in the centre of the ribbon.

Step 5: Measure in the same distance from the top and bottom of each panel and place a length of ribbon there with the help of a straight edge. Secure each length of ribbon with ?a dot of hot glue in the centre. Using sharp dressmaker’s scissors, trim all ribbon ends so they form a square or mitred corner. Glue down each corner with hot glue. Let dry. Slide panels into place.

Discover more great DIY projects in our project gallery.

Author: Morgan Michener

Valerie Wilcox


Paintings, green plate, green ceramic vessel, brass vase, Vintage Fine Objects; wooden and brass boxes, white bowl, Cynthia Findlay Antiques; books, L'Atelier, ribbon, Mokuba; fabric, Designer Fabrics, Masonite boards, The Home Depot.


House & Home April 2014 issue.