Bookcase To Bar Makeover

THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2013


I finished this project during the last deployment & thought I would post it for all of you DIYers out there.

bookcase bar

Just like anyone that has done a PCS or two with the military, I quickly realized that buying expensive furniture for a particular space in your current home because it fits perfectly isn’t the greatest idea. Sure it may be beautiful in that large space you have now, but chances are when you PCS, you may end up in a smaller place with no where to put it.

That being said, Flexible is a word that us Milsos all come to know very well in regards to our everyday lives, housing, & how we decorate our homes. With each move, we reuse curtains {& always seem to have extras}, re-purpose furniture, & have to think outside the box when it comes to recreating each new home.

The best investment furniture wise I’ve found so far are bookshelves. Yes, bookshelves!

They are inexpensive & perfect for our flexible lifestyle. Smaller bookcases can be used for all types of storage. Bookcases can double as a pantry in the kitchen, provide extra shelving in closets, & even towel/linen storage in the bathroom.
AND can always be fancied up with a coat of paint, stenciling, fabric, or even scrapbook paper & a little Mod Podge.

What brought me to this project was an awkward empty spot in the kitchen of our apartment. It had been nagging at me for months before I finally decided to do something about it.

Having some extra $$ in our budget with hubs being deployed made it the perfect timing for such a purchase. I already knew that I wanted to put some type of bar or side table there to store our bar glasses, mixers, etc. so I searched high & low on the internet & even in a few cute thrift shops around town.

Unfortunately, nearly every piece that I fell in love with came with a $300+ price tag & wasn’t {mainly} solid wood {which is a requirement of mine if I’m going to shell out that kinda cash}.

I came across the perfect DIY idea. Went out the next day to purchase the materials, all of which I snagged for $30 {Yay!!}

Materials you will need:

  • Mod Podge
  • Bookcase {size your choice, mine was 40.5″H x 11.5″W x 24.5″L}
  • Scrapbook paper {# of pieces depends on size of paper & bookcase, I used (9) pieces of 12″x12″} *thicker paper bubbles less;)
  • Thumbtacks {round, silver or gold, your pref} 
  • Ruler 
  • Foam Brush
  • Plastic Scraper {credit cards work great for this}

     *I also used my hubby’s level that has a laser on it. What can I say? I’m a tiny bit OCD when it comes to straight lines 😉

Once you have the bookcase assembled, be sure to leave the back panel off. This makes it easier to attach the scrapbook paper with Mod Podge.
I started off by painting a thin layer of Mod Podge on a 12×12 area where I wanted to place the first piece of scrapbook paper.  Squish it down real good.

Next, I used the plastic scraper.. start in the middle & work outward to rub all of the bubbles out.

Repeat these steps with the Mod Podge & scrapbook paper until you have covered the back panel. When that dries, paint a thin layer on top of the paper to seal the deal:)

Set the panel aside to let it dry.

Next up… decide on how many “studs” {thumbtacks} you want to place down the edges of the bookcase. I measured the height & decided to place a stud every 3/4″.

Being the stickler I am for symmetry, I found the middle of each edge & then measured down, penciling in a tiny mark every 3/4″. This is where I used the laser to make sure my line was straight.

Once you have that done all that there is left to do is push the thumbtacks in & you’re finished!!

completed bar