I’ll admit it. The craft section in my house is getting out of hand. I have tons of things that I want to keep because I’ll be able to use them for something someday. Unfortunately, that means things get very cluttered and messy. This is why I am always on the hunt to find shelves. And one great way to find shelves is on the street. People throw away perfectly good shelves all the time. Some are better than others.

Sometimes you will luck out and find a great shelf in wonderful condition. Other times you’ll stumble across one that is usable, but could use a little love. Like this poor guy…

Not the cat. She gets plenty of love (and treats! #ImNotFatImFluffy).
It works for what I need, but it’s a little rough around the edges.











So here is a simple way to hide those ugly edges and express your bookish love all in one easy project. And the best part is, you don’t need to know a thing about woodworking. Yay!




  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Mod Podge
  • Book pages
  • Ribbon (optional)
  • Hot glue gun and glue (optional)


Now some of you may have a moral dilemma with deconstructing a book. Trust me, I feel you. I am the same way. Which is why Little Free Lending Libraries can be very helpful in this situation. If you don’t want to rip apart a perfectly good book, look for an outdated book or one with missing pages or other defects. I found this nice financial planning book (from 10 years ago!) in an LFLL by my house. It sat in there for a few weeks until I decided I could use it for crafting. It is a good use for books that are in fine condition, but whose information is way out of date.


If you still have issues with this or can’t find a suitable book, you can also use newspaper/scrap paper and paint it to make the edges crisper.


Optional supply: a nosy cat to help make the project more complicated and difficult. Not recommended.


1. Remove a page from the book and trim the ripped edges. You can also cut off the blank borders on the edges of the page if you want more words to show.


2. Fold the page over the edge you want to cover, cutting it to fit.
For best results, you can crease the paper so it fits nicely.










3. Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the back of the page.


4. Secure in place.


5. Repeat Steps 1-4 while optional cat supervises.


6. When you have the area covered, add a layer of Mod Podge over the top and smooth out any bumps.


7. Continue along any edges you wish to cover, moving cat as needed.


A Note about Corners:

If you are covering the top edges of the shelf, you may run into some awkwardness at the corners. Have no fear; here is how to cover them nicely.

1. Cover both sides up to corner.


2. If the pages don’t quite cover the corner, cut a small section from a book page to fill the gap. Secure with Mod Podge.


3. Repeat on the other side.


4. Fold another small piece in half and secure around the corner, covering any gaps.


Continue until you have as much covered as you like. You can also cover the shelves themselves if you wish.


Optional Ribbon Border:


1. Measure a length of ribbon long enough for the border. Use a lighter to melt the ends to prevent fraying.


2. Using hot glue, secure one end of the ribbon along the edge of the book pages.


3. Continue applying glue along the book pages and securing the ribbon into place until you have a complete border.


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