Transform Your Bookshelf: Easy DIY Makeover Ideas
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Paint your bookshelf
  2. Add wallpaper to the back of your bookshelf
  3. Use stencils for a unique design
  4. Install lighting
  5. Add trim or moulding
  6. Replace shelves with crates or baskets
  7. Create a new top for your bookshelf
  8. Add doors or curtains
  9. Transform it into a bar cart

Looking to give your bookshelf a fresh new look? You're in the right place! This blog is your guide to an easy DIY bookshelf makeover. By following these simple steps, you will transform your old bookshelf into a stunning piece that adds character to your home. So let's dive in and start our DIY journey together!

Paint your bookshelf

One of the easiest and most effective ways to give your bookshelf a makeover is by painting it. It's an easy DIY project that requires minimal effort and resources, yet it can dramatically change the look and feel of your bookshelf—and your entire room.

Step 1: Choose the Right Paint
Start off by picking a paint color that complements your room's decor. You can go for a classic look with neutral colors, or make a bold statement with vibrant hues. If you're feeling adventurous, you might even consider a two-tone paint job—a popular trend in easy DIY bookshelf makeovers.

Step 2: Prep Your Bookshelf
Before you get started with the painting, make sure to prepare your bookshelf. Remove any items from the shelves, clean the surface thoroughly, and sand it lightly if needed. This will ensure a smooth finish and enhance paint adhesion.

Step 3: Paint!
Now it's time for the fun part: painting! Grab your chosen paint and a brush or a roller, and start transforming your bookshelf. Remember to apply the paint in thin, even layers, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next. This will give you a professional-looking finish.

Step 4: Let it Dry and Decorate
Once you're done painting, allow your bookshelf to dry completely. Then, you can start decorating! Whether you're showcasing your favorite books, family photos, or treasured knick-knacks, your newly painted bookshelf will surely be the perfect backdrop.

So, there you have it! With a bit of paint and some creativity, you've just completed your easy DIY bookshelf makeover. Enjoy the satisfaction of having transformed a plain bookshelf into an eye-catching piece of decor.

Add wallpaper to the back of your bookshelf

If painting isn't your thing or you're looking for something more, adding wallpaper to the back of your bookshelf is a fantastic idea. This easy DIY bookshelf makeover not only adds an interesting visual element but also a touch of personality to your piece.

Step 1: Choose Your Wallpaper
The first thing you need to do is to choose a wallpaper that suits your style and the overall decor of your room. You could opt for a bold, patterned wallpaper to make a statement, or a subtle, textured one for a more understated look.

Step 2: Measure and Cut
Next, you'll need to measure the back of your bookshelf. Be precise — this will ensure that your wallpaper fits perfectly. Once you've got your measurements, cut your wallpaper accordingly. Remember, it's better to cut a bit extra than not enough.

Step 3: Apply Wallpaper
Now it's time to apply the wallpaper. Start by applying a wallpaper adhesive to the back of your bookshelf. Then, carefully position your wallpaper, pressing it smoothly against the surface to avoid any bubbles or wrinkles.

Step 4: Let It Dry
Once you've applied the wallpaper, you'll need to give it some time to dry. Try to keep the room well-ventilated to speed up the drying process. Once it's dry, trim any excess wallpaper if needed.

Step 5: Style Your Bookshelf
Alright, now comes the most exciting part — styling your bookshelf! With the added depth and character from your wallpaper, your books and decor items will pop more than ever.

And just like that, you've completed another easy DIY bookshelf makeover! Adding wallpaper to the back of your bookshelf is a simple way to inject life into an old piece. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your wallpaper and start transforming!

Use stencils for a unique design

Stencils are a great way to add a unique touch to your easy DIY bookshelf makeover. They can be subtle or dramatic, intricate or simple — the choice is yours. Here's how you can use stencils to take your bookshelf from drab to fab:

Step 1: Choose Your Stencil
Stencils come in all shapes, sizes, and designs. You can find them in craft stores or online. Choose a design that speaks to you and matches your room's style. Remember, the design doesn't have to be complex to make an impact.

Step 2: Paint the Bookshelf
Before you start stenciling, make sure your bookshelf is painted in your desired base color. This will serve as the background for your stencil design. Allow the paint to dry fully before proceeding.

Step 3: Position Your Stencil and Paint
Position your stencil where you want the design to appear. Use painter's tape to hold it in place. Then, using a small paintbrush or a sponge, apply paint over your stencil. Be careful not to use too much paint — this can cause the design to bleed.

Step 4: Remove the Stencil and Repeat
Carefully remove the stencil while the paint is still wet. If you want to repeat the pattern, wait for the paint to dry, then reposition the stencil and repeat the process.

Step 5: Let It Dry and Enjoy
Once you've finished stenciling, let your bookshelf dry completely. Then, step back and admire your work. You've just completed a unique and stylish easy DIY bookshelf makeover!

Using stencils is a creative and fun way to breathe new life into an old bookshelf. So why not take the plunge and add a touch of uniqueness to your space?

Install Lighting

Let's shine some light on this topic, shall we? Installing lighting can drastically improve the look of your bookshelf, plus it helps draw attention to your favorite books or collectibles. It's an easy DIY bookshelf makeover that packs a punch. Here's a simple way to do it:

Step 1: Choose Your Lights
There are many types of lights you can use, from LED strip lights to small puck lights. Decide on a style that suits your bookshelf and your room's overall design. Remember, the goal is to enhance, not overpower.

Step 2: Measure and Mark
Measure your bookshelf and decide where you'd like to place the lights. It could be on the underside of each shelf to illuminate the ones below, or at the top to create a warm glow. Mark these spots lightly with a pencil.

Step 3: Install the Lights
Follow the instructions provided with your lighting kit. Most lights either have adhesive backs or require small screws. Make sure to hide the wiring as best as you can for a cleaner look.

Step 4: Test the Lights
Once the lights are installed, it's time for the moment of truth. Plug them in or switch them on. Adjust as needed until you're happy with the result.

Step 5: Enjoy the Ambiance
Now that your bookshelf is beautifully lit, sit back and enjoy the cozy ambiance it brings to your room. Your easy DIY bookshelf makeover is sure to impress!

Lighting not only highlights the contents of your bookshelf but also adds a warm, inviting touch to your room. So, are you ready to light up your reading world?

Add Trim or Moulding

Adding trim or moulding to your bookshelf can give it a whole new look. It's a simple way to transform a plain bookshelf into a piece of furniture that looks custom-made. So, ready to add some flair to your bookshelf? Here's how to do this easy DIY bookshelf makeover:

Step 1: Select Your Trim or Moulding
There are many trim or moulding styles to choose from, such as decorative, crown, or flat. Choose something that fits your personal style and complements your bookshelf.

Step 2: Measure Twice, Cut Once
Measure the area on your bookshelf where you want to add the trim or moulding. Write down the measurements and make sure to double-check them before you start cutting. Remember, it's always better to be safe than sorry!

Step 3: Cut the Trim or Moulding
Using a saw, carefully cut the trim or moulding according to your measurements. Be sure to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.

Step 4: Attach the Trim or Moulding
Use wood glue or small nails to attach the trim or moulding to your bookshelf. Wait for the glue to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 5: Paint or Stain
You can choose to paint or stain the trim or moulding to match your bookshelf, or you could choose a contrasting color to make it stand out. It's all up to you!

And there you have it! With just a few simple steps, you can add a touch of elegance to your bookshelf. This easy DIY bookshelf makeover will surely turn heads and make your bookshelf the star of the room. So, are you ready to trim to perfection?

Replace Shelves with Crates or Baskets

Is your bookshelf looking a bit too standard for your taste? Inject some personality into it by replacing its shelves with crates or baskets. This is a fabulous, easy DIY bookshelf makeover trick that can breathe new life into an old bookshelf. Here's the scoop:

Step 1: Find the Right Crates or Baskets
First, you need to find crates or baskets that fit your bookshelf. They don't need to be a perfect fit, but they should be close enough. Also, consider the style and color of the crates or baskets. Do you want a rustic look with wooden crates or a more modern look with wire baskets?

Step 2: Remove the Old Shelves
Next, carefully remove the old shelves from your bookshelf. If they're attached with screws, you'll need a screwdriver. If they're simply sitting on shelf pins, you can just lift them out.

Step 3: Install the Crates or Baskets
Now, it's time to install your new "shelves". If you're using crates, you can secure them to the bookshelf with screws. If you're using baskets, you can simply slide them onto the shelves.

Step 4: Style Your Bookshelf
Fill your crates or baskets with books, plants, or other decor items. Be creative and have fun with it!

Voila! You've just given your old bookshelf a fun and functional makeover. Not only does this easy DIY bookshelf makeover add unique character to your bookshelf, but it also provides you with some interesting storage solutions. So, are you ready to crate or basket your way to a stylish bookshelf?

Create a New Top for Your Bookshelf

Ever considered giving your bookshelf a hat? Well, not a literal one, but creating a new top for your bookshelf can give it a fresh look and make it stand out. This is an easy DIY bookshelf makeover idea that requires minimal effort and resources. Let's walk through the steps:

Step 1: Choose Your Material
First, decide on the material you want to use for the new top. Consider using something that complements your bookshelf and the room's decor. Wood, glass, or even a slab of marble can create an interesting contrast.

Step 2: Measure and Cut
Measure the width and length of your bookshelf. Your new top should be slightly wider and longer than these measurements for a more polished look. After measuring, cut your material accordingly. If you're not confident in your cutting skills, you can have it cut at a home improvement store.

Step 3: Attach the New Top
Next, fix the new top to your bookshelf. Depending on the material you've chosen, you can use screws, adhesive, or even double-sided tape. Make sure it's secure and sits evenly.

Step 4: Decorate!
Now comes the fun part - decorating! Add a lamp, some bookends, or a small plant to the new top of your bookshelf. The options are endless!

There you have it! By creating a new top for your bookshelf, you've essentially given it a mini renovation. This easy DIY bookshelf makeover can truly transform your bookshelf from plain to eye-catching. Ready to give your bookshelf a new top?

Add Doors or Curtains

Looking for an easy DIY bookshelf makeover that also adds a little mystery? Adding doors or curtains to your bookshelf might be the answer. This small change can make a big impact, turning your open bookshelf into a stylish, secret storage space. Let's see how you can do it:

Step 1: Choose Your Style
First, decide whether you want to add doors or curtains. Doors can give your bookshelf a sleek, clean look, while curtains add a touch of softness and whimsy. Choose what suits your space and personal style the best.

Step 2: Measure and Purchase
Next, measure the width and height of your bookshelf. If you're adding doors, you'll need to find ones that fit the measurements. For curtains, you'll need a curtain rod that fits across the width and curtains that hang to just below the bottom shelf.

Step 3: Install Your Choice
For doors, you'll need to attach hinges to the bookshelf and then attach the doors to the hinges. For curtains, install the curtain rod at the top of the bookshelf and then hang your curtains. Make sure everything is secure!

Step 4: Enjoy the Hidden Storage
With doors or curtains installed, your bookshelf now has hidden storage. It's the perfect place to store items you don't want on display, while still keeping them close at hand.

Adding doors or curtains is a simple yet effective easy DIY bookshelf makeover. So why not give it a try and add a little intrigue to your room?

Transform it into a Bar Cart

Another intriguing, yet easy DIY bookshelf makeover is transforming it into a bar cart. This is a stylish and functional way to repurpose your bookshelf, especially for those who love to entertain. So, how do you go about it? Let's break it down:

Step 1: Consider Your Needs
First, think about what you need in a bar cart. Do you need space for wine bottles, cocktail glasses, a mixing station, or all of the above? Your needs will guide how you transform your bookshelf.

Step 2: Remove Unnecessary Shelves
Depending on your bookshelf and your needs, you might need to remove some shelves. This will make room for taller items like wine bottles or cocktail shakers.

Step 3: Add Some Wheels
A bar cart needs to be mobile. You can easily add wheels to your bookshelf with a few simple tools. Just make sure the wheels you choose can support the weight of your bookshelf and the items you plan to store on it.

Step 4: Stock Up
Once your bookshelf is transformed into a bar cart, it's time to stock up. Add your favorite beverages, glassware, and other bar essentials.

Step 5: Enjoy Your New Bar Cart
With your new bar cart stocked and ready, you are now prepared to host with style and ease. Cheers to your creativity and your easy DIY bookshelf makeover!

Just remember, transforming your bookshelf into a bar cart is not just about functionality, but also about adding a personal touch. So, don't be afraid to add some fun decorations or unique glassware that reflects your personal style. After all, it's your bar cart—make it truly yours!

If you enjoyed our tips on transforming your bookshelf and are looking for more creative DIY ideas, why not explore Daisie's classes? You'll find a wealth of inspiration and step-by-step tutorials on various DIY projects that will help you bring a touch of uniqueness to your home and personal style. Happy crafting!