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Gone But Not Forgotten

November 23, 2022

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Bookcases are great for storage and organization, but when you don't want to see what you have on the shelves you can create curtains and make it all disappear. 

Here's how.

Removing Cushion Slipcovers

A few weeks ago, I sent my beloved floral sofa to the curb.

It was a bittersweet day, for sure.

Yes, yes, I did get a gorgeous, brand new one that I adore, but let's face it, that rose covered couch was a favorite and it held a special place in my heart.

So much so that when it went out the door, it did so almost naked. 

Yup, I stripped that baby down to the frame.

Removing Fabric From Sofa

I removed any cushion covers that weren't ripped and grabbed a razor blade to cut giant pieces away from the wood.

While the rest of the fabric may have been tattered and worn, the yards behind the cushions and on the back of the sofa were pristine.

Hidden away from the sun they were flawless, just waiting to be called into service again, when needed.

Well, to be honest, I thought that day would be a long time in the future, when I was bored with the fabric on my glass cabinets.

Or perhaps, when I needed a new pillow cover for the living room, once the holiday decor was gone.

I've also been toying with the idea of adding a cushion to the bench my husband made me for the kitchen table.

However, none of these DIYs were on my mind at the moment, so I packed it all up and tossed it in the closet for a rainy day.

Then this weekend, my attention turned to the basement family room.

I was sitting down there, admiring the way it all turned out, when the sore thumb in the room started screaming at me.

Bookshelf with children's books

A bookcase, we'd picked up at the curb, or maybe it came with the house, I honestly can't remember, that was filled with preschool tales and other stories from my kids' collections and my own kindergarten classroom.

They were sentimental shelves overflowing with colorful treasure, but boy, were they ugly.

Nope, something needed to be done. 

I toyed with the idea of getting a new cabinet, but this one fit so well.

Then I thought about moving the books to boxes, but I have littles here sometimes, great nieces and nephews, who love to poke through the pages.

My last thought was to have my husband build me two doors, just frames, so I could stretch fabric, but some of the books stuck out past the bookcase edges, meaning doors would not shut fully. Hmmm.

Then it hit me. What if I just added a rod and hung up a curtain?

I made skirts for tables and sink skirts all the time. Why not put one on the bookshelf? 

So that's what I did.

And you already know that the fabric I decided to use was from that old couch.

It never dawned on me that it would go with the rust and cream tones I have going on in that new space, but you know what...it did.
 

How To Cover A Bookcase With Fabric


To add a fabric curtain to the bookshelf, I just hung up a rod on the face of it, using screws to anchor the brackets.

Adding A Curtain Rod To A Bookshelf

In the past, I've used tension rods and rings, which does make opening and closing the curtain much easier.

This time though, that kind of rod wasn't going to work. A basic rod was best for my situation, plus I already had one on hand.

And I always choose free.

However, if your bookcase is different and you can use rings, you can follow the tutorial I shared for a skirted table. The process is identical.

I also didn't make two panels, so they'd open in the middle to get to the books, because it's rare that someone grabs something from that case.

Matching Fabric Patterns Before Sewing

Besides, creating the curtain was already little more involved than constructing a basic rod pocket panel, since I had to stitch together all the scraps to make one solid piece.

Making two panels was more than I was willing to do on the day before Thanksgiving.

Sewing Curtains For A Bookcase

Once I was done stitching them all together, I moved on to making a one inch pocket, with a one inch header and hemming the sides and bottom.

My fabric was a bit short, so I used a liner as a backing. It allowed me to create the pocket without using the floral pattern in areas no one would see.

It also fell below the roses and reached the floor. If I had a long fringe trim, I could've added that instead, but I didn't.

Plus, I think the white ruffle is very sweet.

When it was done, I slipped my new {old} fabric onto the rod and voila!

Cottage Style Bookcase Curtain

Those very bright, primary colors disappeared.

And my lovely, cottage floral sofa fabric was front and center once again.

Skirted Bookcase DIY

Exactly where it belongs.

How fabulous.

Would you skirt a bookcase? 

Kim Signature


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  1. Long live the Queen!
    Happy Thanksgiving Kim. Thanks for posting such great stuff!

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    1. Happy Thanksgiving,, it looks fabulous, yes I would definitely skirt an old bookcase, when I read that you had sent it to the curb, I thought nooooo, all the material and wood, then I read you had stripped it down, a girl after my own heart, I do exactly the same with everything look first to see what I can salvage,lol, drive,s my husband crazy,,he thinks I,m mad, ,,but it has to be done,lol

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  2. Happy Thanksgiving , when you said you had taken it to the curb, i thought NOOOO, all that material and wood, then the relief that you had stripped it down a girl after my own heart,, lol, that`s what I do with nearly lt everything, including the wood,,,and It looks fabulous, and yes I would certainly skirt an old book case, in fact I would skirt a modern one, and I have modern one that will do very nicely, for the job..,

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  3. You are hilarious! Great thinking though, that sofa was so beautiful.

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    1. Thanks so much, Heather...I just couldn't let it all go without keeping a bit of it.

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  4. I love it. Would I do the same? You betcha, in a heartbeat. Looks so cozy.

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    1. Thanks so much!! It really does cozy up the space!!

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  5. I skirt my bookcases all the time. I have one in the bedroom that is skirted, one in the bathroom that is skirted (for storage of 'don't see them things') and one in my craft room that holds fabric. Been skirting bookcases for years. Great minds think alike.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. xo Diana

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    1. I just love those skirts...and I have to say that my mind has definitely gotten "greater" since I started blogging, thanks to all the creative and inspiring ideas you ladies share. I hope your holiday was lovely!! xxoo

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  6. Kim this is awesome you could use the fabric to make the skirt. Now you can still have your pretty print from the couch. Happy Thanksgiving. xoxo Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris! I can’t believe it actually goes in that space. I always thought that decor-wise that room was so different than the rest of the house, but it goes really, really well. It’s a win! I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!! xoxo

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  7. I have done this myself, in my sewing room, to cover up the stuff stored on a bookcase style shelf my dad made for me years ago. I made two panels though, from a lightweight cotton, because I do need to lift them aside from time to time. It makes great camouflage! Yours is beautiful and I love the lining trick.
    Kathleen -- kakingsbury at verizon dot net

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    1. Kathleen, I love that your bookcase is from your dad. That makes it so much more special!

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  8. What a pretty way to hide the books and honor the old favorite couch <3 A very happy and blessed Thanksgiving to all!

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    1. Thanks so much! I really am happy to see that fabric hanging around in a useful way. Thanks so much for the Thanksgiving wishes, I hope your holiday was blessed!

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  9. That looks so good, and you can see your favorite fabric everyday!

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    1. It’s a win win for me, Deanna…and thanks!!

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  10. Never would have thought of doing that, but what a great idea!! And now everything blends together beautifully.

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    1. Thanks so much Florence! I never dreamed of putting it downstairs. The fabric in the room was so different, but it really is a good fit.

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  11. How pretty this is! And I love the fact that the fabric is from your beloved sofa.

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  12. Kim, you have done it again! Btw, great job matching the design!
    This is just what I need. I have two old knockdown book cases that need to be covered. Right now they're in a corner configuration, which would be difficult to cover, but I think there might be room to put them in a line. I'm thinking..... I'll figure it out eventually.
    And, since I decorate seasonally by changing as many of the fabrics as possible, I can make several curtains! You challenge me. Thanks!

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  13. Well done. Another idea I will be pinning.
    Carla

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  14. That was a great idea, Kim! I'm so glad that you'll still get to enjoy the sofa fabric!

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  15. Good for you in saving the fabric and doing something so wonderful with it! Great job, Kim!

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