Wallpapering Shelves – Easy Way To Jazz Up A Bookshelf

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Add some character to a basic bookshelf by wallpapering shelves. Here I show you how I took inexpensive peel and stick wallpaper to create a unique look that anyone can create.

My daughter has this cute little inset bookcase in her room. It’s old and the shelves are kind of crooked, but it works and it’s the perfect space to store all her books. I knew I wanted to do something with this book nook, whether I just painted it or added some wallpaper. Since we have paneled walls in the back of the bookcase, wallpapering the back of the bookshelf was not really going to work.

I ended up just painting the back a soft peachy pink to have it pop a bit against the white paneled walls. I love this color so much for her room. The color is Angelic by Sherwin Williams.

Only, this wasn’t enough.

I still wanted a little more character!

And that’s when I remembered the leftover peel and stick wallpaper I had from our laundry room makeover. YES! That would totally work here.

You can easily take a boring bookcase or book nook from blah to wow with some simple peel and stick wallpaper.

Let me show you how I did it.


Wallpapering Shelves

This project is pretty self-explanatory, but I have a few tips for you!

  1. If you can remove the shelves in your bookcase, do that. It makes it so much easier to apply the wallpaper. My bookshelves just pop right out!
  2. Measure up your wallpaper by laying it on top of your shelves and ensure that it wraps around at least the front side (the side that will show and face forward – if you want that look). I didn’t care much about the bottom or sides since you don’t really see it.
  3. I found the easiest way to do this was to line up the edge of the wallpaper with the edge of the shelf, then unpeel it from the backing and apply starting from the corner out. However – this is peel and stick, which means you can easily remove and reapply if need be. Don’t worry about messing it up!
  4. Smooth out all the bumps and lumps by running your hands along the shelves. You can use one of these wallpaper tools, but I found your hands work just as well.
  5. Wrap your wallpaper around the front and cut off any excess from the sides. Repeat with all your shelves!

What if I can’t remove my shelves?

You can still easily do this! I had to do this on the bottom of my bookshelf.

Start from the back corner of the shelf and line up your wallpaper. Ensure you have enough to cover the front of the shelves too if you are doing that. Then just unpeel and start sticking. Don’t forget you can re-apply if you mess up.

How to Remove Peel and Stick Wallpaper

If you goofed up, no worries. Just remove it and start over.

You may be wondering, how do I remove peel and stick wallpaper?

I start at a corner and carefully peel it off that way. I find that this paper doesn’t rip easily, but it can stick to itself if you’re not careful and it’s tricky to pull apart if that happens. I’ve had to cut off and throw away sections when this happened because it just wouldn’t pull apart without me damaging it.

So – don’t get the paper stuck to itself!

I think it’s best to go slow and pull firmly.

Can you Use Peel and Stick Wallpaper on any type of Bookshelf?

Pretty much, yes!

This is literally the easiest wallpaper in the world to apply. You may want to read the individual instructions of your particular peel and stick wallpaper. For instance, some manufacturers state you can’t apply this wallpaper to lacquered furniture.

I would also like to recommend that you clean the area to be wallpapered first. It won’t adhere well to dirty or dusty surfaces. And if you just painted, you may want to wait until your paint fully cures before applying this peel and stick wallpaper.

Other than that – put it anywhere! Put it on your toilet if you want. Walls, bookshelves, tabletops, doors, stairs, etc. Have fun!

I can totally see how people get obsessed with peel and stick wallpaper. There are so many fun patterns and it’s a lot easier than painting. (It’s just more expensive!)

Decorating Bookshelves for Kids

After applying, I was ready to decorate her shelves!

I think it’s fun to add pretty toys, knickknacks, and books to a kid’s bookshelf to make more of a statement.

I hope this gave you guys some ideas about jazzing up those plain and boring bookshelves!

If you do this project – I’d love to see it. Tag me on Instagram!

xo Karen

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