Well, you know how I’ve been working on decoupaging my bookshelf with old music sheets? Well, I’ve FINALLY finished! Yep, it’s all decoupaged, varnished, and full of books!
Now, I’ve already done the decoupage tutorial, so I won’t go through that again, but I will show you a few things that I did differently with the bookcase, or at least, things you need to be aware of when decoupaging a big piece of furniture like this. But first up, how much did the bookshelf cost all up?
Bookshelf- n/a I used one that was old and a bit yuck, so I’m not including it. It’s just a Billy bookshelf from IKEA though.
Glue- $24 (it was about $4 a pot, I used 6 pots)
Music sheets- $10. There was a huge price difference in which op-shop you bought music sheets in, so if you’re doing this, look around.
Varnish- $20. It was $10 a can, and I totally used up both of them.
1. It’s really hard to know how much supplies you’ll need. For this bookshelf, I used about 6 tubs of decoupage glue (1 tub= 250ml so about 1.5 L total). I have no idea how many sheets of music I used, but it was about 3 or 4 FULL sized music books.
2. Towards the end I really didn’t have any money to buy new glue, so I just used regular PVA glue. From what I can tell, this worked exactly the same. I’ve seen a few tutorials on Pinterest for ‘homemade mod podge’ and a lot said to water down the PVA, but I found that when I did that, it ruined the sheet of paper. This may have been my dodgy measurements, or it could have been the fact that I was using quite old paper. Either way, I just used ful strength PVA and it worked a treat. Also, I imagine if you were decoupaging something thats colour was perfect, you would want to make sure it was acid free. Because my sheets were already yellowed, and I was happy for this to age, this wasn’t a consideration for me.
3. Instead of using the decoupage glue as my sealer (it was meant to be able to do this) I bought two cans of spray-on varnish from the hardware. The reason I did this, was because I noticed that on the lazy susan, if a drop of water hit it, the glue went sticky again. So yeah, not such a great sealer! The varnish was much safer way of doing this.
4. Make sure you leave the varnish or sealer to dry for a good 24 hours before you start putting books on it. I actually brought mine inside after it had dried overnight, and then waited another 24 hours after that.
5. With furniture like this, there are lots of corners. I always just lined my paper up, and stuck it on in the easiest way possible. Then, I went over it again with a second layer of paper, and patched over the pieces that were lined up straight. This is a really useful way of doing the bottom section of the bookshelf.
6. You might (or might not?) notice that there are a few different shades of ‘yellow’ in the music sheets. Overall, I don’t mind this, but you if you are they type of person who does care, then you’ll need to make sure you leave at least one piece of paper, so when you run out to get some more you can compare colours! Another option would be to tea-stain all the papers, but really, who has the time?!
So that’s what I’ve leant from decoupaging a bookshelf! I hope it’s inspired you to give a project like this a go! It took me a good 4 weeks to get it finally finished, but I procrastinated a lot, so it shouldn’t take you as long!
As I mentioned in the lazy susan decoupage tutorial, the main piece of furntiure I want to decoupage with old music sheets is the bookshelf. I started on it today (yay!), but boy is a WAY bigger job then I anticipated! I’ve spent the morning doing the shelves, and the back of the top half of the bookself itself, and I’m pooped!
I think I’ll have another go at some more this afternoon, after I’ve got my chores done. Here are some before and… in the middle shots!
The bookshelf before any decoupage.
As you can see, the bookshelf does NOT fit in with the new furniture!
Mod Podging the bookshelf (definitely an outside job).
Tip: Don’t just line the music sheets up with the edges. Try to make them overlap. This will make it ‘flow’ more, and make the edges less obvious.
Tip: Don’t decoupage the sides of the shelves that will sit in the bookshelf. This will add extra width to the shelves and they may not fit. What I’ve done here is just glue out to the edge. Then with a craft knife, I just slice off the extra (as seen in the second shelf from the right).