Thursday, March 20, 2008


Our friends Lauren and Derek of the curiosity shoppe and smarts & crafts are contributors to the ever so popular design*sponge with a weekly DIY feature every Wednesday. They loved our new kitchen shelves so much that they asked if they could use the project as this weeks post. We were thrilled and honored. Head on over to design*sponge and have a look. Below are a few more images than you will find there.

The shelves came to be like this...
In order to help cut costs on the kitchen remodel, we opted to do some open shelving along one wall. We can always go in and add cabinets later if we feel we need them or strike it rich.

I had 3 black shelves from Ikea that I covered in a grass cloth I found here at Maui Bamboo.
Total cost was $123:
Shelves $20 (originally $20 each and I already had them from 12 years ago)
Grass cloth $33
Polyurethane $14
Paint brushes $6
Gloves $4
Stain $0 (I had extra from the chair refinishing a few months ago)
Staples $6
Staple Gun


This could be done with any fabric or paper as well.

The process was:

Since the cloth is an open weave and a bit see through, I sprayed the black shelves with white primer. Depending upon your material, you could omit this step or paint a color closer to your material.

Gather supplies needed.

Cut fabric long enough to wrap around shelf like a gift wrapped box.
Wrap around and staple along back edge making sure to keep the cloth straight and really taught.

Staples then ends last. Since the ends won't be showing on either side, I simply stapled the ends right on top of the fabric. Depending where you would hang them, another way of finishing the ends would be needed to make it cleaner than this.

After I applied the cloth to the shelves I thought it was too light in color. I wanted it to be a little warmer and to match the new straw seat stools and woven grass mat. Since I was going to be sealing the entire shelf with polyurethane, I just added 1 part of brown stain to 3 parts clear polyurethane. It tended to puddle a bit so I put on the rubber gloves and rubbed it into the grass cloth fibers which worked out quite well. After that coat dried I gave it one more coat of just clear polyurethane. Let dry and hang.


Anonymous said...

hello, hello . . . i just wanted to stop by and thank you for sharing this brilliant idea on d*s!

p.s. it's so nice to find a few more souls with a passion for modern island style.

s. said...

i just re-hung those same black shelves u inspried me to buy way back in the day too!!
hmmmm, maybe i should cover them..
u always have the best ideas!!

Anonymous said...

hello! i was thinking of some way to spruce up my lack tables then i remembered seeing your beautiful shelf makeover on designsponge. is the grasscloth pretty durable? do you think it would hold up well on a table?