Jazzing Up My Room

Bookshelf Update with Contact Paper by Wiggling Scholars

I’m not usually one to spend a ton of personal money on my classroom. I mean, there is a spectrum and I’m closer to the “not gonna” end when it comes to dropping serious dollars back into my classroom. Don’t get me wrong, I admire those of you who are that dedicated. I am warming to the notion that I spend many hours a day in the room and a little visual cheeriness would go a long way.

Honestly, just about anything would make this look better!

Before Pictures by Wiggling Scholars

I pulled together this DIY- Crafty Classroom Mini-Makeover!

Overall, I spent around $50 and most of that was on fabric. I got a few yards of fabric at Walmart, u-shaped brackets for mounting at Menards (local hardware store), and some patterned contact paper at Target. From my personal cruft I found an old curtain rod, stitch-witchery, and heavy-duty magnetic tape.

Non-sewing Set Up for Fabric Curtains by Wiggling Schoalrs


I’d like to note for all my fellow “somewhat crafty, but still live in an apartment so to-heck with a sewing machine” peeps, this is absolutely do-able! Since I don’t own a sewing machine, I had to get busy with the stitch-witchery. I imagine you can buy it at a fabric or craft store (Walmart, JoAnn’s, or Michael’s). This stuff works like a charm! Iron carefully, and in minutes you have a non-thread, no-sewing hem.

As you can see, I marked the fabrics before ironing. I had 2 projects going: one needed magnetic tape and the other needed a curtain rod.

Let’s start with the magnetic tape piece used on a metal bookshelf: I used the edge of the fabric as the bottom so no hemming was required. I wanted to be sure the width was right, so I hemmed the sides next. Then, came the magnetic tape part. I stuck the tape in the correct spot, folded over the edge and put the stitch-witchery just a tiny bit away from the magnetic tape. Voila! You have a magnetic bookshelf curtain.

I left a loop at the top of this fabric hem to make sure there was room for the curtain rod. Iron, stitch-witchery, assemble, done! Then, I permanently nailed the rod to the shelving unit because, well… I have a feeling she won’t be with me many more years.

The most time consuming part was also enjoyable for me (I also am the type to enjoy removing ALL of the staples from my bulletin boards before I put up new paper). I laid contact paper over the countertop on the world’s oldest shelving unit, Bertha. It was easy enough, but I was very careful to avoid bubbles and too much overlap.

After Pictures by Wiggling Scholars


I might have forgotten to ask permission to do the same to the sink countertop (the unit is permanent, unlike Bertha). But I have promised that I will remove the contact paper (and all of the goo left behind) at the end of the year. I know I might be making more work for myself, but seriously… just look at that counter?!  Blech!

I store some of my “out of the way” things in Bertha. The fabric just flips up for access. As for the bookshelf, I whip that curtain off no problem! It’s magnetic and so easy to just toss back on.

***Update: The contact paper removal went just fine and I didn't even need to de-goo the surface. It just peeled right off! In fact, I re-purposed the fabric to make cushion tops!

Happy DIYing!


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