I Built That!

DIY Fabric Covered Table Shelf

How to use vertical space by adding a table shelf | The Chelsea Project Blog | www.thechelseaproject.com

Ever feel like all of your surfaces are beginning to look alike?

There’s so much of the same that it’s all beginning to run together?





I know exactly how you feel…

because I am feeling it, too.

In this bathroom vanity area redo,

the creamy white is so fresh and clean…and yet…..it needs something.

Something organic.

Something with texture.


Not painted….


Not shiny.

It also needs a lift at the far end of the vanity top to add dimension and interest.

And, this time…..because of attachment issues…open shelving is just not an option.

What it needs is a table shelf.

A burlap covered table shelf.

It’s organic.

It’s textural.

And it has the visual impression of open shelving.

Step 1:  Rustle Up a Shelf

I had this one on hand (from the clearance rack at TJMaxx), but it was too big.


Then I remembered that although the great scrap lumber purge of January 2015 might be over, I still had lumber………that needed to be purged.  *Sigh*


That’s when this crude excuse for a shelf was born.  Raw butt joints.  Uneven cuts.  Screws not countersunk.  One look at this and I would have failed workshop class…..for sure.

Step 2:  A Magic Potion 


To pretty up this ugly ducking, I started by making a magic potion of half white school glue and half water.  Instructions here.

Step 3:  The Full Body Wrap

Then I sized the burlap so that it wrapped over the top and overlapped underneath.  It ravels like crazy and is stiff.  If you haven’t worked with burlap before…..you can shake the daylights out of the piece to decrease some of the stiffness, but only washing it will make drastic improvements.  I wanted my burlap raw and original so I just cut the piece to size and started gluing………FROM THE TOP.


Then flip the shelf over and glue the fabric in the middle.  Time to get those hands gluey.  Pour on the potion and work it through the fabric.  That’s right.  Work it.

As parts of the fabric are saturated, rub out wrinkles and bubbles….and tape that piece into place.


Do the same to the sides.  It’s all about wrapping the fabric so there are absolutely no visible seams on the top and sides.


Step 4:  Let It Set

Once the fabric is fully glued….. just walk away….. and let it dry.


Step 5:  Take Her Out for a Spin


Isn’t it amazing what potions and body wraps can do?


Goodbye, Ugly Duckling.


Hello……….Beautiful Swan.


Until next time,

Please……don’t forget to PIN…..

Open shelving wouldn't work in this area because it wouldn't attach. Here's how I worked around the problem. Shelves can be stacked for more height

Happy Decorating,



No Comments

  • Reply maggiemaysgifts February 5, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    I LOVE how that turned out!! Rustic look with the crisp, modern, white towels! perfect!

  • Reply thechelseaprojectblog February 5, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    TY so much….it’s Maggie’s Magic Potion…..showin that ugly shelf the love. lol.

  • Reply Nancy February 5, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    What a great idea! Love it!

  • Reply thechelseaprojectblog February 5, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    Thx Nance….hope you can make one soon. Thx for commenting. Love hearing from you.

  • Reply 10 Tips for Making Pottery Barn Inspired Bookcase Accessories | The Chelsea Project March 30, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    […] The first dash showed up in the Jack and Jill bath vanities. Here. And here. […]

  • Thanks so much for your comment!

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.