Are you tired of looking at your plain, boring shelves? Do you want to add a touch of color and personality to your home decor? Look no further! In this article, we will show you how to cover shelves with fabric, transforming them into stylish and eye-catching pieces.

How to cover shelves with fabric?

Are you looking to add a touch of color and personality to your shelves? Covering them with fabric is a simple and fun way to achieve a fresh and unique look.

Whether you want to hide unsightly items or just want to add a pop of color, this step-by-step guide will show you how to cover shelves with fabric in just nine easy steps.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Before you get started, make sure you have all the necessary materials. You will need:

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Double-sided tape
  • Iron

Step 2: Measure the Shelves

Using your measuring tape, measure the width and depth of each shelf you want to cover. This will help you determine how much fabric you will need.

Step 3: Cut the Fabric

Using your measurements from step 2, cut the fabric into pieces that are slightly larger than each shelf. Make sure to leave some extra fabric on each side to ensure a snug fit.

Step 4: Iron the Fabric

Before you start attaching the fabric, iron it to remove any wrinkles or creases. This will help ensure a smooth and professional-looking finish.

Step 5: Attach Double-Sided Tape

Apply double-sided tape to the edges of each shelf. This will help hold the fabric in place and prevent it from shifting or sliding.

Step 6: Position the Fabric

Carefully position the fabric over the shelf, making sure it is centered and aligned properly. Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles as you go.

Step 7: Secure the Fabric

Press down firmly on the fabric to secure it to the double-sided tape. Make sure all edges are securely attached and there are no loose areas.

Step 8: Trim Excess Fabric

Using your scissors, trim any excess fabric that hangs over the edges of the shelves. This will give your shelves a clean and polished look.

Step 9: Repeat for Each Shelf

Repeat steps 5-8 for each shelf you want to cover. Take your time and make sure each shelf is covered evenly and securely.

And there you have it! By following these nine simple steps, you can easily cover your shelves with fabric and transform their look.

Whether you choose a bold pattern or a subtle texture, this DIY project is a great way to add a personal touch to your space. So go ahead, get creative, and give your shelves a stylish makeover!

More: What is Home Decor Fabric? (Types & Choices)

How do you stick fabric to shelves? (Different ways)

When it comes to adding fabric to shelves, the method you choose depends on how permanent you want it to be and the type of fabric and shelf you’re working with. Let’s explore a few options:

Temporary Solutions:

Fabric Clips: Keep it simple with binder clips or decorative fabric clips. They’re gentle on your shelves and perfect for lightweight fabrics. Plus, they make it easy to switch up your shelf style.

Double-Sided Tape: Apply strips of double-sided tape to your shelf and press the fabric onto it. It’s a quick solution for lightweight to medium-weight fabrics, though it may not be as secure.

Semi-Permanent Choices:

Spray Adhesive: Spray a light coat on the back of the shelf and press the fabric. Ideal for medium to heavy-weight fabrics, but removal can be a challenge. Work in a ventilated space and wear protective gear.

Mod Podge: Apply a thin layer to the shelf and press the fabric. This water-based adhesive is easy to remove and suits lightweight to medium-weight fabrics.

Permanent Methods:

Staple Gun: Staple the fabric directly to the shelf for a sturdy, permanent fix. Great for heavy-duty fabrics, but it can leave lasting marks.

Upholstery Tacks: Hammer tacks through the fabric into the shelf for a traditional look. It takes time and may damage the fabric.

Additional Tips:

  • Iron your fabric before applying it to remove wrinkles.
  • Align patterns if your fabric has them.
  • To prevent fraying, fold the edges under before sticking.

Remember, the choice depends on your preferences and the nature of your fabric and shelves.

More: How to Fit More Books on a Bookshelf? (Is It Possible? YES/NO)

What is the easiest way to cover shelves?

The easiest way to cover your shelves really depends on your priorities and the available options. Here are some methods ranked from quick and temporary to more permanent but requiring some effort:

Super Quick and Easy:

  • Hanging fabric panels: This involves no gluing or stapling. Simply hang lightweight fabric panels or curtains in front of your shelves using a tension rod or hanging hardware.
  • Drape decorative throws: Toss a decorative throw or blanket over your shelves for a casual and cozy look. You can tuck the edges neatly or let them hang for a relaxed vibe.

Simple and Semi-Permanent:

  • Use adhesive shelf liners: Several self-adhesive liner options come in various textures and patterns. Measure, cut, and stick them directly to your shelves. Easy removal when you change your mind.
  • Contact paper: Similar to shelf liners, contact paper offers decorative options and is relatively easy to apply. However, it might be less forgiving on removal.

More Permanent but Involves Effort:

  • Upholstery tacks: Staple or tack fabric directly to the shelf. Secure and durable, but potential damage to the shelf and fabric. Choose this method for heavy-duty fabrics and shelves you don’t mind marking.
  • Fabric adhesive: Apply a fabric glue or spray adhesive to the back of the shelf and press the fabric firmly. More permanent than temporary fixes, but removal can be messy.

Bonus tip: If you prioritize a clean look without completely covering your shelves, consider organizing and decluttering items displayed on them. This allows the shelves themselves to shine while maintaining functionality.

Ultimately, the “easiest” option depends on your individual needs and priorities. Choose the method that best suits your desired aesthetic, durability requirements, and DIY comfort level.

More: How to Hide Open Shelves in Bathroom? (Best 13 Ways)

Final Thoughts

Covering shelves with fabric is a creative and practical way to revamp your home decor. This simple DIY project allows you to infuse color and personality into your space, transforming plain shelves into stylish focal points.

Whether you prefer a bold pattern or a subtle texture, the step-by-step guide provided here ensures a hassle-free process.

From gathering materials to securing the fabric, the instructions guide you through each stage, resulting in a polished and customized look for your shelves.

Experiment with different fabrics and techniques to find the best fit for your preferences and the nature of your shelves.

Remember that the choice of whether to opt for a temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent solution depends on your desired level of commitment and the type of fabric you’re working with.

Whether you choose fabric clips, double-sided tape, spray adhesive, or even a staple gun, the article provides a variety of options catering to different needs.


Can I use any type of fabric for covering shelves?

Yes, you can use a variety of fabrics based on your preference and the intended look. However, consider the weight and texture of the fabric for the method you choose.

Is it necessary to iron the fabric before attaching it to the shelves?

Ironing the fabric is recommended to ensure a smooth and professional finish. It helps remove wrinkles and creases for a polished appearance.

Can I remove the fabric later if I change my mind about the design?

The ease of removal depends on the method you choose. Temporary solutions like fabric clips are easily removable, while more permanent methods like staple guns may leave lasting marks.

Are there alternatives to covering shelves with fabric for a quick makeover?

Yes, alternatives include hanging fabric panels, draping decorative throws, using adhesive shelf liners, or applying contact paper. These options provide varying levels of permanence and effort.

What’s the best way to maintain a clean look on shelves without fully covering them?

Organizing and decluttering items on display is a great way to maintain a clean look without covering the entire shelf. This allows the shelves to shine while remaining functional.

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