Thursday, August 9, 2012

DIY Linen Closet Fabric Shelves

Earlier I shared the beginning stages of our linen closet makeover. Today I wanted to share the rest of this project. I knew I wanted to cover the tops of the shelves, but decided against normal shelf liner. I wanted something more durable that could cover the entire shelf instead of just the top. 
After doing some research, I found these two DIY projects. The first, from addicted 2 decorating, shows how to line the inside of drawers with fabric. I liked the way she used sealer to top the fabric to make it easy to clean. The second, from emmmy lizzy, is a wonderful tutorial showing how to cover shelves in fabric. I took tips from both of these sites and made my own fabric shelves for our linen closet. It's a relatively easy project, but it can be time consuming! For me, it was definitely worth it :) This project took me a day and a half altogether.

For this project, you will need:
Spray Adhesive 
Modge Podge
Paint Brush
Table to work on outdoors
Plastic table cloth, or trash bag
Plastic gloves
Water soluble polyurethane

I started off by visiting a couple local thrift stores and picking out some old bed sheets. I found these great patterns and bought them for a couple bucks each. I decided to use the top and the bottom fabrics; I thought the light gray and purple colors worked well together. I love the magenta fabric with white petals, but it will have to wait for another project :) 

I prefer either satin or matte polyurethane. Both aren't glossy. However, satin does have a bit of sheen where matte does not. I like a little bit of sheen, so I went with satin :)

1. Measure your fabric to fit your shelf with room to wrap around and completely cover it. Once you measure, cut it down to size. If you just cut about an inch into the fabric, it will then rip straight. Once your fabric is the right size, iron out all of the wrinkles. I set up a blanket on my kitchen island and ironed over it so I could have more room.
2. Set up a table outside and cover it with a trash bag or plastic tablecloth. Spray the front side evenly with spray adhesive. You can either buy web or mist adhesive. They each have their pros and cons. Mist adhesive is pretty messy and can get everywhere, but it sprays very evenly. Web adhesive is direct where it sprays, but gets into clumps that can leave marks on your fabric. I tried both in this project and I preferred the mist because of it's even spray. 3M makes a great mist spray adhesive that dries clear. I'd only recommend mist if you're working outside though, because it really does get everywhere! After I sprayed with the web adhesive, it left clumps all over the board. I took a scrap of fabric and smoothed out the adhesive so that it wouldn't make marks on my fabric. 
3. Very carefully place your fabric over the shelf leaving room on either side to fold over. Pull the fabric tight over the shelf as you press down and smooth out any bubbles.
4. Carefully flip the shelf, spray with adhesive and pull over one side of fabric.
5. Seal the crease with modge podge. If the bottom part of your shelf will be easily visible, you may want to skip this part. Though the modge podge dries clear, you can definitely tell where you painted it.
6. Carefully spray over the uncovered part of wood as well as the part of fabric that will be covered by the second side of fabric. Pull the fabric tightly over and press down, pushing out any air bubbles.
7. Once again, seal the crease with modge podge.
8. Cut off the extra fabric on each edge.
9. Paint the edge of the shelf with modge podge. Pull down on side of the fabric at a time, adding more modge podge as you go.
10. Once finished, allow enough time for the modge podge and adhesive to dry (typically 15-20 minutes.)
11. Use a water soluble polyurethane sealer and paint over the top side of the shelf. I decided to paint the whole thing to make it easier to clean, but the top is the important part. I used two coats on the top and one coat underneath. 
12. Set your shelves out to dry. The perfect setting to dry would be outdoors on a dry, sunny day with a breeze. Unfortunately for me, it was extremely humid and raining off and on. I set up my kitchen island with plastic, put the ceiling fan on, and set up an extra fan. Shelves took about a half hour or so to dry each coat. 

I really could not be happier with the results of this project! I can't wait to fill up this closet with linens and storage! I'm still taking many tips from Martha Stewart and will hopefully have a picture-worthy closet once it's filled up :) 
Do you have a linen closet? Have you made any updates to it since you moved in? 
<3 Lauren