DIY Skirted Console or... How to hide an ugly bookshelf

On one side of our fireplace, we stuck an old Billy bookcase that has been used in every room of every home we've ever had, thinking it would be a great spot to put our stereo equipment, some books and a small TV. I had grand intentions of papering the back of the shelf in a pretty paper, but once the shelves were filled and the whole thing was in position lodged awkwardly next to the sofa, that job got too hard for my liking.

All the clutter that was accumulating there had me pretty anxious for a long time. I dreamed of having a carpenter come and build custom shelves to the ceiling on either side of the fireplace (I still dream of this), but until that day comes (likely, never) I needed a good solution to hide the junk and especially the stereo equipment, which couldn't be uglier in my opinion.

After browsing design blogs at length, I found this tutorial which explained how to make a custom fabric cover for a cabinet/bookshelf/console/whatever without a needle and thread. It looked quick, inexpensive and easy. Three things I love in home decor! I wish I could find a DIY tutorial for how to fix upholstery that's been destroyed by your beloved cat!

I started and finished this job during nap time one day, so about 2 hours. The tools needed are really straightforward: some fabric, fabric glue, measuring tape, good scissors, staple gun and staples and an iron. Jenny mentions this in the tutorial, but the step that saved me the most time was the ironing. If you iron, this job will be infinitely easier. Pressing the hems before gluing them ensures your seams are straight and that the job looks like you put way more than 2 hours into it (or better yet, that a professional did it!). Don't skip this step. Trust me!

I'm really happy with the way the whole project turned out. Not only does it conceal all the unsightly stuff that we hide on those shelves, but it adds a necessary pop of colour to an otherwise drab corner.


  1. Unrelated: I LOVE your curtains. So beautiful!

    1. Hi Hannah! Thanks so much. Top secret (over the internet!)...they're from Target! Shhh!


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