$5 Idea to Spice Up a Bookcase

As much as I enjoy tackling and sharing intricate and detailed DIY projects, I also like super easy, quick-to-do, and cheap inexpensive makeovers.

This simple redo that I'm about to show you is the later of the two, but the outcome is truly sensational + uber affordable.

Check out my simple way of spicing up a bookcase.

$5 IDea to Spice Up a Bookcase by @Jenna_Burger

What did I use? $5 Contact paper from Homegoods! Hello Gorgeousness...

$5 Idea to Spice Up a Bookcase - Come see the simple + stylish solution! at sasinteriors.net by @Jenna_Burger

As an Brand Influencer for Apartments.com, each month I'm put to the task of sharing useful, affordable, and easy-to-implement ideas for dwellers of rentals and/or small spaces. Last month I shared a fun Summer creation (that literally cost less than $10) for the indoors (or out) that y'all loved. And this month, I'm sharing another inexpensive idea to spruce up a space by using what you have and adding layers to it to create something totally new.

Even though I am a Designer, I am on a slim budget. When I'm in the mood to change things up, which is practically everyday, I turn to what I have on hand and move it around versus buying new. Moving something from one spot to another, makes it feel completely new and fresh. Give it a try & you'll see!

Let me take you into my living room and show you around...

My Pad!crash more of my pad...


This is my living room. It's a great space, but it's a room that I've been wanting to spruce up. I've got ideas on the brain, but the funds aren't there at the moment. So what's a girl to do? Work with what I have. And what's there to change? The large TV cabinet that houses the TV, books, and so much more. Don't see it? Yup, I know.

But here it is...

well what it used to look like (keep reading...)

Before Shot

The issue with this TV cabinet is a few things...


  • It's sentimental because it's one of the few large pieces that the Mister and I purchased when we were first married 10 years ago

  • It's BIG and holds ALOT of stuff

  • It hides the TV. As much as I like my gossipy, trashy, reality shows, I'm not a fan of seeing the TV. Plus with the kids, outta sight outta mind.

  • To replace would cost big $$$ bucks


So my quick and stylish fix?

$5 stylish contact paper, baby!

Contact paper has come a long way. It's amazing the patterns + designs that are available today. I picked the paper up from Homegoods and the geometric black & white pattern is gorgeous. You would never believe it was contact paper & cost $5.

So how did I do it? Check this out...

1. I emptied out the glass cabinets + took off the doors.

Removed Doors

2. Once they were rid of everything, it was time to install the paper to the back of the cabinet. Starting at the top. I peeled a small section of the papers backing and aligned the edge of the paper with the side back edge of the cabinet.

$5 Idea to Spice Up a Bookcase - Come see the simple + stylish solution! at sasinteriors.net by @Jenna_Burger

3. I then started to peel away the backing and smoothed out the contact paper on the surface eliminating bumps + bubbles.

 $5 Idea to Spice Up a Bookcase - Come see the simple + stylish solution! at sasinteriors.net by @Jenna_Burger

4. The width of the contact paper was smaller than the width of the cabinet, so after putting up the first layer, I needed to add another 6" wide piece, but it was easy. I matched up the design at the top and continued smoothing out the bubbles all the way. The designed matched up perfectly and seamlessly!

$5 Idea to Spice Up a Bookcase - Come see the simple + stylish solution! at sasinteriors.net by @Jenna_Burger

Once the backs were finished and pretty, they were ready to style. Oooo, this is always my favorite part!

$5 Idea to Spice Up a Bookcase - Come see the simple + stylish solution! at sasinteriors.net by @Jenna_Burger

I love well-styled shelves.

Styled Bookcase with new bookcase backing for $5

Styled Bookcase with new bookcase backing for $5

Styled Bookcase with new bookcase backing for $5

Styled Bookcase with new bookcase backing for $5

Using old with new creates for a beautiful vignette. My newly styled shelves are filled with DIY creations (like my rope wrapped vase), Target + Homegoods deals (like the gold Nate tassel + the umber colored vase), travel treasures (like the maracas from Puerto Rico + seashells from our beach vacations), and personal keepsakes (like the model the Mister made when in college for Architecture).

Every element is a treasure. Every element has meaning. Every element reflects us.


As much as the newly styled shelves are pretty, they are also majorly functional! They not only hold books & keepsakes, but I added baskets in the bottom section, which hold DVDs, CDs, and snuggly blankets.


Styled Bookcase with new bookcase backing for $5

Overall, this is the new space...

Styled Bookcase with new bookcase backing for $5

Styled Bookcase with new bookcase backing for $5

Styled Bookcase with new bookcase backing for $5

The entire room feels & looks so different. By removing the doors, the room feels more open &  by adding the backing to the shelves, the room has more depth.

And to give you a peak into what is behind the middle section, it's our TV and other things that aren't as pretty...

Peak into the cabinetHi! That's me in the reflection.


5 Tips to take away from my $5 shelf redo...


  • Shop Your Home: When bored with what you have & no budget to buy new, go shopping around your home. Repurpose what you already own and move them to another place. The old items will instantly feel fresh & new again.

  • Create Something: You know me, I'm always DIYing something around my home. Why? 1. Because I enjoy making things / 2. Because I don't have a huge budget / 3. Because I can customize something to be exactly what I envision.

  • Think Outside the Box: Don't like something? Well ask yourself how it can be better within the constraints you have, which can be budget or space. With my $5, quick redo I can probably get another year (or more) out of the furniture that I have. If I didn't make the change, it would haunt me everyday to do something. By making the easy + inexpensive update, my space feels vibrant & new.

  • Gather Inspiration & Implement: Search the web or pinterest to find inspiration. Feeling tired of your drear space, but unsure what to do? Look for inspiration. It surrounds you on a daily basis. Search for what you love and implement that into your home.

  • Start from Scratch: When feeling the urge to redo any vignette, space, or room, it's really a must to start from scratch.  Remove everything in a space, so you can see the setting in a clear light and with a clean slate.


$5 Idea to Spice Up a Bookcase - Come see the simple + stylish solution! at sasinteriors.net by @Jenna_Burger

How have you spiced up a space with little or no budget?


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