Our playroom is going mod. Thanks to Amy Butler, ikea bookshelves a regular stapler and some spray adhesive. Thing is: I was going to do a little step by step picture taking of this. I mean I bought a walls worth of shelves, surely by the time I was to the last one I'd have it both right and down pat. WRONG During the making process I wasn't overly pleased with any of the methods I used. After the wall was up and the fabric was NOT nice and taught I went back and fixed things up a bit. Here's how I did it.
First, quilting fabric or poplin would probably work out a little better for this project. However, one day when this room is complete I'm going for a map-ish theme and have already recovered the chairs in August Fields (2 chairs each in 3 different fabrics – which I love). So I decided on a mod print from the same collection. I spread the fabric out on the floor and then put the back panel on top, made a little snip in the fabric where I wanted it "cut" and then ripped the fabric. This is a super easy and fast way to get a straight cut.
Spray your spray adhesive along one of the long edges, fold over fabric and hold it a sec so it'll stick. Do the opposite edge, then each of the short ends. Pulling the fabric taught. Flip the backing over and admire your amazing work that isn't so taught, after all!
Take your lovely fabric covered backing to your shelf frame and DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT try to slide it in like the directions tell you too. Okay, in all fairness, sliding it in might work okay with a lighter fabric but if you're using a heavy fabric you're going to get frustrated and if wearing shorts may even scuff up your legs — don't ask. Pop one of the long edges into the groove then pop the other long edge in. The backing comes folded making this feasible. You'll know when it's in the groove all the way because your backing will be flat again.
If you want to you can flip your shelf over and admire your handiwork. In all 5 of my experiences though what I found is fabric that is kinda lumpy and bumpy, so set the shelf back down, face down, so you're looking at the back and un-adhesive ONE long edge, pull it up and undo your work :-). This is a super quick and easy yank motion, taking a total of about 2 seconds. Now that you've unfastened it, pull your fabric taught all the way down the line, making your fabric nice and smooth on the front side. No need to re-spray, it's in there good and tight. Now, flip your shelf over and admire your lovely bookshelf. This additional step adds maybe 5 minutes to your project that only takes about 20 minutes in all and makes a world of difference.
Now for the bad and the ugly. The first shelf I did like mentioned above (without the additional step of pulling taught after I was done) I was sad to see how lumpy and bumpy my fabric was so on the next shelf I sprayed adhesive all over the back of the fabric and then set the backing on top. I used the same spray adhesive technique to secure the fabric on the back side. This also gave me lumpy and bumpy.
Out came the stapler, just your every day stapler. I thought this was going to be "IT". I stapled one edge then pulled taught and stapled the other edge, then the top and bottom. This was better but still not perfect. It looked real good when I flipped it over but something happened between then and getting the backing into the shelf that it still needed some extra finessing. So I popped off the stapes along one long edge and pulled and viola discovery of an additional extra step to make the shelves great!
FYI: I used 2 yards 7" for the tall shelf. I also have a couple of
the narrow billy shelves to fit my wall, having these narrow pieces
made it so 1 length of fabric would cover 1 regular tall unit and one
of the narrower units.
Note: I couldnt' quite get the lighting right on this pictures and took them before the books and toys are added. As the playroom progresses you'll see more.