I’m probably the thriftiest person that I know. I absolutely refuse to pay full price for anything. If I can get an item second-hand or as a hand-me-down, that will actually be my first choice. To that end, finding an item for free on the side of the road gives me untold joy! You’d probably be surprised walking through my home how many items I’ve found this way.
I really don’t like that quality items people can use are tossed; destined to be crushed by the garbage truck. So many people are in need, and donation is a beautiful thing! If you don’t like donating to big retailers, like Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul, there are so many other places that could use the items. We regularly donate to a women’s and family shelter in our area. Are the items too large and you just can’t transport them? Most donation places will pick them up for free, all you have to do is call! If there is a will, there is a way…
I’ll jump down off of my soapbox now.
Back to my find!
I stumbled upon this bookcase when taking out the trash last week. While not much to look at because of the stains and poor paint job, it is actually a solid wood piece that is well-built. Sometimes you have to look past the ugly to the potential of a find!
I started by scrubbing the bookcase with hot water and soap. Then I applied two coats of white paint; what a difference that made! I wanted this bookcase to go into my dining room to serve as storage and a coffee bar. Recently I shared a post about using wallpaper as art in that room (check that out here: Farmhouse Style on a Homestead Budget: Wallpaper Framed Art). I decided to wallpaper the back of the bookcase to match the art and give it some style. Also – it was a free option since I already had it on hand and found it in my attic!
Start by measuring the shelf dimensions. My tip would be to measure each shelf, especially if it is a find. Turned out that one of shelves was slightly smaller than the others. Measure your wallpaper and use a pencil on the back of the wallpaper to draw your cut line.
I also wrote the size for the shelves since they were slightly different so I would know what goes where.
Dry fit the wallpaper on the bookcase to make sure everything will fit the way you intend.
I decided to use wood glue to apply the wallpaper to the bookcase for several reasons. For one, it was a free option since I had the wood glue on hand (well, Jason did, but that’s the same thing!). Also, it would be less labor intensive than going through the entire wallpapering process. Finally, the wallpaper is very old and I didn’t know how well it would stick without the help of some strong adhesive. Just squirt a bunch of glue on the back of the shelf and spread evenly. I used a foam paintbrush.
A slightly damp sponge works well to get any excess glue off of the shelf. It also helps apply the wallpaper evenly by swiping it across the paper.
Allow the paper to dry after gluing.
Maybe take on another small project to pass the time? I found this coffee cup tree at Goodwill for $2. A little yellow spray paint (on hand, of course) to liven it up!
And ta-da! The shelf fits great against a small wall in the dining room that was previously bare. The wallpaper adds some interest and I love gold tones paired with my deep blue walls! The cup tree also turned out well! Now I have space for Jason’s coffee and my various teas without being on my limited kitchen counter space. The beautiful blue Ball jars also came from Goodwill – $7!?
(Oh my goodness, my dishwasher was open when I took this picture! Don’t judge, that’s just real life – haha!)
Overall, I am super happy with how this project turned out! It’s pretty, it’s functional, and it was FREE!
I’d love to hear about any awesome roadside finds you’ve stumbled upon! Drop me a comment down below or catch me on IG as tacklemayhem_susan. Until next time, have a beautiful and blessed day!