How to Add Backing to Shelves (for Craft Room)

I wanted to add backing to my craft room shelving. I did not want items to fall out of the backside. My craft room is my Happy Place, so I wanted color!

Here are my shelves BEFORE. . .

I lucked up and had large pieces of cardboard. ?I swiped this from my father-in-law’s house after he bought a new television – – score!

First, I used the actual shelf as a template by laying it flat and tracing the edge of the shelf. Then I used an Exacto knife to cut the cardboard.

This is a picture after the cardboard is cut to fit. I marked the bottom of each cubbie space so I would know where to put the seam when I added the decorative paper. I did not want to have a seam in an obvious spot and the paper is not large enough to cover the entire cardboard.

I purchased scrapbook paper at Hobby Lobby. I added small dots of Elmer’s glue on the back of each sheet. Below shows the first sheet. I love ❤pink and polka dots – – can you tell? ? This picture below shows the second sheet after it is glued. You can see my pencil mark where I wanted the seam. Then, I added the third and final sheet. I used small finishing nails to tack the cardboard to the back of the shelf.

Here is the first finished section of the first shelf! And it is at home in my craft room. This shelf is a double shelf (one stacks on top of another and attaches with wooden pegs). I repeated the same process for the upper structure. Voila! I love these colorful baskets that I purchased at Hobby Lobby. Did I mention how much I like polka-dots? Now for shelf number two. . . this time with green polka-dot paper. And it is at home in my craft room. And with its colorful baskets. . .This shelf was originally black, so I had to spray paint it white. It was originally for CDs and DVDs . . . (does anyone remember these?) It works perfectly for jars of buttons, thread, and paintbrushes. It already had a cardboard back, so I remove it and then covered it with decorative paper. Because it is different than the other shelves, this gave me an excuse to use a different paper (chevron and not polka-dots). And it, too, is at home in my craft room.

This simple task really dressed up my Craft Room. I want it to be a bright and cheerful place to create! My craft room is still a work in progress but click here to see more pictures and the Making of My Craft Room.

Thanks for reading this blog post. Please comment and share!

Author: Suzanne

Blogger and DIYer with my talented husband Neal. I share about our projects and life lessons following Christ.

12 thoughts on “How to Add Backing to Shelves (for Craft Room)”

  1. I never would have thought to use cardboard for the back! This is GENIUS! How did you get the cardboard back off of the one that already had it? I would have ripped it! I can’t wait to do some upstairs at my house!

    1. Hey Charley! Thanks for reading my blog and asking a question. I used the claw part of a small hammer to carefully pry the nails loose. They were small (almost tack-like) nails, so it was easy. I actually reused the same nails when tacking the cardboard to the back of the shelf after covering with decorative paper. This backing really looks good and keeps items from falling through the backside of the shelves. Thanks again! Happy Crafting to you!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to reply to my questions! I appreciate your detailed response. I’m going to tackle this on an upcoming project! I can’t wait to share! Thanks for inspiring me and making things easy! ❤️

  3. Thanks for the idea! I am going to the dollar tree tonight! I wonder though, could I use wood glue to attach it??? Really didn’t want to buy nails too…

    1. Tawanya,
      I am so glad this post is helpful to you. Having backs on my craft room shelves has been a game-changer for me. It keeps items from falling behind the shelves.
      I think wood glue would work. You could try not using nails. I just don’t know how much wear-and-tear your shelves will endure to know how well this would hold over time. I used very small nails. You could also try using tacks.
      Let me know how it goes and send me pictures using the contact form.
      Happy DIYing!

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