jazzing it up, or ‘a lesson on staple guns’

Being a (albeit slightly cautious) feminist, I like to think of myself as equal to the Husband in every way, including DIY and home improvements. I can paint, sand and prise wood off the wall with the best of them, and I’m pretty sure I could put up a shelf (I have this imaginary scenario where I’m wielding a power tool in one hand and cooking dinner with the other…). So when I decided I wanted to give our white IKEA (shhh, I know, I know, but we don’t live somewhere where you can find good stuff in skips. All we get round here is rubble and empty beer cans) bookcase a little makeover, I didn’t think twice about just getting the staple gun out and cheerfully attaching some fabric to the backboard.

Check out those corner covering skills

We got the fabric from the wonderful Ditto Fabrics on one of our many trips to Brighton – I usually like to buy fabric from charity shops (i.e. old curtains), but this was just too tempting. It’s perfect for the conservatory, which is technically the place for the kiddos toys, but also has a great big comfy chair for me to sit and write in. 

I measured and marked the fabric, cut it to size, and even did the corners in the proper way (as opposed to just folding it and stapling like a maniac). But, like they say, pride comes before a fall, and as I tooted a fanfare and summoned Benjamin to see his new bookshelves, I became acutely aware that I’d made a bit of an error.

Yes, craft fans. I had stapled the bloody thing to the floor.

When I tried to lift it up for the big reveal, I was completely baffled as to why it wouldn’t move. First comes shock, they say, then comes denial – in bizarro land, in my head, I thought perhaps it was only attached by one staple. The fifteen minutes I spent prizing it off of the laminate told me otherwise.

Luckily, the holes in the flooring are so minute, that I’m pretty sure nobody will notice (put it this way, the horror on the Husbands face when I told him made it pretty clear that he hadn’t already seen them), and I did manage to get it up with the fabric undamaged. So did I give up? Did I heck – I got the parcel tape out and stuck it on. Nobody sees the back anyway, right?

I am pretty pleased with it, and when I get an hour or so I’ll redo it using the staple gun and the guide (which I actually thought was a guard to protect the user from stapling their fingers…..ahem….), but for now it looks quite effective and anyway, I’ve got bigger things to craft. 

Have you had any DIY or craft disasters? I have to say, rescuing it made the whole thing that bit more satisfying!


  1. Col | Hello Olive
    July 26, 2012 / 1:12 pm

    How funny 🙂 I'd probably have done the exact same thing! It looks fab though and I really like the fabric! x

  2. Laura
    July 28, 2012 / 11:00 pm

    I love this! It got me looking at my ikea shelves and wondering what I could do with them…and if I have cause to use a staple gun at least I'll have been pre-warned!x

  3. Lisa-Marie
    July 29, 2012 / 5:08 pm

    It's gorgeous, I LOVE that apple print! Also, all bloggers have some Ikea. It's good for basics!

  4. Jess @ CatchaSingleThought
    July 31, 2012 / 1:34 pm

    Looks fab! I think the fabric is gorgeous 🙂

  5. Emma
    August 2, 2012 / 1:38 pm

    This is such a good idea. I also have the eponymous Billy bookcase, which is sturdy enough that I don't want to part with it, but doesn't really fit into my new study. Best get searching for some retro material to match! Emma x

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