We have company!

I participated in 20somethingbloggers 7th blogswap. It’s an event that matches, at random, one blogger with another to switch blogs for a single post. I was paired and swapped blogs with the creative, crafty, Amber, from 2nutsinashell. It was such a treat working with her. Here’s a short interview, followed by her guest post. Enjoy and don’t forget to visit her over at 2nutsinashell!

1. What made you start blogging?
Honestly, I have no idea! I’ve been writing since the 7th grade–mostly short stories. I even have another blog called The Escritoire where I feature some of them. I think I was just looking for another way to write and blogging about our day to day life seemed to guarentee no writer’s block! Over the few years it’s gone from a vintage fashion and lifestyle blog to a DIY decor blog. Whatever I’m currently into is what my blog’s into.

2. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Married. That was the answer I gave grown-ups and teachers alike. I’m sure they all worried about the anti-feminist undertones my dream “job” had to it, but growing up and being a wife was all I wanted! My husband and I have been married for four years now and it’s still my dream “job.”

3. What’s one thing you wish people did better?
Opened their minds. I wish people were more imaginative and more accepting. I think if everyone had an open mind to the world around them a lot of problems would cease to exist.

4. If you could gorge yourself at any restaurant or on any food, where/what would it be?
Joe’s Crab Shack and their BBQ dungeness crab. I looooove seafood. And they use some sort of spice on their crab that just makes it amazing. Kind of like Old Bay seasoning, but even better! A side of drawn butter and ooh! Heavenly!

5. What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m a little on the superstitious side. No so much black cats and rabbits feet, but like, I don’t play with Ouija boards and I don’t scoff at Indian or Egyptian or other cultural “spells” and the likes. There are things that I just can’t definitively say don’t exist, so I just leave them alone.

Now, on with the post!

Hey there! First I want to thank Sophia for allowing this little housewife the chance to guest post on her highly technical blog! I’m Amber and I write a blog called “Two Nuts in a Shell.” It’s basically the ins and outs of what I do with my spare time as a Marine wife. My husband and I have been married for 4 years now, and he’s what you call a lifer. And not just a 20-year lifer. We’re talking 30-35 years he wants to be a Marine (so we’ve got at least another 20 years ahead of us). Last year we moved 4 times in the span of 12 months. Needless to say, because of this I’ve learned several things when it comes to managing a house on both a strict budget and some very strict space issues (have you ever seen some of the housing on the older bases?). But mostly I abide by 3 simple rules:

1. It doesn’t have to be expensive to look expensive.
2. When it comes to redecorating, paint is your best friend.
3. The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they make the best of everything they have.
But enough philosophizing! Let’s get down to some crafting!

Add Some Flair to Your Bookcases

You no longer have to stare at that ugly particle board backing that comes with your bookcase. I’ve seen this done with contact paper, wall paper, and even the bead board wall paper you can find at places like Home Depot. This method, uses wrapping paper.

Bookcase backing
Wrapping paper of your choice (I used Martha Stewart wrapping paper in “Granny Smith-Pea Shoot”)
Spray adhesive
A towel or drop cloth
Hot glue gun
Books or other heavy objects to hold your wrapping paper in place
Xacto knife

Start by laying out the back of your bookcase. In case there’s any question about what we’re working with here, this is what it should look like:

Okay? We’re clear? Good. You can skip this step if you want to, but I find it helps. Unwrap your wrapping paper. If it’s already cut into separate sheets, so much the better for you! If it’s not, you’ll have to do some measuring and cutting here. Using your books, lay out the wrapping paper and anchor the ends so that it has time to relax–working with the paper while it’s still too tightly wound is just a pain!

(Why yes, I do happen to have duplicate copies of the Twilight series! ;) One belongs to my sister.)

You may or may not be able to tell, but I used three sheets of the Martha Stewart paper. They were almost the exact perfect size for my backing with very little trimming needed.

Once the paper has had time to loosen up, you can start spraying. Lay out your towel or drop cloth first, because spray adhesive gets everywhere no matter how careful you try to be!

Work in layers (if you have individual sheets) for the easiest execution. Keep one end of your paper anchored with books while you lift the other side and spray the underside of the paper. Sorry there’s no photo of this–both my hands were kind of busy! ;)

Once you get a good coating on there (don’t saturate the paper!) smooth out, pressing firmly into the back of the bookcase. Smooth out all the air bubbles and anchor again with your books.

Repeat for the other side.

Repeat for each layer, anchoring with books all the way around.

You don’t need to wait for the adhesive to dry before starting the next step. Let your glue gun heat up nice and hot. Working around the edges, glue the paper to the back of the bookcase. I used an extra book to smooth and press the glue out because it was so hot to the touch, even through the paper. This step is important even though it seems redundant. The spray adhesive doesn’t create a strong enough bond between the wrapping paper and the paper particle board, which is why the hot glue is necessary.

Now, let everything dry thoroughly.

Once your piece is dry, you can use your Xacto knife to trim off any excess paper that hangs over your backing.

Put your backing on your bookcase and voila!

You’ve just given that store bought bookcase a face lift and some much needed personality! I couldn’t believe how this one little thing took our bookcases from looking “study serious” to “bright and light” in a few easy steps.

And just because I can’t get over that gorgeous paper, here’s a nice close up of those yummy colors!

You can see more of this project at Two Nuts in a Shell in this post, and the final results in this post. Thanks so much to Pinkie Larue for having me! I’ll see you on the blogosphere!


2 thoughts on “We have company!

  1. Sophia, thanks for switching blogs with Amber. I really enjoyed reading Amber’s post! At first I thought I was on the wrong blog.Ha!Nice posts both of you. I really enjoyed both of them!

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