When I started designing our nursery, I knew I wanted it to be a mix of form and function. I'm naturally drawn to things that are pretty and not all that useful (looking at you porcelain figurines and decorative trays...), but I also realized that babies have SO. MUCH. STUFF. and in order to make it a happy place for us all, it needed to have storage galore.
After gathering some inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram, I decided to transform a storage shelf into a skirted table, and I am thrilled with the result! Here's how I did it:
- Staple gun and staples
- ~2 yards of fabric (measure each side of your shelf/table and let the fabric counter know how many panels you need of what size)
- Heat N' Bond (permanent, no-sew)
- hot glue gun
- glass to cover the top (I used a 12x12 picture frame, but may get acrylic cut from Lowe's for safety reasons. A glass shop can cut custom shapes for you and round the edges)
1. The FIRST and best tip I have is to turn the shelf sideways if you have a rug. These shelves are notoriously wobbly (we had to use L brackets and some other methods of reinforcing the shelves), and since they don't have legs, it was even worse balanced on the edge of a carpet. Keep in mind when you start, it's hard to switch the orientation of the shelf once you make it, if you follow my directions! We also cut our shelf down height-wise to make it the perfect fit for our space. This is totally optional, and does require a saw of some sort (we used circular).
2. The first real step is to cut vertical strips of fabric and cover the 4 corners of the shelf, pull them taught and staple them like you are wrapping a package to the top and bottom. This allows you to get a faux pleated look and makes everything look more professional and authentic.
3. Once you have that in place, you'll want to measure and cut the 4 panels of fabric needed for each of your sides. I ended up with only 3 (pregnancy brain!), but it worked out fine because you technically need to only cover three sides. Add 1 inch at least to each side so that you have enough room for a "seam". Leave extra room in the length as well, you will need to staple the top and fold the bottom under. To get the correct length for each panel, I taped each one to the top and folded the bottom under, and ironed that flat.
4. Next, once you have folded your seam for each side (keep in mind that some sides are not perfectly even/square), iron it like you have never ironed anything before. The trick to making this look real is to have it as flat and crisp as possible!
5. Once you have the exact shape and size of the panel you need, it's time to add the Heat N Bond. This allows you to avoid pulling out your sewing machine, and couldn't be easier. You'll either want to use the tape style, or cut a small strip to place in between the seam you ironed earlier. Just follow the instructions on the package and you will end up with a perfectly finished panel!
6. I recommend working one by one for the panels in case you need to make changes to the width as you go. To attach the panel to the shelf, just place a small amount of the fabric on top of the shelf and staple thoroughly. It's ok if this isn't perfect, you will cover it up later.
7. Once you have attached all of your panels, it's time to work on the final step, the top. You need to measure, cut, and fold your top panel, but there is no need to use Heat N Bond on this step. You will want the panel to be slightly larger than the top of your shelf, because you need to fold the sides under and staple the back.
8. Take your top panel and place it ugly side down, aligning the backside of the cut fabric with the front of your shelf and covering up where you stapled the front panel. The majority of the panel should hang down over the front as you fasten it. I taped this in place to make it easier. Staple this as close as you can to the front of the shelf, and as straight as possible. Take each side and fold it under as you pull the top panel taut toward the back of your shelf.
9. Fold the back side under, pull tightly and staple it to the back of your shelf. Once fastened in the back, run a strip of hot glue along each side to secure it. If you decide to skirt all 4 sides, use hot glue on the back fold as well.
10. Now that you've attached everything, simply place your glass or acrylic on top, and enjoy!