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Everyone has an old shelf laying around the house that needs a major update. If you don’t have a shelf, then you will definitely find many available at local garage sales or on the side of the road during trash day. Either way, shelves have a way of becoming clutter and dust collectors. I have struggled with what to do with some of my shelves, and decided to give one in my basement a complete make-over. I consider my basement shelf to be just like a dude on Queer Eye looking for some love and a fresh new start on life. So I call this piece, Treat Yo Shelf — Queer Eye Edition.
To Treat Yo Shelf you will need a Fab Five approach to updating your old furniture.
- Jonathan Van Ness focuses on hair & skincare. In “shelf” terms, Jonathan would be in-charge of cleaning off old dust, and making sure the shelf is in its best “natural look and structure.”
- Next up would be Tan France, who is responsible for giving the best wardrobe makeover and style possible. Therefore, Tan would help give your shelf some paint, designs, and a new touch of character. Tan loves his prints, so to do his work justice, we will need to add some creative backgrounds and colors.
- Bobby Berk’s work is my personal favorite, as he loves to declutter, and hide all of your mess in nice, light-toned organized spaces. I am not actually sure how Bobby can declutter some people’s lives, but an old shelf could definitely use some inspiration from him.
- Then, there is Karamo Brown who adds a level of wisdom that inspires you and brings out your best possible self. To Treat Yo Shelf, you will need to add some portraits of inspirational people, and values or quotes that you represent and love!
- Lastly, we have Antoni Porowski, who wants to ensure that healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle is a natural part of your life. Therefore, your shelf will need some “greens” to remind you of how you should be eating and living a healthy lifestyle!
Alright, with the Five Fav wisdom guiding us on our “Treat Yo Shelf” makeover, let’s get started!
Here is my current, super cheap, super dusty shelf that desperately needs a makeover.
STEP 1: Be Inspired by Jonathan
To Treat my Shelf, I am bringing out my Castile soap, paper towels, gloves, and my duster! I want to make sure my shelf knows that he is loved, and that I am sorry for leaving him unattended for all these years. By dusting off and cleaning our shelf, we are able to sanitize our workspace, while really seeing what we are working with. With our shelf cleaned let’s move on to step two!
STEP 2: Be Inspired by Tan:
To Treat your Shelf, you will need to bring out any vinyl, wallpaper, or (in my case) whatever scrapbooking paper you have. Our goal is to decorate the interior/background of our shelf with some bright and bold patterns. My shelf is pure black, and needs some pop of color to bring it alive.
I know how Tan loves his patterns, so I found a gorgeous blue and gold leaf pattern in my collection of old scrapbook paper. I also have some gold and green leaf scrap paper, and since I can’t decide which one I like more, I am deciding to use both! To properly Treat Yo Shelf, you need to really bring out colors and designs on your furniture.
Since I am using scrapbooking paper, I will use an E6000 adhesive spray to stick my pattern to the interior of my shelf. After my pattern is properly attached, I put a gold terrarium on the shelf to add an additional dimension to the whole piece. You can add wallpapers, or stick-on vinyl to your shelf to bring some color and character to an old furniture item. The back of my shelf is made of super cheap cardboard, so by adding a nice background I am able to hide the deformation of the cardboard from natural wear and tear.
I personally prefer using scrapbooking paper because it is cheaper than vinyl and wallpaper, and you can just stick new designs over it when you want a new and refreshed look!
STEP 3: Be Inspired by Antoni:
To Treat Yo Shelf, you can feature some plants to add a nice touch of life to a shelf that has been missing out on the wholesome and happy life that it deserves.
Since Antoni is all about healthy eating, I made sure to add lots of greens to my shelf! If your shelf is going to be in a place with a lot of natural light, then I would recommend adding some nice living succulents.
However, since my shelf is in my crafting area in the basement, and there isn’t much natural light, I went for some fake plants. You can buy some super cheap plant cutting and floral parts and make your own arrangement and decorations for way less than pre-made pots and decorations. I had some succulent designs laying around, so I decided to add them to my shelf to spruce it up!
STEP 4: Be Inspired by Karamo:
To Treat Yo Shelf, you need to really think about the people, moments, and experiences that are most memorable for you. Your shelf needs some inspiration, so you can treat it by adding pictures of your favorite people, your memories, or some life lessons that you stand by.
I didn’t want to publish pictures of my entire life online, so I decided to add some pictures of my favorite people– James Baldwin and Frida Khalo. I also added a LGBTQIA all-inclusive image that I bought online as some love for all people. I believe my shelf feels the inspiration, and motivation to be a better…umm.. Shelf.
STEP 5: Be Inspired by Karamo (again):
Yea, you read that right– To Treat Yo Shelf, you need to engage in a cyclical process of learning and self-love.
After adding some images and inspiration to your shelf, you will also need to keep growing through intentional acts of self-development and growth! I believe that nothing increases empathy and understanding more than reading does, so treat yo shelf by adding some books!
Most people have shelves filled with books, but by adding a backdrop to your shelf, you can highlight your books while having a fun design framing your educational powerhouse. After all of your books and posters, and pictures are added, your old shelf will now be thriving from all of its self-care!
STEP 6: Be Inspired by Bobby:
So, it is a little strange to have a six-step “Fab Five” make-over, but I don’t play by the rules, and I saved the best for last– Bobby!
Bobby literally transforms a home, and I feel the most joy seeing his work at the end of a show. To Treat Yo Shelf, you can hide away all of the “ugly” in some storage cubes and put it in a shelf and call it a day. I know that every household has some, “does anyone know where to put these?” items lying around.
To hide some eye-sores, you can stuff a storage cube and add it to the bottom tier of your shelf. You know, they say your foundation should be the strongest, so I am sure your shelf will be happy for the extra weight supporting the foundation!
After you have completed the six-step Treat Yo Shelf process, your old “needs some love” shelf should have a brand new look! I am much happier with myself and my-shelf for improving an old furniture piece that I had sitting in the basement.
Now that your shelf is all jazzed up, show them to your friends and family! Maybe you can even throw a “big reveal” party. However, if not– I would love to see your work, so comment below and share some pictures!
ALWAYS TREAT YO SHELF RIGHT!