Decoupage shelf unit

I found a sturdy, all wood bookshelf at Goodwill for just $5 because it was ugly, lumpy, and black.
I shoulda took before pix, it was really ug-ly!

Mr. Steiconi sanded and painted it as an early birthday gift.

I decoupaged it with napkins. Aside from the shelf itself, everything is from stash, even
the spray paint.

The napkins:
black outlines and florals

One side. Actually, I did this one last, so I like it the best. More negative space, and better understanding of the materials and technique.

Flowers. I love the contrast of the soft, blousy flowers and the crisp, boho paisley.

Butterfly. Someone sent me a bunch of paper appliques. They kind of faded i to the background, so I outlined them in black sharpie.

Hot glue butterflies. I did these a couple of years ago; did a small bead of hot glue over a butterfly applique (with plastic over it), then sprayed them flat black.

Top, with two butterflies. I did this first, and used a couple more napkin designs. It is kind of busy and murky.

Side A, second section done.

Front. I wrapped the napkins around the edge for extra interest. This is probably the only part that will show, once the shelf is in place and junk is dropped on top…

Hummingbird from one of the other napkin designs. Too transparent, it nearly disappeared until I added sharpie outlines.

Another butterfly applique

The white part of the napkins nearly disappear if you use enough Mod Podge under them. Here, I didn’t.

Opaque hummer applique

The other hot glue butterfly, made the same way. I like that they echo the black outlines on the other elements.


This is really cool! You have a real eye for what those napkins’ patterns will look like together!

Do you have a picture of the whole piece to share? Or did you already drop stuff on it? :rofl: Yeah, I can’t really have decorative horizontal surfaces, either. :wink:



It’s kind of big, and I was trying not to get the messy parts (i.e., most) of my studio in the pix. I’ll try putting it in the living room for overview pix after card club leaves this afternoon.


Very cool idea! I love that it was pretty much all from stash, too.

1 Like

Quite the transformation! I like how you layered all the designs. The color is kinda dreamy, too.

1 Like

I never would have thought to decoupage a shelf unit with napkins. OOAK! Fun!

1 Like

You have a real eye for pattern matching.

I cannot wait to see the whole piece as one. I bet it is quite stunning.

1 Like

Mr. S wanted to show off his work to the card players, so he brought it out where I could get pix.

I left the insides plain because I didn’t think decoupage would hold up to sliding stuff on and off the shelves.

This took two full cans of Rust-Oleum 2X, plus part of a third can in a darker color. (See the bottom shelf is darker?) I was NOT going to buy more paint, since we have at least a dozen can of various colors on hand.

BTW, hubster assures me the bottoms of the shelves are very well painted.

One of the card players mentioned she was going to do a napkin decoupage project, so I gave her some to take home. We’re still fully SABLE on napkins, though.


Thanks for getting these pics to share! It looks great!

1 Like

One more picture; fully loaded!

It fits perfectly in the space, and the shelves hold exactly two containers stacked.
Could not have fit better if I had measured instead of eyeballing and crossing my fingers.

Top shelf is all beads, bottom is buttons, middle is rhinestones and charms and stuff.

Empty storage jar on floor; these nearly all contained peanuts from Walmart, took years to accumulate this many!

These all used to sit along the back of my work tables, taking up valuable space.

Next goal: getting rid of some of this stuff.
Anybody need random buttons and beads?


Those napkins are gorgeous. I see why you chose to craft with them instead of wiping your mouth, lol. What a waste that would have been.

1 Like