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Burlap Lined Cabinet With Drapery Panel Doors

A salvaged bookcase is brought back to life with fabric lining and button-down fabric doors.

Materials and Tools:

pry bar
table saw
staple gun and staples
hot glue gun and glue sticks
spray adhesive
sewing machine, needle and thread
1/4” thick medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
two different fabrics (one to cover the interior back of bookcase and one for sewing drapery panels for outer front coverage)
wooden buttons
industrial-strength hook-and-loop tape
cup hooks


1. With a pry bar peel the thin, cardboard backer off of the bookcase and disassemble the sides, shelves and bottom of the unit with a screwdriver.

2. Use a table saw to cut down a sheet of MDF to create a new back panel for the bookcase (replacing the flimsy cardboard backer).

3. Spray the interior side of the new back panel with adhesive spray and wrap with batting. Secure with a staple gun.

4. Wrap the same panel in fabric and staple into place.

5. Wrap the interior and exterior of the side panels with burlap, use spray adhesive to secure. Fold over hem and secure with a hot glue gun rather than staples so that the edges lay flat and do not fray. (No batting was used under the burlap; it is under the back of the upholstered panel only.)

6. Reassemble the bookcase with a screwdriver and finish by attaching the upholstered back panel.

7. Cut and sew drapery panels to cover the front of the bookcase. Hand-sew buttons onto the left panel. Then, on the right panel, machine-stitch small loops to create tabs that will hook around the buttons. Also, add a loop twice as long as the button loops to the mid-section of each panel to use as tiebacks when the drapery panels are open.

8. Attach the two panels with industrial strength hook-and-loop tape along the top and sides of the front of the bookcase.

9. Screw cup hooks onto the side exterior at a point where they will line up with the tieback loops on the drapery panel so the panels can be held open.

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