Give Your Kitchen a Colorful Makeover (Without Paint!)

Self-adhesive shelf liner isn't just great for lining drawers, use it to inexpensively give glass-front kitchen cabinets or open shelving a big pop of color and vintage-style charm.

Charming Blue-and-White Cottage-Style Kitchen

Charming Blue-and-White Cottage-Style Kitchen

Give your kitchen a big boost of cozy cottage style by inexpensively lining the shelves with gingham shelf paper and framing family recipes and a hand-me-down tea towel as art.

Photo by: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Materials Needed

  • self-adhesive shelf liner (we chose a blue-and-white gingham)
  • poster board
  • tape measure
  • scissors
  • optional: glue dots or double-sided tape
  • coffee mug or small round item to use as a template for scallops

Cover Back of Cabinet

If possible, remove your cabinet's shelves to get a more accurate measurement, then cut shelf paper to size. Working from one corner, apply the shelf paper while peeling off the paper backing (Image 1) carefully smoothing the sheet into place while working out any bubbles or wrinkles. Depending on the width of your cabinet, you may need to add the shelf paper in multiple sections. Our cabinet required 2 pieces (Image 2).

Measure Shelf

To create the shelves' scalloped overhangs, determine both the length and depth (distance front to back) of the cabinet's shelves.

Photo by: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Transfer Measurement

Cut shelf paper to length, based on your measurement. Then, flip paper over and transfer the depth measurement to the back. Note: Most shelf paper's come with a printed grid pattern on the back that helps with this step. Determine how long you want the paper's scallops to drape over the front of each shelf (ours are 2-1/2") then use a permanant marker to draw a dotted line to note where each scallop will end.

Photo by: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Create Scallops

Using a coffee mug or similar round object as a template, line up one edge with your previously drawn line, then trace around the cup to create a scalloped pattern. Note: The paper's grid pattern comes in handy here too as it will help you to ensure the same amount of overlap when placing the coffee cup to create each scallop.

Photo by: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Add Shelf Liner to Poster Board

Cut out the scalloped pattern (Image 1). To make the shelf liner more durable and add thickness and a non-adhesive backing to the overhanging scallops, remove the shelf liner's backing and, starting in one corner, press the shelf paper onto the poster board, working out any bubbles or wrinkles as you go (Image 2).

Cut Out

Use scissors to once again cut around the scallops and to cut out the now poster-board-backed section of shelf liner. Note: This piece will not only serve to line one of your shelves, it will also work as a template to make creating the other sections easier (assuming they're all the same size, as ours are).

Photo by: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Create Remaining Scalloped Pieces

Cut more sections of shelf liner to your measured length and depth (including the additional amount needed to create the scalloped edge). Remove the shelf liner's backing and place it on another piece of poster board. Using the first finished section as a template, trace around the scalloped edge and cut out. Create as many remaining sections as you need for your project.

Photo by: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Add Scalloped Sections

Slide each scalloped section into place (Image 1), then bend and crease (Image 2) the backed shelf liner so it hangs straight over the shelf's edge (Image 3). Note: Glue dots or double-sided tape can provide a little extra staying power to keep each scallop hanging perfectly straight (Image 4).

Put Your Favorite Pieces on Display

A kitchen cabinet with this much vintage-style appeal is perfect for displaying your favorite thrift store scores or family hand-me-downs.

Cozy Cottage Kitchen With Gingham Shelf Liner

Cozy Cottage Kitchen With Gingham Shelf Liner

Give your kitchen a colorful makeover on the cheap with cheery blue-and-white gingham shelf liner.

Photo by: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Create a Cohesive Palette

We stocked our shelves with pretty pieces in shades of blue and white that beautifully coordinate with our cheery gingham pattern.

Cozy Cottage Kitchen With Gingham Shelf Liner

Cozy Cottage Kitchen With Gingham Shelf Liner

Give your kitchen a colorful makeover on the cheap with cheery blue-and-white gingham shelf liner.

Photo by: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Really Rock a Vintage Vibe

And, continue the look with more vintage countertop accessories (Images 1-3).

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