Beadboard Bookshelf Backs

I needed some storage areas for my craft room but I didn’t want to spend much money so I bought some cheap bookshelves from an office supply store.  You know those shelves don’t you?  I’m talking about the ones that you can get on sale for about $30 each.  They come in a long box with about 1 million pieces for assembly and you spend hours trying to figure out how the G2 piece fits into the A7 board before realizing the company didn’t put any A7 boards in the box.  LOL!  ANYWAY, after getting rid of some of the very same bookshelves in a garage sale a few years ago I found myself needing them again. Good grief.  I knew they would work for my needs but I had real concerns about their stability since they always include a cardboard backing which bows after time and becomes fairly unstable under much weight.

Replace Cardboard with Beadboard

Have Beadboard Cut to Size

Instead of keeping the flimsy backing that normally comes with the cheap bookshelves, I went to a hardware store and asked them to cut some beadboard that would fit my shelves.  If you decide to do this, consider buying a big sheet of beadboard and having them cut it to size.  My store sold smaller beadboard that was easier for me to carry but it cost more than the big sheet.  Don’t be afraid to ask the hardware store peeps for what you want…even if you’re not quite sure what you want.  There’s usually someone there that can answer your questions.

Beadboard is Pretty and Functional

I chose beadboard because I think it’s pretty.  It was also a good backing because it’s stable and thin enough that I could hammer through it.  The funny thing is that I meant to have all the wood cut so that I could run the lines of the beadboard vertically but I wasn’t paying attention and I ended up with one long enough to go vertical and the others all horizontal.  Darn.  That’s why my short bookshelves all look like they have a striped backing.  Hey, it is what is is…striped.  LOL!

To add beadboard to two short and one tall bookshelf it cost me approximately $25.  Although adding beadboard raises the overall costs of the bookshelves, it does make them more stable.  I’ve been using them for eight months now and have had no problems at all.  YAY!

UPDATE: I’ve been using these bookshelves for 10 years now, and they have been moved to a new house. They held up great in the move and continue being awesome to this day!


Have a great day!

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  1. The beadboard is great & OMG a scrap n easel is one of the top most items on my wishlist….thanks JOY

  2. I enjoy all your posts! I have “liked” Joy’s Life on Facebook for quite a while now. And I voted! Would be nice to win one, but if not it would be great to be able to pick one up at Wal-Mart!

  3. Reading your post this AM was a WOW! moment for me! I have several shelves that have that thin “bowed out” cardboard. Replacing it with bead board will not only make those things sturdier but more pleasing to the eye, especially if I paint it first before adhering it. (However, I do like it white, too.) Thank you !

  4. I voted for scrap n easel on Get On the Shelf at Walmart. It’s an item all scrappers should have!

  5. so I am very impressed that you put these together yourself – I probably would have opened the box, saw all the pieces and whined to my hubby until he did it for me. i enjoy playing the wimp card whenever possible! lol. But not Joy – in the words of the late whitney houston, “you’re every woman, its all in youuuuuuu” lol. Anyhow, I voted for scrapn’easel and i of course like you on facebook. woo hoo! i wanna win this – i’ve been eyeing it on their site for about 6 months now but can’t bring myself to click “buy now” because its fairly expensive! thanks for the chances to win!

  6. The bead board is a great idea! (I’ve never heard of it before; I have such a sheltered life LOL!) I’d love to win a Scrap N’ Easel. I voted again today for it; I’ve been voting every day since I found out about the voting. I also like your Facebook page — I have for quite some time now. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  7. Funny how great minds thin alike. My husband just replaced the back on a bookcase that I bought. It is 6 foot tall and he new it would be loaded with crafting supplies so he did not want to take a chance. Great idea and fantastic giveaway.

  8. I voted for Scrap n’ Easel to Get On The Shelf through facebook.
    cstephenson at q dot com

  9. The bead board looks great! I have a few of those cheap bookshelves, maybe I need to give them a revamp!

    I’d love a Scrap N Easel. My friend has one she brought to a crop and it was very handy.

    I already like you on FB and I voted on the Get On the shelf site too.

    Thanks for all the chances to win!


  10. I have several of those bookshelves and have always wanted them to look a little nicer (OK alot nicer). That would pretty them up!!

    Have liked you on fb a long timago.

    Also love the twine in the sugar dispenser idea!!! Just saw that post today also.

  11. I have voted several times to get the scrap n’ easel on the shelf! Love it!

    queen_lade at

  12. I love the addition to your shelf! What a great idea! I would love Scrap N Easel to be at Walmart! I will go now to the page to vote!
    Thanks Super Joy!
    Teresa K

  13. I voted for Scrap N Easel, it looks like a cool product, I just wonder how much it will cost?

  14. Super Joy to the rescue again! You just saved my life and a cabinet in my scrap room that’s been hanging on by a thread…actually a tension rod that I’ve been using to prop it up! LOL! This will give it the stability it needed and it won’t look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa! I love your Facebook page!

  15. Fantastic idea for bookshelves. I think we should slowly do this for all over the house. I am a facebook fan as well.

  16. HI Joy! I’ve been following you on FB for awhile and love all your great ideas.

  17. The shelf unit is very nice but looks like a lot of work to me. My middle name is lazy. Thanks for the opportunity to win the Srap-n-easel. I voted for it so maybe, if I don’t win, my Walmart will have it soon.

  18. That’s a good idea for the shelf unit. I have a couple cupboards that I’ve made over the years that have the flimsy stuff. I might consider changing them up, thanks for the tip. I like Joys Life of FB also.

  19. Super cute joy! and I used to work at the home building centre, the guys are always willing to help you figure out a project!
    thanks for the chance to win!

  20. ps. loooooonnnnngggggg time facebook friend. on both pages! haha 🙂
    I just can’t get enough!

  21. That easel would be a great addition to my arsenal! It will help when lining things up. Sometimes my bifocals aren’t up to the job and I have to stand to line things up! 🙂

  22. Voted for the Scrap N Easel, Liked you on facebook, and like the different idea for stability on the bookshelf. The cardboard backing that comes with the cheaper bookshelves and so unreliable and prone to falling apart. Thanks.

  23. What a great idea to make a cheap bookcase a great book case! Love the site! Thanks for the chance to win the cool give-away!

  24. OMG!!! I have been looking at those Scrap ‘n Easels since they came out an have been debated if I should buy one. Well after this past weekend sitting on those chairs by those tables they have at the Scrapbooking event I went too , I had bad back pains and had to keep getting up to walk. So I have been really considering getting one. Thanks for a chance to win one. Also I have been a liker of yours on facebook for a good while now.

  25. I voted for the Scrap N Easel and I gotta say you have outdone yourself lately for your ideas……..Love the sugar container idea..As for the bead board I love it…I have it in my bedroom half way up the wall and I am sure we have some left over so now I know where to use it at…I don’t have any old lamps so will have to hit garage sales and thrift stores…Thanks for all the ideas….

  26. Oh my gosh… love the bead board idea. I have a couple of those cheap Closet Maid shelving units you can get from the home improvement stores. That would be perfect for them! And I have an Ikea trip planned this week… this may give me a new way of looking at their stuff too! Thanks for the inspiration (and for sharing the goof about the direction of the board), I would totally have done that too (but now I won’t cause I’ll remember your experience). Love the concept of the Scrapping Easel… would love to try it but I’m hesitant to spend the $ on it in case I don’t love it. Thanks for sharing the love, Super Joy!

  27. love this idea now to get busy…would love to win the Scrapping Easel it is on my want list. TFS

  28. Awesome idea with the bead board! That would make a fantastic addition to my scraproom if I had the room; but, alas, my room is too small. Thanks for sharing your ideas and talents with us.

    scrapbooknut67114 at gmail dot com

  29. Awesome tip Joy!! I am in need of some new shelving in my craft room so I will definitely keep this idea in mind! I have wanted the Scrap n Easel since day one, it looks really cool!! ( I guess I don’t qualify for the giveaway tho! ) 🙁
    Thanks for being so awesome Joy!! 🙂

  30. Love the shelves!! I did almost the same thing but I used brackets on the wall and lined the walls with the shelves for storage!! Thanks for the chance to win, i really could use the scrap n’ easel!! I am now a fan of you on facebook!!

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