Friday, June 21, 2013

DIY: Turning a Bookshelf into a Bar While Watching Dawson's Creek

While making a bar out of an old bookshelf there are any number of things one can do to make the moment even more enjoyable. You could have a preemptive cocktail. You could listen to the smooth sounds of Madeleine Peyroux, something I've taken to doing while doing chores to make them seem whimsical, Parisienne.

One thing that might not come to mind is watching Dawson's Creek. But that's exactly what I did while waiting for coats of paint to dry on a bookshelf I was turning into a bar. Subsequently, all of my book instruction headers will now be Dawson's Creek puns, interspersed with classic Dawson's Creek quotes. 

"I’d be much more inclined to answer your question if you weren’t looking at me liked I’d just killed Grams drunk-driving."

CJ (to Jen)

Dawson's Tears Flow like Paint Drips
My first order of business was to choose a color of paint for the bookshelf. This is something that takes me some time. I usually live with the piece for a few days, occasionally staring at it or holding fabric up to it to determine what would look best. For this bookshelf, I chose a soft grey chalk paint. I turned the bookshelf upside down to take advantage of the top design. 

After several attempts to take off the wooden backing of the bookshelf, I ended up having to leave it on. Every time I tried to pull out the old nails the back piece started to crack. Since this was what I considered a 'practice piece' I wasn't too worried.

"Just because every quasi-bohemian hipster with pretensions of literary greatness worships at the altar of Kerouac means that I should too?"


Fabric Angst and the Glue that Binds
Attaching fabric to anything is no easy feat. Anyone can paint, prime, sand, and refurbish something, but applying fabric is a real skill. After choosing to work with a grey and yellow fabric for the backing of this bookshelf, I purchased a can of Elmer's multipurpose spray mount. Since I wanted to put the fabric on the top AND bottom of the bookshelf, the challenge became how to measure the fabric.

Taking a tape measure to a bookshelf is easy, but then taking those measurements and converting them into a clean edge piece of fabric is hard. When cutting fabric, the ends will fray. Also, cutting a thick fabric completely straight is nearly impossible (for me, at least). As an alternative, I  measured and then pinned the edges of the fabric together, creating a much cleaner edge. Then, I ironed the edges to create a crease where I could then remove the pins and apply the fabric directly into the bookshelf.

Once I had the fabric ironed and ready, I then took to the bookshelf. Carefully, I sprayed the adhesive 8-10 inches away from where I wanted to attach the fabric on the back of the bookshelf. Then, I slowly positioned the fabric starting with the top corners. Once I had these in place, I then moved down the length of the bookshelf. The great part about using spray adhesive is that you have a few seconds to shift the fabric around for minor adjustments until it dries. The bad part is that you can't always pick up the fabric and respray pieces or places that you might have missed or need more adhesive, like corners or edges.

"I’ve got my portable fan, I’ve got my water bottle, I’ve got my new glittery lipstick – which, by the way, rocks – I am ready to jog." 


Table Legs are as Serious as Dawson's Highlights
Buying table legs is oddly intimidating. Upon initial reaction, I wanted to buy the cool retro wooden table legs that cost $10 each. Alas, I realized that no one would care about the table legs as much as I did and purchased 8" Waddell table legs from the home depot for $1.89 each. 

I try to use items that are found or recycled materials but when it comes to things like table legs, sometimes you just have to make a trip to the home depot. If you purchase table legs you'll also need to purchase a mounting base for said table legs. I aligned them and then measured the distance between the metal and the edge of the bookshelf to ensure that everything was lined up just so. Then, I painted them to match the rest of the bookshelf. 

"Cool. The movie star poster I ordered from my teen beat catalog arrive today. I was starting to worry.


The Gangs All Here, Let's Have a Beer
The only thing left was to attach the under shelf wine bottle holder and wine glass apparatus to the top of the bookshelf. I bought a contraption that could both hold wine bottles and wine glasses from Amazon as this bookshelf did not have a lot of space to attach two separate apparatus'. This piece simply screwed into the top of the bookshelf. 

A Perfect Addition to the Potter B & B
Turning the table over on its newfound legs made me realize just how awesome this project was to work on. It came out way better than I ever thought it could and was a great experience. The only thing left to do was fill it with alcohol and put it up on the etsy page. This piece is available for $125. Now that its finished, I'm going to have a cocktail and watch Dawson's Creek. 

I'm excited to hear your comments/thoughts on this project! Please feel free to leave a comment or share your own bar building adventures. 

1 comment:

  1. This looks freaking awesome, and the fact that it's infused with Dawson's Creek vibes just makes it better.