Check out how easy it is to Stencil a bookcase and organize it with items that provide storage and have meaning at the same time. What a transformation!

Paint a bookcase a herringbone stencil, use mason jars, crates and suitcases for storage!

I’ve lived in my house for about 2 years now.  And I’m just getting around to my craft room.  Blog fail, much??  It’s been serving it’s purpose to me daily by housing my craft supplies so no harm done, but now it’ll serve that same purpose and will be appealing to the eyes.  Finally.  I love how the built in bookcase turned out.  I’m a huge fan of all things vintage.  If you were to take  a screenshot of our Pinterest boards, you would see all white and light colored tones mixed with old and new, lots of mason jars and lots of character.  But I love color too!!  Nothing too bold like lime green but I simply adore mustard yellow and all shades of aqua and turquoise.  This herringbone bookcase is so totally ME.  It’s got custom rustic crates, my grandmother’s suitcases, old crates I’ve been collecting at sales, my mom’s 30 year old mason jars and a few modern pieces of decor that I’ve found here and there over the past 11 years of married life.


(A little close up, made that burlap and doily bunting, tutorial on the link.  Click for the crate tutorial, too!)

Love the fun accessories!  If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll have seen so many #craftroommakeover hash tags over the past couple of months.  It probably seems like I’ve drug my feet taking so long to complete this bookcase but collecting the storage items was the time consuming part.  I definitely wanted a vintage vibe with legit vintage pieces.  Many of them are older than me, mission accomplished. Here are the problems we had with our huge built-in bookcase: 

Messy before pic of my vintage inspired craft room. Nightmare, lol!

  • Orange arrow: mason jars: needed lids but they were already organized, thankyouverymuch.
  • Aqua arrow: You can purchase raw crates from JoAnn’s then follow our stained numbered crate tutorial to copy our look. They’re normally $11.99 BUT you can use your 40% off coupon and get them cheap!  I collected mine over a period of months to make it more affordable.  Stain with Minwax’s DARK WALNUT, paint on numbers with vinyl stencils using Americana’s BUTTER paint, lightly sand and you have instant aged crates.
  • Green arrow: All those unattractive, easily dented Ikea paper boxes were recycled. Not upcycled, just chucked into the recycle bin! Their contents are now housed in all the crates.
  • Coral arrow: These suitcases have sentimental value to me AND they’re amazing storage.  My grandma passed away the day after Christmas last year, I inherited these suitcases and keep them closed as much as possible. Whenever I open it up I can smell her house, I love it.
  • Yellow arrow: Vinyl rolls!! Kristi and I have been selling vinyl lettering and signs for nearly 7 years now.  We occasionally hold local craft nights and still take orders (email  I decided to get rid of my stash and only keep one roll on hand for stencils only.  {We’ve shown our stencil technique we’ve been using for years several times, here is one example of our stencil method in case you missed it.}  If you want to get on our craft night notification list, email me and I’ll make sure you’re added! They’re always so fun! Our next one is March 14th!

Supplies to Stencil a Bookcase

*This post contains affiliate links. When purchasing with our links, you’re using what we used at no extra cost to you but supporting our free tutorials, thank you!

How to Paint a Bookcase

First up, you’ll need a bookcase! They are easy to find at thrift stores but if you don’t have one, Amazon has one for less than $80, free shipping for Prime members too! Just paint it white to match ours as a base. You can even put two side-by-side then add molding to the top, middle and bottom to make it look custom.  Here’s the process side by side: before, during and after of our herringbone bookcase makeover. What a difference!


Also visit:

How to Stencil A Bookcase

How to stencil a bookcase | We love this herringbone allover stencil, learn how to create a beautiful custom bookcase with a stencil and paint!

  • Painting the stencil was the easy part! We’re comfortable with CES’ stencils after using them on the following projects:


dining room | Kristi’s curtains | Kelli’s bathroom

  • It’s definitely worth watching this video on how to stencil before you get started if you’ve never stenciled before. There’s also a helpful how-to stencil page on CES’ site.
  • (We shared a picture step-by-step on our more recent blog post when we stenciled our bathroom floor, same process).
  • My tip is nice, light coats. I like to paint the first coat, let it dry for a few minutes then paint second coat and immediately pull the stencil away. Use a small brush for any touch-ups.


It’s time consuming but worth it. I did this whole bookcase in one day, starting around midday and ending around midnight, taking breaks for mom life. I promise you if I can do it, you can do it. I love this “during” photo. What a difference the stencil makes on the back of the bookcase!  It really gives it a fun pop of color.  Since I have stuff in front of it, the herringbone is peeking through and I simply love it! I love the nice and clean herringbone lines in this picture of the bookcase after the stencil was painted but before the accessories were put back in.


How to Style a Bookcase


Gather items that are attractive to you and will provide useful storage at the same time. I use most of these knick-knacks for staging in my other pictures.  And they’re just pretty to look at and inspire me when I’m in this room that’s all my own!  The HOME frame is from Ikea, the yellow bird and white cake stand are from HomeGoods, the urns are from Ross, the green bird is from a grocery store floral department, the set of owls are from Kirklands, the vintage owl with yellow eyes was $1 at Goodwill, the soda crate was a gift from my older sis Sandee from World Market and the little brown owl on top of my paper cutter and scale is from Down East Home! I used collected items, random gifts and love how it all came together.

Herringbone stenciled bookcase, fill with vintage goods for storage #organization #craftroom

Isn’t this a great background??  I love the clean lines of the herringbone.  I recycled the paint from my great grandmother’s 100 year old buffet turned tv stand makeover.  This mini suitcase matches my bigger green suitcase exactly, that was a pure coincidence.  Notice the “Big A– Book of Crafts” book is washi tape’d over??  My kids knew it was a cuss word so I had to hide it, lol!

 Love using vintage suitcases as storage in a craft room!

Mmmm…love me some mason jars + bakers twine!  Great ribbon storage and the bakers twine is a fun touch.  I actually dug these jars out of my attic where my mom had stored them when I was a baby!  They needed a thorough cleaning!  I bought the lids at Walmart, maybe I’ll paint them someday?  Love that they have history and they’re pretty to look at.

Use mason jars as ribbon storage in a craft room. Tied bakers twine is a fun touch!

The other mason jars house the rest of my random crafts, glitter bottles, washi tape, buttons, glue sticks, etc.  And these small truly vintage crates are perfect for my everyday acrylic paints and bakers twine hoard!Vintage crates are the same size as small acrylic bottles, use them for #organization in the #craftroom

My bigger crates house the rest of my acrylic paint stash, yes, it’s full.  No, I’m not disputing I have an addiction.  They also house my paper cutters, adhesives, wood supplies, etc.

Vintage crate for the craft room, perfect size to hold bakers twine! #organization #craftroom

For scissor and squeegee storage, I used inexpensive jars from Ikea.  I tied a simple white twine bow around the lid just for fun.  I love this little owl.  I’ve contemplated spray painting him but love the distinct vintage vibe, I’m guessing he was manufactured in the 60’s-70’s which is the era my grandmother kept her decor from till the day she passed.  Hence all my vintage goods upcycled from her humble home.

So cute! Glass jars from Ikea for scissor and craft supply storage paired with a vintage owl! #craftroom #organization

That’s about all there is to it! Have fun customizing it to your own needs. Such a happy space that was featured on Shutterfly too!


Check out our burlap doily bunting tutorial, vintage crate DIY tutorial and a herringbone roundup too!

Cute and easy burlap and doily bunting #craftroom #banner

How to create vintage numbered crates by


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