DIY Upcycling a bookcase with Laura Ashley

Today one of my little projects was featured on the Laura Ashley blog, which I’m super excited about. Jared and I have more than a couple Laura Ashley products in our home and I was so happy when they asked me to collaborate with them. I decided to make a curiosity cabinet and started with a bookcase. I managed to find a worn out bookcase for £15 on eBay, and after some TLC it was perfect for the job. The lady I bought it from made it during her school days, and for me that adds such a beauty to it.

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When upcycling any furniture I always sand the whole item using medium sandpaper. This is followed by dusting it, hoovering it and wiping it down to remove any dust. The next step is to do two coats of basic white paint to even everything out. After the white paint is dry I then do two coats of the desired colour. Once the paint is dry, I lightly sand parts with fine sandpaper to give it a slightly worn affect.

Once I was happy everything, I lined the back and sides of each shelf with Laura Ashley wallpaper. I chose Lemon Grove, Ella Berry and Abbeville Grape for my project. To get the wallpaper looking flush I used wood PVA glue, scissors, a craft knife and a cloth. I decided not to wax the cabinet, but normally I would.

Laura Ashley shoot 12th October 036Laura Ashley shoot 12th October 030

All that was left to do then was to fill it with nick nacks and lots of treasures. You can read the full featured post here.

E xx



  1. 19th October 2015 / 9:37 pm

    Oh I love upcycling. It’s really therapeutic! I’ve been busy painting a rocking chair this weekend and loved every minute. You’ve done such a good job on this bookcase, it looks lovely! I love the rocking horse too! I tried to get Elodie one like that from eBay, but missed out on it. Where would we be without eBay, eh? Our house would be unfurnished!! Xxx

    • Esther
      20th October 2015 / 8:58 pm

      Thank you so much Kerry. Completely agree that it’s therapeutic. A rocking chair sounds totally gorgeous – can’t wait to see it. The rocking horse was Jared’s when he was little. I love having it in our house xx
      p.s. eBay is incredible! x

  2. 19th October 2015 / 10:22 pm

    This looks so lovely. White furniture is my favourite! and I love the wallpaper patterns you chose x

    • Esther
      20th October 2015 / 8:58 pm

      Thanks Becky! x

  3. 19th October 2015 / 11:28 pm

    It’s really lovely Esther x

    • Esther
      20th October 2015 / 8:59 pm

      Thanks chick xx

  4. 20th October 2015 / 10:06 am

    Esther I absolutely love this! You have done an amazing job! This reminds me of heuristic play which i promoted as an early years teacher back when i was well and is such a great way to spark children’s interest and imagination! A beautiful post and wonderful creation! Angela xxx

    • Esther
      20th October 2015 / 9:00 pm

      Thanks Ang. That is so kind of you xx

  5. 20th October 2015 / 10:13 am

    You’ve done a great job with the bookcase! It looks stinking cute 🙂 I’ve done loads of diy projects at home but I’m yet to paint any furniture. There is a black wooden rocking chair sitting in a corner of our daughter’s nursery that screams at me for some colour every time I look at it 😉

    • Esther
      20th October 2015 / 9:01 pm

      Thank you! It’s much easier than you think. A rocking chair would be gorgeous! x

  6. 20th October 2015 / 12:07 pm

    I love upcycling old furniture and you’ve done a great job here, it’s sooo cute, looks like a dolls house now! It looked so battered before, you must be proud! Sabrina xx

    • Esther
      20th October 2015 / 9:02 pm

      Thanks Sabrina. I’m very happy with it xx

  7. 20th October 2015 / 12:48 pm

    Love this idea. Such a fun project and easy to do. Most people now just go put and buy new things but I love this idea of upcycling. X

    • Esther
      20th October 2015 / 9:13 pm

      Super easy! I love old furniture – it’s so much sturdier! xx

  8. Jade Lewendon
    20th October 2015 / 4:12 pm

    I am so spooked out about this post haha, I have literally just wrote a post about doing something with a bookcase, nothing like yours though, nothing like this at all! I must admit I’ve never visited my local Laura Ashley store, even though it’s only like five minutes away from me but after seeing the beautiful job you’ve done I know where I’m going to visit this weekend! x

    • Esther
      20th October 2015 / 9:12 pm

      Hahahaa. That is funny! Laura Ashley have good sales too! 😉 Hope you enjoy your visit xx

  9. Zoe Alicia
    20th October 2015 / 4:21 pm

    Oh my gosh, it’s gorgeous! You’ve done a great job with it. Must say I am very impressed x

    • Esther
      20th October 2015 / 9:11 pm

      Thank you Zoe! xx

  10. 20th October 2015 / 5:18 pm

    This is incredible. You are amazing artist and very creative. Congratulation on having this amazing post published on Laura Ashley blog.

    • Esther
      20th October 2015 / 9:09 pm

      Thanks Petra! So kind of you xx

  11. 20th October 2015 / 5:55 pm

    Oh wow! That is BEAUTIFUL!! You`ve done such an amazing job! I want to get more into upcycling myself, it must feel so rewarding at the end of a job well done! x

    • Esther
      20th October 2015 / 9:08 pm

      Thanks Hayley! Half way I think it looks awful, and then by the end I like it! xx

  12. 20th October 2015 / 6:22 pm

    WOW this is fantastic and I love it. Id love love love to try and do something like this but I never feel like id be able to make things look so good. AMAZING hun x

    • Esther
      20th October 2015 / 9:07 pm

      Thank you! Honestly, it is so much easier than you think! xx

  13. 20th October 2015 / 8:22 pm

    That looks amazing what a transformation. I would love to make something like this myself but I have no time nor patience xx

    • Esther
      20th October 2015 / 9:07 pm

      Thanks Lindsay xx

  14. 20th October 2015 / 10:11 pm

    This is gorgeous! It’s almost unrecognisable now. I would never think to use wallpaper on something like this, but it looks fantastic!

    • Esther
      21st October 2015 / 1:19 pm

      Thank you so much Helen! So kind of you x

  15. 20th October 2015 / 10:21 pm

    Well done on getting noticed by Laura Ashley that is no mean feat and is testament to your talent in interior knowledge. Fantastic news xx

    • Esther
      21st October 2015 / 1:19 pm

      Thank you Ana for your kind words xx

  16. 20th October 2015 / 11:06 pm

    I am always in awe of anyone who can upcycle an item to make it look fantastic!I like how it has such a sentimental personal touch to it, in that it was made by the seller and now it’s creating new stories in being featured on the Laura Ashley blog! Well done 🙂 x

    • Esther
      21st October 2015 / 1:21 pm

      Jade, that was so beautiful to read. I love a story too and hopefully it will last to tell many more xx

  17. 21st October 2015 / 10:21 am

    I’ve upcycled once I think without really upcycling. I took a book shelf and moved it into the hallway, removed some shelves and left some in. Adding some hooks and it became a place for coats and shoes 🙂
    I love what you have done and think it is definitely something people should do more xx

    • Esther
      21st October 2015 / 1:23 pm

      Pure genius! What a brilliant idea! I can’t bear the thought of throwing furniture away! xx

  18. 21st October 2015 / 11:46 am

    This looks so beautiful, you make it sound so easy! These are the things I dream of doing if I ever find the time. It’s so nice to re-purpose something that is still perfectly functional just needs a little TLC. Such a good job Esther xx

    • Esther
      21st October 2015 / 1:25 pm

      Thank Hayley! Evenings are when I come alive – haha. You will be SO surprised how easy painting furniture is. SO rewarding too xx

  19. Sarah Golding
    21st October 2015 / 1:32 pm

    OMG that is beautiful! I wish I was talented in upcycling, I love that you get to create stunning and unique pieces.

    • Esther
      21st October 2015 / 10:32 pm

      Thanks Sarah xx

  20. 21st October 2015 / 2:29 pm

    That’s beautiful. I keep meaning to do some upcycling, but never get round to it. Even the garden table I sanded down but didn’t get round to painting. Will have to start again next summer.

    • Esther
      21st October 2015 / 10:33 pm

      Definitely need to do that one in summer – garden furniture is so heavy! Thanks Emma x

    • Esther
      22nd October 2015 / 11:19 pm

      Thank you Amy x

  21. 22nd October 2015 / 2:38 pm

    Wow, this looks amazing. And I love how you have styled it too. Great job – you’ve inspired me to go hunting for an old bookcase to upcycle 🙂

    • Esther
      22nd October 2015 / 11:20 pm

      Yes! You must do it! 🙂 and thank you for your kind words xx

  22. 2nd November 2015 / 9:33 pm

    That looks great – quite a transformation. Love the wallpaper on the middle section too #homeinterest

    • Esther
      17th November 2015 / 10:03 pm

      Thanks Stephanie! x

  23. 23rd November 2015 / 4:18 pm

    That is very cute

    • Esther
      17th February 2016 / 9:55 pm

      Thank you Kara xx

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