How to fix a broken book rack to turn it into a fabulous Paw Patrol bookshelf!
This tutorial explains how to take an old bookshelf and update it into a Paw Patrol inspired bookshelf.
This blog is in no way affiliated or sponsored by Nick Jr., their subsidiaries, or affiliates. This tutorial is intended for personal use only. This tutorial includes affiliate links to products used in making this item.
I picked up this book shelf (book rack?) at Restore for $10, and was a little frustrated when I got home to realize a big chunk was ripped out of the laminate on the bottom. And FYI, these are apparently really fun to climb as my kids immediately gravitated towards doing so.
The nice thing about reusing the old shelf, despite the issues repairing it, is that it helps prevent mostly functional items from going into the garbage. By reusing or repurposing, we stop the manufacturing of one book shelf that we would've ordered if we hadn't fixed this one... it's a small thing to do, but there are environmental costs related to the production and transportation of products that we buy so fixing items is almost always ideal if you have the skills to do so.
Repairing the Shelf: Tutorial
To fix the bottom, I decided that replacing the bottom was best and I had some scrap wood in my garage that fit perfectly. Yay! Total luck. Not that cutting wood is difficult, but this made it a lot easier.
I sanded the two wood pieces down and spray painted them black with Rustoleum Painters Touch 2x Ultra Cover Paint and Primer (see affiliate link below).
After letting the paint dry, I just screwed them onto the bottom in place of the laminate board that was there before. I used 1 1/4" drywall screws (what I had). Adding wood rather than the laminate that was on it before added stability to this which is nice.
Once I screwed on the wood, I touched up with the spray paint, making sure to get the areas where the screws were.
Here it is, without the book slings.
Other Paw Patrol Tutorials
Before we get into the tutorial, make sure to check out these other Paw Patrol tutorials on my blog.
Replacing the Book Slings: Tutorial
This is the difficult part of the job. Now I needed to make some replacement book slings. These said Sebastian. I'm finding I hate personalized stuff because embroidery isn't easy/possible to remove (that I've been able to do anyways) and it makes items hard to sell. This meant I needed to craft new slings.
I'm going to type some instructions out below, but you'll also find instructions in the video below... this video is all closed captions with some classical music in the background so if you need to turn off the volume, you'll be okay doing so!
The panels were interesting. The "Sebastian" panel was in the opposite direction than the rest... So it became pretty clear that I couldn't just do one cut of fabric and be done. I needed to do each panel separately.
I decided to serge my sides rather than sew them. It would be faster and hey- my serger thread and fabric matched today. As a result, I didn't add much of a seam allowance. I realized after that I probably should've given myself more wiggle room for measurements, but it did work out fine.
Here's how I figured each panel out. I looked at my original slings and measured, making sure to measure from the top to bottom of each panel (there was some overlap where they were sewed together). For example, the width of the "Sebastian" panel was 22.5" so I cut my fabric 23" wide. The panel was 10" tall, plus I needed about 1.5" to turn over for the dowel. Total is 11.5" tall.
NOTE: Do NOT take apart your original slings to measure them. It's really nice to have them to look at when you're putting together the new slings.
I alternated plain (PL) and Paw Patrol (PP) fabric for the other panels. Note: You may want to measure your own slings if you decide to follow this and add additional seam allowance if you plan to turn edges over to finish the edges instead of serging.
First cut: 23"w x 11.5"h (PP)
2nd panel- 23"w x 9"h (PL)
3rd panel- 23"w x 16"h (PP)
4th panel- 23"w x 16"h (PL)
5th panel- 23"w x 17.5" h (PP)
Serge each piece of fabric.
Iron over 1.5" on each panel and/or pin for the rod.
Sew rod pocket. I used a sturdier stitch on my machine seeing the pockets will be holding a lot of weight with the books on them.
Sewing the pockets together is the trickiest part. I'm hoping that I can explain properly. I had difficulty figuring out how to sew all the pockets together. Lay down your original sling. Lay the pockets in the correct order and direction on top of it. This was helpful for me to get an idea of how they'd sew together. The "Sebastian" pocket doesn't sew to the other pieces the same as all the other panels sew together- those first two panels are the easiest to sew together. Oh- don't forget- the Sebastian pocket is facing the opposite side down from the rest of the pieces.
Once I got the Sebastian panel and the second panel sewn together, I put those back down and went to the 4th/5th panels. All of other my panels were right sides down (meaning the Sebastian panel is right sides up on the other end). As you can see below, my 4th panel pocket is underneath and the 5th panel non-pocket edge is over it. All I did was sew them together along the SAME line that the pocket was sewn together (yes, so they're overlapping). Again, I used a good reinforcing stitch for this part. This was how all the other panels were done as well. You've got to look at each one to make sure you're coming the correct sides together. I combined 4th/5th, then then 3rd/4th, then the 2nd/3rd (2nd already had Sebastian panel attached).
Once you do that, you're done. It's not super difficult once you figure it out, but you need to get it correct or your fabrics will be facing the wrong direction so it was a bit time consuming.
Here are some finished pictures of my book shelf!
Projects pictured below: Paw Patrol Inspired Painting, Distressed Lego Desk
Paw Patrol projects not pictured: Paw Patrol inspired Ryder Vest for a Halloween costume
Wall decals from Amazon (affiliate link): RoomMates RMK2640SCS Paw Patrol Peel and Stick Wall Decals
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”