I've fallen in love with bookshelves that have color in the back. It spices up a room, but it's in a small area and you don't have to paint a whole room.
Liquid Starch-it's by the spray starch but it should be in a bottle. My big bottle was maybe $2 and this is the fourth time I used it with lots left.
Container for the starch
Fabric- thin fabric is by far the easiest. This time I did it with decor fabric and it was hard to get the starch to soak in which makes the fabric less sticky.
Wipe the back of the bookshelf, wall, or whatever you're going to use so it's clean. Now measure each spot or wherever you're putting the fabric and cut the fabric into those pieces. I measured each space and then ripped my fabric to fit that space, so I had 8 pieces of fabric.
*Important* Sometimes the fabric shrinks when you get it wet, and sometimes it stretches. Maybe test a piece before you cut them all. I ran into problems later because I didn't test my fabric first.
Now you can watch me putting the fabric onto the back.
The fabric on the bookshelf! Doesn't it look great?
I had a little bit of problem because I thought my fabric would stretch when wet, but I think it shrunk just a little bit. Luckily, there are things going on my shelves so nobody sees the problem.
Here's my version of the painted bookshelf.
It is a little busy, but since it's in a small area I don't mind it. It's a great pop of color and pattern.
This technique is temporary in that you can take it down without damaging the wall, but it will stay up as long as you like. In my last apartment I had some fabric up for about a year, and it probably would've stayed up for more if I had left it. It stays up quite nicely, and I never had to do any touch-ups.
When I was ready to take it down, I just peeled the fabric off the wall. It leaves a slight residue but it comes off with a little scrubbing with a wet cloth.
I forgot to mention that I got the fabric from Fabric.com. I had been eyeing it for awhile and finally gave in and got it. It was just perfect for what I had envisioned.