How to Cover Shelves Without Doors


An open-fronted shelf or cabinet is a great way to display books, artworks, pictures, knickknacks or other objects in your home. Sometimes, however, you may want the option of covering the shelves in your home to protect the objects inside but cannot or do not want to add doors to the front of the cabinet. Fabric draperies are a great option.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Choose a style of fabric to cover your shelves. It can be patterned, solid, opaque or sheer, but it should match the style of the decor in your room.

  • Cut the fabric to dimensions exactly 1 inch longer and 1 inch wider than your shelving unit.

  • Decide whether you want one large swath of fabric to cover your shelves or whether you would like two panels that can open down the middle of the shelving unit. If you decide to create two panels, fold your swath of fabric in half lengthwise and cut it down the middle to create two panels of equal length and width.

  • Fold over half an inch of fabric onto the inside of each side of the fabric panel to create a small hem.

  • Sew the hem using a whipstitch.

  • Use nails and a hammer to attach the top hem of the fabric panel to the top front edge of the shelves, allowing the panel to hang down and cover the shelves.

  • Repeat with the second panel if you are using one.

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  • Photo Credit Yellow and green shelves image by Charlie Rosenberg from
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