How To Stage Shelves (and a VIDEO!!)

Thank you SO much for all of your awesome comments on my post  about how to build your own shelving!  You guys rock my world!  As fun as it is to build them, what’s the point if you don’t know how to decorate them?!  Its pretty much pointless.   Tons of the questions/comments were about how I staged them so I wont keep you waiting any longer!!

How To Stage Shelves

Now, you should know I am going to say the word shelves a lot.  And instead of making it a drinking game with alcohol I though it would be great if every time you hear the word shelves you eat a handful of Bran.  (Because its SO good for you!!)

Shelves. (just thought I would get the party started.)

My Mother in Law is AMAZING at creating vignettes and so every time I have a chance to learn at the master’s feet I am ALL over it.  Sometime soon I am going to be giving you a tour of her house that Court has been working on remodeling since the beginning of the summer.  It is MIND BLOWING.  So heads up on that.

We are going to have a middle school flashback.  Just like in school we are going to watch the video and then discuss.

Tip #1 Start with Books!  Books are not only space fillers, they are visual fillers too.  They are cute and fun but they will probably never be the star of the show, unless all you had was books,  Then they would totally be the star.   I LOVE decorating with interesting books from the thrift store,  they are pretty much on every flat surface of my home.  You can stand them up, lay them flat, have the spines facing in or out, rip the covers off for a old school feel, bind them together with twine, perch them at a perfect angle. There SO many options friends.  Books are a staple.

You can find funky readers digest books for as cheap as $.25 (hit up estate sales for great prices, old people LOVE Readers Digest Condensed books) the going rate at our thrift store is $2.00 for hardbacks.  Is it the same where you live?

Glass Floating Shelves


Tip #2 Add large visually weighty things next.  This is where large things like the globe or the art or the xylophone come in.  I am OBSESSED with that colorful piece of art.  I found it at the DI (Utah’s version of Goodwill) for $2 and I think I will keep it forever.  The xylophone is the item that gets the most attention, I found that for $4 and I LOVE the colors in it.

Abstract Thrift Store Painting

Tip #3 Its time to add all of the small details.  These are the things that bring so much character to the space.  You know, the things that make you step in and look closer.  I love using vases, animals, plants etc..

How To Stage Shelves its all in the details!

I have found that when I am doing something as huge as an entire wall of shelves, that instead of running all over my house looking for things to use it helps save time and energy to gather my entire hoard on one surface and shop it.   When I do this I never regret it.

Shop Your House

Did you know that everything except the pink and red love silhouette, the wood and brass antelope, and the succulent inside the fish bowl came from the thrift store?  I know!  See in situations like this it pays to be a hoarder!!

How To Stage Shelves

I hope this helped you guys visualize a little bit more the process that goes into decorating shelves!!  If you have any questions just leave them in the comments and I will answer them there!

Love Your Guts, Mandi


  • Chantelle 06.12.2012 at 17:46

    Thanks for this Mandi, it’s so helpful. This will come in very handy as I decorate for the holidays … pre-in-law arrival!

  • Mindi@MyLove2Create 06.12.2012 at 20:33

    Great tips, I totally needed them! I am glad that my hoarding will come in handy…. And I am STILL drooling over the shelves!

  • Nikki @ the ambitious procrastinator 06.12.2012 at 20:39

    I absolutely love how your shelves turned out! Especially the plexiglass., that is such a clever touch. I am so terrible at this whole staging thing, maybe I need more decorative junk to shop from. And books. And large items. I guess it’s probably because I haven’t really had a surface to accessorize before, but now thanks to the new mantle we installed this weekend I have something to price on.

    Nikki Kelly @ the ambitious procrastinator

  • Cathee 06.12.2012 at 20:59

    It drives my husband nuts when I use a ladder with flip flops or bare feet during home inprovement! I am glad I am not the only one! LOL. That looks great. I have two big book shelves setting on top on credenzas in my office. Can’t wait to use your tutorial!

  • Natalie 07.12.2012 at 03:38

    So, I saw these stockings on ksl… And I thought of you. Is that weird?

  • Serena 07.12.2012 at 14:31

    Great article on decorating shelves! And I live that everything came from the thrift store!! Now i want me some shelves too!

    Thrift Diving

  • Econicho 12.12.2012 at 03:14

    Those shelves are *beyond* beautiful. So is all of your loot! :)

  • Styling A Bookshelf – Blissful Blonde 30.09.2013 at 03:25

    […] Vintage Revivals […]

  • Living Room Makeover Reveal - Vintage Revivals 07.10.2013 at 15:11

    […] my favorite projects in this room is the floating industrial shelves.  I changed them up from the original colorful staging to something a little more toned down but the process is still the same, so watch the video if you […]

  • Michael Kruth 28.06.2016 at 19:10

    Absolutely brilliant. Your ideas and projects really inspire me to roll up my sleeves and do these! Totally gonna stay tuned!


Post a Comment