My Mom and Dad have moved into an apartment over our garage and it is wonderful having them so close by. When they made the purchase of a new bookshelf, I knew I needed to step in and help them enhance the Walmart bookshelf to give it a little more personality. With their nautical and beach decor already established I decided to create a lighthouse photo collage bookshelf.
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Mom and Dad are trying to do things on a budget, they would much rather use their extra money for taking cruises! So they bought this simple bookcase from WalMart for just $129.00! A bargain for sure, but Mom wanted a little more style, so I went to work. I am familiar with these series of books that have vintage images. If you aren’t familiar with them, you might be interested in some. They cover everything from Ellis Island to Malibu to Route 66, Biltmore and many, many more. After talking it over with my mother, I bought a used copy of Images of America – Florida Lighthouses on Amazon for less than $4.00. Since I was going to be cutting it apart, it didn’t really matter what condition it was in.
Step One: Select and cut out photos
I then went through the book with my Mom and chose images of lighthouses, lighthouse keepers, and the cover page from the book. This was going to be give the vintage feel she wanted to her bookshelf.
I laid them out in the various patterns until we were both happy with the look and then I went to work attaching them to the hardboard back of the bookcase.
Step Two: Assemble the frame of the bookcase
It was time to assemble the bookshelf. Everything except for the back and the cupboard door fronts.
Step Three: Attach photos to the backboard
If you are familiar with these kinds of unassembled furniture, you may know that the back of the bookshelf part is just cardboard. I laid the the backboard on the floor on top of a spare piece of cardboard and went to work mod podging the images to the bookshelf backing. I let it dry overnight.
The next day I applied two more coats of Mod Podge, allowing it to dry completely between coats. This sealed the collage well.
Step Four: Final assembly of the bookcase
Here is the completed lighthouse collage bookshelf. This really adds to the vintage coastal vibe they have created in their home.
This is now a lovely addition to their home, giving my mom a place to display some of her favorite collections and ample storage beneath.
My parents can enjoy studying these vintage images and the times around Florida when these lighthouses were integral to protecting ships approaching the coasts. Photos of the lighthouse keepers are reminders of how important they were in keeping the lighthouses working and ships safe.
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