Bookshelf redo, adding DIY herringbone

Bookshelf redo, adding DIY herringbone

I love, LOVE redoing furniture! It is the easiest and most cost effective way I decorate my home. Today I am sharing this Bookshelf redo, adding DIY herringbone. It is bright, bold, and perfect for my dining room.

DIY herringbone bookshelf redo

**This post is sponsored, all opinions on products are my own*

I am using Purebond plywood in partnership with The Home Depot to transform a boring bookshelf.

Purebond Plywood Panels is a formaldehyde free and soy based plywood. It is environment friendly panels that are available at Home Depot stores. Let me tell you, I was excited to get to try this plywood out! I am a big time DIYer and furniture redos are my favorite because I get instant results for my work. The goal is to add a herringbone pattern to the back of this bookshelf with the plywood.

The first step is determining how big I want the herringbone pattern to be. I decided to go with pieces that are 2 inches wide and 7 inches long. Keeping them big enough to be seen, but not too busy.

I set up my table saw to make 2 inch cuts and then ran the plywood panel through the table saw, cutting them into 2 inch long wood strips.

This is not a tough job to do, but I do need two hands for it the entire time so there was no way I was able to take pictures of the process.

Next, cutting the long boards down to the 7 inch size, using a ruler and marking where the cuts should be.

I set about 4 boards on top of each other and cut the 7 inch boards in bulk, saving me lots of time!

With all of the cuts done the plywood boards were a little rough, so after a good sanding they were smooth and gorgeous!

Before I can start laying the herringbone down I need to remove the back of the bookshelf.

When I was removing it the back was bending a lot and it made a lot of the paint peel off. So I scraped the back of the bookshelf to remove any loose paint. Then wiped it all down to have a clean surface.

Now it is time to make the herringbone pattern!!!

I started in the center of the bookshelf back, making an entire center row with the plywood pieces.

I stopped each row once I hit the edge of the bookshelf back, these are the ones that need no cuts. Once I hit the edge all of those will need to be cut individually to match the angle and size needed.

Just going row by row, creating the DIY herringbone pattern.

I should mention that none of these are connected in anyway to the back of the bookshelf. They are simply being laid down in place right now.

I got giddy seeing the herringbone come together so beautifully!

Now I am done with all of the full 7 inch long pieces. I need to trim up the edge ones to complete the project.

Laying all of the edge pieces out.

Marking where they line up on the edge of the bookshelf back.

Cutting right along the line.

Ending up with an angled pieces….

… That should fit perfectly into the spot. It does!!!

Going row by row and cutting all angled pieces to finish up the sides. To be honest this pure bond plywood had a gorgeous finish all on it’s own. I really went back and forth at this point on if I was going to leave the wood as is and not paint it.

While still not 100% sure how I was going to leave the color of the plywood I knew I needed to glue them down. I chose to use wood glue, but adhesive tape or even small nails would also make sure that the wood pieces are connected to the book shelf back.

I decided to spray paint the herringbone design turquoise blue. What finally helped me make that decision is just because the light wood of the plywood does not match much in my home. I felt it would clash a little too much, but if I could have found a way to leave it light wood colored I would have. I honestly really liked the natural wood finish.

This picture is after one coat of blue spray paint. I ended up needing to spray paint two coats.

Once all was glued on, adhered to the backing and the paint was dry it was time to attach the new herringbone bookshelf back to the bookshelf. I did this with an air nailer putting in small nails into the back itself.

The only reason I chose the smaller nails is because the bookshelf back is only a very thin piece of board, so I did not want to strip it with larger nails or screws.

The herringbone back does add a little thickness to the back, but it is nothing that is too obvious. From the front view I cannot see it at all.

I knew I was going to like the final results, but guys….. this Bookshelf redo, adding DIY herringbone has quickly become one of my favorite furniture transformations!

The herringbone pattern is such a fun one on it’s own. Then adding the bright pop of turquoise blue and there is so much wonderfulness going on.

This Bookshelf redo feels right at home in my dining room and next to the navy blue shiplap  I added to the fireplace last year. My home has always had pops of turquoise in it, but I have been slowly incorporating the darker navy blue color. I feel like with the other light colors I decorate with like white and gray that there needs to be a little warmth with the dark blue and darker natural wood colors. It is all about balance with decorating.

The herringbone pattern has become a focal point all on it’s own.

This bookshelf is where we store my kids flashcards, rulers and a calculator. It is easy for them to grab when doing homework at the dinner table. We are also reading the Harry Potter books as a family so they definitely need to be out and easy to reach for.

I used pretty much the same decorations that I had on this shelf before I added the plywood backing, but it makes such a huge difference in showing them off because of the bold blue color.

When I first began decorating my home I was uncertain how to mix patterns and colors. I adored the look of mix and matching but was not sure how to execute it myself. Over time I have figured out what works in my home and how to balance the mix of patterns and colors without it being too busy.

This bookshelf adds a lighter pope of blue which offsets the darker navy blue of the shiplap. The herringbone adds some much needed texture to this big wall that is one part of my living room/dining room combo. This Bookshelf redo, adding DIY herringbone was done in just an afternoon and changed the entire look of my dining room as well as the decor displayed on it. Crazy what a little plywood can do to a piece of furniture!


Here are some of my favorite past furniture redo’s –




  1. You did a nice job putting that together. It’s a bright and summery blue that fits your decor well and really adds a splash of color to the room.

  2. What a great way to make a shelf pop with color. My husband has said we can have no more shelves in the house as everytime we get one I fill it with books. …lol

  3. Oh wow, I love the blue!! This project turned out awesome. Love the pop of color.

  4. I was just thinking about doing something to the back of an old hutch I own. This looks amazing! Great job!

  5. What a lovely way to combine texture and color to make a bold statement.

  6. Wow! That turned out amazing! The herringbone really gives it extra style. What a great project!

  7. Oh wow, that looks gorgeous and I love the pop of blue. I love that you made the back unique instead of just painting it, it’s a nice touch and I’m sure it was worth the effort.

  8. Oh my gosh I love this! I think this is definitely something that I could do and make our house look all that much better!

  9. I love how you revitalized that shelf. I used to love refurbishing old pieces to make them look good. I need to get out there and do it and my husband loves woodworking too.

  10. You are so incredibly talented! I think this project is so fun and adds such a beautiful pop of color to your bookshelf. I would love to do the same for the shelving unit in my living room.

  11. I have so many bookcases that this would work out so great for. The backs are just not sturdy enough, and this is not only stylish but totally functional!

  12. I love how you decorated this bookshelf. The pop of color and woodwork is beautiful.

  13. I love how that looks! I need to get a couple book cases. Our books are currently cluttering up a closet.

  14. That pattern is worth all the effort. It looks really good!

  15. I love this project! The blue was a great choice; too cute!

  16. It’s so beautiful! I have never imagined doing a project like this before. You make it seem so easy. I love how it looks with the book shelf. Perfect for the look you’re going for.

  17. That project came out nicely. The herringbone pattern looks sharp, I’m not sure if I would be that adept with a saw.

  18. Wow, loving the colour of it! It is very pleasing to the eyes. I hope in the future, I can do this as well. Your so talented!

  19. Wow what a transformation. I love that you painted the herringbone blue, it looks beautiful!

  20. I adore this! I love love love the blue. I love the pattern, too. It had adds a lot of interest.

  21. Wow, that’s amazing! You did quite a good job with that bookshelf, the color really makes it pop.

  22. I love how this turned out! I think this is a project I need to pass onto my husband. He just got a table saw so he’s ready for a project!

  23. omg that’s awesome 😀 now do one for me xD seriously though, if i could afford it, i’d totally commission you for one 😛

  24. This is such a great idea!! I love how beautiful and custom this piece looks and it doesn’t look too hard to do!! I may need to try this soon!

  25. I’ve honestly never done any kind of DIY like this before and so it’s nice to see it step by step! I think it’s really brilliant and beautiful! The kind that you’d want to make for your own home!

  26. Michelle Dable says:

    This is incredible! Love the look and pattern. Very fun!

  27. The bookshelf pattern is wonderful. Loved it. Will try this DIY soon.

  28. It looks gorgeous! I love the blue color. Thanks for sharing.

  29. It’s look very nice, what a nice combination of textures. I appreciate your hard work.

  30. i had a beach themed bathroom that I have had for ages since seeing your living room I decided to go farmhouse beach in mine, I had my living room and entry way painted a cream with a silver blue grey accent wall I bought 2 beach pics in silver grey frames a clock with a beach water and sailboat, I have jars of sea glass and shells all over its a start

  31. This is AMAZING! Thank you for the idea! I’m going to give it a try!

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