Decorating the Shelves #2: Using this and that.

OK, time for the second part of decorating your shelves. 
If you didn’t catch the Decorating Shelves #1, you can read it HERE
In that post, I gave a couple of tutorials about what I randomly find around my house to use on shelves, and I discussed how to “balance” the shelves….to the best of my knowledge anyways.  
Once again, I’m no expert or professional, I just LOVE decorating shelves and I’m trying to annalize what I do to offer suggestions. 
1.) Use Groupings

One easy way to add some interest on your shelves is to add a grouping of something. This can be vases, jars, picture frames, or even something you’ve collected. I find it looks best if these items all have something in common such a color, or theme. It’s also good to have some variation in the grouping, such as different heights, maybe different shades of the same color, or different textures. 
You can see this in my picture frame grouping below. 
Similarities: They are all contain a creamy white color, and none of the pictures are colored (remember that frames are really easy to paint if you want picture groupings!)
Difference: Heights of the frames, and the pictures are different distances. Meaning, some are showing the kids farther away and a couple are close-ups (it always looks nice to do this with a picture collauge).

2.) Search your house for THE COLORS!

I’m meaning the color or colors that you’re using on your shelves. Even if it wouldn’t be a logical thing to include on a shelf, it may be just what you need! Really, go around your house and pull out bowls and plates, and branches, and kids toys, and wrapping paper. Any and all sorts of things that are a close color to what you have in your room! 
In the picture below, I took some yellow fabrics, and made a fabric flower, then I attached it with wire to a glass jar filled with yellow kid’s blocks. This adds a lot of interest, and also provides the color I needed on the shelves. Fabric and blocks wouldn’t typically go on a shelf, but as I collected things from around my house that were yellow, I found the fabric and blocks and it all came together. 

3.) Nature

Nature is awesome! It’s intresting, provides some good color, or even more often, wonderful neutrals. (It’s nice to balance out colors with neutrals on shelves.) 
Branches, rocks, flowers, feathers, pinecones….they all look great in decorating! And best of all….it’s all usually FREE!
I love plants and think the green of plants really can add to a space. I included these succulents that I found outside on a shelf. I used a flower shaped bowl as a pot, and then placed the little black ringed saucer underneath. To add color I used a yellow paper doily underneath the plate. Once again, just things from around my house.  

4.) Something old, something new, something vintage, something unexpected!

In the tip above, something old, vintage and unexpected can most of the time go together. You can see the bucket below. It’s old, vintage and unexpected. It’s probably my favorite thing on the shelves. I found it at a junk yard for $2. Don’t be afraid to use something unexpected. One reason people love vintage is because it’s so unique, and often times, unexpected! 
5.) Five is kind of redundant, but aim for BALANCE. 
You can see below that I used yellow on opposite sides of the shelf, balanced by the white/cream decorations on the other side. The white book pages that are displayed are every other shelf. Use what you have to “balance” the shelf display. 
Go around your house, collect everything and anything you think might work. Set it in front of the bookcase or shelf and starting staging. Keep at it until it looks right! Remember that in order to have beautiful display shelves, you probably won’t be able to use everything you want to display. 

Here is finished shelf #2 on the right.  You can see finished shelf #1 on the left and you can read more about it  HERE. 
Home Stories A 2 Z also had a great post this week on decorating shelves. So if you want to read more about decorating shelves, you can check hers out HERE. 
Hope you’ve enjoyed my random babblings on how I decorate shelves. Just remember they are a reflection of you, so place things and mementos on them that you love, and remember that as long as you enjoy them when you’re done, then you’ve done it right!
This project has been featured at:

five days five ways  feature friday free for all

Featured on Wayward Weekend at Wayward Girls Crafts
Positively Splendid
Posting to:
Sundays: Homemaker on a Dime Sunday’s Best CRAFT


  1. These are some great tips!! I need to incorporate more color into my house! Thanks for sharing from your experience.

  2. Great ideas, tips, pictures….all of it is very good advice. I always learn something from you! thank you! I got the “stuff” for refinishing my cupboards with your “technique” but haven’t done it yet. Too much outside stuff right now but we’re supposed to get 3 days of rain…that would be a great time to do that! LOL! Have a great week Katie!

    • Thanks Sam! Enjoy the great outdoors while you can. It’s freezing here in WA. state! I wouldn’t mind being on the other side of the country right now, where it’s unusually warm!


  3. Wow, super tips and advice. I love the pops of color. Thanks for sharing!

    sara @

  4. I love both of the shelves. They both have so much dimension!

  5. I love yellow and black together– so classy and clean!! Very cute!! I wish I had more space to do this in my house! thanks for linking it to my party at SHOW US YOUR FIND!! You’re rockin’ some great ideas!!

  6. Found your blog via the Blog Hop. I’m your newest GFC follower!

  7. the yellow is AWESOME – well done girlie – so fresh and crisp and fun and funky! xi

  8. Busy gal, lol. Again, the colour is fabulous. So glad you shared at our party.

  9. Wonderful tips — I especially love the idea of choosing a color and then shopping the house for things that fit that color scheme!

  10. wow your shelves look soooo good. Im jealous! I need to work on this better in my house!

  11. What a great way to pop some color into the room. Love it!

  12. i love the bucket. It is unexpected and perfect on your shelf.

  13. Love those colors! How fresh and exciting! Thanks for linking at the Stinky Linky Party…those shelves are looking great!

  14. Love the back drop.

  15. I love the way you laid this out into easy points to follow when trying to decorate. The color is what always get me. Thanks so much for sharing at Whimsy Wednesdays.

  16. I love your shelves! I desperately want to develop an artistic eye so that I can decorate this way… What is especially nice about yours is that you’ve used- what you called “this and that” but it is still so beautiful. Thanks for sharing- I’m pinning it for inspiration.

  17. These are such good tips! We really appreciate you sharing this at our link party and can’t wait to see what you are up to next week!

    Take care,


  18. Oh Katie! The yellow pops off so well off the black! The groupings look fantastic together! Great job my friend!

  19. Cute shelves!

  20. Thanks so much for the tips. Your shelves look beautiful. Thanks for sharing at Fabulous Friday.

  21. Fantastic tips! I love all the pops of yellow! Thanks for sharing at Manic Monday.

  22. Great job, Katie!

  23. Well done. Loving the yellow – so happy.

  24. Very nice! Love all the little touches!

  25. Thanks for linking up at Whimsy Wednesday! You always have such great ideas and projects. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

  26. This turned out so cute!!! I love the pops of yellow!!! xoxo- Rachel

  27. Great job, Katie! Love the styling tips and touches of yellow!

  28. You’re a STAR tonight at I Gotta Create!
    Spring Fling linky party

  29. I love how you decorated the shelves! Thank you so much for sharing, featuring at my party which will go up later this afternoon. -K

  30. Thanks for all the fantastic tips and advice 🙂 I am going to remember this because I need to clean out and start repurposing a bookshelf in my living room.


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