When was the last time you had an amazing hair day?

You know….when you are so all about your hair that you can’t even stand it.

Mine was yesterday.


January 1, 2014.

I flat-ironed it and sprayed this new stuff I found that makes it extra shiny and your split ends almost disappear….and my roots weren’t showing and it was flipping up a little bit at the tips…..with just the right amount of….

….“I might be mom hair…but I’m still amazing.”

I mean…..seriously…..I nonchalantly walked by the sun glass counter at Wal-Mart….twice….

….just to check it out in the odd slanted sun glass mirror.

I had to pause a moment and celebrate great hair…..

…..because you never know what January 2 is going to bring. 🙂


My bookcase is having an amazing day, too.

It just got a face lift.

(total aside:  don’t you love a smooth transition from hair day to bookcase makeover).

Can you guess what the back is made of?

Tiny hand-crafted pieces of wood recycled from crates brought over on the Mayflower?

Reclaimed wood from a century-old antique?

Pieces of lumber from a historic barn?


They are wood shims.


$3.99 a package at Lowe’s.

You’re welcome. 🙂


Rustic Wood Bookcase Made from Wood Shims


bookcase (at the risk of stating the obvious)

two packages of paint shims

hand saw

wood glue



Step 1:

Unpackage the shims and remove the pieces that are too thin or with giant knot holes.

Then saw the pieces of shim in half with a hand saw.

This is not an exact science.

I just approximated half and cut.


Step 2:

Start layering the pieces in a brick pattern.

I tried to match up the thin end of the shim next to the thick part of another shim

to give it more architectural interest.

Using wood glue attach the pieces to the back of the bookcase.

Hold in place with painter’s tape.


Step 3:

Continue until the back of the bookcase is full.

When you reach the edges, cut smaller pieces to fit.

I used the thinner end of the shim and just cut with scissors.


Step 4:

When you are done it should look like this.

Lightly sand any rough edges and wipe off excess glue.

You can also seal it with polyurethane for a more durable finish.


It took me an afternoon and a little patience to make sure all the pieces fit.

It was so worth it.

I love how the project turned out and it was such an affordable option for a little make-over.

I’m just sayin’…..between the bookcase and my hair…..

….2014 is looking amazing. 🙂

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  1. Image for andrea cammarata andrea cammarata

    I knew it!!! I just knew it!!!! I knew that you were going to blow me away first thing this New Year and I was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo right! This looks amazing! Totally and utterly amazing...sending hugs my friend!!! Now if you have a perfect hair day once again...I am going to think that you are magic!!! Look at that...from Mary Poppins to Harry Potter : ) lol!!!!

    1. Image for Ann C Ann C

      Ask at a lumber yard what to use between the wall and a new door frame to make it fit. Shims are probably just called something else there. They are usually thinner on one end and thicker on the other so you can push them into a spot til they are tight. Hope this helps.

    2. Image for Caron Martini Caron Martini

      This is just so very creatively fantastic....I love it!! The equilalent to 'wood shims' here in Australia, would be found in the likes of Bunnings or a Hardward store of such, you can purchase long thin strips of wood about a meter long in length...they are the closest resemblence to the shim like look....and then cut them to size with a stanley knife, very easy, and you get the same look. Hope this helps for those here in Aussieland :-)

  2. Image for Anne Boykin Anne Boykin

    Hi KariAnne, How do you come up with these ideas?! You've styled your shelves beautifully, of course. Love that you started out the New Year with great hair. Happy New Year!

  3. Image for Marisa Franca Marisa Franca

    Did you take a picture of your hair?? I want to see it in all of its glory!! I love the shim bookcase! Could the fumes from the products you used aided in the inspiration?? You NEVER know:-) My hair always looks its best before I threaten to go to the stylist to lop it off or just before bedtime. I know it is only the second day, but KariAnne you are batting a thousand! Can't wait for the next post.

  4. Image for Beverly Beverly

    I actually had a good hair day yesterday, too. I didn't go to Walmart and I didn't shim a bookcase, but I did check out my hair in the mirror several times. Hmmm? So what did I accomplish yesterday. Finished de-Christmasing the decor and prepared a delicious New Year dinner.

  5. Image for Felicia Felicia

    Awesome!!!! Love, love the bookcase and can you share the hair product you bought? I want my mom hair to look amazing too ;-)

  6. Image for Leslie Stewart @ House on the Way Leslie Stewart @ House on the Way

    I've said it before…you're a genius! It's so funny that you shared these Wood Shims Bookcase today, because yesterday we went to a new restaurant and they had a wall that had this same look. Obviously, it wasn't wood shims, but I sat there and stared at it, thinking how cool! Have a great day! Leslie

  7. Image for Julie Julie

    I LOVE this idea and definitely need to steal it! And your hair, mahvelous darling. I know exactly what you mean. On a day when my hair is perfect, nothing can faze me, everything works out when your hair does! J

  8. Image for Lisa Gower Montgomery Lisa Gower Montgomery

    You never cease to amaze me! I would love to just live one day in your brain. this is definitely a project for our cabin on the river that we enjoy all year but especially in the summer. Can't wait to find how to use it there. Best of wishes for health and happiness in 2014! Lisa

  9. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I too had a good hair day yesterday. Funny thing is I ran out of my ridiculously over priced mouse that I have been using for years. I wasn't going anywhere and decided to give my husbands .99 gel a try. My hair never looked so good. It was shiny, full of body with no fly away pieces of hair. It's a shame I had no where to go. Hopefully it wasn't a fluke so I can continue to use his super inexpensive gel. With the money saved I can buy all the supplies I will need to recreate all of your amazing projects. You sure did start 2014 with a bang! Love the bookcase!

  10. Image for Betsy Betsy

    Once again you have out done yourself !!! Please share where you got the darling antler bowl --- I love it, love it, love it !!! Also, please share your hair care product name. We all enjoy those kinds of help. I pray that 2014 will be filled with many blessings for you and your family. I know that reading your blog daily has been a blessing to me !!!


    I just redid mine also. I used the wood fence slats from Home Depot. Used the pine and cedar. Loved how it turned out. Yours is gorgeous with the white bookcase. Love everything you do!

  12. Image for Kathie Kathie

    I'm thinking maybe across the bottom of my soaking tub where there is now ugly paneling. Great idea thank you

  13. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    You're too funny! I love that you started the New Year with great hair! Where do you get these ideas? I love the shim bookcase! It looks fabulous- great contrast! Wishing you and your family a wonderful New Year filled with many blessings!

  14. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Great idea! you need to have a great hair day to make the shim bookcase? Just wondering....cause it's been awhile since I've had a great hair day!

  15. Image for Sylvia Marie Sylvia Marie

    I just found a big bundle in my hubby's shop, (he'll never miss them) leftover from another project from Lowes..... I'm trying them today, after I make the paint stirrer stars!!!! Have a safe and healthy new year!

  16. Image for Bliss Bliss

    I'm gonna show this to Brawn. First thing I'm gonna ask him is what he likes about my hair, next I'm gonna ask how come all he ever used shims for is shimming.

  17. Image for Lourdes Lourdes

    I love it! I have the Billy bookcase from Ikea and I've been wanting to do something to the back to give it some personality but without spending too much money and this is perfect! Thank you! Happy 2014! Wishing you more perfect hair days too! ;-)

  18. Image for Lori Lori

    I must know I gotta know I HAVE TO KNOW!!!!! How Karianne did you think of this one? I always have some shims laying around this 100 year old homestead, never thought, never knew! What in all the wood world made you think of this? As for your hair, I think even a semi bad day of hair at Walmart looks awesome around my parts! Tomorrow is hair day for me, month over-do hair day but think I'll hit up Target afterwards!! Love and Happy New Year, Lori

  19. Image for Lauren @ Mom Home Guide Lauren @ Mom Home Guide

    This is a great idea! I have a wall of bookcases in an upstairs hallway, and the backs to the bookcases are actually just cardboard. Do you think I could glue the shims to the cardboard? I would love to give the bookcases a new look.

  20. Image for Colleen P Colleen P

    Looks great! I have a triangle shaped built in shelf in the living room that I am thinking about doing something with along these same lines, but I don't want anything permanent like using wood glue. I think the shims are light weight enough that hot glue might work...what do you think? I don't have as much area to cover as you did.

  21. Image for Sue Sue

    Karianne, you crack me this post! Btw, the project turned out great! Have a Happy New Year and keep the posts coming!

  22. Image for Jill Wendt Jill Wendt

    You always.....always make me smile. Besides being very crafty, you are a gifted writer!! Thanks for being you, KariAnne! HAPPY NEW YEAR.

  23. Image for Janie Janie

    Great Project! But I want to see the hair do. Post a picture, please. And what products were you so satisfied with doing your hair. I need some type of spray that will make my flat ironed hair stay where I want it. Any suggestions?

  24. Image for Regina Regina

    Beautiful. Almost as beautiful as YOU! :) Great start to the New Year - great hair AND a doable DIY project!!

  25. Image for Dawna Dawna

    Love this idea! Now that the Christmas stuff is put away my bookcase is looking a little bleak! If you don't want glue them to your bookcase it might work to cut a piece of wood that would fit each spot, glue the wood shims to the cut wood and then rest them in the you think that would work? Then you could change them out. Where do you get all these great ideas? I have a hair appt tomorrow, so am having a bad ole hair day!

  26. Image for Carol Carol

    i have 1 question. you said to cut the shims in half. i'm a blonde down deep, what do you mean about cutting them in half? if the shim is 6" long do you mean to cut it down to 3"? do you use both halves? sorry to sound kinds stupid but i'm wondering. carol p.s. i love this site!

    1. Image for Thistle Thistle

      Carol, LOL! I loved this question. :) I'm a blonde too. :) I cut each shim in half and used each side. I tried to stack one with a smaller end next to one with a bigger end to create more dimension. Does that make sense? Just let me know if you have any other questions. :) karianne

  27. Image for Amber Amber

    Seriously??!! I love it, and I will be copying you. It's gorgeous and I think the transition from hair day to bookcase was brilliant. Although my naturally curly hair doesn't experience good hair days more than twice a year if I'm lucky. But it's important to work it, when it happens ;-)

  28. Image for Sharon Sharon

    That looks amazing! I love it! You have the most unique ideas. Thanks for sharing! Sharon PS...I have a good hair day once in a blue moon...very few and far between...lucky're 2 for 2 this year!

  29. Image for ECK Design ECK Design

    I'm not going to lie.... I don't even care about your projects any more because I just LOVE, LOVE, love your stories! Your project pics are just bonus. ;). Looking forward to your next post. Happy New Year! ;)

  30. Image for Gwen Gwen

    Dude. I keep passing by the wood shims thinking I need them. Then, my dad gives me a couple hundred square feet of Oak hardwood flooring. Mind racing, baby. Mind is racin'.

  31. Image for Rita B... Rita B...

    Smile...s m i l e......sMile...and SMILE!!!! So what I think I hear you saying is, genius can be simple. I am soo encouraged! ;o) You are a treasure...

  32. Image for GinaE GinaE

    While I love the bookcase, and I do, what I'd really like to know about it the wreath behind the white pitcher. It looks like pinecones. Did you make it or buy it and if you bought it where?

  33. Image for Andi K. Andi K.

    You seriously crack me up- I know I can always get a chuckle when I come to your site! Thank you for the daily dose of sunshine and, as always, inspiration. Perhaps, you can do a post for me and I am sure the millions of others who do much pinning and not enough doing! How do you organize yourself ? Having a new project everyday and everything looking so amazing? Yes, I have periodically seen your posts, a typical day in your laundry room and such, stinky sneakers and all, you have 4 kids, that alone is a full time job-tell us your secret Karianne, do you have super powers that you don't require sleep? I am seriously in awe of you and many of your fellow blogging peers and wonder just how you all do it. I am an empty nester, work part time, but still, after getting just basic daily tasks done around the house, I am exhausted. I need some of those vitamins you take! Seriously, how do you do it? Maybe it's just as simple as being more organized. Write a shopping list and plan of attack. Don't be overwhelmed by the dozens of projects I wanna do, and do one at a time. Stop thinking about them so much, and just start doing. What a novel idea. Have a great day and keep up the great work!

  34. Image for Sheryll & Critters. Sheryll & Critters.

    Oh it looks so fabulous! I have hinted a few times to Steve to buy me a few packs of wood shims...... looks like I might have to be a lot more direct. lol I have been wanting for at least a year now to make a Starburst mirror with wood shims like Diane made for her guest bedroom over at did on Momtastic. But nooooo I never have enough money for anything. Oh well, I should not complain, cause I got a great bedspread for $30 at Kmart for myself last month and it is still packed away waiting for me to redo my bedroom..... sigh.

  35. Image for Debbie Debbie

    You were at Walmart on January 1st?? Wow, everything is shut down that day up here...lucky duck. And to have such a fantastic hair day while shopping...who could ask for anything more? And I have to say, your bookcase turned out fabulous! I have a couple packages of shims I bought for a project I never got around to...I'll have to look at the built-in in the office...I think that would work great! Debbie :)

  36. Image for Maggie Maggie

    You are funny... love to read your post, always waiting for punch line, what else you will come up with. What I notice is that you moved around some of the decorations and I always checking where the "white pumpkin" will be next, love that pumpkin !! That's something I do too, move things around. Did you paint it white or you bought it already white?.

  37. Image for Brando Brando

    How many packs of the shims did you need to use for the book shelf? I have two Ikea bookshelves I want to do this to, and I'm not sure how much I need to get. Thanks!

  38. Image for kathy w kathy w

    I just found your blog and love what you did to the bookcase. Also, on the top shelf next to the bingo card you have a little chest, did you makeover that also? You're projects are so clever.

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