DIY Scalloped Shelves

Put a border on it.

There is a good chance that, at some point, you will live somewhere where someone wants to stifle your interior-decorating whims. Maybe your parents aren’t cool with that One Direction mural you want to paint on your ceiling, or maybe your landlord insists that the giant castle you want to install for your cat is a “fire hazard.” When I moved to college this past August, I was concerned about how plain and sterile my dorm room looked. I’d spent the last 18 years cultivating the perfect amount of decorative clutter in my childhood bedroom, and suddenly I had to live somewhere where I wasn’t even allowed to paint the walls or hang pictures.

However, one night, as I procrastinated experimented with interior design, I discovered a way to spruce up my desk without causing any permanent damage. Using a few office supplies and a little patience, you can make a cute scalloped border for any piece of furniture that has an edge. Now that my desk is so adorable, I’m more likely to spend hours there watching Netflix on my laptop—I mean studying.

You’ll need:

  • A stack of Post-it notes in a color of your choice
  • Paper tape, aka washi tape. It is very important that you use paper tape, because it doesn’t damage surfaces when it’s peeled off! Plus, it comes in the best variety of patterns and colors. I bought mine at Target, but you can find it here, here, and on Etsy.
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Cup/mug with a round bottom whose diameter is slightly smaller than your sticky notes

1. With the glued edge of the Post-it note facing away from you, place the cup in the middle of the page. Using your pencil, trace a circle around the bottom.

2. Draw a line from the corner of each note to your circle. Peel off the Post-it note and cut along the lines. This shape will now serve as your scallop template!

3. Stick the template back on the stack of Post-it notes so that the glued edges meet. Trace the edge of the template onto the note below. Cut out and repeat to create as many scallops as you need to fill the length of your surface. For two desk shelves, I needed about 30.

4. Stick the scallops next to one another on the edge of the furniture until it’s covered.

5. Roll the washi tape along the edge, on top of the scallops, smoothing with your thumb as you go.

Since the tape can be removed so easily, you can swap colors and patterns as much as you’d like. Unlike an elaborate shrine to Harry Styles, this is one DIY you will never regret. ♦


  • Jessica W November 8th, 2012 7:14 PM

    Uhhhh awesome!
    This comes at such a good time because the wood-look edges of my plywood shelves are falling off (if you get my jist??)

    The Lovelorn

  • landlockedblues November 8th, 2012 7:15 PM

    Hey Gabby, I remember when you posted a picture of this on your Instagram and suggested you make a DIY tutorial for it, MY DREAM HAS COME TRUEEEE. :) Definitely doing this to my shelves!

  • JayZ November 8th, 2012 7:23 PM

    so beautiful, i could cry.

  • Laura Lemon November 8th, 2012 7:25 PM

    My sister is going to love that for her shelves!!!

  • laughinguacamole November 8th, 2012 7:28 PM

    Hahaha…. subtitle…. just died a little. Put a bird on it….. haha

  • AnaRuiz November 8th, 2012 7:28 PM

    Oh my GOSH stop posting so many awesome DIY I’ll cry when I die just because I won’t have had time to do them all!!

    • AnaRuiz November 8th, 2012 7:30 PM

      PS. Now a DIY for those awesome embroideries please?? But make it the last one. ;)

  • Eryn November 8th, 2012 8:00 PM

    This is AWESOME. yay.

  • jessthetics November 8th, 2012 8:23 PM

    This is such a good idea, and simple! I’m always looking for ways to decorate my room at my parents house – it looks so bare, which is sad when I’m home for the holidays. xx

  • periwinkle_dreams November 8th, 2012 8:42 PM

    This is so awesome!! As soon as I saw the picture, I thought, “oh, pretty duct tape. too bad that’s not allowed in my dorm room.” but it’s WASHI tape! which I’d never heard of before and am now in love with! now I can make things a little less boring in the teeny-tiny space I’m currently calling home :)

  • raggedyanarchy November 8th, 2012 9:17 PM

    My mind has literally been blown here. It’s so cute! It’s so lovely! It’s easy and doesn’t require that mysterious crafty and artistic talent everyone but I seem to have!
    Totes doing this. I mean, right after I get that castle for my cats because OHMYGOD THEY NEED IT. Which will be right after I get done studying (AKA watching Studio Ghibli and crying over my NaNoWriMo progress).

  • Sparkie November 8th, 2012 9:28 PM

    I really like it, this is such a nice idea. Actually I was quite obsessed by this “pattern” if I can say on blogs a few months ago, but the idea of making it a room thing, is just beyond exciting ! I cannot wait to get into that project !

  • scin November 8th, 2012 9:55 PM


  • Kathryn November 8th, 2012 9:58 PM

    Oooh I saw this on instagram! So cute!

    Also, I spy your embroidery on your shelf! I used your banner embroidery tutorial as inspiration one time to make a birthday present for my friend that says


    on little banners.!/ke_schultz/media/slideshow?

  • serena05 November 8th, 2012 10:41 PM

    I’m redoing my room soon and this would be perfect. Also, you should do a DIY for those SUPER RAD embroidery hoops with the drawings.

  • DreamBoat November 8th, 2012 11:04 PM


  • vintagewhimsy November 8th, 2012 11:46 PM

    I love this DIY! It’s so cute!!

  • Suzette November 9th, 2012 12:22 AM

    gabba this is SO PRECIOUS that i am commenting on its adorable-ness on multiple online platforms!! you and tate just need to do an entire DIY of how to decorate a dorm room…

  • streaked lights November 9th, 2012 12:37 AM

    Ahhh this is adorable! Definitely doing this to my bookshelf. It’s absolutely hideous and I would do anything to be able to paint the thing (but alas, landlords).

    I’d love to see some more impermanent-totally-removable DIY from you guys.

    Omg, could someone do a tutorial for sprucing up a guitar? (Maybe I will….)

  • Mary the freak November 9th, 2012 8:00 AM

    why didn’t I bought this supercute washi tape yesterday…
    Anyways, this DIY is amazing! I will definitely do that. <3

  • ♡ reba ♡ November 9th, 2012 11:36 AM

    so pretty!! this is one of the best d.i.y’s on rookie ever, the rest of your desk space is so pretty as well :-) xxxxx

  • barbroxursox November 9th, 2012 7:33 PM

    Finally, a DIY someone as lacking of hand-eye coordination as me can do!

  • ElleEstJolie November 10th, 2012 2:42 PM

    Cuteness overload! I must do this when I have the time.

  • jeezny November 12th, 2012 12:45 PM

    how cute!

  • simplebutchic December 17th, 2012 4:41 PM

    That’s a simple and smart project!

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica January 15th, 2013 3:12 PM

    Genius! Totally gonna do this. Your whole desk is super cute!

  • iloveonedirection January 26th, 2013 3:05 PM

    When it said one direction i nearly passed out!!