Mommy DIY: Hiding a Shelf

a.k.a. Baby-Proofing an Entertainment Center (Sort of)

What a few weeks it has been! Little Champ and I got back from Minnesota ages ago, but with projects, cleaning, design jobs, colds, and even an all-too-infamous ear infection, we’ve barely had time to stop and look around!

I have a list of crafts and DIYS I want to do about as long as my arm. And while I have started a handful, I actually started AND finished a project yesterday.


Start with an IKEA Entertainment center, add an inquisitive baby, and this is what you end up with:

I actually had to tether the Kinect to our TV because he kept pulling it off.


Wanting to create a temporary blockade to protect our Xbox360 and my beloved NES from the same adorable child who spewed on my Macbook Pro and is now squealing like a Pterodactyl for more Sweet Potato Puffs, I thought about my options.

The cover had to be movable, functional, and at least prettier to look at than my most recent DIY, which was an act of desperation involving a too-short curtain rod, a yardstick, ribbon, string, and tape.

I thought of two options: Either a fabric “shade” that would have to be anchored with a rod of some sort or a plastic cover made out of place mats. Well, I couldn’t find any plastic place mats (Target probably has some), but I am not sure how I would have made that work anyway, so…

I spent about $2 on fabric and wooden dowels.

Sound good to you? Have a cluttered shelf you want to hide away, or electronics you want to keep out of sight and out of mind? This is how I did it. Be prepared for way more instructions than necessary.

Step 1: Measure your space.

(Write these dimensions down)

Be sure to add allotments for the seams. I added a quarter inch on both sides, a half inch for the bottom (where the dowel goes), and 2 inches for the top.

Step 2: Gather Supplies

Here’s what you need:

Make sure the Velcro has adhesive backing for attaching it to the shelf.

Step 3: Measure and cut the fabric


Don’t forget to add allowances for your seams.

I should probably use a pattern, but I just draw on the “wrong” side  of the fabric.

Step 4: Press and sew the side and bottom hems

SEW THE SIDES FIRST otherwise you will sew shut the “sleeve” where you insert the dowel.

Step 5: Insert Dowel

My dowels were too short, so I had to use two, and trim one down.

Dowels are usually made of soft wood. Use a wire cutter to score all the way around the dowel at the correct length. This allows for a cleaner break. It also makes you feel a bit beaverish.

If you have to use two dowels for your panel, tape them together before inserting them into the hem.

Step 6: Hem and press the top Edge

(No photos here, sorry. Use the photos in Step 8 to get an understanding)

Fold the top edge over one inch and press, then hem.

Fold it over another inch and press.

Step 7: Admire your mad sewing skillz

Step 8: Attach Velcro to fabric

Since I just had some scraps of Velcro, I used 3 pieces per panel. I wouldn’t line the whole edge of fabric with Velcro, because you are more likely to get puckers in the hook-loop seam that way. (Hard to explain, but it’s similar to buttoning up a shirt wrong—there’s too much sticking going on in all the wrong places)

Attach the soft/loop side of the velcro above the fold, as close to the fold as possible.

The fabric above this fold will attach to the underside of the upper shelf.

The fabric below the fold will be the panel that covers the open shelf.

(I feel like I should have drawn diagrams. Hopefully y’all are following, if you actually attempt to make this)

UPDATE: I had to sew the loop side to the fabric, because Little Champ’s new favorite past time is pulling things off of places. If you are going to sew it to the fabric, do it NOW, before attaching the hook side.

Add the complement side of the Velcro, leaving on the backing until the last possible moment.

Also, keep the hook & loops attached during the next step.

Step 9: Attaching the panel to the shelf

There was no way I could get photos of this.

Line up the fold with the edge of the shelf.

Starting on one side, peel off the backing of the first Velcro piece and attach it to the underside of the top shelf.

Remove the backing of the next (middle) Velcro piece. Pull the fabric tight and stick the Velcro to the shelf.

Repeat with the other pieces of Velcro until you have something like this:

In fact, in all honesty, you probably could figure out how to do this without any instructions. But apparently I am on blog withdrawal.

Better do the other side fast, mommy! Or you’ll never play Super Mario Bros. 3 again!

Definitely not perfect, buy Yay!

Holding up so far…

We will just forget about the tentacled beast behind the television until another day.


2 thoughts on “Mommy DIY: Hiding a Shelf

    • The fabric didn’t pose a problem with the games. My toddler did, however, pose a problem to the fabric. Velcro will not work if you have a baby with the strength of a small rhinoceros. I’d recommend this as a temporary fix if there will be small mammals tearing at it frequently. If you just want to cover the shelf for an aesthetic reason, than this will work for you.

      If your fabric ends up being too thick, then add a hook underneath the shelf where you can hook the bottom of the fabric while using the game console (So that the fabric is held up).

      We ended up buying a brand new dresser that could hold the weight of a flat screen. The game console is now 3.5 feet up, and the games are in a top drawer.

      Good luck!

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