While useful, Staples paper boxes aren't exactly my idea of ideal design. I eventually migrated most of them either to the recycling or to under the loft bed, but there was still unattractive stuff on the shelves, so I came up with the idea of making doors. After my more fancy ideas got vetoed by boyfriend, I eventually came up with the idea of stretching canvas over wooden frames - simple and economical.
Supplies (for 3 doors):
3 - 1x3 boards, $3 apiece
1 - canvas drop cloth, $15 (only used half)
3 - cupboard magnetic closures, $2 apiece
3 - sets of hinges, $2 apiece
scrap hard board for frame corners, free (leftover from loft bed)
staple gun and staples, already on hand
Total cost for 3 doors - $36 (the bookshelves themselves only cost $25 for all 3)
I measured and boyfriend cut my boards with the miter saw, to make perfect corners. He also cut the hard board into triangle shapes. I then glued the triangle shapes to each corner, and tacked them in place with small nails, to hold everything together while it dried.
Once my frames were all put together, I stretched my canvas over the frames and stapled it in place. I'm not exactly a perfectionist when it comes to stuff like this, so the inside isn't the most attractive, but that's not the part that shows. :)
I then attached the hinges and the magnetic closures, and put them on the bookshelves. All in all, it probably took about 2 or 3 hours to assemble them, and it instantly upgraded my shelves.
And there you have it, my custom bookshelves!