This TikToker Gave an Old Bookcase a “Moody Cottagecore” Makeover

published Apr 28, 2023
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Credit: Minette Hand

Of all the aesthetic trends that have taken off in recent years, cottagecore is arguably one of the most welcoming to DIY transformations. Because it draws from an idealized vision of rural life, incorporating older, thrifted furniture into your cottagecore design vision is a natural fit with its rustic, nostalgic vibe.

For instance, in a recent video, TikTok content creator Sybil (@sybilthewitchbitch) showed off how she breathed new life into an old wooden bookshelf by giving it a “moody cottagecore” makeover.

After rinsing off the bookshelf, Sybil sanded the surface, removing old dirt and scuff marks with wood putty. Then, after coating it with a primer, she covered it in dark-green paint. Next, Sybil covered the backs of the shelves with a dark floral wallpaper from Amazon (here’s a similar one). Finally, she added some tea lights, and voila! A shabby used bookshelf has become an aesthetically pleasing alternative to newer, pricier alternatives.

“Dude that looks so good, I love the green!” one TikToker commented.

Another offered a suggestion, writing, “I’d recommend not showering it in water because [it] can damage the wood in places where the varnish is also damaged. Rest looks great!!”

In fact, Sybil’s witchy take on cottagecore fits perfectly with another popular trend: cottagegoth, which is also known as feralcore and gremlincore (think: earth tones, crystals, and waxy candles).

As former Mashable writer Morgan Sung wrote in an in-depth explainer of the trend: “Both [cottagecore and cottagegoth] share a desire to escape, but goblincore is distinctly gritty, chaotic, and more often than not, a little bit occult.”