Back Button

What Can I Use for Shelf Paper?

Vera Leigh

Lining your kitchen cabinets with paper is a good idea if your cabinet shelves are old or stained or if you want to protect the lining of new cabinet shelves. You can use a variety of materials for shelf paper, including wallpaper, craft paper, contact paper and fabric. Get creative with materials that are already around your house. Do not use newspaper as it may leave black marks on your shelves over time because the newsprint ink will rub off.

Craft Paper

Line your kitchen shelves with parchment paper.

Purchase several sheets of craft paper of the same pattern. You can find the craft paper in the scrapbooking section of your local craft store in sheets of 8.5 x 11 inches or larger. Purchase a print that matches the theme of your kitchen. For example, a striped pattern works well in a traditional kitchen. A pattern of cherries or birds looks good in a country style or southern kitchen.

Contact Paper, Gift Wrap and Parchment Paper

Contact paper is like wallpaper or craft paper, but it has an adhesive backing and a patterned paper on top. You can purchase contact paper in the kitchen section of a big box store, such as Target or Walmart, and also in drugstores. Cut the appropriate length and width of the paper from the roll, remove the backing and lay it on the shelves. You can also line your shelves with gift wrapping paper or parchment paper, both of which you can buy at big box stores.


Visit your local paint and wallpaper store, and ask if the store has any old books of wallpaper that you can take off their hands. Periodically, businesses get rid of wallpaper books to make room for books filled with new samples. These books often have large sheets of paper (about 8.5 x 11 inches) that you can cut out and lay on your shelves. Different patterns on different shelves add whimsy and charm to a kitchen.


Use sheets of fabric cut to fit the length and width of your shelf. Fabric shelf liners act like shelf paper, but you can remove them, wash them and reuse them. If you are planning to move, this might be a good option because you can pack them up and take them with you to your new kitchen. Look for a sturdier fabric than the traditional cotton weave on the discount tables of your local fabric store.