My project was these bookshelves. It was free to me because my parents bought them when I was twelve and they have stuck with me. They're just cheap, white bookshelves. Not real wood, just that plastic-y stuff. And after all these years, they were starting to look pretty bad.
First, I had to take the back off the bookcase. It was easy to remove the little nails and cart it downstairs, where I mod-podged some cool wrapping paper (from Walmart, $3) onto it. Mod-podging that large of a surface was tricky, so I cut the paper into smaller squares. It still ended up with wrinkles, but it will be covered mostly by books anyway, so I'm not too worried about it.
Next, I spray painted the body of the bookshelf. It was just one of those cheap, plastic coated plywood bookshelves to begin with, so I wasn't too worried about ruining it with spray paint. In fact, I love spray paint because it's cheap and can totally transform something. After about 4 coats, plus a coat of polyurethane to keep it from scratching, it was finished.
Nailed the mod-podged back onto the newly black bookshelf
I put them in our loft, which has become the reading/creating zone. If I homeschooled, I would do it in here. So yes, I know that there are cute ways of arranging things on bookshelves, but right now the primary goal in arranging is to keep important stuff away from my 11 month old.(Honestly, in the middle of writing that sentence I had to run over and take some chalk out of her mouth. Sometimes it's dangerous to have big sisters who leave their stuff everywhere!)