I found a set of ugly shelves at a garage sale a few weeks ago but they were sturdy and only a dollar. Really, they weren't pretty but now they are one of a kind. I used a can of spray paint, an old pattern I had laying around, and Mod Podge.
Then I started putting the pattern on with the Mod Podge. It did wrinkle in a few spots and at first I was worried but after looking at it again I liked the wrinkles. It added some texture and character to the shelves.