As you may or may not know, I live in Minneapolis, a lovely city where it’s totally legal to leave one’s cast-off furniture on the curb for others to (hopefully) haul away. For crafty people like me, this can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, how awesome is it to be out walking the dog and stumble upon something fun and funky for free on the side of the road? Said discovery is even more of a find when you actually have a vision for how you can transform someone else’s “junk” into your very own treasure. And the curse? Well, usually the inspiration is there, but the time and the inclination isn’t, so the fun and funky item spends a few months (okay, maybe years) in the furniture purgatory that is my basement or garage.
But at last I have a success story to report! Yes, indeed, this little table was something my husband rescued from the curb on the other side of our block years ago. It is actually a small play table for kids and the leaves on either side do flip up to expand the surface area. I think he may have picked it up when our boys were toddlers (eek…they are 9 and 11 now! this is how long we’ve had this thing sitting around!), and for a few years he used as a bedside table, as it was. Then it spent some time in the basement before I finally had this idea.
I’ve always had a thing for handmade papers and, more recently, the cool variety of fabric patterns now available. Over the past couple of years, I’ve discovered Paper Source, and I’ve begun to buy sheets of paper I’m particularly fond of. So, I said to myself, why not use these papers to add a punch of pattern to a table surface and jazz up a room? Originally, I had planned to use a red flower patterned paper to cover the leaves on either side as well, but then I really liked how this pattern looked on its own, against the turquoise blue (paint left over from our kitchen, by the way).
I began by sanding down the old table surface. It used to be this maroon color at top left. My husband and my eleven-year-old son helped with the sanding. (Both of them are much more meticulous than I am.) Then I brushed on a gray primer, and, a couple of weeks later, I painted it this turquoise blue…like I said, these projects proceed at a snail’s pace around here.
Finally, the table was ready for the paper covering. I brushed on a layer of Mod Podge, aligned the paper on the center of the table, and pressed it down into place, careful to smooth out any wrinkles. Then I brushed on more Mod Podge and allowed it to dry in my garage.
A week or so later, I used a paintbrush to apply a layer of water-based polyurethane, and there you have it….a charming little bedside table. This piece would also be cute as a coffee table in small apartment or dorm room. And it’s so easy to do!
As luck would have it, we were out walking the dog in the rain this afternoon when we spotted another table. This one is much taller, with a shelf underneath, and it has wheels, so it’s no bedside table. But it’s got great lines and would make a fun TV stand or bar cart. We couldn’t resist. I gave myself a good hour before I circled back in our Subaru wagon to pick it up. The table is now safe and sound in our garage, where it belongs. Stay tuned…