How often do you think to yourself “ I could make that”? I find myself thinking that all the time, but rarely do I ever put forth the effort to make what ever object it is that is apparently so simple to make. Well, I do attempt to make lots of things, but when it comes right down to it, isn’t it so much easier just to buy that little objet d’ art than to tackle it on such a personal level? In reality though, there is more personal satisfaction in creating something with your own hands than there is from buying it.
A few weeks ago, I spent an entire day searching high and low for simple, inexpensive white tables. I would’ve even opted for tables I could have painted white, but I had little luck finding basic tables at a price I thought reasonable. Then I thought, how hard could it be to make a table? It’s just a square top and four legs right? I remembered the scrap wood I had in the garage and thought it would be fun to put my (limited) carpentry skills to the test.
I’ve always been intrigued by carpentry but I’ve also always found it slightly intimidating. Not because of a fear of power tools or the thought of losing a couple of digits (or an entire hand) but because the thought of damaging perfect, beautiful wood was so dismaying. Luckily, the scrap wood I would be using was far from perfect or beautiful so I wasn’t too worried about doing it much damage.
The boards I’d be using for the legs of one table were already the perfect height and would require no cutting. I would though, need to cut at lest two inches off the other boards for the second table. Surely I would be able to cut two inches off a piece of wood, right? Well, not exactly – thank goodness for thick carpeting, it is great for keeping slightly uneven legs from wobbling. Regardless of my inability to cut a straight line, the main issue with the boards was the width. A single board would not make for a very supportive leg, so I had to join two boards to make one leg. First, I glued two boards together along the edges, then used wood screws for a secure hold. I filled the holes with putty, let dry and then smoothed over with sand paper before painting.
The wood I used for the table tops was a little troublesome. It’s the pressed board type of wood which tends to crumble when cut, leaving rough exposed edges. Sanding does nothing to smooth it out and only causes more crumbling.To camouflage the rough edges on the first table I glued a strand of faux pearls to the edge.
It was more difficult to camouflage the rough edge of the second table. I smoothed off the edges with dry wall tape and joint compound. I used the drywall compound to form the tape over the edge of the table to give the edge a smooth finish. I let it dry over night, then painted. I was actually surprised how well this worked.
To better camouflage the rough edges, I used sheer fabric to give the tables a light, breezy feel. For the first table I glued the fabric to the table just under the faux pearls, giving the table a sheer airy skirt. For the second table, I simply draped a piece of the same fabric over the top.
This was a simple project. The most tedious part of this job was – you guessed it – painting them WHITE. (I’m pretty sure, after this room redo I will never paint another thing white ever again). It’s because of this task I would have rather purchased tables but, I really enjoyed building them. I found using the power tools to create something functional from nothing very empowering. Though these tables are not exactly what I had in mind for this space, I am happy with them for now.
This corner now seems complete. I dressed up the plain white lamp with a string of white beads to which I attached a few blue glass beads to give just a little bit of color. I am still debating whether I should embellish the lamp shade. What do you think?
I needed some art work here so I created this collage as well.
So, in this corner we have a tally of:
After, but still in progress
table lamp – $7.88 (marked down from $19.99 at Target)
lamp shade – $14.99 at Target
wood screws – $5.65 for a quarter pound
giving us a grand total of $28.52
I’m almost done. I have two more projects I’m working on for this room – which I will, of course, share with you in the very near future (I hope). I’m in a real dilemma with my sofa. I’m trying to keep my budget very low, so new sofas are not my part of my plan, but I’m finding accent pillows, weather purchased or made will be quite pricey as would reupholstering. So, I’m trying to convince myself it’s really not that bad. I’m also trying to convince myself NOT to go out and buy a new set. Hmmmmmm. Any advice?
Well, that’s it for now, I hope to have more soon.