My desire for crafting seems to be inversely proportional to the weather: for every degree that drops on the thermometer, my need to make something increases. As the wind howled and the rain fell this last week, I decided to tackle a small project I’ve been meaning to do for ages.
I’ve had this metal table for a few years now, but I have zero recollection of where I got it. The side of a road? The thrift store? Your house? Whatever its origin, it was cute enough to drag home (or steal, or however I got it), and we fashioned a top from a piece of scrap wood, stuck it in a corner with a lamp on it, and forgot about it. Until a whisper carried on a late October wind reminded me.
Inspiration came, as it so often does, in the form of an Anthropologie catalog. I like to think my style is unique, but the reality is that only financial constraint keeps me from a home and closet cloned straight from Anthropologie. They, more than any other brand, create the fantasy life I’d like to live. Soon after it appeared in my mailbox, I dogeared the pages with the new Sura collection, liking the geometric patterns and achromatic palette.
Pretty sure I could pull something similar off for significantly less than the $1200 Anthro price tag, I gathered my supplies:
- Four strips of 1/16″ thick Basswood (I can only find the packaged quantity online, but they were sold individually for less than $5 with a coupon at JoAnn’s)
- Matte black paint
- Paint brush and rag
- Utility knife
- Wood glue (I used this)
- Polyacrylic (or another clear topcoat)
To begin, I painted two of my boards with black chalkboard paint then used a rag to vigorously rub them so the grain would show through.
I used a utility knife and straight edge to cut four-inch squares of both the natural and painted wood, then cut those into two halves, making triangles.
I had fun playing around to see what layout I liked best. I’m sorry for the photo quality: The hideous lighting and off-kilter framing can both be attributed to the late hour at which I was doing this.
Once I had a design I liked, I put a thin layer of glue on the piece of wood we’d been using as a table top, attached half the tiles, then quickly put a board and a pile of heavy objects (a zillion-pound kitchen mixer among them) on top. I then did the other half of tiles exactly the same way. A thin, even layer of glue and a quick application of weight is essential (ESSENTIAL!) to keep the thin tiles from curling. I let things dry overnight, then finished up with a coat of Polyacrylic. Not counting dry time, the whole process took me less than two hours.
A similar look could have maybe been achieved by taping and painting a single piece of wood, but I like the tiled effect and the way the grain goes in different directions. I can totally imagine doing this again on a larger table surface, a cabinet front, or as a frame. Maybe next time instead of painting, I’ll even try cerusing the wood using this tutorial from Little Green Notebook.
I’m liking it so much that this morning I picked some of the hardy pink roses that are still blooming along our driveway, made a cup of tea, and just sat there appreciating my newest craft.
I dig this table! What a great idea. I may have to borrow it for one of my sad little tables.
Please do! Then show us!
Way cool Katie!
This is perfect! I have a cool, mod coffee table that has 2 1′ squares in the center currently displaying cracked, stained wood fowl themed tiles. I’ve been looking for b&w graphic tiles to replace them for over a year, but finding some sold without a 20 sq minimum has proved very difficult. But a ha – RHW to the rescue AND hit the DIY trifecta (cute, simple, cheap)!
Yay! Sounds like a perfect project!
Another RHW amazing transformation! Love it Katie!
You chose a perfect pattern for those tiles. What an appealing little transformed table, and you did such a nice job with your cutting and gluing.
Thanks Carol! I did a nice job gluing only after a couple of not-so-nice trials, alas. 🙂
Whoops. Name typo on my comment.
I really like this! Very effective and no less lovely than our beloved Anthropologie’s.
High praise, indeed. Thanks Dana!
That’s a great transformation of that table which works really well with the dark wiry metal base. And I think that scale of tile work pattern works even better in the context of the small surface of your table than it does in the larger pieces shown in the catalog which come across to me as a little too busy.
Simple and stylish–a great combination. (Um, if I claim that table came from my house, will you give it back?) I’m feeling the craft bug as the seasonal gray returns, but also the “processing what’s left in the garden” bug: so many green tomatoes!
This is so great! There are so many Anthropologie items I want to recreate for cheaps… I’m going to keep it simple and attempt to make an Anthro-esque lampshade, they have some gorgeous patterned fabric ones at the moment. Actually, they’re suspiciously like your very own Shibori lampshade – maybe there’s some mutual inspiration going on?
this is gorgeous and totally has me so inspired to use this somewhere else….the possibilities! looks very professional!