Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Handpainted Tea Party Table on a budget

My girls are girly-girls. Even my 18 month-old is shoe obsessed and hair bow oriented. I don't know where they get it from really. Probably my hubby's side, as I rarely make any effort with my appearance and my daughters tell me they can't wear what I pick out because it's "not fashion enough". So, when deciding to get my girls a small table for their room for tea parties and what-nots I just knew a plain white table just wouldn't do.

I was absolutely horrified at the prices of these tables! A small table and 2 chairs, just plain white or stained wood, was running around $90!! I didn't even pay that much for my dining room tables from IKEA. And don't even get me started about the prices of hand painted or custom sets. I knew my mission: create a solid wood table and chair set for my girls, my self. Luckily, I found a plain wood, unfinished table at Michales Crafts. Regular price of the table was $35, again a bit steep for me considering what it'll be used for, and the fact it still needed chairs. Sunday Michales came out with 50% off coupons which they do ever so often, and I was able to pick up the table for $17.50.

The fact that I dabble in lots of different arts actually worked out well for me this time. I had 2 cans of white primer spray paint on hand and lots of craft paints and even a bottle of non-toxic varnish, plus lots of brushes. So I set off spraying the entire table white which took a lot longer than I thought.

For the top of the table I wanted a unique design that accented the colors of the room and some of the patterns. Their room is no Pottery Barn picture; lots of different clearance items thrown together that are pretty much all pastel. I started off with sketching the table top on a 1/4" scale on white paper. I looked at what they had in the room and went with something similar. I also decided to stay away from painting the rest of the table with colors to keep some of my sanity.

Here's the diagram I thought up.

The hardest part was drawing the 2" squares around the perimeter even. The table top was 20" x 29" but with beveled edge which shaved off a little on the actual measurements. So, some are 1/4" larger or smaller to make up the difference.

Next was hand drawing the scale design to the table top. I did this with pencil but next time would figure out something else to use because on the lighter color paints the pencil markings show through.
Then on to painting!

Day one. This is as far as I've gotten but remember this was also with about 2 hrs of priming time, layout design and hand drawing the top image.

And the finished table top. I still have to get the table put together and put it in the room but this is it varnished and set to dry. It's not perfect but it's from me to my girls. I hope I've inspired you to grab your craft store by the balls and refuse to pay high prices for quality stuff and maybe try something you've never thought you could do.

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