Published 2 May 2016 ● Last Updated on 8 October 2020
We all have Ikea around the house – reasonably-priced modular pieces that fit into a cab when you buy them and don’t pinch the pocket when you let them go…. Except that I can never let anything go!
I picked up my side table Lindved a year ago, a plain white piece that could match any chair I would later buy for the balcony. The balcony pieces have moved on to be things with personality and colour, and this table now sits (still matching!) but sadly colourless and increasingly scratched. I have toyed with many thoughts on its makeover. I thought of super-gluing fabulous trays – but it’s is hard to get the exact size. I thought of sticking washi tapes – but they wouldn’t last long. And then finally, I zeroed in on cut-pasting – and love the result!
Step #1. Find your kitsch!
Indian house, Bollywood pop art – I know, a very cliched home decor combination, but what the heck! It works beautifully and easily, so that was my pick for this DIY. Besides, last month, we at Secondsguru were running a swap station at the Nat Geo EarthRun event and were left with a box-full of orphaned DVDs/CDs. That box of rejects is what inspired this upcycling project (and more still are fermenting in my mind!)
Had I not had this hand-me-down collection, I would have definitely used my old cassette covers collection which is too nostalgic to throw, and too obsolete to play! That really sums up the best materials to use – stuff that means something to you, something you hold on to and hoard, yet seldom see daily. Things like maps of you favorite cities, souvenir tickets from your travels, comic strips from newspapers… you get the drift, stuff with personality!
Step #2. Put on some music and hum while you paste.
This is the fun and easy part! Collage up your material of choice. You can choose untidy tears or clean straight lines; you can keep it single file or layer it up. But before you commit things to glue – make sure you lay down your material to get a sense of the final look. This step is easy – but irreversible – and you don’t want to reach half-way to realise you don’t have enough CD covers, or that one side of the table is hogging all the strong colours, and so on.
My table is made of metal and I used Mod Podge for sticking the papers on the surface. I used an old brush instead of my fingers to paint the glue up (to avoid smudges and lumps). If you don’t have Mod Podge, there are other alternatives – PVA craft glue would also work well for metal and sanded/unfinished wood. If you have a decoupage/sealant around the house – check the instructions to see if it would match up with your table’s material.
Keep in mind that plastics and painted wood do not always work with Mod Podge (or other glues/sealants). Do a dry run on the underside if you are not sure!
Step #3. Seal the deal.
By this time the table should be looking great already 🙂 But keep your grubby fingers and sweating soda off it! It is time to make the table water-resistant and hardy for daily use, and for that you will need a sealant.
I gave my table 2 thin top coats of Mod Podge Hard Coat [not the Mod Podge gloss version I used earlier for sticking] to make sure it could be used, and wiped clean, without damage. I could have used the regular Mod Podge itself for sealing, but I know it tends to peel / get tacky in Singapore weather.
Mod Podge Hard Coat is the best solution for furniture. But you could also use any acrylic sealer. It can be simply brushed on and gives a long-lasting, good-looking finish.
Step #3. Wait a few days to let the sealant set in.
And that’s all! Now go ahead and organise some dinners at your place so you can show off your DIY!