Saturday, October 3, 2015

Upcycling a DIY Play Table

One of my most popular blogs has been this Squinkie Table remodel:

So I felt kinda guilty for planning to remove the Squinkie Table in order to make room for Christmas.  (I've got a Tea Table Corner in process, and there just isn't room for both.)  But they still have fun playing with that play table so...what to do?  Make a smaller one.

So, here we go.  Faithful old craigslist is awesome for finding freebies that are looking to be remade into something beautiful.  This was just an end table.

We actually were given two of them (yes, they were free) and both received this coat of white paint.  The other one is going to be the new Tea Table of course, and this one is the new play table.

It just needs some additions.

Like foam for some height.  I didn't want it to take up too much room, but height is fun, and besides, we already painted rolling green hills on a piece of canvas under the loft bed, so this would hopefully make it fit right in.

So, after the foam was in place I covered it up with homemade paper mache. This is just a flour and water mixture, with paper dipped in it.  Then I spread the paper over my "hill".

While it was drying, we got the idea to get some blue bead necklaces (Dollar Tree) and make it look like a little stream was flowing from the hill.  We even decided to let the necklaces hang off the edge like it was flowing off into another waterfall.

Also, my son donated a bridge from his Car City for this project.  When he heard I would be painting it pink, he wasn't overjoyed.  But he was expecting quite a bit of fun from this table, girly or not, so he let me do it, and wasn't disappointed with the end result.  He has a sense of the "rightness of things" and felt that it all worked, even the overly bejeweled bridge.

So, next comes the layer of paint.  I moved aside the beads while painting.

This looks messy, and it is.  This is why I moved the table outside for this step.  It's worth it, though.  I took green colored sand (also a Dollar Tree find) and spread it over the green paint on the table.

Then, I spread a thin layer of Mod Podge (I chose original matte) over the green sand.  And on top (just visible here) is sprinkled some green glitter (Yeah, you guessed it: also Dollar Tree).

Now this dried and looked really neat.  You don't have to have the glitter.  Just green sand on green paint covered with Mod Podge looks cool.  But, my girl is all about glitter, so I added it.

Now, I apologize because I took some other photos as I went, adding the white foamy stuff on the road and also detail shots of the pink bridge.   And they disappeared.  We're kinda busy around here and so that happens sometimes.  Ah well.  I'll try to show plenty of photos so you can see the end result and explain what I did.

This is all pretty easy.  But you will need about 3 bottles of Mod Podge.  Play tables get heavy usage and kids are rough.  A couple of coats of Mod Podge are what is needed to keep things able to handle play. 

So, let's look at some detail pictures.

The road and area I marked out for the castle is covered in white foam (Dollar Tree) that I pressed and shaped and then covered in Mod Podge.  I also surrounded the foam (to give it an edging with plastic pink beads).  Here's a better view:

Those pretty little gem flowers were another Dollar Tree find.  They also received a dollop of Mod Podge to ensure they won't be able to be picked off and ruin the look of the table.

As you can see, the castle is NOT Mod Podged down.  My girls have several of these little play houses, and this way, they can choose what they want to play with on it.

Here's a detail view of that bridge.  So I painted it pink, and glued on some little beads and gem stickers, and I made sure the white foam asphalt went right over the bridge too, making it seem as though this was all one piece.  Then, it got coated with Mod Podge.  Just assume that everything on here except the movable parts is coated with Mod Podge.  I think I used 3 large containers.  Which brings our investment costs to...oh, about $20.00.

And that's a pretty good investment for the fun these girls are already having!

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