As you know, we love to transform, restore and repurpose things, so when we were invited to take part in the Renovation Sensation challenge hosted by Direct Blinds, we of course jumped at the chance to get creative!
And this is what we decided to transform:
Whilst it’s a nice table (it’s the middle one of a set of 3 nesting tables) it is fairly boring and was just screaming out for a fun makeover.
And this is what we came up with. A DIYmagazine holder – table thingy.
If you’d like to make your own magazine table, this is how we made ours.
#1 Prepare your table
As always when we buy a piece of old furniture from a flea market, reclamation yard or antique centre, we start by giving what we’ve bought a good clean. Often the furniture is fairly dirty and in addition to the build-up of grime, there’s usually also a load of old furniture polish and wax on the item, too.
We’ve tried different methods of cleaning furniture over the years, but we now always use sugar soap to clean things. It works so well when scrubbing old furniture and really gets rid of all dirt and old polish.
#2 Take your table to pieces
We decided it would be easiest to take the table to pieces, cut everything to size and then put it back together again.
Our table was a simple construction, so all we needed to do was to separate the top from the legs.
#3 Take your table to pieces some more
Our plan was to be able to use part of the table as magazine storage and part of the table as a little side table for putting our cup of tea (okay, who are we kidding – for putting the glass of wine).
Having worked out what would work best for us, we decided to saw the table top exactly in half – one half will still remain a table top and one half will be removed for the magazine storage.
At this stage, with everything still in pieces, we also prepared the grooves for our dowels which will rest on the edge of the table with the leather straps for holding the magazines wrapped around them.
For this, we used a Forstner bit with the same diameter as the dowel (ours is 25mm) we’re using and drilled semi-circles into the edge of the supporting frame.
(Because of the way our table was constructed, we had to make the supports for our dowels out of some extra pieces of wood. If the frame that supports the top of your table runs all the way around you can just drill the grooves for the dowels into your existing table.)
#4 Put everything back together again
Now that you’ve finished chopping your table to pieces, give everything a light sand and another quick clean to make sure it’s free from dust and dirt. Then put the table back together again. As we didn’t have to remove the central support at one side of the table, we figured that it was still fairly stable, so relied on some good old wood glue to glue things back together again.
#5 Construct your magazine holder
While you’re letting the glue holding your table together dry, you can start to construct the part of your table that will hold the magazines and books.
Cut the strips of leather (or fabric) to the required length. At one end, make a loop that will fit around your dowel and secure it with grommets or, like us, by sewing it together (we used orange embroidery thread to match the orange paint). Repeat the process on the other side of your strip of leather. You’ll have to do this with every strip of leather or fabric you are using.
#5 Painting & Waxing
We love to paint things. It’s something that is so easy and so effective. It can transform something that’s often drab and boring and giving it a new lease of life.
Having already given everything a light sand, this step couldn’t be easier.
As always, lots of thin coats of paint are much better than one thick one, as it gives you a much more even finish with no visible brush strokes.
When your paint has dried, you can move on to sealing it with a few coats of wax. Use a clean rag to apply a thin coat of wax. Rub it evenly over your piece of furniture and wait until it has almost dried. Then use another clean rub to buff the surface. If necessary (and if you need extra protection) apply a second (or even a third) coat.
#6 Add your magazine holder
Now all that’s left to do is add you magazine holder. Slot the dowels with the leather strips onto the prepared grooves and add some of your favourite reads.
We went ever so slightly over the £100 budget. Having said that we did end up buying 3 tables (we used the middle one) instead of just one, so still have one small table left that we’ll probably be using as a bedside table in our spare room and we donated the3rd table to our local charity shop.
Nest of Tables £40
Paint tester pot £3.50
Wooden dowel £13.25
Leather strips £42.20
Cleaning supplies with sugar soap (already owned) £0
Wax (already owned) £0
Wood glue (already owned) £0
Depending on the table you’re using, your construction may vary a bit, but the principals will be the same. (We also ended up using some cotton webbing instead of the leather strips, as the leather that we ordered was accidentally sent in the wrong colour and just wouldn’t go with the orange table.)
We always have a load of magazines and books lying around, so having somewhere to store the ones we’re currently reading was the perfect project for us to tackle.
Have you ever upcycled a piece of furniture? How do you store your magazines and favourite reads? What’s your favourite piece of functional furniture?