Friday, November 5, 2010

Getting the Boot, Shipping Crate to Table Tutorial

This week I got the boot from Crafting with the Stars. I feel like I should be more bummed then I am but to be totally honest I am pretty relieved. This contest is a fabulous idea and the ladies involved in it are fantastic and so much fun to email back and forth with. The bummer part was that while there are some amazing upsides to living in the middle of nowhere on a tiny island (warm weather, pristine beaches, no toy stores, no malls, no TV, aka no commercialism beating down on my cuties) but this contest drew into stark contrast the downsides (no craft stores, no real fabric stores, no home depot, no Target, no thrift stores etc). I found myself becoming increasingly grumpy with so many ideas swirling around in my head that would never come to fruition due to the lack of things Dili had to offer. Couple that with the fact that I am having a hard time being away from fall weather, decor, clothes etc and I was a generally grumpy, unhappy person. SO, I think it was quiet a blessing that I got the boot and as I walked back through the process of making this table I can see where I sort of sabotaged myself. I will miss being able to email Jen from Tater Tots and Jello any time I like with ideas and being able to have a small access to her creative genius, now it is back to blog stalker :) In case you would like to make one for yourself here is a tutorial (although I would totally make the changes I mention throughout that I think might have kept me in the running)
I was able to procure the shipping crate from a local shipping company for free fitty free. The owner was very nice and I think he hoped I was planning on taking several. I hauled it home and began sanding, and sanding and sanding some more. I do actually own an electric sander but have no idea where it is living the remainder of its days. So I donned some rubber kitchen gloves and went to town. While I wouldn't necessarily advise my kiddos to rub their hands all a long it I got it to a pretty good place :)
I then cut and added a few extra boards to make the entire thing flush. Then sanded some more, and some more. Then I did a light white wash over the top in an attempt to even out the coloring.
At this point I think is where I strayed from mainstream appeal. Usually I would paint the entire table a nice satin black. I think this would have much wider appeal. 
I decided I wanted to go with something more eclectic and aged looking. I thought a chevron pattern would be fun. To make a template for the chevrons I took two long rectangles and taped them to each other at an angle. 

I then rolled out a LONG piece of Ikea paper and repeated a tracing of the pattern. 
I then cut a long the lines ending up with 3 pieces of paper. I removed the center piece and took the two outside pieces out to the table, along with some painters tape. I lined up the edge of the paper with the edge of the table. Using painters tape I taped all along the zig zag edges. 
Then I took the second piece, lined it up and taped that piece down. How close you tape the pieces together will determine how "thick" your chevron is. 
I thought I would just let this dry and then remove the pattern and retape it in the next location. The paint I was able to purchase was SUPER goopy and sticky though so I knew it would take a LONG time to dry. I went inside and made two more pattern pieces and repeated the process of taping and painting with them. 
I wanted to add some more interest to the table and decided to do a bright light blue thin chevron in between each red one. All I did for this was use the same pattern only place the two pieces very close to each other. 
I put on my rubber gloves and went to town sanding and distressing it so that it wasn't so stark and clean. Once that was done I did another coat of white wash. Now it was time for the legs. Sawyer and I headed to a lumber yard and started poking around to try and find something that would be good for legs. We found a huge pile of cast aside legs covered with dust and spiderwebs. I found four that matched and took them to one of the workers. He told me he wanted 10 dollars for each. What the what?! Wood in Timor is incredibly expensive because of the massive amounts of deforestation that occurred during the war. The reforestation work is going well but wood is still scarce, add to that the fact that all the wood is teak, an expensive wood to begin with and well prices are kind of out of control. I was being kinda of grumpy that day (as I mentioned before) and refused to pay 40 bucks for legs for the table. 
Here is the second mistake I made if I wanted to continue. The legs I could have bought were really beautifully carved. Painted satin black like the rest of the table and it would have looked stellar. If you live near a Home Depot or other type of supply store you could totally go and purchase already carved wood to use. But like I said I was out to sabotage myself. 
He lowered the price to $7 each but I still wouldn't take it. In the end I got him to cut four small blocks of wood for five buck total. I took them home and attached them to the corners of the table. Done and done. I set it up under the gorgeous magnolia tree with have growing in the back of our yard. I hung some rice paper lanterns from the tree and brought out our huge sitting pillows. It really is a lovely little spot. 
So, there you have it. If I had it to do over again I probably would have gone with the legs and satin black but what 'cha gunna do when the only color paint they have is red and bright blue ha! I am excited to see what they do this week with "fabric". 


  1. I actually LOVED this table and idea. I do like your idea of using hand carved legs though. I think the paint is beautiful, unique, and gives it more of an exotic date night feel. It works well with the ground seating, pillows, lanterns, etc. Sorry to see you go but glad it is a blessing for you.

  2. I am just sad that you got eliminated before the fabric round!!

  3. I voted for you table. :) For what it's worth, I love the chevron.

  4. So I have to be honest. I really didn't get you not making it. I voted for you and thought your table was one of the best projects. I was really surprised to see you didn't make it! I really love it and can't wait to make one myself! Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. I'm with the other ladies who have already commented. I too LOVED this table and it was my first vote. I was really bummed when you didn't make it through to the next round. Loved your idea and sorry you have such a hard time getting "things"!

  6. Ahh, his was my favorite project! Love the chevron!! And by the way I am super impressed with how very resourceful you are on your little island :)

  7. Kelly, I loved your idea and I voted for it!

  8. This was my vote too! I was bummed when it was the one to go, and then this morning found the tute in my reader, which made me very happy!

  9. I love this table! I'm totally going to have to make one.

  10. Kel!
    I was totally surprised that you got eliminated too. It was a wonderful idea and I LOVE the chevron. I was hoping that you would make it to the fabric round cause um Hello you are well, you.

    How long does it take to have something shipped to Utah? Do you think you could whip something up for me? Cause thats the only way that I am moving on....

    Love your guts

  11. For what it's worth, I thought your project was the most creative and inspiring. I never would have thought to make a table with a pallet and I actually loved your pattern and design. When I read crafty blogs I look for original ideas that are well-executed. Yours was definitely it! Sorry to see you leave the competition but I will keep following your wonderful blog. :)

  12. I so truly loved this project! I was pretty surprised to see you go, the table is beautiful and totally one of a kind. My only thought is that I have come across some other pallet projects and there are a lot nay sayers out there about pallets. I guess most of them are treated with really harsh chemicals to keep them from rotting or being eaten by termites when they travel across the seas. I say whatever, your table was beautiful! And pallets make some really cool unique projects. I am so happy to see the tute for it! Now I just need a beautiful magnolia tree :) BTW if you are up for another fun challenge I am launching a project toddler runway challenge on my blog November 15th (contest starts in January) and I think you would rock it! anyway thanks for all your great ideas!

  13. I think that you are an extremely talented person and I'm sorry you got the boot. I was excited to see what you would do with the next projects. I can't imagine the frustration you go through trying to find things that are so simple to find here. You are amazingly talented!

  14. I'm glad you had a good experience! I was super sad to see you go before the fabric round. I still look forward to seeing all the great things you create! You are AMAZING!

  15. I was rooting for you! I think this is a fabulous idea! I may have liked it a different color too, but sometimes you just have to make do. Thanks!


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