I have a very small desk with a fold out work surface. The idea was that I’d stash my computer away at night and close the “lid.” Hah!
I have a nice, wide ironing board.
I have a tall table with a big cutting mat. Sadly – the cutting mat is usually the only empty surface on the table. The other 3/4 of the table is piled high with works in progress.
And then there’s my sewing machine table. It had three machines on it: my machine, Jo’s machine and a serger which I hated.
Jo hardly ever uses her machine – she prefers to use mine and that’s ok with me. We’ll give hers back to her grandmother (for now) because it has a really terrific buttonhole feature. I gave the hated serger away. And I was finally ready to finish that table!
Pretty ugly, no?
It’s actually a terrific table. It’s super sturdy (good for sewing machine work) and nice and big (now that it’s not crowded with three machine and a WIP basket).
It’s an old metal office desk. It had some kind of laminate top, but that was gone by the time I got it, leaving a little raised lip all the way around – perfect for what I’ve planned to do with it from day one. 🙂
I spray painted the sides and legs magenta and left the middle the rough, grey primer. I’ve used it like that for a few years now. Let me just say that a rough surface is not great for sewing on.
I worked in children’s publishing for 20+ years before starting Shiny Happy World. I have a huge pile of pages from some of my favorite children’s books. Some of them are from damaged books I’ve collected over the years. Some of them are from early, unbound versions of a new book that are sent out for review.
I cut a bunch of my favorites into 2, 4 and 6 inch squares. I used one of my clear rulers so I could center some of my favorite images by some of my favorite artists.
Here are just a few I love. . .
I glued all of them down with white glue – nothing fancy.
I tried to go for an even spacing of the different size blocks – and spreading out multiple images by the same artist.
I wish I had known to cover all of them with another coat of white glue to protect the paper. A lot of the paper was already coated – but some of the pages from older books got a little blotchy from the next step. Now I know for next time. And now you know. Lay on another coat of glue.
Let it all dry overnight.
Then I mixed up a fancy resin called EnviroTex Lite.
I got mine (two 32 ounce kits – this is a big table) at Michael’s with a discount coupon and they’ve been sitting on the side of my work table for over a year now.
You need to mix them together really, really well – and use a container that you can throw in the trash. I lopped off the top of gallon jug that held vinegar.
Then I carefully spread it out to the edges using the side of my wooden paint stirrer to push it into place.
I only pushed it off the edge once. Glad I remembered to put down a drop cloth under where I was working!
This takes a little time. I was worried it would start drying right away – but I had plenty of time to work.
Blow on them.
The carbon dioxide in your breath makes them pop.
It’s less magical when you do it over and over again all over the surface of a large table. Of course – in order to breathe out, I had to first breathe in – and this stuff produced some fumes. Not awful fumes – but my head was definitely spinning after all the deep breathing.
Keep checking for bubbles! They keep forming over the surface for quite a while.
Then let it sit for days. The package tells you how long (it depends on the size of the project, the temperature and the humidity). I did mine before we went out of town for Labor Day weekend so it would be dry by the time we got back.
I know it’s a little busy with all the different styles and colors, but for me it’s a constant source of inspiration to see these artists whose work I love! And I was so happy to use all those pages I’ve been hoarding.
I still have some left. I wonder what I should cover next. . . 🙂