This project is for all the moms out there who still have little children. I know you must be thinking- what the heck…about the table in the above photo, but it has a cute story.
When my girls, Kelly and Mandy were about 10 and 12 they went out to play one Saturday morning. About an hour later I happened to be near a window and saw them with the help of a few neighborhood kids carrying this table down the street, although at the time it was finished in a dark walnut stain. Imagine my horror when I realized they were bringing it to our house. I quickly went out to meet them and they put the table down on the driveway and came running up to me all excited, “Look what we bought at a yard sale. It was only $10.00!” I was thinking, $10.00 too much, but I had to contain my thoughts. Instead I said ”Wow, that’s great, what are you going to do with it and where are you going to put it?”
They had formulated a plan, they were going to paint it and decorate it with pictures, then put it in the basement which had recently been re-finished as a place for them to hang out with their friends. Ok I reasoned, they have thought this through and are so excited I can’t discourage them. Then it dawned on me that they were being just like me, (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) bringing home other people’s cast-offs and junk to transform. I had one of those mom moment’s where you just want to kiss and hug your kids all up, knowing it was a natural thing for them to want to decorate their new space. It is what they saw me doing all the time. So I let them implement their plan. They gathered all the supplies and I gave them a few painting and Mod Podge tips all the while thinking they would lose interest before the paint dried and then I would be able to put the table out on the curb in time for the next trash pick-up.
Well, as you can see from the photo I just took of it, that never happened. Over the years the table has become the centerpiece of our basement, their household hangout while growing up. Kelly is graduated from college now and Mandy a sophomore. Girlfriends, boyfriends, neighbors, mothers of friends, roommates, team mates, coaches, have all signed this $10.00 treasure. Their original plan was to have everyone that came to the house, make a hand print with paint on the table. That became too messy so it ended up they just had everyone sign the table. Some of the signatures have faded or have been unintentionally wiped away as they initially used water based marker. There are names written in pencil and ball point pen, too. It really doesn’t matter as the best part of the table is all the unique signatures and seeing it take on it’s own personality.
The table has a ten year history, some names are my daughter’s best friends that they see all the time, many are kids they went to elementary school with and will never see again. It is colorful and has become a beloved piece of furniture in our house. It is going to be interesting to see if Kelly or Mandy are going to take it with them when they move into their own homes one day, as it has an equal number of each of their friends names on it.
They painted the table with white latex. When the paint was dry they used Mod Podge to attach images they clipped from magazines to the top and the legs, leaving the main table surface for the signatures. The first few friends that signed it also made a hand print with craft paint. I would suggest having a collection of permanent markers nearby for everyone to use so you won’t lose any signatures as the table ages.