Thursday, November 4, 2010

You Want It...You Got It

Let me just first say how humbled I am by all the compliments on my Memory Table! You create something thinking that no one else will "get it" and then it explodes into a huge success! Thank you for all the compliments and questions!

It seems that everyone is curious as to how I created and carried out my design. So, this post is my attempt at explaining the method to my madness! First, let me offer a couple of disclaimers:

1) I have never written a tutorial. I will try to be as detailed as possible (without boring you socks off)! I do not have a lot of step-by-step photos because I didn't expect to need them. (Lesson Learned)!
2) I do not, in anyway, claim to be a "professional" anything. Everything I do is self-taught...mostly by trial and error. There is probably a better, easier, more efficient way to accomplish some of these steps, but I haven't figured them out yet.

So, with all that said, let's get started!

First and foremost, I would suggest you visit Funky Junk Interiors' post on How to Make a Table Top Sign with a Story. There are some great tips on how to make your "sign" look authentic and how to choose your "story"!
This is her table that inspired me to tackle my own eyesore side table!

My table started out looking like this:

It definitely needed a face lift!

Because it was so dry and dull I didn't even bother sanding, which I normally do religiously! I did clean it really well because it had years worth of dirt, dust, and food stuck to it in places! (Did I mention that I have 3 kids?)

Now, because I had NO expectations that my table would turn out like the one at FJI, I refused chose not to spend any money on this redo! I knew I wanted to go black and white so I pulled out my FAVE, Heirloom White by Rustoleum. For those of you who might be new to the world of paint, Heirloom White comes in spray paint...ONLY..unless you have it color matched at your preferred paint counter. If you live here (in Central Mississippi) I will save you some time and gas money! The only place I have been able to find this particular paint is at Hobby Lobby!

The only black paint I had was also a spray paint and it was Glossy, UGH! Whatever, I would make it work! So, quick recap, the whole table was primed and painted with spray paint! This was by far the easiest step!

Next came deciding on the design for the top. I tried to think of a place that had special meaning to us. I ran through a few ideas: LuVel Dairy, where my father-in-law worked for more than 40 years; The Courthouse Square, from our hometown; The Bourbon Orleans, our honeymoon hotel. I ultimately chose the hotel because it felt the most personal. Then I had to pick a date to use as the est. date. I thought about the year we were married, 1999. But that seemed really cheesy to me and it wouldn't lend itself to the authenticity of an older sign. So, I went with 1930, which is the year both of my mom's parents were born. Finally, I needed a symbol. For me, this was the easiest part. I knew I wanted a crown, for many reasons. It is one of the symbols from the sorority I joined in college. It is also a symbol from the company I use to work for. Most importantly though, to me it represents our journey to bring home our daughter from Guatemala. We leaned on God, our Prince of Peace, so much during that time. And she is our little princess, so much so that we celebrated her first birthday with an all out Princess Party!

(Yes, I am shamelessly showing off how cute she was.)

This is all probably way more than you needed to know, but I really wanted you to see how personal this table turned out to be.

I put the layout together on the computer, using nothing more than Word. I played with fonts until I found a few I liked and I scoured the Internet until I came across the perfect crown. The most difficult part was figuring out the font sizes. This took a little trial and error. I probably wasted a little ink, since I had to print it out twice, but that's just how it goes sometimes. Because my table was so large, the font had to be proportionate. I don't remember the sizes I ended up with, but for the BOURBON ORLEANS part, only one letter fit on each page. I was really concerned with lining the letters up evenly, so I cut each one into the same size rectangle and taped them all together so they were in a straight line. Then I taped all the components to the table in the layout I wanted.

After it was all positioned, I used a dull pencil to "engrave" the design into the table. I traced over everything, pressing hard enough to leave indentions. This was time consuming and at times painful, but it was my most convenient option. I did consider using my projector to transfer the image, but the logistics of getting the table to a dark room proved too difficult.

I then went over the engraved layout with regular craft paint.

When it was all good and dry, I distressed the legs by hand and used my palm sander on the top. There really was no rhyme or reason to it. I just did a little and then a little more until I liked the way it looked.

Finally, I put a clear protectant on top.

This has turned into a very lengthy post, SORRY! But, I hope it helps! If you attempt to make your own table, please let me know! I would love to see your creations! Good Luck!

Thanks for stopping by!


Funky Junk Interiors said...

Oh my gosh.. that's hand done?!? So hard to believe! It truly looks computer generated. You must be great with a brush! Any brush pointers?

Thanks for the tute! I for one was ULTRA curious!


Chrissie said...

I am so impressed with your table, even more so with all the details!Your little princess is an absolute doll!!

SweetMelissa said...

Awesome job...and GREAT tutorial! Isn't Donna just the best?! Such a great source of inspiration!! I have an altered form of this project in store (mine will be a wall hanging)and a few other Funk Junk Interior inspired projects...I can't wait to get to them and then blog my results!

Thanks again for sharing!!

Kolein said...

Leslie!! Thank you SO very much!

So you pencil traced this????? Seriously!!!!!???????

oh my gosh...the old fashioned way....*mmmwau* (that's a kiss btw!)

I LOVE OLD FASHIONED!!!!!!! (cuz I don't have the guts to deal with the technological stuff...yet)

I'm doing a bench this weekend. When she gets done I will post and *mmmwau* both YOU and DONNA!!!

So excited!!!!

Thank you for typing this all out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Blissful Craziness said...

Hi Leslie-

Thanks for the tutorial! I would love to get the crown image...thanks so much!


redhdgirl417 said...

Gorgeous table and great blog...found you on Primitive & Proper's blog (as well as Funky Junk's) girls are inspirationally awesome! :)