Ok, this topic actually isn't that crafty, just diy, and ugly diy at that. So I thought I'd start it off with this magnificent, very crafty, handmade heirloom, a chest my grandma's cousin painted for her back in the 1930s. I recently inherited this and another chest, and though neither were in anything close to pristine condition, their well-being is further challenged in this new environment of jumping and barfing cats, dripping plants, and general sloppiness.
I needed something that would not merely protect them from biofluids, but also gouges and heavy things. But have you ever priced furniture pads? It's ridiculous, for a little piece of foam.
So I made a couple myself. On the whole, I did a horrible job, but they accomplish their mission:
I bought a huge sheet of insulation sheathing--very dense pink stuff about 1/2 inch thick, found in the building materials section of Home Depot. It needed to be denser than regular packing styrofoam to withstand heavy houseplants and cats and the occasional ill-placed thumb.
Cut it to size, and cover with contact paper. Seems simple enough. But actually, the original piece of insulation wasn't cut at right angles, which made all my measurements (t-square and all) completely wrong, plus I suck at contact paper, as you can see above.
But then I learned about the hair dryer trick and the next one came out much nicer.
Total cost: approx. $12
And they will certainly be very durable.
Plus, I have a lot of foam left over for a wonderfully huge blocking board for knitting.
Hope someone finds this idea useful and does a nicer job than me!