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Topic: Fabric-covered coffee table?  (Read 5073 times)
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Hippie9
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« on: September 11, 2005 11:25:09 AM »

I am in love with the idea of having a mid-century kidney-shaped coffee table. I was thinking about ways to cover one (I don't have the table yet...I need to find one first) and I though that this fab fabric I saw online would be great.

I was wondering if anyone knows a good way to seal the fabric so that it can be wiped up and glasses and things can slide across it (so...no shower curtain, which I briefly thought of!).

Covering it with a glass top is not an option for me as I am too klutzy to be around glass.

Could I get some kind of acrylic top from TAP Plastics or somewhere? Do I glue it on or nail it on or what?

I'm trying to do things ultra cheaply and if I was to cover it with an acrylic sheet I would have to get it cut expecially and that would be too expensive.

Any ideas you guys have would be great to hear!! Thanks!

Kim
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Kim

My blog/showcase of my crafts:  http://kimmadecrafts.blogspot.com/
kewlchik
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2005 07:58:58 AM »

Modge Podge, and then varnish. I did a table for my daughter and I can't believe how indestructable that stuff is! She has two small children and lots of friends, and it looks good.
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Hippie9
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2005 03:07:12 PM »

Hey, thanks! Just to clarify, you mean mod podge the fabric down to glue it on, then varnish over the top of it?
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Kim

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stickysweetfun
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2005 03:18:55 PM »

Oilcloth!  It's very vaguely similar to the mediumweight plasticized tablecloth fabric.  I'm in love with the stuff.

http://www.mexicansugarskull.com/mexicansugarskull/OilclothSite/
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craft-matic
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2005 07:37:16 AM »

Have you considered making the table yourself too?  The kind of table you're talking about is bound to be a bit pricier than the regulr ol' thrift-store coffee tables.  You could cut the top out of MDF, which usually runs about $15 for a large sheet (4' X 8').  You can rent power tools from Home Depot by the day if you don't have a viable jig saw (though I got my handheld Black & Decker for around $20).  You could take the legs off a rectangular midcentury table, or pick out your own at the hardware store.  I tend to find the premade ones hopelessly ugly, but there are a variety of other objects that can be repurposed as legs, depending on the height you want.  I personally really like finials for staircases.  Those tables tended to be higher, I think, though, so maybe it will be better to find legs on a piece from that era.  You can also leave the top on a premade table and just lay the kidney shaped top over it and fix it down (if the existing dop isn't too thick).

Good luck!
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                            --Kahlil Gibran

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.           
                            --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Hippie9
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2005 09:29:09 AM »

What is MDF, Craftmatic?

I read that link about the woman who made an orange vinyl kidney-shaped coffee table and *she( just attached plywood to an existing Ikea coffee table...that's something I might try.

I would have to get Home Depot or somewhere to cut the plywood for me as I don't trust myself with a saw!
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Kim

My blog/showcase of my crafts:  http://kimmadecrafts.blogspot.com/
craft-matic
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2005 09:56:41 AM »

MDF is Medium Density Fiberboard.  It's a pressed board, made with wood that's pretty well ground up and then adhered together.  It's not exactly like chipboard, because it's more like a woodpulp with a binder.  I've used it and plyboard both in my projects.  MDF is nice for the kind of thing you're talking about, because it cuts really smoothly, which the plyboard doesn't (as much) and it's also cheaper.  It has a bit of give, which is good or bad depending on what you want it for.  I made a set of shelves out of it

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=30741.0

And I have liked them, but the problem is my cat jumps up on them.  When she springs from the bottom shelf, there's enough give that the board bounces and everything on the shelf bounces with it.   Undecided  But for a wider-cut peice, or one with a sturdy enough support (no long ends hanging over anything) it should be fine.  I've though many times of bracing these shelves with a couple of steel strips, but haven't ever gotten around to it...So you could do that too if you went with the MDF.  Although the bounciness is annoying, I think it's better, because a board with less give would undergo more stress and might break. 

Ultimately, if you're planning on covering the thing with fabric or painting it, i'd recommend the MDF.  I've only used plyboard when I want the woodgrain to show. 

As for having it cut at Home Depot, they usually won't do things like that.  Even with the straight cuts, they refuse to guarantee precision cuts.  I've never seen a bandsaw there, only the big table saws and the really monster-big veritcal circular saw they use.  If you are concerned about cutting it yourself, I'd say find a handy friend to help.  But just so you know, it's not as hard as it looks.  I was intimidated the first time I tried it, but I finally thought, what the heck?  I've only gained skill at such things by refusing to concede that I shouldn't try.   Wink

And, just so you know, the sheet of MDF is big enough that you should be able to plan a second project out of the leftover, so you might think about that before you begin cutting.  Maybe a matching side-table?  Or you could do one of those tables that had the second tier on top, one that's smaller than the first tier (do you know what I mean?) and use the extra for the top tier.  Steel plumbing pipes and flanges do a wonderful job for things like that Smiley

Or you could use the leftover to make the feet, like in this one:



Sort of noguchi-esque.  I think there was a pattern in a readymade for how to immitate a noguchi table.

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Work is love made visible.
                            --Kahlil Gibran

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.           
                            --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
craft-matic
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2005 10:17:27 AM »

Forgot to mention: 

I highly recommend oaktag or cardboard cutouts to practice on.  Use a 4" by 8" rectangle, and begin trying different designs.  Transferring it to the larger size isn't that tough.  And it doesn't even really have to be exact, but it will give you an idea of how to join things and what general dimensions they need to be. 

Even if you weren't really thinking of making it yourself, it's bound to be a lot less expensive.  I've priced those tables in the past (cause I really wanted one too) and they are pretty spendy.  And that's if you can find them...

Another idea that might be easier for you is to go with a slat design.  Those were the tables that were a whole bunch of 1" X 2" doweled through the ends and the center.  You could do one of those pretty easily, and then you could have the cuts done at home depot.  To get the curved shape, they'd have to be mitered properly, but that's not too hard.  You could eyeball it and do it with a handheld jig saw once it was all put together.  The table is assembled easily, with three sturdy (3/4" to 1") dowels, which just means drilling through all the slats and using some appropriate spacer between the slats.  A heavy-duty bolt would do the trick, but if you didn't like the look of it, you could stack washers or do something along those lines. 

Of course, if you did it that way, you wouldn't be able to cover it with cloth at the end.  of it all.  But if you aren't totally committed to that yet, it might be worth considering all the design ideas?
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Work is love made visible.
                            --Kahlil Gibran

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.           
                            --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
mel-my-issa
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2005 10:38:54 AM »

You could use Envirotex Lite to cover the table. I bought some at an art supply store. The directions on the box were for sealing a table (I used it to fill in some roll-a-bind rings). I think it would work.  Just be sure to test it first.
Here is what I am talking about: http://www.creative-wholesale.com/products.html

I hope that helps!
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Hippie9
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2005 09:52:04 AM »

Wow, you guys are ace!! Thanks for the tips! My questions about your wonderful ideas:

1. I don't have a workroom or shed or basement in order to actually saw wood. We have carpet and it would make a huge mess wouldn't it? And we don't have a decent vacuum but I guess a dustbuster could clean up sawdust. I'll have to search a jigsaw as I'm not sure exactly what it looks like and whether or not it's unweildy!

That table you posted is awesome! I *would* like the coffee table to have a shelf underneath for books and magazines. I saw a table in the Ikea catalogue...called Granas...it's black with black metal legs and a mesh shelf underneath. It's $89 CAD.

I think it's a great candidate for being recovered altho I giess it's a tad expensive to potentially mess up

2.  Envirotex Lite sounds great! The only concern I have about sealing fabric would be that it might get discoloured by the varnish. Anyone have experience withthis?
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Kim

My blog/showcase of my crafts:  http://kimmadecrafts.blogspot.com/
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