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Table makeover featuring road maps: Before and after

Looking at my kids craft table the other day I had an urge to throw it out. Until the idea to paper it with a map popped into my head. It's now living room worthy!

table, makeover, redo, decorating, DIY

Roberto Caruso

It’s no secret that I’m a big Ikea fan—I love their clean designs and amazing price tags. That’s why when I took a look at the Lack table my kids use to do crafts on I and saw the dismal state it was in, I was ambivalent about tossing it to the curb. And then yesterday I was walking around Canadian Tire and came across the map display. (Surprised they still make maps, what with navigation systems built into cars and smart phones now!) I had the idea to glue maps onto my old table (an old technique called decoupage), pour some liquid resin on the top, and voila, new table. This is of course all made possible by the fact that the Lack table has a very basic shape, perfect for the less-than-perfect crafter (that’s me).



Here’s a photo of the table before I got started:

To complete the project, I used: one 8oz bottle of white glue, although I was a tad short, so a bigger size might be better; two Ontario maps—with some creative cutting, that was just enough, though three might be more comfortable; 16oz of liquid poured on resin, but you could just as easily use varnish. Start to finish, minus drying time, it took me about 3 hours.

1. Begin by cutting the maps so that all the extra “ugly” parts like distances between cities, weird frames and such are not part of your images.

2. Paint the surface and sides of the table with white glue. Place map and map pieces onto the table so that it covers the surface completely. I found it easier to remove the legs, and place the tabletop on a couple of phone books. Don’t worry about edges that hang over, you’ll fold those and glue them onto the bottom once the top is done. When the entire surface is covered, paint on a layer of white glue, which will help protect the paper when you varnish it or pour resin over top, so that it doesn’t get a “wet paper” look. Don’t use too much glue or you’ll get bumps and ripples in the paper. Little ripples are okay as they will smooth themselves out. If you plan on using resin on the top, you can always add enough coats so that any bumps that remain are embedded in the resin. That will take two or three applications.

3. Next tackle the legs, wrapping map pieces around each leg. I found it best not to have seams join in the corners as that makes for a messy corner. Rather, fold map pieces around the edges of the leg and overlap seams on the flat portion of the leg. Apply a coat of white glue over the entire leg.

4. Once the glue is dry on the top portion of the table, fold the edges under and glue them to the underside of the table. Turn it back over, rest on phone books so the edge doesn’t touch whatever surface you’re working on, and pour liquid resin, or varnish, according to directions. Paint the legs with resin or varnish and re-attach to the table.

I used a map of Ontario and centered it in such a way that my kids were able to put stickers on all the places their family lives. I added a second layer of resin over top.

Here is the final result, in the playroom:


But really, I thought the table looked so pretty that I tried it out in the family room and thought it looked great there too.


The whole project (minus the table) cost abour $30 ($20 of which was for resin), and my super cheap table now has a good five years left in it. What fun! Plus, I really got to brush up on my Ontario geography. I now know where Kirkland Lake is.


All photos by Roberto Caruso