Tabletop Fix - A Tutorial

Don't faint, but I have another tutorial for you this week. And yes lots of photos. How can you do a tutorial without a lot of pictures I ask? :)




When a sideboard sold at our antique booth last week we had a fairly large hole that needed a quick fill. And besides the hole I lost quite a bit of good display space. The problem was we didn't really have anything ready that didn't still need quite a bit of time to finish. Our bad! Sometimes our timing is just off.

I remembered we had a pretty table that had been painted quite a while back, and then Mr Shabby pointed out the top was bad and would need to be remade.Umm, I never did figure out why that wasn't noticed while painting? 

I asked Mr Shabby to just sand the top a little and not to worry about being perfect as my solution didn't need perfect. I only needed the paint roughed up a bit because I was going to use glue and wanted to make sure everything would stick. Slick don't stick is what we say around my house.


 The top had some dings and shallow dents but no structural damage. The tabletop had also been painted white like the rest of the table you see.


Isn't this a pretty shape? Notice how he sanded just a little? I think he was listening to me with half an ear, or maybe no ear. lol  Unless your top is truly in dire straits, you would not need to sand it down this far. Unless you just really like to sand. Said no woman ever.


I found images I liked and sat down at the computer and began to print, laying them on the table to get an idea of how many I would need. You always end up needing more than  you initially print.

As far as printing goes...

1. For paper I used Hammermill Color Copy Digital Cover 60lb. You might not need to use paper this heavy and could probably get away with something in the 30-32 lb. range of paper weight, just remember the thinner the paper, the more chance of wrinkling when wet. Since Mr Shabby sanded it so far down that the original wood color was exposed I was concerned that the dark might bleed through a lighter weight paper.

2. As far as the actual printing is concerned. I used my color laser printer. Not to worry though because you can do this with an ink jet. But remember ink jet ink can run or smear when it gets wet (we will be wet with glue) so simply use an acrylic spray sealer on your paper first. There are many kinds on the market and the first that come to my mind are Krylon's Crystal Clear, Workable Fixativ, or their Acrylic Sealer. But there are other brands.


I moved the table to my workroom, cut out my images and started laying them out to see what I liked.

Here's a tip...when you have them laid out the way you like, snap a photo for reference. Once you start moving them around to lay down the glue it's easy to forget.


Decoupage Matte by Deco Art is my glue of choice. I have been using it for about three years with good results. You could use something like Mod Podge or even watered down Elmers. You want to be able to spread it with a brush but you don't want soupy if you get to watering anything down.


I started with the edges first simply because of the shape. I knew I would have to lay the paper out beyond the edge for trimming when it was dry. I've used this process on many a straight edge item and then simply start where I choose.


I spread my glue and lay the paper down. Unless corners and edges are involved, I don't glue the top of my papers until the bottom is dry. Helps keep wrinkles down to a minimum.


If I get a booboo on the edge I don't worry, I simply lay the next image on top of it enough to cover the problem.

Speaking of on top. Look at these next images.




As I move along glueing I am making conscious decisions of which images will go on top or under another image and that determines which one I glue down first. This also helps manage those odd little spaces that seem to pop up as you go.


This particular table I seemed to work the edges and slowly work my way in. No rhyme or reason on that, just the way it happened to flow as I started laying things out.

8 before redo

Once dry, I coated the entire top with a layer of Decoupage. Once that was dry I started to trim those curved edges. And that's when I goofed up on the right side. I thought I should be able to wet the edges and then sand down and away from the edge for nice clean trim. While that often works for thinner paper I forgot this paper is heavier and the edges ripped roughly in a big time way. I had to end up pulling back some of the paper into the table area, then lightly sand rough areas. (I trimmed the left side with scissors! lol)


Here you can see where I had to pull the paper back onto the table to get rid of the ugly roughness I caused.

There was no easy out. I had to go back and print more images and cover that end again, dealing with the papers already glued down.  I had to do some re-sizing and I ended up covering some edges I hadn't covered in the first place, but nothing major.


This time when I went to trim I used scissors. The thing I have learned about creativity is that your best learning comes from fixing screw ups.

After I trimmed I covered that area again with a coat of Decoupage. Then when that dried I layed down two coats of Deco Art's Soft Touch Varnish. Love that stuff!




The varnish was two fold. First for protection. Second, I wanted to ink the edges and needed to make sure the paper wouldn't grab the ink where I didn't want it. But before I inked it I used a fine grit sand paper along all the the edges...dry, dry dry! lol This helped soften those paper edges and melt it more into the tabletop. I scuffed the paint edges too for a little timeworn look. If you find any loose corners or edges, a little tacky glue takes quick care of them.


Then I inked. I used a pigment ink in brown and used a cosmetic sponge to softly ink all the edges, softening in some spots with a paper towel if I got a little heavy handed. I couldn't have softened the ink without the varnish coat first.

This was about a day and a half project because of initial drying time between the wood and paper, and my re-do corner.

We got it down to the Corner Nest as soon as it was done. I love the way it turned out and actually like that right side corner better the second time around.

16tableafter2 (2)

16tableafter2 (1)

I hope you enjoyed this step out and are having a wonderful week! I am headed to the studio. Yay!

Til next time my friends ~xxoo









Gelli Print Blog Hop

I belong to a FB group called Gelatin Printing Enthusiasts Facebook Group. This group is open to people who use a Gelli Arts Plate or who make their own gelatin plate.

Last month I was invited to join a blog hop and I thought it sounded like fun. I don't need much convincing when it come to pulling out my gelli plate and having fun! :)

The hop starts today and runs through next Wednesday. Over in Australia Michelle Reynolds of Shells in the Bush (and instigator of our hop) is the first enthusiast out the gate. Be sure to stop by Michelles blog to see her tutorial and join in a giveaway!

I don't know if everyone is doing a tutorial or simply sharing Gelli work, but it will be fun to see what kind of Gelli creation each participant does share as this blog hop progresses throughout the week! I will be adding a post next Tuesday (the 21st) and you can be sure I too am offering a fun three people!

If you're not yet a follower of my blog it's easy to subscribe over in the sidebar, and then when I post you'll get a message in your inbox! It's that easy.

 If you have never used a Gelli plate you're missing out on a lot of fun. ;) And for you art journalers, what an utterly fun and fabulous way to get a quick background to jumpstart your creative and journaling muse.

Here is a list and links of the particpants so you can check them out each day.

Wednesday 15th Oct Michelle Reynolds
Thursday 16th Oct Joanna Grant
Friday 17th Oct Jacques Williamos
Saturday 18th Oct Linda Stokes
Sunday 19th Oct Phillippa Montier
Monday 20th Oct Lauri Crowe
Tuesday 21st Oct Gail Schmidt
Wednesday 22nd Oct Tami Sturm Howse

Til next time, happy hump day my friends!

Sweet Southern Smoochies ~ Gail

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How to Measure for a Bracelet or Necklace

Measuring for a Bracelet

Measure your wrist with a flexible tape measure or a strip of paper just above the wrist bone, where you would normally wear the bracelet. If you use a plain strip of paper, make a mark with a pen or pencil. You can then use a ruler to measure the marked length. That would be your wrist size.

If you prefer a snug fit add 1/4" - 1/2" to your wrist size. For a little more of a comfort fit add approximately 3/4" - 1". If you like your bracelets really loose with lots of movement add about 1 1/4". It really is all about personal preference.

 Measuring for a Necklace

Necklace length is truly a personal preference. Lengths pictured here are guidelines for illustrative purposes offer you a visual idea of where a necklace might lie.

Body build will make a difference in where a necklace will fall. The best way to determine where the length of a necklace will fall on you is to measure. It is very easy. Grab a soft tape measure (like used in dressmaking), and stand in front of a mirror. Wrap the tape measure around the back of your neck and find the lengths in front that you like best. No tape measure? No problem. Use something like a string or piece of ribbon, wrap it across the back of your neck and down your front where you want it to hang. Continue to hold on to one end for marking and use a ruler or tape measure and measure from your finger to the end.