A few weeks ago our friend Jen invited us over to look at some old pieces that she liked but was having trouble finding a functional use for them. She was hoping that we could come up with something crafty instead of having to throw them out. One of the things we found was a very old side table that was on its last legs (so to speak). It was wobbly and the leg reinforcements were broken. She liked the shape of the top, but the legs were too unstable and delicate to be of any use.
After looking at the table, honestly, I was a little perplexed. I didn’t see a way to make the table more secure, and I wasn’t sure what else to do with it. Luckily, Alberto had an idea…we could make a cocktail tray out of the top (who doesn’t need one of those?!) and a pair of candlesticks with the legs! Jen loved the idea, so we loaded it up in the car and headed home.
This was a fun project, and it was super easy. We love being able to repurpose old stuff!
Here’s what we used to make the tray:
- Old side table
- Two cabinet door handles
- Plastic cabinet door stops
- Red mahogany stain
- Clear Polyurethane sealant
This is what we needed to put it together:
- Electric Sander
- Coarse and fine sandpaper
- Paint brushes
Let’s repurpose a side table!
- Remove the top of the table from the legs. This table was missing a few screws and the old glue was dried up, so it was easy to take apart.
- Using very coarse sandpaper, sand the table top to remove the varnish and stain. We used an electric sander for this. (Be sure to wear a mask and goggles. The air will be filled with varnish and wood particles.)
- Next go over the wood again with a fine sandpaper to smooth it out.
- Measure the distance of the holes on the handles, and make two marks on the top of the tray about 1-inch from each side. Drill holes in the tray to attach the handles.
Stain and seal!
- Stain the table top. Apply the stain, and immediately wipe it off with a rag. Do this in sections to ensure that the stain doesn’t dry before you wipe. This will keep it from becoming blotchy.
- After you’ve stained the entire board, let it dry for a few minutes and apply a coat of high gloss varnish. Let dry 12 hours, then sand it with the fine sandpaper.
- Reapply the varnish and repeat these last few steps a couple of more times. We actually applied 4 coats of varnish in all to ensure the durability of the tray.
As always when you’re waiting for varnish to dry, it’s time for a cocktail! It’s rainy and dreary outside, so Alberto felt like something warm. He wanted something that was old like the table. We’ve been dieting lately, so we also needed something that wouldn’t pack on the calories! He came up with a Skinny Old Fashioned which seems perfect for the project, and it’s very tasty!
Are you being served?!
- After the tray is dry, attach the handles to either side.
- Turn the tray over, and attach the door stops on both sides equidistance apart.
Now, Jen will have to invite us back for a few more Skinny Old Fashioneds and serve them on her new tray! It looks very elegant, and we’ve just repurposed something instead of throwing it out. I call that New Fashioned!