Tuesday, December 23, 2008

12-25 Guests + 1 Table that seats 6 = Creative Problem Solving!

On Thursday I will be cooking and serving turkey and ham to 12 family members. On Friday I will be hosting a 1st birthday party, for over 25 people. My kitchen table seats 6. So, naturally, I thought I'd get my creative wheels turning to at least figure out a way to make it easier for a few more people to eat, after maxing out our kitchen table and possibly a card table or two.

Here is what I came up with. I made a couple trips to two different thrift stores before I found some decent tv trays...decent referring to the fact that they were not broken and were not loose and wobbly. I was able to find 3 matching TV trays at my second stop, and snatched them up for $1.99 each. I am kicking myself for not taking a "before" photo! But, to give you a general idea, they had some fake woodgrain tops and gold legs, with at least two rubber feet missing from each table's legs.

I wanted to make them more unique, and possibly bring them into the 21st century. So, I dove into my stash of junk mail, of course! The tray in the top left is made from squares of various security envelope patterns. The one in the center is tiled with those fake credit cards you get with applications...I've been saving them for something and knew I'd find a use! The one on the above right is made out of some extra pieces of woven junk mail, which were trimmings from making some of my checkbook covers. (I usually turn them into bookmarks but had tons left over anyway so this was a great use.)

First I spray painted the edges of the tray tops silver. These tops are made so that you can easily remove them completely from the legs, so that part was easy. After affixing my "junk" to the trays, I thought I'd do a little experimentation with some Shellac. For the fake credit cards, I brushed on a couple coats, and then poured on a thicker layer. I did that several days ago, and it's still not quite dry. So, we may not be able to use that one this weekend. But, once it does dry, I think I'll continue to brush on a couple more coats and call it quits:

With the other two I just applied several coats with a foam brush. The woven junk mail looks pretty cool:

It too is still a bit sticky but should be use-able by Thursday. I think I'll add some more coats again after that to seal it up a little more.

I got some replacement rubber feet from one of my favorite hardware sources I've used frequently as a display designer. They were maybe $3-$4 for a bag of 100. I only needed 12. So, if anyone needs any rubber feet that fit a pipe with an outer diameter of about .5", let me know!

So, that's my latest project, born out of necessity... We at Junk Mail Gems (and by "we" I really mean "me") wish you a happy, safe, and healthy holiday and new year!

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