Friday, August 3, 2012

kid approved coffee table

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iPhone photos

I decided to build a new coffee table last week. Out of wood. By myself. With no plans. The shutters made me brave. Or maybe dumb. Or a little naïve? Explanation to follow.

We’ve been using an Indonesian carved wood chest as both coffee table and game storage since Caleb gave it to me on our third anniversary. Ironically, the only furniture in the house that I desperately try to protect from my kids’ special kind of distressing is also the most used and takes the most abuse. By now it is peppered with years worth of dents and two sets of teeth marks… no lie. It was time to restore the chest, move it out of the livingroom and give my kids a coffee table they can abuse to their hearts’ content.

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I took Caleb’s advice and planned it out well… not. Planning is not a strength of mine. I got as far as digging through the scrap wood pile in the garage and then I realized how much math it would take me to design and plan a coffee table down to every inch of wood. At that point I decided to just wing it.

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I’m lucky that it worked out as well as it did. Really, you cannot just start screwing wood together and hope it ends up looking like a table. Neither are you supposed to base your cuts off measurements you take after the pieces are already together. Like I said, it wasn’t without hiccups and I really did contribute my blood, sweat, and tears… literally. Next time I will be planning down to every inch of wood. Which means Caleb will be in charge.

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The boys and I made a trip to buy $15 worth of wood for the project and then I got home and realized we didn’t purchase any hardware at all. Fortunately, my husband collects wood screws like some men collect sports memorabilia.

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After I finally got the table together I took a step back and sort of thought I must be dreaming. Like, really? I can’t believe its holding together, much less sturdy. I think I’ll test that. Then I proceeded to beat it to death with a hammer and chisel. We have two boys. All the furniture in this house is distressed in one way or another. Figured I would give the coffee table a head start.

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After it was sufficiently dented, I stained it dark, followed with a very thin coat of grey paint. Then I sanded. And sanded. And sanded. And I didn’t wear a mask so the next day I woke up with a nosebleed that lasted all morning. Moral of the story: wearing a mask prevents walking around the grocery store with tissue shoved up your nostril. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to learn that lesson first hand.

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This is definitely a kid approved coffee table.

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And here are my kiddies with the much anticipated lego catalogue. It arrived in the mail this morning and they’ve already been through every page and played which-would-you-rather-have? a million times.

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2 comments:

Sarah T. said...

you're amazing. haha, wow.. :)

Josalyn Snyder said...

So pretty! Have you seen ana-white.com? She has so many plans for different projects! It's fun to wing it sometimes though lol