I like words. I find vocabulary fascinating. My screen saver is literally rotating definitions of random vocabulary words. Dictionary.com's Word of the Day pops up on my phone every day. I literally own a book called The Vocabulary Builder. You'd think that my conversation would be oozing with words in which few people know the meaning. It's definitely not.
But regardless, I like words. I also like Scrabble - always have. When I was younger, my parents bought me a deluxe Scrabble game for Christmas, with a turntable base and ridged letter spaces. I loved it. So naturally, I liked the idea of creating something out of old Scrabble letters.
I found an old Scrabble game at Red Racks Thrift Store down the road for $3. And my wonderful father-in-law and sister-in-law have also found and donated old Scrabble games for the cause.
I decided to use the actual Scrabble board for the base of the coaster as well.
I used Gorilla wood glue to glue the letters onto the back of the board...
...then after it dried used my jigsaw to cut around the letters. I sanded off the rough edges using my sander, then used a Minwax polyurethane finish over the whole thing.
And voilà! Super fun. Super easy. And my husband even loves them.
Our dining area is next to non-existent in our small little duplex. So we needed a smaller dining table than what we had to fit in that small space. On a Saturday shopping excursion with my extremely patient husband, I found a small rectangular pine dining table at DAV Red Racks Thrift Store for $20. I love transforming old furniture into something new.
I sanded it down using coarse sandpaper. I chose this because I wanted a unfinished textured, slightly “rough” looking product. If you want something more slick and smooth, then you’ll want to either use a stripper to remove any previous finish. Or if you choose to use sandpaper, use a coarse grit to cut the finish or existing paint layers, then a medium grit, then a finer grit, etc…all the way to a super fine grit, so as not to leave marks.
I then used the same Edge-lock painter’s tape to create a design (another tree). Instead of painting it, I wanted to use a wood stain. I applied the Minwax® Jacobean wood stain with a paintbrush (you can also apply with a sponge brush or even an old rag - but you will have to throw the rag out when you’re finished so use one that you’re not attached to!). I wasn’t exactly sure how that would work since the stain is so much thinner than paint. But for the most part, it worked out pretty well. It bled a little bit in a few areas, but I was able to rub those parts out enough so it didn’t show too badly.
After I removed the tape, I got a rag and dipped my finger into my Minwax® Red Mahogany wood stain and gently rubbed it into the tree, to make the tree more subtle, as if it were in a haze. This also helped blend in the few parts that had bled through the tape.
I then applied Minwax® Polyurethane Gloss finish to the top with a paintbrush. Since we were going to be using it for every day use, and we’d have dishes sliding across the top of it as well as normal wear and tear of a dining table, I applied 5 layers of finish with a paintbrush, sanding in between each layer with an ultra fine 320 grit sandpaper.
It’s a perfect fit in our tiny kitchen.
Every day is a new experiment, a new artistic and crafty journey. I love taking old things and making them new, and I love creating something out of nothing. Be inspired. Be creative. Invest in yourself. Invest in your creativity. And enjoy your life.