From TV Dinners to Trendy Decor!



If you’re anything like me, you’re young, you’re innovative, and you have an exceptionally cramped living space! It’s not easy finding a way to decorate our miniature apartments with pieces that are practical, stylish, and feasible for a college budget. So, I dug out the ol’ thinking cap to figure out how to update what I already have!

For this DIY project, I got my hands on the old wooden tray tables that my brother and I would beg our parents to let us eat off of so we could watch cartoons during dinner (It never worked). They’re the perfect size for a nightstand or laptop desk, and when folded take up very little space. I schemed up ways to make the tables more ‘me,’ and decided to stencil them with ModCloth’s Lotta Jansdotter Stencils!

What to have handy for this project…

  • Lotta Jansdotter Stencils
  • Foldable tray table
  • Sandpaper
  • Cans of paint for base color and stencil color(s)
  • Paintbrush or sponge

1. Paint your table with one or two thick coats of your chosen base color. If your table is pre-finished, like mine, you will need to sand off the finish with sandpaper before you start painting.

2. Open your Lotta Jansdotter Stencil kit and decide what design you would like to paint onto your table. It may be fun to challenge yourself by coming up with a pattern! As anxious as you may be to get started, don’t forget to read the tips included in the book; they make for a cleaner, faster process and a more precise result.

3. If you’re doing this project all in one day, make sure your base color is dry before you continue. Then, place your stencil on the table, grab your detail color paint, and have at it! Don’t worry if you make a mistake. You can always paint over it with your base color and try again!

4. Sometimes, the finishing touches are what make or break a piece of art. If your stenciled designs need to be touched up, find a thin paint brush and clean up the edges. I also decided to try shading on mine; use that right brain to think of something unique!

There you have it! You have just created a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture that is more of an artwork than anything! What other kinds of furniture could you stencil?


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  1. Avatar
    Michelle P. 06/23/2010 at 6:02 pm #

    Great idea for sprucing up my old furniture. Thanks!

  2. Avatar
    Andrew 06/23/2010 at 9:15 pm #

    Awesome. My wife loves this stuff. I can’t wait to tell her about this article!

  3. Avatar
    Rich D 06/24/2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Why didnt you mention ethe lamp – i want to know about that lamp

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