Décor & Home

How to Use Fabric to Transform an Old Side Table.

This post is chronicling the aftermath of a personal DIY failure involving painting an unprepped surface (use primer, peeps!). This little end table was an innocent casualty of my madness, and I hope I've somewhat redeemed myself... So I've always kind of contemplated the idea of smearing some cool fabric on something and calling it a day - no painting or stenciling - which is an appealing prospect, and, wouldn't ya know it, it works! And it's SO easy. All it takes is some careful patience depending on how complex the furniture is, an exacto knife, scissors, Modge Podge, a brush, and Polycrylic. I would DEFINITELY recommend only doing this for relatively flat surfaces.

Modge Podge and Fabric

I found some really cool fabric at JoAnn. I also probably was the employees' greatest entertainment of the day because I just have no clue about fabric and have maybe been in a JoAnn once before so I wandered around for a while clutching the big... spool..? of fabric wondering what I was expected to do next before finding the lady who cuts it down for you (and I accidentally told her I needed more than twice as much as I'd actually measured for. I was under a lot of pressure, okay?).

Upside Down

Throw it upside-down-diggity onto the fabric and cut about two inches around the surface that will be covered. For the top shelf (bottom shelf in the pic), you can see that I won't have much room to secure the fabric underneath, so I had a lot of excess that needed to be trimmed. The other two shelves were easier in that department, but they made up for it with the side embellishments getting all up in the way and having to tediously cut around them.


I had a lot of help with this project. Kittens are known for their dedicated assistance in the use of sharp objects and glue. His name is Vinyl and a week ago he was near death on main street. That sounds like a mystery novel...Near Death on Main Street. Anyway, we're suckers for small, pathetic fluffs.

Once the fabric's cut, turn it right-side-dizzly, glomp on the Modge Podge, and smooooooth it out. Banish every wrinkle. IF THERE ARE ROUNDED CORNERS, do NOT Podge the Modge on them. I am supremely thankful and slightly surprised that my brain realized this from the beginning.

This table has rounded corners on the top (thank the Lord it's only the top), which is tricky, particularly for someone like me who's scared of fabric. After the Modge Podge had mostly dried (which takes almost no time), I turned the table back upside-down, cut the corners of the fabric as pictured, then used a small, flat brush to secure the two flaps on the underside with more Modge Podge. NOTE: you will get glue EVERYWHERE. That is obviously why I am doing this on the carpet in the living room... I need a workshop.

Sleeping Kitten


Cutting Excess

Use an exacto knife to carefully trim excess fabric and thread.


Now for the final step! Apply a couple coats of Polycrylic. Wasn't that a breeze??

Corner Done


Doesn't it look so happy and unique? And I didn't even have to painstakingly paint any little gray triangles! This would be an awesome method to easily refurbish a table that has really bad blemishes that couldn't simply be covered with paint. Are you thinking of anything you could fabric-ify??