Long before there were folding resin tables, there were card tables. My Mom had one. Both of my grandmothers had one. They were usually square and the perfect size for playing cards. I remember my Mom frequently using hers in the living room to wrap presents at Christmas, to work puzzles, or for other projects. When I was little I would cover the card table with a blanket and pretend it was a tent.
The surface of the table was actually made from sturdy card board. Some had a coated paper finish that could be wiped off. Over time, though, the table would begin to show its age. A small scratch or a tiny gouge would compromise the protected surface and begin to grow. While the table lost its attractiveness, it did not lose its usefulness.
Somehow, one of those tables managed to survive and follow me on my journeys through my adult life. After all those years, it was rather sad looking. I wish I had thought to take a “before” photo. Reluctant to retire it, I decided to give it a new life.
The idea really wasn’t new. I had seen it many years ago while watching “Here’s Carol Duvall” long before she began to appear on HGTV. Her project called for fabric, but I had the idea to do a collage of magazine and catalog photos. I was only about 12 years old when my Mom allowed me to give her card table a face lift. I worked for days cutting out and pasting tiny photos over the damaged table top. This time around, I had quite a collection of already trimmed Mary Engelbreit artwork that I had saved from calendars. I had the table top covered in no time.
The final step was to seal the collage work with clear Con-Tact paper, carefully seaming it in the middle and trimming it around the edge. Washable and stain resistant, Con-Tact paper makes for the perfect protective finish.
I was thrilled with the result. I love Mary Engelbreit and her artwork is so colorful, cheery, and inspiring — quite the appropriate addition of extra table space in my craft room. The old card table will continue to serve for many more years to come!