Marble Furniture Transformation on a Budget

My apologies for being MIA! Before we get into the nitty gritty of today’s project, a personal update: I’m expecting! My husband and I are thrilled to be welcoming our first baby this fall. Since I have been a bit distracted and lacking in energy, even my favorite hobby had to be put on the back burner. However, I am excited to share some of what I have been working on in the meantime! More updates to come later 🙂

Ever since we moved into our current home, I have fantasized about having a marble top dining table. However, since we are on a budget, splurging on one was just not meant to be. In the meantime, I made do with a hand me down glass top dining table that I hated (see my previous dining table update here!). We have since upgarded to an IKEA one that I love! It is glossy and white, and we already had white bent wood chairs to go along with it.

However, with that ugly dining table out of the way, our hand me down bar was now very much out of place. It was a matching dark wood and glass set, and I know it had to go! So off to IKEA we went, but could not find something that we both liked, that was functional, and pretty, and under $50- am I asking for too much?

During a quick thrift store stop to drop off donations after some spring time de-cluttering, I poked my head in to see what’s new. I came in with the expectation that I will probably not find anything that fits our home, but had a few minutes to spare. I ran across this white bar with perfectly proportioned cubbies in my go-to white. Ummm sold! The $29 price tag didn’t hurt either 😉

The furniture piece was fairly solid, but once we dragged into our apartment I gave all the screws a little tightening, just in case. I then wiped down every surface with sanitizing wipes, and gave some of the scuffs along the legs a little scrub with a magic eraser. It was already looking better!

The top surface of the bar had some water damage, with some areas scuffed right down to the particleboard. I know I was going to cover the top, and I also knew just the right way to do it- contact paper from the dollar store! My local dollar store, Dollarama, has a good selection of sticky back shelf liner and contact paper in a variety of colors and patterns. I picked up 2 rolls of marble printed contact paper for $2 each and got started as soon as I got home.

After wiping down the surface one more time, I smoothed on the contact paper. It is forgiving enough that if you have to lift it and try again you can, as long as you do it right away before really pressing it down. I find it easier to go slowly and squeegee the bubbles out of the way as I go along. I wrapped the paper around the beveled edges and smoothed it down around the corners, trimming as needed.

If you do end up with some bubbles during your application, you can poke a small hole with a safety pin, and smooth it down to let out the air. You can also smooth out bubbles towards the edges to get an even surface. Once it is all smooth, burnish your surface gently to adhere it securely. I find that the stickiness is enough to hold it down well, no additional adhesive is needed! I have done this project a few months ago now and it is still holding well, no peeling at all!

Unfortunately my contact paper roll was a bit too short to cover the entire length of my bar top, so I lined up my next roll to finish it off. There is a seam, as the random marble pattern is not made to be repeating / matched, however it is not too obvious in the finished piece. Here is a close up, judge for yourself!

This “marble” top bar definitely satisfied my craving for a classy and polished piece to complete our dining room. Total damage done = $33. However, you can definitely do this for any piece of furniture you already have. It is such an easy makeover, I am thinking of trying it with one of my living room side tables!

Since I finished this project, several friends who visited us commented on it. The consensus: none of them could tell it was not real marble by looking at it! many of them assumed it was pricey and heavy, and were shocked when I told them it was one of my dollar store projects 🙂

If you are needing a bit of marble elegance in your space, give this project a try! It is so affordable, quick, easy, and (so far) durable, and will easily transform even the most boring pieces in your home! The contact paper sticks to any smooth clean surface, so will work with laminate / IKEA type furniture, glass, metal, and I would assume even wood, as long as the grain is not too prominent.

Quick note- keep in mind this contact paper is removable! this means you can try a different style and take it off if you change your mind without damaging the furniture.

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Re-cycle, Re-use, Re-purpose: why buy new?

3 r's

One of the biggest issues I have faced as a crafter and maker is the constant temptation of buying new things. New supplies, new tools, new materials, anything that is new and shiny catches my eye like a magpie. Have you ever been to a craft store and felt like you could spend HOURS just browsing the aisles, touching everything, dreaming up all the wonderful projects you could accomplish if only you had that one thing…

I feel you. This is a challenge for me from a few aspects:

1) Budget– I simply cannot afford to splurge and go all out on craft supplies.
2) Space– I live in a small space so cannot afford the extra square footage to store all the STUFF.

So how do I satisfy that craft craving without breaking the bank and qualifying as a clinical hoarder?
I try to re-use, re-cycle, and re-purpose things I already have at home in new ways, spicing them up with a bit of imagination, and shuffle things around in an unexpected way. Here are a few examples:

Tea tins. I love tea and my family and friends know it so they always gift me tea, which usually comes in sturdy tins. A normal person might throw these out after their original purpose has been served, but I try and find ways to put this perfectly usable container to good use.

Gift wrap. Yes, I am THAT person that tries to open their gifts carefully so that the beautiful paper it came wrapped in can be used another time. Same goes for ribbon, bows, tissue paper, and gift bags. I don’t usually re-use the paper to wrap a present though, but more to create paper-crafts or decorate other items around the house.

Jars. This is an obvious one, as that is a pretty common item to re-use. Depending on the size, I use old food jars to store pens, hair accessories, homemade dry shampoo, and q-tips. These also make the perfect container / shaker for homemade salad dressing!

In some cases, it is not enough to just use the things you have, and a little something extra is needed. For budget reasons, I try to purchase most of my additional project materials and supplies from either the dollar store, or a thrift store. You will be pleasantly surprised at the stuff you’ll find!

You will notice that the majority of the projects and DIY ideas features on this site are either re-used, re-cycled, or re-purposed in some way. That is because those types of projects inspire me the most: the challenge of creating something beautiful out of something ordinary. I hope my projects inspire you to re-think your space and the items within it, and make something awesome!