Tutorial: $50 Or Less DIY Marble Side Table

How to build a marble table for $50 or less.

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Y’all, I love marble. I really do. Does that make me basic?

Just kidding, I don’t care if I’m basic.

I needed a table for my bedside and I wanted a marble table a whole lot. I also wanted not to pay over a hundred dollars a whole lot. We have been looking idly at tile recently, in preparation for an upcoming tiling project, and I thought, “Hey, tile comes in marble and also square shapes, I could make a table out of one of those maybe.” So I did.

What I bought:

– an 18″ x 18″ marble tile from Floor & Decor, $9.50 (ish). I’m pretty sure I bought this one.

Note: Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Menard’s did not carry the 18 inch size of marble tile in their store, nor did The Tile Shop; it may take some looking around to find one if you don’t have a Floor & Decor nearby. I did find a porcelain tile at The Tile Shop that I almost used, and that would be okay in a pinch. You could also affix smaller tiles or mosaic tiles to a board, if you like that look; this would require some grout. Maybe some sweet metallic or other color grout. You could use crown molding or picture frame molding to make a decorative edge. It also doesn’t have to be a tile; you can find round marble trays or lazy Susans that you could convert to a table top, though they’re more expensive than a tile.

This basic construction method would work with all kinds of table shapes. If you wanted a different size or shape, you would just need to figure out how the legs would work. A perfectly symmetric round or polygonal shape would be the same idea, but you might want to peep some oblong or rectangular tables on Google Images if you wanted to do a longer shape. Or add a fourth leg.

– 3 table legs, $3.63 each, $10.89 total
– 1 can gold spray paint, $5.98. I used maybe $2 worth painting the legs.
– 3 angle leg plates, $2.28 each, $6.84 total
– 1 tube of Gorilla Construction Adhesive, $4.98. I used very little of this, less than $1 worth. I originally tried a different adhesive and it didn’t work that well; I highly recommend this exact adhesive if you can get it because I know it works very well.
– 3 wood blocks. I actually used scrap wood, but if you need to buy wood blocks, you can find plinth blocks like this near the crown molding. You might also be able to ask for scrap. Buying plinth blocks would set you back somewhere in the area of $5.64 to $7.74 (based on the prices I saw in the store vs. the prices I see online); just make sure they’re wide enough for the leg mounting plates, which are conveniently nearby. Also make sure to get blocks with flat surfaces so they adhere properly. It’s okay if they have decorative edges; it’s the middle that needs to adhere.

The plinth blocks I found in Lowe’s

This all comes out to $45.93 if you purchase the plinth blocks. Your prices may vary a bit depending on what you can find in marble tiles, blocks, and so forth. The price of just the materials I used was more like $30.23; I know I’ll use that gold spray paint on other projects, and I’ve already used the Gorilla adhesive again. It’s good stuff.

Step One: Prepare Your Legs

Table legs taped up and ready to paint

I wanted to paint my table legs partway with gold paint. This is optional, or you could use a totally different color paint. Tape the leg at the spot where you want the paint to stop and also tape over the hardware at the bottom, unless you want to paint that, too.

Not only did I tape up the legs like you see in the photo, but before painting, I also wrapped a plastic grocery bag around it like a skirt and taped that in place, so I wouldn’t get any stray paint on the part that I wanted to keep naked. Spray painting works best if you do a number of light coats instead of one heavy coat. This paint had good coverage, so I think I only did two coats. I didn’t love the paint that I got; it had an antique gold finish to it that was not what I was after. I may paint over it in the future. The one I used was a Valspar metallic shade.

After painting, drying in a chair with its skirt still on.

Also? Have an exit plan for these table legs before you start painting. I was scrambling to find something where I could prop up the leg without the painted part touching anything. Oops.

Step Two: Ready Your Legplates

The steps are pretty easy on this one:
– Position your leg plates where you want them on the blocks.
– Mark holes with a pencil.
– Drill holes where you marked with a small drill bit. If you don’t have a drill and you want to do this by hand, use a hammer and nail to make holes by hammering the nail where you marked the block and then pulling the nail back out, leaving a hole. (Clamp your block to something for best results.) Pilot holes help you get your screws to go where you want them when you attach your plates.
– Line the plate back up with the holes and attach with the screws it came with. Use a drill or a screwdriver to put the screws in the pilot holes. Be prepared to work harder if you’re not using a drill! It’s doable, though.

I used plates like these. They come in singles as well, but Lowe’s was out when I went to buy them.
Lined up more or less center-ly, but if it’s not exact, that’s fine.
My holes marked and drilled!
Done. I guess I didn’t take photos of myself drilling. That was probably dangerous.

Step Three: Attach Your Legplates

A seemingly easy thing, but I want to say that I totally did not line up my legplates right and my table is a little wobbly as a result. I wanted you to be able to avoid having to do geometry with angles on the fly (which I did try to do and which I screwed up–I am hella good at math but I guess not patient enough to get proper tools and draw things out), so I made you a template you can print out to line up your legs. You can get a 6″ template for an 18″ table top here.

To use the template:

-Cut out the circle and place it in the center of the underside of your tile.

-On your blocks, mark where the center of the raised edge of your plate is. (The plate has a higher edge and a lower edge, to make the leg sit at an angle. The higher edge should face toward the center, not the outside. Mark the center of the plate, not the center of the block. This is why it’s fine if your plates were not at the center of your block; it only matters where the plate is.)

-Line the mark on your block up with a mark on your circle; the center point should also be lined up with the center point of the circle. It’ll look something like this:

This is a very poorly drawn representation.

– Repeat for all three legs. This method should improve the spacing and angling over what I did. You could do this much more precisely with rulers and, I dunno, compasses or whatever, and better math. This is a quick and dirty method. To be honest, even with the slight wobble, my table is still super sturdy.

Once you have the spacing to your liking, use your Gorilla adhesive and glue those babies down to the underside of your tile. You will want to hold them in place according to the directions on the glue. I think it calls for a minute or so of holding the surfaces together.

Love.
I did not angle these correctly at all and that’s what I get for trying to eyeball it.

Step Four: Patience

Let the glue set. It needs to cure or your table will not be sturdy. Follow the directions on the glue.

Step Five: Assemble Your Table

Once the glue has cured, you can screw the legs (heh, that sounds super dirty) into the leg plates:

Take off the tape and such. And your table is done.

Ta-da!

This would have been a weekend project if I hadn’t had to hunt for my marble tile. You could probably be smarter than I was and call around, because the store I found the tile at was within walking distance of my house.

Oops.

I honestly love my table. It’s not the thickest table top and it’s rough around the edges–I didn’t do any polishing or finishing work to the tile itself–but that’s okay with me. If I had wanted a thicker table top or a professionally finished edge, it would have cost me a lot more time and money; I like the natural look of stone, so this works. (Though this reminds me: if you’re super industrious, you could call around to places that sell countertops to see if they have any marble remnants you could use instead of a tile.)

Next, I just need some better organization, because my table is already strewn with headphones and Carmex and gadgets and chargers. Sigh.

If you try this tutorial, tag me on social media or leave me a comment letting me know how it worked out! I’m @msdiscoglitter on IG and @thebooksluts on Twitter. The blog has been quieter than I mean it to be, but we have been ripping out our floors and painting our railing and lots of other household DIY. Plus, school has started again, so I’m knee-deep in reading and homework. Still, I have a lot of tutorials planned out and I’ll get to them when I can. Until then, happy DIYing!

Weekend Roundup: Get Your Macramé On

The blog has been quiet since I went on vacation last week, but I’ve been Pinterest-ing up a storm and I have a new obsession: fiber arts, up to and including macramé. I’ve dabbled in it previously–a former roommate taught me some basic knots for making jewelry–but I find myself wanting now to make big wall hangings or plant hangers. Here are the tutorials I’ve found along the way.

First, you can learn some basic knots from Red Heart or from Stonebrash Creative. These knots make up the foundation of your macramé products.

One project I know I want to make ASAP is this macramé herb garden from Sow & Dipity:

Or I might make these colorful quick plant hangers from Brit & Co out of t-shirt material (I so want all of the colors):

Crafty Patti on YouTube has a good tutorial for a wall-hanging that taught me some knots I didn’t already know!

I’m also looking real hard at these dip-dyed, lacy wall hangings from Green Wedding Shoes:

If you want to work smaller, upgrade your watchband with this tutorial from SMP Craft (changing a watch band is really, really easy and a great way to perk up a watch–I used to do watch repairs and battery changes as a job):

Or make this bracelet along with Macrame School:

Or go simpler with these really pretty macramé bracelets from Honestly WTF:

And Scissors and Steam made a dope reusable produce bag:

I love this macramé trivet from We Are Scout. It’s super minimalist and just classy AF. Probably too classy for me.

You can 100% incorporate macramé into your wardrobe, too. Check this racerback tank from Trash To Couture:

Which you can wear while you lounge in your macramé hammock:

Go forth and knot, friends.

All images belong to the associated sites.

Weekend Roundup: 8 Tutorials for Coloring Techniques

Welcome to Weekend Roundup, where I gather up all of my craftaholic tendencies and give you the best of what I find. This week, coloring techniques! Because sj and I have been coloring up a storm and it’s fun as hell, but also I like to be good at things so I’ve been trying to get better at colored pencils.

(What, you say? It’s Monday, you say? I’m a little late, yes, but better late than never!)

First: A tutorial about blending that I found really helpful. It covers five different methods of blending that anybody can do.

Check out this tutorial from DeviantArt user wysoka if you want some tips on how to color and shade fabrics.

Also, this rad tutorial on coloring in gemstones. Those gemstones look so great and I want to color all the gems now.

But if you’re more into pearls, this tutorial’s got you covered:

Craftsy has a list of colored pencil techniques that you can try, including a sweet wax resist technique called “indenting.”

How to use pastels to fill in a background on a coloring page:

Tuts+ teaches us the two-layer technique for blending realistic and out-of-the-box colors.

An extremely detailed skin tutorial from Carol Moore: Part 1 and Part 2.

What are your favorite coloring techniques? Drop me a comment and let me know.

Bullet Journal On A Budget: Bujo Supplies That Are Rad and Cheap

You might have heard of bullet journals on Facebook, BuzzFeed, or from your favorite highly-organized person. I am not an organized person. Not naturally, anyway–I tend to have that constant state of creative disorganization, where I roughly know what’s happening and where things are, but you would never call this feat of juggling “organized.” This was fine when I was 25, but almost ten years later, we have a mortgage and shit. I need to be some semblance of organized and on time.

Enter the bullet journal, or “bujo” for short. It’s a system wherein you take a blank notebook and fashion your own planner. You can make it as fancy or as plain as you like–I tend toward the plain, though I like to make a grid calendar for the month, which is a little fancy for a system that is mostly based on lists. Many people do whole big layouts (or “spreads”) with lots of boxes and elements, habit trackers that let you keep tabs on whether you’re doing the things you want to do as often as you want to do them, ongoing lists for things like books you’ve read or projects you’ve completed or things you want to buy, tracking goals such as saving money or going to the gym–the idea is that, because the notebook is blank, it is flexible for the things you need it to do. (Get a more coherent overview at the bullet journal site and prepare to fall down a rabbit hole of wanting to be more productive.)

My bullet journal is pretty plain, honestly. I have a calendar for the month and my daily lists of things to do. I use the opposite page for a running to-do list and sometimes meal planning. I find that it helps me a lot, though. I have issue with executive dysfunction–aka, my brain is not always good at arranging things into do-able steps so that I can then do the things–so a space to write down what I want to do corrects for some of that.

If you’re familiar with bullet journals at all, you know that people get really into them. Like really-really. The feature image for this post says that you can get all the supplies in the photo for $22; some people spend that on one notebook. I’m certain that it’s a fabulous notebook, but I do not have that kind of spare income for a notebook. Bare minimum, you could always get started with just a plain notebook and a pen and spend literally just a couple of dollars; however, I found a few supplies that are both enjoyable and inexpensive, which I think gives me a good cross between value and fun-itude (that’s … not even close to a word, I’m sorry).

image from DickBlick.com

Fabriano EcoQua Dot Glued Notebook, $4.79

A lot of serious bullet journalers use the dot notebooks from Moleskine and Leuchtturm. These notebooks are great, but they also come with heavier price tags. I found the Fabriano EcoQua at Blick’s (where I actually bought all of these things in person, so I didn’t factor in shipping costs). I liked that it was dotted, bright yellow, smaller than the composition book I used for my first bullet journal, and that it was around five bucks. I didn’t love the fact that the covers are not glued all the way on; I worried that, with regular use, pages might start to fall out without the spine reinforcing it. That hasn’t happened yet, though, and I’ve been using it almost daily since January.

It also comes in red, green, orange, black, and gray, in case bright yellow is not as exciting for you as it is for me.

image from DickBlick.com

Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners, $0.85

I love this pen. I love it more than the Staedtler fineliners, and that’s practically blasphemy among the bullet journal crowd. I have four different colors of these that I use for my bullet journal. You really only need one, but at less than a dollar a pen, I could afford to have a couple of different colors. I use black for my actual content (hence why I have a spare), purple to write down what day it is and to note special things in my calendar, blue to mark lines between days, and aqua/turquoise to note special things in my daily logs (eg, if I had lunch with a friend, I mark it with a heart and their name in aqua; if I ordered something online, I mark the day I ordered it so I can remember to expect it; etc). These pens work great, don’t bleed in the Fabriano notebook, and I like that they’re orange and hex-shaped.

6″ Ruler, $2.47. I just like having a ruler to make grids and lines. I inevitably forget that my finger has mass and ruin at least one line in my calendar every month, but that’s here nor there; this ruler is good because it’s small enough for my pencil pouch and has cork on the back to prevent slippage.

image from DickBlick.com

Tombow Brush Pens, $2.36 (Very Optional)

I admit it: I only even bought a brush pen so I could have a chartreuse pen. I don’t even really use the gray one in the feature image up there. I used it a bit when I first bought it, but I mainly now just use the green one for highlighting or making the lettering on my monthly calendar look . . . well, “pretty” is a strong word. I suck at lettering.

image from Blue Q

Recycled Art Supplies Pouch from Blue Q, $5.99

I saw this at the last minute by the checkout when buying my bullet journal supplies, and I did the heart-eyes face in real life. Sure, there are certainly less expensive pencil pouches if you want to go super-budget, but if you decide or are able to splurge a little, Blue Q pouches support the Nature Conservancy. They also have lots more rad designs if that particular one doesn’t blow your bubble.

That’s it. That’s my whole bullet journal rig (plus two brush pens I honestly barely use) for $22. Got your own bullet journal secrets? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear!

Weekend Roundup: 6 Awesome Shibori Tutorials

I wanted to try to start doing roundup posts (though I can’t promise one every weekend) because I fall down a LOT of craft-tutorial rabbit holes. I’m not the kinda girl who wants to look at one tutorial and do what’s in the tutorial; I want to look at as many tutorials as I can find until I really have a grasp on what I’m doing. I will watch so many YouTube videos.

This week, my research topic has been Shibori fabric dyeing techniques. Shibori-dyed fabrics are similar to tie-dyed fabrics, but with a lot more different variations of techniques. The overall concept is “resist” dyeing, or blocking off parts of the fabric so that they don’t get dye on them and other parts do, making a pattern with the dye. Psychedelic tie-dye isn’t everyone’s style choice, but Shibori patterns can be more subtle and fit many different styles.

Without further ado, here are some awesome tutorials I found that will help you learn all about Shibori, too!

image from Honestly WTF

DIY Shibori from Honestly WTF. This is a really good start-to-finish tutorial that goes over how to work with the dye (a little bit less straightforward than Rit but nothing to panic about) and some cool techniques to use. Fun fact I learned from this tutorial: Indigo-dyed cloth looks GREEN until it oxidizes!

image from Seamwork Magazine

Shibori Dyeing from Seamwork Magazine. This tutorial explores a lot of traditional Shibori techniques, including the Japanese names for the techniques. This article has fun facts about dyes and some techniques not covered in the first tutorial.

Indigo Shibori Dyeing Techniques from Closet Case Patterns. More examples of patterns you can make.

Shibori With Stitch Resist (Video Above). Another way of making patterns with thread. The pattern for the orange design isn’t shown in the video, but there’s a PDF with instructions under the video.

image from In Color Order

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial from In Color Order. LOTS of different techniques documented and some additional Shibori resources at the end.

Feeling inspired? Want to see more? I made a Shibori board on Pinterest that you can follow here.

Featured image background from Honestly WTF, Seamwork Magazine, and In Color Order.