Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Do You See What I See?

When we bought our house a year ago, the previous owners left us all kinds of goodies: couches, tables, folding chairs, dishes, hangers, you name it. They even brought us back a TV table that they had taken to their new house but couldn't find a place for it. I found a place for it (under my TV). Most of the things they left behind were welcome and appreciated, but there were a few things that I must say are just not to my taste, such as all the little ceramic, resin, and plastic creatures living in the flower beds.

I started to box up the bunnies, foxes, squirrels, and raccoons today, thinking that I might sell them in my yard sale, and I came across this:

I can only guess that this was originally a plant stand. The little tile on top has a faded relief of irises and other flowers and the base is a little rusty. As you can see, the two pieces are no longer one. I almost tossed this in the box with all the rest, but then I had my epiphany. So now that you've had a look at it, do you see what I see? There is a striking similarity between this little plant stand and a

Wrought iron mosaic tile top patio table. You see it now? This particular "patio table" is just the perfect size for my son's GI Joes, who have the kitchen sink, but are conspicuously missing the kitchen table. (It was on the list of things my son said they needed last time we worked on his GI Joe house.)

The backside of the tile top had rust marks on it from the base, but it was pretty smooth, so that's the side I used for the top of the GI Joe table. You knew this was going to turn into an art project, right? Of course you did.

I painted the top with white acrylic paint (titanium white, if you must know), and coated the base in mars black to seal away the rust. Next comes the fun part: adding the "mosaic tile design":

I keep a box of nail polish, not for the purpose of polishing nails (silly), but for art projects (duh). Some of this is old stuff that I used way back in the high school days (the grayish color used to be a light purple--senior prom, I think), and other bottles were purchased just for the purpose of making art. Unlike paint, nail polish dries with a shiny, jewel-like sheen, perfect for turning my tile into a faux mosaic.

Because the table had four legs, I decided to divide the table into fourths and start painting on the polish. Do unto one section what you do unto the other, the golden rule for this type of "mosaic" effect.

Continue building on what you started with. Don't get upset if it's not perfect, it's a toy after all. I think the imperfections add charm--that's my story, at least, and I'm sticking to it!

You can stop when you feel your design is finished, leaving as much or as little white space as you desire.

When the top was done, I used white school glue to affix the top to the base. I'll let you know how that works out when the glue is dry. I am a firm believer that not all glues are created equal, but I do not have a large adhesive selection to choose from (hot glue, Elmer's or glue stick). I've heard rumors of a magical glue called E-6000 that will adhere plastic and metal, but I have not yet fulfilled my quest to retrieve said adhesive from the mystical land of retail. I'm also thinking I need some Outdoor Mod Podge (who knew they made such things? Thank you, Internet, for opening mine eyes!). Anyhow, I digress.

My kid wanted to play with it right away, but alas it was bedtime, and the glue and nail polish are still wet. I advised him it should be dry by morning. How early do you think he'll get up and try to play with it? Here's hoping if it's before seven, he plays quietly **winks**. 


  1. ah, thank goodness that Joe is now civilized!! ha! Great idea! I probably would have thrown it in the yard sale box!

  2. Very clever! Now he just needs to invite Barbie over for dinner to impress her. :D

  3. The table is now set up in the GI Joe House dining room and the tea service is set out. I would have figured the Joes for coffee drinkers, but apparently they prefer something more civilized with their crumpets.