Create A Crafty Table For The Kids

  • Kid's table with pencils cast into tabletop

This table looks designer but is quite easy to make. Built from MDF and pine, the resin top is cast and then attached separately.

To cast the resin, choose a flexible straight-sided plastic storage tub with a base the size you want the tabletop to be.

Mark a line on the inside of the tub to use as a guide for the thickness of the tabletop when pouring the resin.

Use the plastic tub to make the resin cast then embed pencils, buttons and other items before it fully cures.

Pour a layer of resin on top to seal it. The second pour will seep down the sides of the cast and can create air pockets underneath which will be on the top of the table, so they must be removed before the resin sets.

To remove air pockets, simply rock the plastic tub from side to side and gently tap it on a hard work surface.

For the table, trace around the cast on a 1200 x 900 x 6mm piece of MDF, about $9, and cut to size with a jigsaw.

Secure pine furniture legs, costing about $2 each, with adhesive and 30mm x 8g screws then paint the table using sample pots, about $8 each.

TIP Most things can be embedded in resin but porous or paper items need to be sealed with PVA adhesive.

Step 1. Pour the resin

Wipe the plastic tub with baby oil. Combine the resin and activator in an ice-cream container, mix gently to minimise air bubbles then pour into the tub mould. Let the resin set for two hours or until the consistency of jelly.

Step 2. Finish the cast

Position the decorative items and press gently to embed in the half-set cast, then mix more resin and pour a layer over the top to seal them in.
TIP Resin shrinks slightly as it cures so it may pull away from the mould sides.

Step 3. Cut the MDF

Let the resin cast cure for 24 hours then wipe with soapy water to remove any residual oil from the mould. Position it on the MDF sheet, tracing around it to cut out the piece with a jigsaw, sanding any rough edges.

Step 4. Paint the table

Apply a primer and two coats of white acrylic to the MDF tabletop using a paintbrush for the edges and a roller for both sides of the top, sanding lightly between coats. Paint four pine furniture legs then leave to dry.

Step 5. Add the legs

Drill 2mm pilot holes for the legs in the MDF top. Apply construction adhesive and position the legs in the corners on the underside, securing from the top with screws. Fill, sand and paint over the screw heads.

Step 6. Secure the tabletop

Apply a blob of clear construction adhesive to the corners of the MDF tabletop, position the resin and clamp until dry. Cover the resin with a cloth to prevent scratches and don’t clamp too tightly or it may crack.

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