Starbucks Table

10 Jan

My coworker, Nick, loves Starbucks. A few months ago, he came to work with a Starbucks breakfast and commented that the bag it came in was such a nice, quality bag. Then I heard the following words… “I wonder if there’s any sort of project you could do with these Starbucks bags.” Music to my ears! I immediately did some Googling and sure enough, I found a really cool technique sort of like paper mache where people took brown paper and covered things such as countertops, tabletops and floors. I offered to make him a coffee table using the bags. Nick thought it was a great idea, we agreed on a fee and he amassed a small collection of the brown paper bags.

Nick didn’t have a table to refurbish, so I kept an eye on and finally found a table that was in his budget and suited his tastes. He bought the table, brought it to my house and I started working on it right away. I present to you – the Starbucks table! Brings new meaning to the term “coffee table,” huh?


Of course, it wouldn’t be a DIY blog unless I explained how I did it. Here is the raw material:


I used about a half dozen of the smaller bags, and one large bag (not pictured).


I tried disassembling the bags as best I could because I didn’t want to start tearing them up into pieces until I could look at them as a whole.


I actually was pretty thoughtful of what I was keeping intact (such as the word “Starbucks”) and what I was tearing apart. Here’s my nice pile of paper pieces.


I mixed one cup of regular Elmers glue (I bought the big jug) and two cups of water in a bucket.


Next, I crumpled up a few pieces of the paper and dipped them in the glue for about 30 seconds so they soaked up some of the glue.


After the paper was pretty well saturated in the glue mixture, I took them out one by one, uncrumpled them and flattened them out on the table. I started in the corners, then put the largest, full logo in the middle, making sure to overlap as I went and work all the air bubbles out. Crumple, dip, flatten, repeat.



This project was a lot of fun, but it ended up being one of the messiest projects I’ve ever done! When I started I fully intended to use rubber gloves. Yeah, that was wishful thinking. The gloves were too big for me and didn’t work anyway because I couldn’t feel the air bubbles. So my plan to try to keep things sort of clean completely went out the window. I had glue and little scraps of paper everywhere (including myself)!


Here’s how the table looked while it was still wet with glue.


I did do a few touch-ups and added some paper where I thought it looked a little thin. After the paper was fully dry (I waited overnight), the next step was to seal it all up with a polycrylic…eight coats to be exact. Yes, eight. I had to be happy with it before the polycrylic, because there was no going back!


Here’s a reminder of my topcoat of choice – it’s a water-based polycrylic in a semi-gloss. I like that it’s water-based because I can clean up my nice brushes with just water – you can’t do that with varnish. It looks milky but dries clear.


Here’s a close-up look at how the technique turned out:


I’m really happy with how it turned out, but I was more concerned with making my first customer happy. I brought it in to work, and what do you know…Nick came in with a cup o’ joe from his favorite coffee chain. How appropriate! (imagine how awkward it would have been if he walked in with Gloria Jean’s)


The happy customer. Thank you, Nick, for the opportunity to create such a cool piece. Enjoy!



6 Responses to “Starbucks Table”

  1. Ryan April 15, 2013 at 2:31 am #

    I really like this idea. I have a cheap little table I got a while back and was wondering how to spruce it up a little.The fun part is going to be deciding what to use for the top design. Thanks for the post! I just assembled a crate table of my own as well.

    • Sarah Rixen April 17, 2013 at 2:43 am #

      Thank you! It was so much easier than I anticipated – it’s pretty hard to screw it up because you can always add more paper. I’d love to try it with just regular brown paper if I can find something to cover. Do you have a blog? I’d love to see a picture of your crate table!

      • Ryan April 19, 2013 at 2:37 am #

        I don’t have a blog, but I’ll have to get one together. I actually had an old John Lennon Poster that I’m going to be working with for this idea. Being that it’s printed on a different type of paper I don’t know how it’ll turn out, but it’s always worth a try.

  2. Timothy Daniel June 5, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    This is a great idea! Have you thought about submitting it to Starbucks?

    • Sarah Rixen June 6, 2013 at 3:14 am #

      Thank you! I had thought about it, but not seriously. I’ll have to do some research to see where/how I might submit it. – Sarah

      • Timothy daniel June 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

        No problem! I came up with an idea to for starbucks, but mine would take about a million dollars to produce. It can go well with your table.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: