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 bismanonline.com 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?

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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)!

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

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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!

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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.

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

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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)

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

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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.

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