Making an Easy, Custom Kid’s Table

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Let me start by saying that 90% of my decorating is really problem solving. Sure, I buy pretty things from time to time for no reason, but the bulk of things brought into my house are intended to serve a purpose or two or three all while still being something that I like to look at.

Beckett’s room is pretty small and that’s okay, he’s tiny and doesn’t have a clue. That simply means I’ve really got to be smart about the things that go in there and creative with storage. The rug in there is almost an 8×10′ and you can see it’s pretty much wall to wall. Like I said, tiiiny room.

I still wanted the room to be a place for him to play in. I knew I wanted a table, but every option I saw was wrong—wrong price, wrong size, wrong shape, wrong wrong wrong. In my head I knew what I was looking for, there was already too many rectangle furniture pieces and a circle would be a nice reprieve from all the angles in the tiny room. Have I said that already?

One day walking through Target (this happens often) I walked past this little white accent table and it immediately clicked. I did a thorough inspection of the piece and did a run through in my head of how I would assemble it. Then I went home and bought it online, I usually save money online stacking coupon codes. Plus I had a gift card that covered this, score! 

What I love about this project is how easily it could be converted, different base, different table top size. I’ve always felt like these Target accent tables are a tad limited. I mean, thanks for holding my drink and half of a magazine, so thoughtful. This could make a great end table or coffee table that actually holds real stuff for real people.

So let’s get to it. Here’s the list of everything I used to make this table.

• Pine Wood Table Top (I used the 30″ top)
• Target Side Table (The copper version is to die for!)
• Industrial Strength Velcro
• White Paint
• Paint brush
• Sander
• Johnson Paste Wax (I’m such a fan of this product!)

Custom Kid Table_08The very first thing I did was sand  the top. Pine is fairly rough and you’ll notice a huge difference after. DON’T skip this step.

After that I put a white wash on it. Originally, I was going to paint it solid white but realized the whites might not match up and I knew that would forever bother me so I went with something that was more obviously contrasting. For the wash, I did about 2/3 paint to 1/3 water, mixed it then brushed it on.

Once dried, I used the paste wax to give it a subtle polish and seal. It’s incredibly simple to use. Apply generously, allow to dry and then buff off. That’s all I did to the table top. Sand, Paint, Wax.

Custom Kid Table_01 Do you see what I mean about how small these table tops are? Maybe I’m the only one it irritates.Custom Kid Table_02

I decided for me, the best route to attach the top to the table would be something that was removeable (hopefully.) That’s why I chose velcro instead of glue or drilling into both pieces. A little goo gone and I could repurpose down the road if needed.

Custom Kid Table_03 I chose to apply the velcro to the base first so that I could place it on the underside of the table top to get it as centered as possible. Custom Kid Table_04

Close enough. It’s kind of a one shot thing and I’m not typically one who “measures”. Mostly because Beckett is always playing with the measuring tapes and not his actual toys.

Custom Kid Table_05Step back and observe. Again, good enough! I already had this chair gifted to me by my mom via Craigslist ($20). Awesome. The height of the table is peeerfect for this chair. I couldn’t be happier!

Custom Kids Table_09Custom Kids Table_10Here’s a couple close ups of the top. You can see I left a fair amount of wood grain there and the top is suuuper smooth.

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He has so many rustic earthy elements in his room I really wanted a lighter contrast to all of that and this table came out exactly how I hoped it would! After one bout of creativity on it, I quickly realized I wanted a dedicated tablecloth and not a trash bag. The solution for that will be up later this week!

Custom Kid Table_07  Watching a kid create something is just about the best. Any fun kid projects that I should bring into his life?

A Summer Bedroom

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A perpetually unmade bed. Crisp, white linens. A whirring ceiling fan. Fresh garden clippings. Deliciously scented candles. This is summer, according to my bedroom. This room has always taken the lead as the most finished room in the house, the one I’ve paid the most attention to the details. I take so much ownership in “my space” and hold this retreat in high regard.

I believe summer is about being unapologetically easy. When it comes to clothes, throw on a sundress and sandals and you’re good to go. Why should a room be any different? I prefer simple bedding, easy to drape over the bed with a few pillows and call it made.



White is by no means exclusive to summer, but I wanted an overall brighter feel in here. Switching sheets was the first thing on my list.  I have two sets of sheets to switch between. I would have a million more, but good bedding is an investment and I believe in quality over quantity. I always preach that to my younger sister’s friends or anyone who will listen, really. Don’t just buy something because it is cheap! Buy because you LOVE it and is a QUALITY piece. If you’re not sure where to start, Parachute Home has a great selection of luxury bedding that can blend into any style and is perfect for the summer months. My next bedding purchase will likely be a new linen duvet. My current one has popcorn butter stains on it from a certain monkey  I gave birth to. Also, coasters people.

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This doesn’t just pertain to color. In this case, I put the down comforter on hold and kept the ivory quilt for those warm summer nights with an extra throw blanket in case. I also reduced the pillow collection so that most of them could stay on the bed and weren’t just there for decoration. I prefer my summer bed unpretentious and one that doesn’t have to be made perfectly with hospital corners and karate chopped pillows.



Sometimes it’s nice to change things up for no other reason than to re-appreciate the things you already own, but in a different arrangement. I borrowed the pillows and throw from my living room and gives it just enough of a change without costing anything extra. Often, I find that the new spot looks more intentional that the original location. I doubt these will go back to the living room 🙂

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Every so often, clutter tends to accumulate and I’ll have a day that I go around, sort and organize to free up the nightstands and dressers. It’s mentally relaxing to see a blank space instead of piles of papers, books, drink cups sprawled about. It’s hard to me to fall asleep with too much junk hanging around my nightstand. Even more than that, I go through my accessories and clothing to move some of that around too. It’s hard to even look at sweaters when all I want to wear is a bikini.



Candles live in my house year round, always seasonal appropriate.  This one  from Anthropologie is a recurring purchase in Santiago Huckleberry. Plus, I love the little containers they come in.



This is one of my favorite free changes. I’ll walk in my backyard, find something that’s flowering, cut some stems, check for bug and throw in a vase! Free flower finds are my second favorite kind of flowers, these are from my crepe myrtle. Bouquets being GIVEN to me will obviously take that number one slot. I love being outdoors and nothing quite perks me up the same as having fresh blooms to wake up to.



In Oklahoma, the ceiling fan runs just about 24/7. I’ve been debating whether I would replace it with a chandelier and get a stationary fan. For now, the overhead stays, but I always check to make sure the blades are running in the forward direction to bring the air down. My fan had a switch on the base that indicates which way is best with little icons. It’s helpful for me because I have a hard time remembering little details like this.

Anything I missed? What else do you do for your summer bedroom? I’d love to hear!

Beckett’s Room, the Original

The other day, I had an odd compulsion to redecorate Beckett’s room. Redecorate may be too strong of a word, I just wanted to give it an update. I quickly tidied up just to snap a few pics of the current state. I regret not having many photos of where Beckett lived the first year of his life, I thought there would be too many unpleasant memories brought back by looking at photos of a house that wasn’t ours, but it couldn’t be more opposite. There were so many fond memories created at my former in-laws home as we lived there for a year trying to figure out what was next.

We moved into this house almost two years ago. Back when Beckett still slept in a crib, and by himself for the whole night. So before the curtains and pictures came off the wall, I wanted to remember our first house together, his first room. So here is it the “original” room since I wouldn’t really call it a before.

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Becketts room_Before_05And here’s the little boy himself. I’m not going to go crazy with changes, I just want to freshen and brighten things up. Rearrange some art, make it function better for a busy two, almost three!, year old .

Watercolor Birthday Invitations

I had a fun little job last month, I painted some flowers for a birthday invitation and can I just say, I love that people send out invitations for birthdays. Not just kiddie invitations, I mean, those are great too. Grown up invitations, how fun.

Occasionally, people ask me about my process and how I design things. Sometimes I’ll paint individual elements and then piece it together in photoshop. Others, like this, I do all in one pass and then tweak colors and scale with photoshop. I wanted to show the original painting to see how and where it differs! Colors doesn’t always come out how I would like with paint, but I don’t let it phase me and just keep moving forward.

This suite ended up being printed on white gold metallic paper. I’ll print small jobs on my home computer, but will mount the invitation on one to two pieces of paper with spray adhesive to give it some extra rigidity. It carries a little more presence that way than a flimsy sheet of paper. I’ll post a how-to someday just so I can clearly explain what I’m talking about. The triple thick paper got paired with a matte wine envelope and gold addressing top it all off!

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If you’re interest in custom invitations or announcements email me at gloriajoyink(at)gmail(dot)com. I’ll get you set up with a quote and help your ideas come to life!

Leather Initialed Tote

I love problem solving. There’s something so thrilling to me about finding a solution by repurposing and combining other items. Lately, I’ve found myself in need of a giant bag. Whenever I get home, it takes me three trips to the car to unload everything I couldn’t grab the first or second time. Or when I’m meeting a client and have to bring three bags with me, a purse, computer bag and a second purse to hold my paper samples and portfolio. I got lucky the other day and thought about this problem while I was in a place to do something about it. Usually I’m in the car on the way to work, in the shower or crawling into bed. You know, you always think about the need to do list when you’re in no way able to do anything about it.

So I find myself in Target the other day and everything is on sale, endorphins are at a high and I throw this bag into my cart after browsing the swimsuits and head straight to the toddler clothing without thinking twice. It was exactly what I needed, simple and unpretentious. I literally wanted a bag to dump everything inside of, a la Mary Poppins.


Armed with the right sized bag, I wanted a little extra pizzazz. I was recently in West Elm shopping for a leather sofa (not mine, sad face) and had some leather swatches from the trek. I almost threw them away, but WHO THROWS AWAY LEATHER. Certainly not me. These samples are free, by the way. I thought about a few different things, ultimately deciding on a single letter G. Then I turned to my good friend Helvetica and printed it out exactly as large as the swatch. It helps to have a design program. I default to InDesign, always. Can I just take a moment and proclaim my obsession for fonts? I can’t go to MyFonts without buying something. I seriously want ALL the fonts.

UntitledI had two free samples from West Elm and flipped over the one I ended up using. In retrospect, I might’ve used the smoother one for this if I were to do it again, I think I like the contrast between the fabric and leather better. Who really cares anyway. Moving on.


Once the paper letter was cut out, I laid it on the leather to create my outline. I used a sharpie that wasn’t too far off from the leather so if my cut wasn’t precise there wouldn’t be black marks on the leather I would have to keep trimming down. I also used a ruler and exacto knife for the straight edges. Worked better for me that way.

I got it all cut then cleaned the edges to get ready to apply it.


I used my favorite adhesive, Super 77 and put a thick coat on the back of the letter. The only thing I don’t like about that spray adhesive is how it gets all over my fingers. This coming from the girl who accidentally superglued her knees together and spent ten minutes freaking out about getting it undone. I mean, I always wanted to be a mermaid, who didn’t, just not like that.

My tips for spray adhesive are nothing new, have an adequate surface underneath, overspray happens and it’s hard to get that tacky out, make sure it’s in a well ventilated area, and do a test spray. The glue tends to build up on the nozzle from previous use and what I think will spray straight on isn’t always the case; so says the side of my face. How boring glue is, sorry.


Here it is all done! The glue keeps it on pretty tight and haven’t had any problems with it yet.


So there it is, the bag that says, “Why yes, I made it out of the car with all the diapers, socks, shoes, hot wheels, coffee cups, phone, loose papers and fast food bags all in one trip.” Now if only this bag would vacuum my car. That would be heaven.

Thrifting Finds

I love antiquing, scouring craigslist, thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales. There are just so many items out there that deserve a new home and many great deals to find. I browse Craigslist on a regular basis and while, there plenty of people trying to make a buck and overpricing their makeover finds and plenty of fake leather, there occasionally a few gems crammed in between.
Untitled UntitledThis is my gem. I saw this chandelier listed for $60 and emailed about it right away. I loved the petals on it. It’s something I haven’t seen a thousand times over so I was totally drawn to it. Plus, sixty bucks, I couldn’t say no. I wasn’t sure what I’d do with it at first, but I decided I’ll hang it in my living room. Bye, bye, ceiling fan.

UntitledI found these glasses with gold rims and filigree from a thrift store and couldn’t pass on them. I’ve had a thing for glasses lately and have been wanting to collect any and everything. Space is a bit limited at my house, so I’m “curating” the collection and putting some in storage, makes me so sad.
UntitledAt another antique store, I passed by this flatware set and remarked how it was pretty great, upon closer inspection, realized what a great deal it was too. A full set of 12 brass and teak flatware, not missing a single thing. Some of which is still unopened. It also included 9 serveware pieces all for $60 and even got the world’s cutest brass golf club for Beckett. He’s already put the flatware to use, and I can’t wait to myself! I want to use this everyday, just not sure if that’s a great idea. But oh boy, am I in love with this flatware.

Chandelier Makeover

It all started with Craigslist. I browse the local antiques and furniture section on a regular basis and saw a chandelier I HAD.TO.HAVE. It was interesting, pretty and cheap. The trifecta. So I bought it. And got it home. It is brass and came with 6 black shades in decent condition, but I preferred the new-to-me fixture without the shades. (Photos to come, I promise.) This new fixture is a little large and the only reasonable place to put it is in the living room. Attic, not an option. Cause I love this chandy.

UntitledAnyway, it’s sitting in my living room waiting to be polished and hung, but was feeling a little frustrated that it didn’t really go with my dining chandelier and they’re literally right next to each other. I didn’t need it to match, just not feel so disjointed. So I decided to see about changing the style of the dining room light. Above is before the edits.
First up was the black shades, which I liked! Surprise, it’s free. That’s awesome. I still felt it needed a bit more so I gave a lame first attempt at gold leafing. Not a total fail, it was just going to take way more time than I was willing to invest to brush glue on by hand so I went the drive thru route instead of the sit down restaurant and this time, for me, it was better that way.

It helped to remember that the extension came off completely, so I didn’t have to deal with anything while hanging.

I brought in the best spray adhesive known to man, Super 77. This stuff is seriously the best spray adhesive. Every so often I need to pick up an emergency can of spray adhesive and can’t always find this stuff in the store so I’m forced to pick up whatever other brand is there and I will say, nothing compares. Once you’ve used this, it’s hard to use anything else. I try to always have some in inventory and I really think any crafter should have this.

I layed it all out and sprayed it with the adhesive getting it coated all the way around.

Then I straight up dropped it in my bag of gold leaf. I’ve had this bag lying around for way too long and haven’t used it. I didn’t know if this method would work and at that point I figured I might as well try.

Well it did work. I scraped as much excess of when pulling it out of the bag, brushed the rest of the flakes off with my hands, screwed them back in to place and stepped back to bask in the satisfaction of accomplishing the mission.

Lights on, lights off. Can’t wait to get the other light up!