DIY Bedside Table [Guest Post]

Today I’m doing something a little different and giving you a cool DIY project, presented by my good friend Christina. I had the pleasure of making friends with Christina last summer during our internships with American Eagle Outfitters. Her humor is infectious, and she’s such a stylish and resourceful fashionista… speaking of – go check out her blog, Resourceful Refinement!

So for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Christina. Nice to meet you.  I am a thrifter, couponer and all around frugal-living extraordinaire.  Having been relentlessly made fun of from my friends in college, I find it humorous how they all now (post-graduation) come running towards the frugal lifestyle. Go figure. My mantra is basically to not spend a fortune on anything when you can make, DIY or find it cheaper. This week, it was DIY.

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I just moved out of my mom’s house and into a friend’s apartment in Pittsburgh.  She had the home already decorated, but I still wanted to put my own spin on things since it would now be my home, too. First I started with the home cooking, like the Martha Stewart that I am [editor’s note: it’s my experience that, while Christina can cook, she cannot light a charcoal grill… and neither can I]. To give you an idea of what I was working with, my roommate did not even own baking pans. A regular dinner for her was chicken nuggets with mac and cheese. Delicious, but not nutritious. I then moved on to make us a small herb and flower garden, and now onto the furniture!

I was lucky enough to snag this great table from work… for free! It was on the “discard list” (aka throw it away), so it was up for grabs! First off, the table is amazing as it is.  I love all the little details on it that really set it apart from a regular old table.  BUT, I knew it could be snazzed up a bit. Now I am a DIY-er, but a lazy DIY-er. Well, I’m pretty lazy in life too. So I guess I’m just all around lazy.  So any DIY I do must be simple, easy, and cheap! Check, check, and check.

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DIY Bedside Table


  • Simple furniture to spice up
  • Mod Podge (I used matte mod podge, just as a personal preference)
  • Patterned paper (Get creative! Comic books, fashion mags, maps ect. If you are doing a larger piece of furniture and need larger paper than 18×24 try your local scrapbooking store or online)
  • Sandpaper
  • Scissors
  • Brayer & scraper (can be found at your local craft store, usually by or near the mod podge)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Clear Acrylic Sealer (not pictured, optional)
  • Pencil (optional)

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Like 2 seconds. Okay maybe a little longer. But practically 2 seconds.


First, you want to prep your surface.  Mine was wood furniture so I sanded down any areas that I would be mod-podging my paper on to.  Make sure you wipe it down after sanding to give you a nice clean surface, smooth as a baby’s bottom.

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Prepare your paper. Like I said before, I am lazy.  In order to get the right size and shape of your paper to be mod-podged, I go back and forth between using a pencil and creasing the paper down on the edges of the furniture. I left a little extra space widthwise on my paper to account for the corners on the table. Don’t forget to double check after you cut out your paper that it fits the area properly!

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Then, you mod-podge! Using your paintbrush, apply the mod podge to the furniture where you will place your paper. You want a medium coat, so you don’t end up with wrinkles on your paper.

Place your paper on and use your brayer and scraper to smooth out the wrinkles and get rid of the extra mod podge.  It works best when you work out from the center to smooth your paper. Don’t press too hard with your brayer and scraper or it will give you a thin coat of mod podge, giving your paper wrinkles (also the brayer works best for larger surfaces while the scraper works really well for corners and harder to reach places!).

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Go over your paper with another coat of mod podge. Even though it looks a little foggy, I assure you, the mod podge dries clear.  But I use the scraper to give thinner coats on top of the paper to avoid the extra step of sandpapering out the brush strokes when it dries.  It also helps to keep a few paper towels (wet and dry) nearby to wipe up the excess.

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You want to apply at least 3 coats of mod podge on top of the paper, waiting at least 20-30 minutes between coats.  Go make a sandwich, eat a smoothie (like I did), watch your dogs poop in the yard (also like I did), call your grandma, etc.

If you are mod podging and area that will be handled a lot (ex. dresser, top of a table), definitely do an extra one or two coats for good measure!  You may also want to seal it with clear acrylic sealer so it can withstand a little more.  Since my mod-podged area was on the side of the table, I opted out of using it. And Voila! Just to blow your mind, this entire DIY cost me $15.49. Tell me I’m not amazing and you would be lying.

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Be warned: this DIY is not for the freshly manicured. Mine clearly got destroyed.

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Have fun and happy thrifting!


More places to find Christina:
Twitter: @Cldaniels001
Instagram: @cldaniels001

Questions of the Day:
>> Do you ever DIY?

>> Are you into fashion/décor? I wish I was good at fashion and decorating… I like to imagine I could be :p