How do you wrap a table with paper: Bravo Babbo!

That old and ugly table, worth a couple dollars, which I had home, had to be thrown in the trash… Instead, I told myself: ”Why not try and decorate it with some decorative paper?”. Furthermore, during this period in lockdown, the only thing that doesn’t lack is free time.

For a moment, I felt like one of those beautiful women, expert in do-it-yourself, who with very little money and materials, can furnish a 15 room house. Kind of like an italian Martha Stewart (I wish Mrs Stewart will excuse me for such an imaginative comparison…).

After just a few seconds, I panicked. In my life I had never done anything similar, maybe, 45 years ago, when  I was in pre-school,  I made a little craft works for Mother’s Day. Maybe, a too poor curriculum…

The decision had already been taken, that table HAD TO BE decorated with the decorative paper. I don’t hide the fact that I took a while to decide how to proceed with my action plan, in particular, choosing which design to use between the numerous available. The only thing that I wasn’t missing, were decorative papers….

In Rossi 1931’s  family business, decorative paper is firstly designed and drawn and subsequently produced and sold. In addition, this 3 generation old business also offers many other products in the stationery field. While checking the catalogue, trying to find the perfect paper for my “ugly table”, I felt for the first time on the other side, In this case, i was a not experienced do-it-yourself client with a very ugly table to decorate!

A catalogue sample book with over 350 different designs to choose from is at first very disorienting, but magically the perfect one popped in front of my eyes.  Code #LTP 065. It was the best fitting, a simple yet elegant floral design. Decorative paper printed with old fashioned machineries, the same that my grandfather Antonio used, with the letterpress technique on a beautiful and resistant  110 gsm sheet of paper. Obviously, the resistance characteristic reassured a rookie like I am.

Materials: 2 sheets of paper (inch. 28×40 – cm 70×100), scissors, vinyl glue, a brush and of course a gin tonic.

Yes, you read correctly, a gin tonic! The drink is essential, it makes everything easier and can also induce creativity to a miner and it was needed in this case.

Spring time, tuscan countryside,  beautiful yet windy day, I still decide to use my garden as the set for this project. Ps. …and the wind definitely helps the glue dry faster.

I put all of the necessary in front of me and decide to start with the most important thing, so I took a sip at my gin tonic!

I started by cutting the decorative paper in 20 by 20cm (inch. 7.90×7.90) squares and some 20 by 10cm (inch. 7.90×4) rectangles, theoretically, glueing small pieces of paper instead of an entire sheet should be easier. Furthermore, I love the patchwork effect. Then, I start by glueing and positioning the rectangle pieces prepared before on the perimeter of the table, folding the paper over and under along the edges. Obviously, all with my bare hands. 5 minutes of well deserved rest time because I was very surprised  of how it was turning out. Back to work! I position the first square in one of the angles and I proceed by positioning the others keeping in mind that it is very important to perfectly align all of them. Use the glue or it wont stick to the table.

Thanks to my experience in the field, I know that when glueing paper, this may deform. Fortunately, not in this case. The paper is of course the best you can find and as the owner, I can assure that, but in addition, a heavier sheet of paper always helps. If I’d used a poor quality paper that weighted for example 60 gsm  instead of 110, the squares which I have glued would have deformed and wont have fit together.

A glue brushstroke after the other, in not a long time, I finish positioning all of the squares on the table’s surface. Subsequently, I let the glue dry for a while always keeping an eye on it to be sure that the paper has successfully attached. At this point, I lay with the brush, a very thin layer of glue on top of the paper, so that when dry, it will protect the tabletop.

I then finally let it dry under the sun and the spring breeze for about ten minutes and it’s the perfect excuse to finish my drink while relaxing.

The final result, I confess, is way over all of my initial expectations. Without any damage (to the house!) and having lots of fun, I have now a brand new table to furnish my house.

I screw the table’s legs back on and put it in one of my children’s room. The new table has had a great success and the kids love it and now use it to play and study.

Good job dad!

I nearly forgot… The realization time is about of one hour, but sipping a drink, which I HIGHLY recommend it takes about 2 hours and a half. Let me know!

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