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Chalkcloth Transforms a Card Table

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So, my card table had seen better days.  The cheap vinyl covering had scratches and tears, so it always required a tablecloth.  My usual solution was to cover with a piece of chalkcloth - instant fun kids table!  A great solution, but still the table was lacking. ugly cardtable card table

This project was definitely easy, took about an hour of actual work time and had minimal pain in the #$%  annoyances. Do learn from my mistake, take a staple that works in your staple gun to the store so you buy the right size, nothing like a hardware store run to kill your project mojo. Tools Wrench - the screws that held the tabletop to the frame had no slot or philips head, just a hex. So a bit of a pain, still minor. Small flat head screwdriver - to remove staples Scissors Staple gun with 1/4" staples Hammer Supplies Chalkcloth 1" bigger all the way around then the table top, mine was 33.5" so I used a 36" sq of chalkcloth 1/4" staples (tabletop is 1/4" hardboard) Prep Cut Chalkcloth to size and make sure all the wrinkles are out of it.  Easy way, lay it out in the sun on a warm day, it will amaze how soft and pliable it becomes, or use a hair dryer ( a warm iron, iron backside with a pressing cloth - but pay attention to what you are doing, this could ruin your project before you even start- but hey I know how you roll- I live on the craft edge too). Flip your table over and remove the top.  The screws on mine had to be removed with a wrench to grab the hex top, a little more effort than using a screwdriver and slightly annoying, but there are only 12.
Disassembling card table
Take the flat head screwdriver and pry off all the staples to remove the previous vinyl.  Have a vaccuum handy they can fly about and they hurt when stepped on - another mistake of mine.
Readying top for stapling chalkcloth.
Now on a hard surface - not carpeted - lay down your flat piece of chalkcloth and center the top.  Cut a little bit away at the corners, follow the curve of the tabletop.  Why hard surface?  Keeps the chalkcloth from shifting and more importantly lets the staple  gun do its job ( started out on carpet and learned the lesson quickly).  The tabletop cannot have a soft/bouncy surface that will absorb the force of the staple otherwise ZERO staples will go in the board (another lesson learned by me for you). Time for some power tool fun!  Start stapling along one side - complete it then do the opposite side.  The chalkcloth has no give so there is no need to do the typical upholstery technique.  Just pull it taunt when you start the opposite side just to make sure the wrinkles are out.  Then do the other two sides.  The corners need little pleats, big pleats  staples will not go in, plus it looks better and lies flatter with little pleats.
Corner stapled with little pleats
Take the hammer and give all the staples a little tap to secure a bit better.  Rub your hand around the edge just to make sure none of the staples got to close to the edge and are poking out - another lesson learned. Flip it over, take a peek  - looks good.  Time to add the frame back. It will take a little persuasion, but the frame will fit over those clips.  Then reattached with the screws. Set it up and TaDaa!  Fab new chalkcloth card table!
Done!  Chalkcloth covered cardtable!
Give it a try!

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3 comments

  • […] your card table need a makeover like mine does? Check out Christy's, of tadaa!, tutorial on how to give an old card table a new look with a chalk cloth […]

    How-To: Chalk Cloth Card Table @Craftzine.com blog on
  • What a fantastic idea! And thanks for linking to where we can buy chalkcloth online. That’s not something I’ve seen before.

    Jamie on
  • […] love this idea for freshening up an old folding table (@ […]

    Amy’s Notebook 04.11.12 | The Motherload on

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