Hello, my name is Karley Hall from CraftItOut.com. I have been crafting most of my life—the idea that you can look at a photo and think, “Yah I can make that,” and then create something beautiful makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. I often take on way too many projects or am too ambitious about what I can and cannot do, but hey, I am still learning my limits. This is particularly true in terms of my wedding. I recently got married on Friday, March 13th, 2015 to the absolute love of my life, Ryan. My favorite part of our wedding, was obviously marrying Ryan, but when it came down to the details… I loved them all because we had made them together. Was I ambitious to do everything myself?! Way too ambitious! Each detail was hand picked and brought back to life with love or was crafted from nothing to something beautiful. We spent so many weekends at garage sales and thrift shops. I would find something so dusty and dirty and know that with a little elbow grease, it would come back to life. All of our signage was hand made and crafted with love. One project that is near and dear to my heart was our table numbers. This project probably took me the longest, because the sheer number of them were overwhelming. Having to do the same project 10+ times is a little daunting. Thankfully, Ryan was very patient as my kitchen was taken over by these little guys.
DIY Rustic, Wonky Table Numbers
Introduction: This tutorial will teach you, step by step, how to make your own table numbers. While I wanted my table numbers to be beautiful, I wanted them to still have the handmade feel—the wonkiness. I think the quirk shows our personalities and makes me love my table numbers that much more.
Before you start your project, here is a list of materials you will need to make your table numbers:
1. Unfinished wooden candlesticks and
2. Unfinished wooden rectangles (I purchased a 1 in. x 5 in. x 8 ft. piece of wood had the nice man at Home Depot cut it into 7 inch long pieces. This gave me 13 wooden rectangles—14 if you count the last one that was a bit shorter.)
3.Sander or sandpaper
4. You will either need paint or stain depending on the look you desire. (I wasn’t sure what I wanted, so I started with stain—You will see that I ended up mixing Plaster of Paris with dark brown paint to get a chalky brown look.)
5. Paint brush or towel to apply stain if you don’t want to stain your hands for days!
6. Gorilla Glue with Five Minute Set time
7. Wood Repair Epoxy Putty Not pictured
8. 4 inch circular plaques that I used as a base
9. Vinyl or Paint for the actual numbers on the wood
After you collect all your supplies and set up your workspace, we can get started!
Step 1. Start by sanding you wooden rectangles. I used a sander and just made sure to smooth out all the edges. After wiping off the dust, I stained all the rectangles.
Step 2. I continued to stain the candlesticks. At this point I wasn’t too sure about the stain, but I left it to think about it over the next few days—well actually weeks. I wasn’t sure about my centerpieces, so I put my table numbers on hold. Looking back, the stain would have worked just fine! When staining, the longer you let the stain soak, the darker the stain. I am pretty impatient, so I wipe my stain off right away, so I can flip it over and do the other side. I recommend that you do a few test stains before tackling all the wood!
Step 3. Okay—so before we move on to the next step—make sure you turn up your patience or do what I should have done! I tried to epoxy the candlesticks to the rectangles. If you haven’t worked with epoxy before, it is pretty neat. You combine the two components and they create a hot glue like texture that doesn’t set for five minutes. This is a blessing and a curse. You can move your wood around until you like it, but it takes FIVE minutes to set, so you can’t move it. I arranged all my table numbers tilted up against each other to allow them to set, as seen in the picture below. Disclaimer—I would not recommend this.
After I had all 12 table numbers set up and leaned on each other, I walked away. I went back in the kitchen to check on one. I pulled it from the one it leaning on and before I knew it, they had all toppled off my kitchen counter and none of them survived. I told you, I lack patience. I had not allowed them to set for 5 minutes and now I was going to have to re-epoxy all of them. I sat and had a little pity party for myself before getting back to work. After re-epoxying one of the table numbers, I looked at it for a while. I noticed the base looked so un-proportional to the rectangle. Before giving up, I headed to Pinterest for some inspiration. I came across a Shanty-2-Chic blog post about Joy Plaques found . Not only was Whitney’s advice of using duct table to clamp her plaques helpful, but I noticed she purchased 4 inch circular disks to support her plaques.
Step 4. After my mini meltdown, I ordered some disks from Blick Art Materials. I stained them, but the stain did not take to them as well as I had hoped. I decided that I would end up painting them after I finished putting them all together.
Step 5. I may be a little of a perfectionist, but I noticed these annoying gaps between the wood and candlesticks. So I decided I would fill them with wall putty used to patch holes. I let that sit for DAYS, and it never dried. Ugh. Another attempt to problem solve for nothing. I called my dad for help. He recommended wood epoxy—what?! I had never even heard of that. It works very similarly to regular epoxy. I mixed the two components of wood epoxy and added some of my stain to make sure it matched. I then filled the gaps using this mixture and let it sit overnight. Success!
Step 6. After everything dried, I mixed Plaster of Paris and paint using Lowe’s suggested recipe. Mix 1/3 cup of plaster of Paris and 1/3 cup of cool water; stir until completely smooth. Mix that with 1 cup of latex paint and stir thoroughly. I have used this recipe so many times and it works great! I painted all my table numbers and let them dry overnight. After they were dry, I distressed them with sandpaper to give them a vintage feel. Next I used my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine to design and cut my table numbers. I used vinyl and transferred my numbers onto my the wooden plaques! Thankfully this was the easiest part—so I decided to make them double sided so my guests could see them from both sides.
Step 7. I gave my table numbers to my coordinator and let my photographer capture them in all their glory!
I absolutely love these table numbers because they capture Ryan and my personality so perfectly. By no means are they perfect—they are wonky, they are scratched up, and they required so much work… Even if I could go back and change all the mistakes I made, I wouldn’t. This project taught me to be patient, about new products, and allowed me to make something beautiful that not only I could appreciate, but my guests would too. I hope you have learned from my mistakes and are ready to make your own table numbers!
Craft it Out,