How to Make a Collage Writing Desk or End Table

I needed a writing desk. I had a long desk that I loved, but I also loved to pile stuff on it to the point that it was so full that the space wasn’t really fit for working. I had been given this round end table by a friend and the top was flaking off so that whenever I touched it, I had an imprint of fine brown dust on my fingers.

So I needed a plan. I decided that I wanted to have writing on my writing desk. So I went on the lookout for handwritten letters for the top, but I couldn’t find any after months of looking. Then I was shopping at a second hand bookstore yesterday and they always have a bin of free books outside. There was a book called The Low Calorie Cookbook from 1952 that was so fragile and the pages were so brown with age that I knew it was perfect! I also found another paperback or two in the bin that were falling apart and had different fonts and different shades of pages.

Here’s how I created the top of the writing desk:

First I tore out pages from the old books and laid them out to see how I wanted them. I discovered I liked it best without the margins showing so I tore a lot of the pages in half or tore off the top margin so that text was right up against text. I let the pages hang over the edge of table.

After I tore out the pages and laid it out, I moved the pages off the table top and began at the top to brush a layer of Modge Podge onto the table like glue and to lay down the pages on top of the glue smoothing out the pages and air bubbles. If I had to do it again, I would have had less pages overlapping because those areas of overlapping remained thick when I was doing the final coats and they were hard to seal in because they were so thick. Then I let it dry for two hours.

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After the pages were glued down, I trimmed around the edges with an Xacto knife which gave a ragged look to the edges. I could have trimmed with scissors if I wanted a cleaner look.

Next I began the finishing coats on top. I ended up brushing on four coats on top. Like I said before, the places that were very thickly overlapped where hard to finish, so I wish I would have glued them down better when overlapping or that I would have not had so much paper overlapping. For every coat, you brush a thin layer and then let it dry for at least an hour. Since this was such a small surface, the brushing only took a minute or two each time.

Now the table is finished! I’m so pleased with the look!

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My writing corner

I use the writing desk for my writing corner with my $8 chair from the ReStore. When I bought the chair, I couldn’t fit it in my car, so I had to wait in the parking lot for my husband to come get me and my treasure in the van! Oops! But it was worth it!

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And my corner is complete with the Elizabeth Elliot quote that my dear friend made for me to keep me on track when too much has piled up: Do the next thing. I can hear Elizabeth Elliot saying it “Do the next thing. Just pick up the next piece of paper from the pile and take care of it. Then pick up the next piece.”

In this corner I write business blogs for Assistant Angel and write whatever else I am trying to get published. I’m looking forward to many hours in my cozy writing corner.

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Organization for School Papers for Four Kids

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Now that all four of my children are in school, I needed a system for organizing all their papers that I need to keep or fill out. But in an effort to keep my kitchen counters clear, I did not want any organizational system that would rest on a flat surface.

So I designed this denim pocket organizer out of two pairs of my husband’s old pants. I wanted to finish the project quickly and give it a scrappy look so I did aim for finished edges.

To hang the organizer, I used two clip-style pants hangers and two over-the-door hooks although I suppose command hooks would have worked, too.

Here is a close up of each of the pockets:

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