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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving: DIY Table Extension to Seat Six

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm not cooking today, as we'll be guests, so that gave me some time to work on a project that I've been meaning to get to: Extending our four-top table to seat six.

Saturday we will be hosting "Second Thanksgiving" for family members we won't get to see today. It will be our first dinner party in our new home and I've been planning it for weeks, with every weekend spent knocking out some little DIY task not big enough to merit a post - like caulking the kitchen backsplash ( finally), painting the molding alongside the cabinets (finally), removing a broken lightbulb from a fixture (I did post about that, actually), and finally, this project: Extending our 42" round table of four into a rectangular 42" x 68" table for six.

So, let's get right to it.

Step 1: Measure the space around your table and determine how large your new table top extension can be. Consider how many people you need to seat, how much space the chairs you will be using take up, as well as how much space around the table you will need for easy clearance. 

Step 2: Purchase a panel of sanded plywood from any big box store that will do your cuts for you. This will become your temporary table top.

Step 3: Purchase enough oil cloth from a fabric store to cover your temporary table top plus an additional two inches either side. My store carried a roll that was 54" wide for $5 a yard so I ordered 2 yards. I chose white so that if I choose to use a white tablecloth, no pattern will show through. But there were some fun retro patterns and even a few holiday ones.

Step 4:  Lay the oil cloth out on the floor, felt side up and position the plywood panel so that the fabric overage is about even on all sides.

Step 5: Load your staple gun (I use a lightweight Powershot that shoots staples or nails) and, folding one side of the fabric over tightly, staple it in place. 

Do this on all sides, folding your corners in neatly, as you would when wrapping a present.

Step 6: Staple the folds.

Repeat on all sides until the plywood is completely covered.

Step 7: Cover your tabletop with a soft covering to protect it from scratches.

Step 8: position the plywood, evenly distributing the overhang.

Step 9: Do a dress rehearsal, setting your table with the dishes and cutlery you plan to use. Make sure the table is steady and that all chairs have plenty of clearance. You may need to place some clamps to ensure the top doesn't move around.

Now, you are all set to host a sit down dinner using your DIY table extension. 

I plan to put ours in storage and break it out as needed. I may even make another longer one that seats 8.