Rainbowify your ugly old table with gift wrap

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UntitledCheck out my rainbow table — a DIY! My parents had some ugly old brown laminate-top table in the basement and said I could have it for the apartment. My mom had a great idea to cover it with some gift wrap she had leftover. We made it up as we went along and basically went with the principle that Mod Podge can do almost anything.


  • some gift wrap
  • Mod Podge
  • foam brush things
  • scissors
  • sandpaper

After roughing up the laminate top with sandpaper, we slathered the tabletop in Mod Podge, laid the gift wrap overtop, and then put approximately a billion coats of Mod Podge on top. To get the edges to wrap around the rounded corners of the table, we cut some slits. It wasn’t perfect. In fact…

What went wrong:

  • The Mod Podge, even in a billion coats, didn’t hold up well to condensation (and freshmen don’t always use coasters, yo). If we had known at the time, we probably would have used something like a spray sealant on the top. Also, the paper was still pretty fragile and was cut once or twice from knives while doing prep for cooking. The spray sealant may have helped safeguard against this, too, but I can’t be sure.
  • The corners were kind of bunchy around the edges. I didn’t care, but if you’re doing this as a permanent fixture in a more grown-up house, more attention to detail may be necessary. Or you might not care at all!


The verdict:

As a kitchen table for one year living out of my parents’ place, this worked very well. When we needed extra counter space for cooking, we used a table cloth to protect it.

What this would work really well for is an occasional table, like a side table or even coffee table, that doesn’t come in contact with knives. Again, not sure about the sealant spray solving the problem if you don’t use a coaster. Monica Geller would want you to use a coaster either way, so maybe that’s what we should do.

Here’s a pic from its heyday, serving some orange Jell-O shots:


Comments on Rainbowify your ugly old table with gift wrap

  1. I need to submit a post about the behind the sofa table I made out of an old door, some two by fours and contact paper! The contact paper worked very much like your wrapping paper project, difficult to get just right, but nice nonetheless.

  2. Oh I cover ugly tables with gift wrap all the time – just covered one with Batman gift wrap for a Souperhero party I threw. I’ll admit, I never thought of making it permanent! I may have to do this here soon.

  3. I love this idea. To make something like this last longer, you could always get a thick plastic tablecloth to put over it. That way, you don’t have to worry about messing it up with moisture, etc.

    • My kitchen counters are made of that stuff! We live in an old (mid-1970s built) single-wide trailer. The kitchen was HORRIBLE, the previous owner had painted the cheap laminate kitchen counters with regular (blue) latex paint.

      So when we finally remodelled the kitchen, we painted over the hideous blue with some nice black, sprinkled purple glitter over the black while it was still a little sticky, and poured resin over the entire shebang.

      We have the most unique kitchen counters I’ve ever seen, and since the resin is self-healing we never need to worry about damaging it with knives as we cut things!

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