Picture of Fabric Formed Tea Table in GFRC
This Fabric Formed Tea Table Project can be completed in a weekend with simple materials.

Materials for this project can be as simple as scrap from other projects. This particular Tea Table was built using material left around the shop.  If you prefer you can use newly purchased materials, but the joy of fabric forming is in development of the design.  If you have materials on hand you can use this same process to convert your design into a concrete masterpiece.

For this project you will need the following:
Melamine Board or Other Smooth Base
Scroll, Band or Jig Saw (For Round Cuts)
Skill or Table Saw (For Straight Cuts)
Screws ( 1/2" or less)
Screw Driver or Preferably a Cordless Drill
Small 90 Degree Simpson Ties (Minimum of 12)
Staple Gun (Manual or Pneumatic)
Waterproof Silicone Caulk
Standard Flat Bedsheet
GFRC (Glass Fabric Reinforced Concrete) Mix
5 Gallon Bucket (Minimum of 2)
Mixing Tub or Wheelbarrow
1/2" Drill with Mixing Paddle
Decorative Features (Optional)
Fiberglass Scrim
Fiberglass Roller
Small Trowel or Screed
Chip Brush
Thick Latex Kitchen Gloves
Water Polisher (Optional)
Hand Sanding Pads (Optional)
Concrete Sealer (Optional)
As Always Do Not Forget to Wear Appropriate Safety Gear for this project!

Step 1: Cut Frame Materials to Specs (Straight Cuts)

Picture of Cut Frame Materials to Specs (Straight Cuts)

Cut Melamine and Frame Details to specific sizes as Listed:

Straight Cuts-

            Base (1) 57" x 21"

            Ends (2) 20" x 21"

            Termination (2) 1 3/4" x 22 1/2"
Preliminary Cuts for Round Pieces

      (1)   20" x 20"

      (2)   57" x 20 3/4"

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alex.stepin.37 months ago

good job

here is my carved table

poofrabbit1 year ago
Just wanted to say congratulations on being a finalists in the Concrete & Casting Contest! This was a fantastic instructable! Good luck!
stucco (author)  poofrabbit1 year ago
hey... thanks!
varun20211 year ago
I am new to using concrete for projects, so what i am asking might be really trivial, why did you add AR fiber again to the the GFRC mix, doesn't it already have fibers mixed in ?
stucco (author)  varun20211 year ago
i made my own GFRC mix so i could add more mortar to compensate for the additional aggregate. there are several GFRC recipes on the interweb, but i generally recommend the premade ones when asked.
I am finding it really hard to cut through all the information out there on GFRC recipes, can you please point me to a recommended source ?
stucco (author)  varun20211 year ago
Orngrimm2 years ago
The adition of those shells is a GREAT idea! They give a superb look in the finished product!

Voted! :)
stucco (author)  Orngrimm2 years ago
I made a countertop for a friend recently- she was looking for a Florida beachy - but retro/modern look. This is the material I used. I was so happy with it, I wanted to use it again in another project.
Thank you!
Kdemon stucco2 years ago
Do you have a picture of the countertop?
stucco (author)  Kdemon1 year ago
i wish that i had a better camera.
billy's cpounter.jpgbilly's counter1.jpg
Looks great ! How did you get that glossy finish on the countertop ? Is it some coating ?
stucco (author)  varun20211 year ago
thanks! the finish that i use is.. http://store.concreteexchange.com/CHENG-Concrete-Online-Store_5/Concrete-Sealers-Waxes-Care-Products/CHENG-Concrete-Countertop-Sealer i believe it is an acrylic sealer. G'luck
stucco (author)  stucco1 year ago
sorry the link didn't work... hope that you can work that out.
criggie2 years ago
Could it bear the weight of a person without snapping?
stucco (author)  criggie1 year ago
so far it has held up to two people sitting on it.
flyingpuppy2 years ago
The 3-million-year-old ammonites are a fabulous touch!
stucco (author)  flyingpuppy1 year ago
hey those aren't 3~million years old... just bought them last december. :-)

kidding aside... thanks for the complement!
wolvmarine2 years ago
What do you believe to be the load bearing tolerance for the table?
stucco (author)  wolvmarine1 year ago
not sure how to go about figuring that out without breaking one, but my wife and i sit on it without any stress.
This is an amazing read. Nice work Sir!!! Curious what the final weight is roughly. Thanks!
stucco (author)  physicsguybri1 year ago
well, thank you very much! I'd only be guessing, but around 120lbs on the final weight.
dc0de2 years ago
Great instructable, makes me want to go out and build it now!
stucco (author)  dc0de1 year ago
JohnMeng2 years ago
Wow! Thanks!
stucco (author)  JohnMeng1 year ago
no, thank you!
Beautiful! Love the design, love the shell fossils, exposed shell aggregate, everything. Thanks for posting. I hope to do an outdoor sink/shower - but have no access (in a small EU country) to "special" countertop or gfrc mixes... I will just use "normal" concrete unless you can give me better advice. We do have the fibers, and the mesh, just not the concrete mix. :( I hope it will turn out as lovely as you've done here.
stucco (author)  sleepinggiant1 year ago
thanks for the compliments. maybe you could experiment with the fibers and mesh that you have available with a basic mix of concrete mortar and sand. G'luck
Zdaddy2 years ago
How much does this weigh? Just curious.
stucco (author)  Zdaddy1 year ago
I'm only guessing here, but 120#s.
browncar2 years ago
Amazing project makes me wonder what else you could do with this medium.
I'd like to build a house this way some day. It is a very cool technique.
Try "Cob". You can sculpt a cob house as strong as concrete and a lot more forgiving. BTW, I really enjoyed your project!
DerekMc5252 years ago
I originally thought this was a bench, but wow did that turn out well!!
chuckyd2 years ago
What's the point of using both GFRC and a reinforcing mesh?

Would this http://concretecloth.milliken.com/Pages/home.aspx work just as well with 25% of the effort and materials?
Interesting material. I wonder if it would have the strength that this table has. Often products that offer shortcuts also has a downside - as mother nature intends always lol. Anything easily achieved is less worth having. Just my two cents. - Cheers!
hugedom2 years ago
Very inspirational, thanks.
Horef2 years ago
i ALWAYS vote for beard.

Also: thank you, i was looking for something like this and suddenly i got it by mail, ill start thinking about how to print money now. :)
That is gorgeous. Did the fabric from the mold become embedded in the concrete? Did you rip it off, or polish it away?
stucco (author)  justin_the_jack2 years ago
the concrete doesn't even change the color of the opposite side of the fabric form. it peels right off.
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