Introduction: From Paste Table to Portable Jewellery Display Case.

About: Artist, Poet, Author, from the seaside town of Cardigan in Wales, UK

This is a project to recycle an old paste table into an attractive portable case for displaying jewellery, great to take to craft fairs and events. Originally I was intending to transform a paste table in far worse condition than the one I am now recycling but it got thrown out because mistakenly it was deemed too grotty and broken to be useful. (Nothing to do with me!) This one is rickety and ancient but still vaguely useful. Paste tables tend to be very cheaply made for the home diy market. They can’t really take take much weight so are not much use for anything else and frequently fall apart. Most find their way to the tip or end up on the bonfire.
You will need:
One paste table
2 meters of sticky back plastic
2 pieces of 3/4inch thick foam cut to fit the interior of your table
2 meters of hessian
Roll of narrow hessian trim
Hot glue and gun
Double sided carpet tape
A pair of hinges
A pair of latches
8 pins
Screw driver

Step 1: Dismantling

A few smart taps with a hammer at the top of the legs was all that was needed to dismantle them. As I mentioned before, they fall apart easily so dismantling one is a piece of cake. Despite being rusty, the screws holding the hinges and the handle were no problem to remove. I kept the handle and stored the hinges for a future project.
With the two sides now clear of fittings and the spider I found (Urrrg!) evicted and rehoused, I can start my makeover!

Step 2: Foam

I ordered several pieces of cheap foam. They arrived a little bit grubby but I am going to cover them in hessian so good enough. The most important thing was that they were 3/4 inch thick so that when the case is laden with jewellery, I can place the third piece of foam between the two sides and it will hold all the jewellery in place and prevent it from jiggling about when I carry the case. If I also cover it in hessian I can use the third piece to display other pieces on my stall.

Step 3: Covering the Outside

Now to decorate the outside. This can be covered in many ways. In the past I would probably have decoupaged it to save money and because I love to decoupage. This time I want a more of a pirate look so I have decided to cover it in a brown leather look sticky back vinyl. It was very reasonably priced on eBay and will have the added advantage of making it waterproof. I chose the largest width they had as I didn’t want to deal with joins. It is pretty easy to do. Just cut your vinyl to the right size to cover the outside and make sure you cut it wide enough to wrap round the inside frame so it looks uniform and covers all the areas that will be seen.

Step 4: Hessian

I covered the foam in hessian which I thought worked well with my pirate theme. Also it is convenient for hanging my earrings from as it is a loose weave. Because the foam was a lovely south sea shade of blue I didn’t bother to line it first as I think it will look nice peeping through. I didn’t need to make a big fuss of covering it as I am going to glue round the edges with hot glue so I just fixed it into place with double sided carpet tape and pinned the corners. A delightfully swift bodge. I also put a few pieces of carpet tape in the middle to position the foam into the frame before gluing.

Step 5: Fitting the Covered Foam

With the foam quickly covered I glued it into place around the edges with hot glue and finished it with a narrow hessian trim which I also fixed into place with hot glue.

Step 6: Hinges

Now for the hinges. I got new ones as the old ones were of no use. I chose some decorative antiqued ones I thought suited my theme. They cost very little on eBay but I did have to wait a month for them to arrive, hence the late date for entering the competition. I also ordered decorative corner protectors but they are not yet here so I will add a picture when I get them. They are not important, just a nice embellishment. I placed the hinges, made lead holes with my awl and and screwed them to one side side of my new case. (See pictures)

Step 7: Handle and Latches

On the other side I replaced the handle and fitted a couple of small latches. I cleaned up the metal on the original handle and painted it gold. I fitted it to the case and darkened the gold with a little brown paint and a little nail polish for varnish.

Step 8: Completion

And that’s it finished. From an old, cheap, unwanted paste table to a smart and useful display case that most jewellery crafters would find very useful for taking their stock to shows and creating an attractive display.
RECYCLE EVERYTHING! It’s cheap, it’s rewarding and it helps the planet! What’s not to love!

Trash to Treasure

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Trash to Treasure