travelling sidetable with serving tray top

I did say I had some stuff to share… well, here is the first one. I call it the Travelling Sidetable and its one of my entries in the current Hobart City Council Art From Trash exhibition which opened yesterday. I know it wouldn’t really have made a difference but it didn’t feel right to share this till the exhibition opened.

I’ve had this little suitcase for some years now. I used it to store craft supplies for the first couple of years, then its been in the shed waiting for a makeover since.

The top was ripped when I got it so I always planned to make it into a side table, but I left it under a window one day and the poodles jumped all over it totally destroying the top, ripping it off the sides and pretty much making it beyond repair.

I ripped what was left of the top off but kept the rim with the locks. I glued the cream edging back on and glued the top to the bottom as well to make it one solid piece.

The inside wasn’t in bad condition but I’d had a craft glue spill that lifted some of the lining when I pulled it off, so the inside needed something to jazz it up. A friend gave me some educational magazines aimed at kids in the 60’s. They were so old fashioned and the cheap paper had yellowed… they were perfect! I used some articles and illustrations from those inside. I loved the colours and some of the headlines.

Of course it needed a new top. I had found that the packers used between products in pallets were usually offcuts of tasmanian oak. The hardware store throws these out so I scavenged some pieces from their pile. I glued and clamped them together, then traced the suitcase shape on the back, allowing for about an inch overhang all round. I reinforced the back with strips of timber, both to hold the slats together and to ‘lock’ the top in place on the suitcase.

I sanded the top and gave it a few coats of leftover polyurethane from when I did my kitchen, office and hallway floors. That made the colours really pop.

In order to fit legs on it, I cut some thick MDF and used liquid nails and some button head screws to attach it securely to the bottom of the suitcase. The legs came from the tip shop and they already had castors on them which was a bonus. I just cleaned them up and rubbed some dark wax on them.

Meanwhile, I cut up what was left of an old belt I’d used to make handles on a tray ages ago and used small screws to attach each handle, effectively making the top into a handy tray.

Everything used to make this suitcase sidetable came from tip shops, op shops and bins, thus its 100% recycled material.
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1 thought on “travelling sidetable with serving tray top

  1. I like this idea of a traveling table/tray! I hope you win! You'll have to take some photos of the other entries and post them. There are so many great ideas out there.


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