DIY Patio Table ( A Second Repurposed Placemat Project)

7 Materials
2 Hours

Who knew those old cork backed placemats could be repurposed in so many different and creative ways?

I picked up three of them last year at a thrift store for just $1 each, then stowed them in my thrifted collection until I decided what to do with them. A couple of creative members of the blog's Facebook group gave me some suggestions and I've used them to make 3 fun projects.

diy patio table a second repurposed placemat project

So this is what I started with - a basic, faded, ho-hum cork backed placemat in serious need of some DIY love.

For this project, one of the members suggested I use it as the top for a patio or deck table. I thought that was a great idea!

diy patio table a second repurposed placemat project

I had a few ideas for a base - an existing table I could upcycle, a set of tall matching candle holders I could repurpose as legs, or a lamp needing a new purpose. A visit to my favorite thrift store yielded...NOTHING!

So I came back home and decided to look through my stash of thrifted treasures (which I should have just done in the first place). Again, nothing was clicking.

Then I remembered a tall candle stand I had found at the thrift store a couple months ago. I had planned to paint it, add a candle, and let it just continue on as a candle stand.

But the idea of using it as a patio table was getting pretty cozy in my mind and I decided to abandon my original plan and repurpose it instead.

I gave it a shot of fresh paint and set it aside to dry.

diy patio table a second repurposed placemat project

I decided to use a fabric cover for the top and had a perfect piece left over from another project.

diy patio table a second repurposed placemat project

After giving the surface of the placemat a light sanding and damp cleaning, I spread a layer of Mod-Podge on and smoothed it over the top and edges.

diy patio table a second repurposed placemat project

I gave it a second coat of Mod-Podge to seal both the fabric and the cork backing.

diy patio table a second repurposed placemat project

Back to the base...

I loved the idea of a pedestal base, but I wanted a bit more stability. I found a strip of wood in my husband's shop and cut it into a couple of strips.

After giving the strips a coat of matching paint, I glued them to the base.

diy patio table a second repurposed placemat project

Finally, I glued the top to the supports and after a 24-hour dry, I had a cute little patio table from made from a $1 cork backed placemat!

diy patio table a second repurposed placemat project

Although it's sealed with a top coat, I do plan to keep it in a covered area so it isn't exposed to direct rainfall. Summer thunderstorms can be brutal where we live.

diy patio table a second repurposed placemat project

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Mary Valentine
    on Mar 18, 2019

    Probably not but she mentioned an old lamp - too tall for a table - about 5' - I think I should repurpose it but what could I use it for? Any ideas?

  • Annie
    on Mar 20, 2019

    Hi you glued the two pieces of wood to the top of the candle holder which has a dip in it where did you put the glue and what glue did you use please

    • To Work With My Hands
      on Mar 20, 2019

      Hi Annie,

      I put the glue along the edges of the piece that dips - so I basically made a ring of glue, but only where the wood pieces actually touch. If that doesn't make sense, please let me know.

      And I used Gorilla Glue.

      Hope this helps. If I can help any other way, please let me know. Thanks for asking. :)

  • Barb C
    on Apr 23, 2019

    The wood strips were enough to support the placemat as a tabletop?

    • To Work With My Hands
      on Apr 23, 2019

      Yes. Those placemats are pretty light. Rigid, but light. I don't put a lot of weight on it. I now have it indoors with a potted plant a littler larger than the one pictured above and it is holding up beautifully.

Join the conversation

4 of 74 comments
  • Kim
    on Mar 25, 2019

    An awesome idea! I have a bunch of stuff in my garage I know hold great repurpose value! Time to get to work! Thank you for the inspiration!

    • To Work With My Hands
      on Mar 25, 2019

      Hey Kim,

      Yep...sounds like you have a great collection of supplies to work with. Glad to inspire! Have fun...

  • Michele Morgan
    on Mar 26, 2019

    This is absolutely gorgeous!! TYSM!

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