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Repurposed Tablecloth Decoupaged Desk Makeover

If you ever see a dated piece of wooden furniture for a great price, but don’t know what to do with it… think of decoupage and bring that baby home.  You can give it a completely new look, like this decoupaged desk makeover that I’m sharing today… and the possibilities for customizing are really endless.

orange wooden desk makeover before

Here’s the desk that I found at the Habitat for Humanity Restore for $40, and it included a chair that I showed at the beginning of this living room makeover adventure.

Please ignore the living room floor. It’ll be getting a makeover after everything else is done. I always do the floor last in room makeovers because then I don’t have to worry about paint drips etc.

This makes room makeovers fun and not the least bit stressful.

Supplies needed for this decoupage project include:
Fabric of your choice
Matte Mod Podge
Exacto Knife
Foam Brushes

wooden desk painted white before decoupaging

So to start my decoupaged desk makeover I painted the whole thing white because I didn’t want to risk the wood color showing through the fabric. Using a brush and a mini roller it took two coats.

I didn’t worry about priming or sanding because I’m covering most of the paint with fabric.

repurposed floral tablecloth used for decopaged desk makeover

Here’s the $1 thrifted floral tablecloth that was hanging in a doorway in my aqua and red kitchen… until I found a scarf that worked better in that spot.

Then I found this desk, and since I’m a girl who loves flowers… it seemed pretty meant to be to me.

I measured and cut the fabric the sizes that I needed for the desk top and pull out shelf… and went to work.

applying mod podge onto desk for fabric decoupaged desk makeover

I started on one end of the desk top and applied some Mod Podge with a foam brush…

applying mod podge onto desk for fabric decoupaged desk makeover

and I worked my way across… smoothing the fabric along as I went.

applying mod podge onto desk for fabric decoupaged desk makeover

I smoothed out the top as much as I could, and then I did the same thing to the pull out shelf.

repurposed floral tableclothl decoupaged desk makeover

Then I gave both tops three coats of Mod Podge, including the overhanging pieces of fabric. I’ll show you why a little bit later.

My project assistant Monkey helping with the fabric for decoupaged desk makeover

Miss Monkey is my number 1 assistant, and is always more than willing to help me with every project.

Honestly I don’t know what I would do without her. πŸ™‚

floral fabric decoupaged on to desk drawers

I measured, cut, and applied the fabric to the drawers leaving some overhanging fabric.

trimming floral fabric that was decoupaged on to desk drawers

After a couple of coats of MP on everything and the overhanging fabric bits,  I trimmed up the whole desk using a very sharp knife.

floral fabric decoupaged desk makeover

When you apply the Mod Podge to the overhanging fabric and let it harden you’ll get nice crisp edges when you trim.

You don’t need to use any pressure at all. Simply run the knife along the edge of the desk and it’ll do all the work for you. The trick is the knife needs to be super sharp.

Now I wanted to do something about that with big open space.

making a no sew skirt of desk opening

So I decided simple no sew skirt would do the trick just fine.

I used a corner of the tablecloth so I only needed to hem one side.

making a no sew skirt of desk opening

So I ironed some hemming tape on that side. You simply iron your hem, stick the tape between the fabric and then apply the iron again. I think there’s also double sided hemming tape that doesn’t need ironing, but this is what I had.

After ironing the fabric hem along the top,  I cut a piece of cardboard to help keep my nice straight edge.

making a no sew skirt of desk opening

Then I added some duct tape…

attaching a no sew skirt of desk opening

… which helped me hold the skirt in place so I could apply some tacks. I just used what I had in my craft room.

no sew skirt of desk opening

This desk will be my blog office so I’m keeping all my blogging courses info in here, but I don’t want to see it all the time… so this is perfect.

repurposed floral tablecloth decoupaged desk makeover

So far so good!

I didn’t cover the top shelf because I wanted easy access to my lap desk, and it’s the perfect size for it.

floral fabric decoupaged lap desk

Here’s what my lap desk looked like before I decoupaged it with the same fabric.

decoupaging floral fabric covered drawers for desk makeover

I gave the drawers one final coat of Mod Podge, which makes 4 altogether… and I sanded lightly after 3 coats. Here you can see that the MP goes on white, but it dries beautifully clear.

spray painting drawers handles for decoupaged desk makeover

I found these drawer handles in my stash.

poking hole through fabric covered drawers with nail

I found a nail just the right size, and gently poked it through the existing holes.

poking holes through fabric covered drawers with nail

Then I poked it through the holes from the outside.

making bolts fit that are too long when attaching new drawer handles to decoupaged desk

My flat end screws were a little too long so I found these washer-like thingies in my stash and they worked perfectly.

repurposed floral tablecloth decoupaged desk makeover

I spray painted the drawer handles white, and I like that they don’t take away from the fabulously floral fabric.

The handles are there to be purely practical. The fabric is the star here.

I’m talking mega flower power, but it ‘s so pretty… sort of reminds me of impressionistic art, which I love.

repurposed tablecloth decoupaged desk makeover

Here’s the pull out shelf where I keep my lap top.

I look forward to spending many hours writing at this desk… looking though the window at the front gardens and watching the birds.

orange wooden desk makeover before

Here’s the before again.

repurposed floral tablecloth decoupaged desk makeover

And the super pretty after.

It just makes me smile, and I’m so happy with how it turned out.

You don’t have to be an expert to decoupage, and you can make almost anything look just the way you want it to.

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time…

keep on keepin’ on!


Don’t forget to pin this to your favourite Pinterest board.

A decoupaged desk makeover is a fun way to give a dated wooden desk a completely new look to match with any decor.
I sometimes share my projects and posts at these fabulous parties.

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  1. Stephanie says:

    Unflippingbelivably FANTASTIC!!!!
    I LOVE IT!! I’m inspired now!!

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks very much Stephanie! I’m so happy my project has inspired you. πŸ™‚

      1. I tried it but the desk top is not nice and smooth. Can I sand paper it without messing it up?

        1. Hi Kathy. I’m so happy that you gave it a try. Whether or not you can sand at this point depends on many factors. What type of fabric you used. How many coats of MP you used. How thick the coats were. Every application is different so I can’t say for sure. If you want to try sanding I would try a spot that isn’t very visible, like the side of the desk for example. Or if you have some of the fabric that you used left, decoupage a small piece onto a scrap piece of wood, in the exact same way that you did on the desk… and try sanding that and see if you like the result. If you do sand, sand lightly with a very light grit sandpaper. I hope that helps.

  2. Wow! What a great project and so colorful. You make it look so easy!

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks Diane! It really is pretty easy. Reminds me of cutting and pasting as a little girl, just on a bigger scale. It’s all in the measuring and the trimming really.

  3. Wow, that’s a Monet picture and desk all rolled into one! And it sure brightens up that outdated desk. I would never have thought of doing that, but it gives me an idea for something I have here.

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks Florence! I’m really loving decoupage lately. It’s such a great way to transform almost anything. The creative possibilities are endless.

  4. Oh, my word!! It’s perfect! What a great find and such a great project! Girl, you ARE amazing. Dona

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks very much Dona! I was so lucky to find that tablecloth. It’s just right for the desk, which is already making the living room so much cheerier and the winter a lot less drearier.

  5. Another pretty project Tuula! I love seeing what you are up to.

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks AnnMarie! It took longer than I planned to get to this project, but now that it’s done I’m so happy with it.

  6. Hey Tuula, that is one of the most beautiful redos I’ve ever seen. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thank you so much Patricia!

  7. Awesome as always!! Love how it turned out β™₯ What luck to have it just right under your window ledge!

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks Deb! Yes, the desk fit perfectly, and is on wheels making it so easy to move if need be.

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks Tania! I finally found the perfect use for that tablecloth.

  8. I love what you did here! So pretty.

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks very much Debra!

  9. Hi Tuula, the link for your latest post is telling me the page is not found and it’s not showing up on the home page, either.
    I try to never assume someone else told you or you’ve seen it for yourself so hope this isn’t overly redundant. πŸ™‚

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks Debbie. There was a technical glitch but it’s fixed now. Thankfully. πŸ™‚

  10. Stephanie says:

    Wow, Tuula! What a stunning transformation! I love it πŸ™‚

    Happy Spring to you, lovely lady! Hugs! Stephanie-The Enchanting Rose

  11. Your pictures and tutorial made it look so easy! Love the bright colors!

  12. amy rittenhouse says:

    Omgosh the desk turned out so pretty! I’ve often wondered what I could do with a tablecloth. There is so many cute ones out there. TFS!

  13. Would have picked a different fabric (just my own personal choice) but great idea. Bought one similar to yours at a thrift store for $10. that was in perfect condition…..might just try doing something like this…..thanks for the inspiration!

    1. You’re so welcome Monique! We all need to use whatever fabric we love. πŸ™‚

  14. Hi,
    Lovely, I was sold at just the first two surfaces. I have never tried fabric but have tried napkins and such. One problem I am having is the modge podge feels tacky days after I have completed. What is the trick to having a non-tacky / sticky surface?

    1. Thanks Ossie! Without seeing your project myself it’s hard for me to tell why that’s happening. I haven’t had that problem, but there are two things I’d like to mention. It’s super important to make sure your surface is completely dry between very light coats of your decoupage medium. If you use too much medium it might not dry completely, or might take a very long time to dry. Sanding between coats is also very important, but only once the surface is completely dry to the touch. If the surface is still tacky days later it’s not completely cured. Drying time can depend on the climate where you live. If you’ve waited a long time and it’s still tacky you could try a spray sealer. I hope that helps. πŸ™‚

  15. About 45 years ago I started my first PT job in H.S. With my first check I bought a set of sheets. At that time we had mainly white sheets. CERTAINLY NOT PRINTED. That tablecloth was the exact print. I sat staring at the print. VERY deep in thought, and memories. When the next realized, it was 20 minutes later.
    It is a super project, but thanks for the memories and the trip down memory lane.

    1. Wow, what a coincidence that is Helen! I loved this tablecloth print so much and that’s why I used it on my desk. I get to enjoy it every day. Thanks for sharing that story with me. πŸ™‚

  16. Anna Stone says:

    Just wanted to say Thank You for this post!! I love decoupage, and will be doing this, fabric on a piece of furniture soon. I was having trouble figuring out how to get the edges straight and now I know! I’ll just add an inch or so to my measurements and trim after MP dries! Thanks again!!

    1. You’re so welcome Anna! The edges are easy to do if you know the trick. I’m so glad I could help. πŸ™‚

  17. Hi Tuula. Beautiful project. Just an idea. Maybe the lady that was struggling with the rough surface can put a layer of resin over the material. It will level out the knobs and bumps. Thanks for the inspiration.

  18. I’m wondering how your desktop is standing up. Is it showing signs of wear? Is it easy to clean? I’d like to try something like this if it’s serviceable. It looks so great

    1. Thanks Pam! I did this desk project two years ago and it’s holding up great. I don’t eat or drink at this desk so I’ve never spilled anything on it so I can’t speak to that kind of cleaning. I clean it with a duster and that’s all I’ve had to do. My main desk is in my craft studio, so this one is a secondary area where I can work on my laptop and enjoy looking out my living room window. If you want extra protection a couple of extra top coats of a polyurethane would help. Just make sure to use a non-yellowing poly. Some that start out clear turn yellow over time.