Saturday, June 12, 2010

Koi Table Tutorial

As you can see, my son is always ready to help with my craft projects. I got quite a response from my Koi table so I thought I'd put together a tutorial. It's my first and it's a project I didn't take pictures of during the process, but it wasn't hard so...

First thing you need to do is visit a thrift store or find an end or coffee table that suits your needs. I usually look for a solid, well-built, wood table.

Then you'll need the following:
1. images of the fish you would like to use (I printed mine onto regular copy paper with a good printer)
2. Mod Podge
3. acrylic paints for your water, plant life, to match your fish, and for the tank or trim
4. varnish in both matte finish and hi-gloss
5. paint brushes and painter's tape

Clean your table. I started by painting the legs and lip of the table black so to give the impression of the "tank" itself. I used two coats of the black acrylic paint (letting it dry between coats, of course) and then varnished it with the matte finish (this will protect the black and also contrast nicely with the "water" later.
Once the matte varnish has dried completely, tape off the black edges of the top and sides of the table. Now you can paint the top and sides with your "water" color. I used a vivid blue, but I'm sure a more calm blue or blue-green would work as well. I used two coats of blue. Let dry.

Arrange and decoupage your fish onto the top of the table using the Mod Podge. If you can find side views of your fish as well, you can use those for the sides, but I wasn't so lucky and I really wanted it to look like the fish were swimming in a tank. I also decoupaged the image of the pond flower as well. When the glue dried, I painted in the plant in the corner and used some white to paint ripples around the tails and fins of the fish (you don't need too many, just a few).

Once your fish are arranged on top, use acrylic paints that match your fish colors to paint the side images of the fish. Do the best you can... they don't have to be perfect because you're looking at them through a tank anyway, right? You can also paint over them and try again until you are satisfied. Also paint in the stems of your plants. Let paint dry.

Finish with 2-3 coats of a hi-gloss varnish only on the water parts. You want the hi-gloss finish to contrast with the matte finish you painted on your trim. Once your layers of varnish are dry, carefully remove the painters tape and voila! You now have a maintenance free koi-pond in your living room!
You can also find some of my other tables here... Hope this was helpful!


shannon i olson said...

That is a fun table...and the fish won't die...good idea :-)

Morgane @ Bear,Dolly and Moi said...

your table is beautiful, I like that you did not paint the fish, decoupage is such a cool technique!

Unknown said...

LOVE that table - and the tutorial turned out great!!!

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Fantastic! I love how you kept the top of the table the top view of the fish. That was really clever!


2miracles/Tove said...

I love the table! that is truely beautiful! You are very talented.
Thank you for stopping by my blog! It is nice to know that people are looking at what ya post occasionally.

Kim said...

Fantastic job Cecily. You are very talented.

Mad in Crafts said...

Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming said...

You have done an amazing job! This looks gorgeous! Such talent! Thanks so much for joining the Sunday Showcase! I greatly appreciate it! Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

Life in Rehab said...

I LOVE it, and I'm definitely doing this!

Bethany @ The Paper Pony said...

This is really beautiful... I'll bet it's a real conversation piece as well!

Vanessa said...

Gorgeous table, I love decoupage and this is one of the most beautiful decoupage pieces I've seen. All the beauty and grace of koi- and none of the maintenance. I'm a new blog follower, keep up the cute crafty fun!

Unknown said...

It's stunning. I know they're koi, but it reminds me of a feng shui blessing. Very, very good luck!

It also looks handpainted - the koi, I mean. I love that.

Leslie said...

I love the table and looks like your son loves it too! Thanks for the tutorial and for linking up to Hoo's got talent!

FineArtPainting said...

beautiful table! great execution. good enough tutorial.

link it up, babe:
so that others can find ya.

great summer home painting project, i think.