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diy project: mark montano’s mat-covered table

by Grace Bonney

i really enjoyed designer mark montano’s first book, the big-ass book of crafts– it was a celebration of accessible do-it-yourself projects and had some really clever (and affordable) ideas for fun weekend projects. so when i heard mark was doing a home-centric books, titled the big-ass book of home decor, i got excited.

mark’s latest book (published by stewart, tabori & chang) features 105 fun home diy projects which, frankly, blows my mind. we went a little crazy trying to do 50 projects for the d*s book, so i have the utmost respect for anyone who can pull together over 100. mark and the team at STC were kind enough to let us share a project here today and i’m so happy i got to pick my favorite: an inexpensive mat-covered table! i lived in an nyu dorm next to chinatown my sophomore year of college and i used to love collecting these colorful mats to use in our kitchen. mark has turned these fun mats into a great table covering using a little glue, a clear finish, and a pretty ribbon edging detail. it’s a great way to cover an ikea or hand-me-down table that needs a little love. [thanks mark and leslie!]

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump1


-Square or rectangular table
-Measuring Tape
-2 woven mats (often referred to as “Chinese mats” online and at home shops)
-Elmer’s wood glue
-2″ wide soft bristle brush
-hot glue gun and glue sticks
-1 roll of 3/8 ” grossgrain ribbon that matches your mat
-minwax polycrylic protective finish


1. Measure your tabletop and cut one of the mats to that size

2. Spread wood glue all over the tabletop with the brush and apply the mat. Use a nice amount of glue as the mat has to be permanently attached. Let the glue dry fully.

3. Measure the table legs and cut the other mat in pieces to wrap around the legs

4. Brush wood glue generously on the legs and adhere the mat pieces.

5. When the entire table is covered and dry, use the hot glue gun to attach the grosgrain ribbon around all the edges. Take your time and make sure you’re covering all the rough edges of the mat with the ribbon.

6. Coat the entire table (even the ribbon!) with the polycrylic and let it dry.

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