There is nothing like searching for that item you want and never finding exactly how you envision it. And when that happened, revert to doing it yourself!
That's exactly what I did with my 2 side tables for the living room. I wanted something with a minimal design, white with organic materials and solid enough to be used daily. And having done a few small decor DIYs with plaster of Paris, I thought I'd try doing my tables with this.
What you'll need:
Plaster of Paris
Moulds of your choice (I used concrete tube for the base and a round over tray for the top
Contact cement glue
Wood dowels 1/4"
Water based varnish
How to do it
Step 1: prep your mould
For the base of the tables, I used a concrete tube that I cut a little higher than the size I needed. I secured the bottom with a piece of wood that I taped the time on.
For the top, I used a round over tray. So this did not need any prep other than ensuring it was clean before using.
Step 2: prepare the plaster mix
Follow the instructions on the Plaster of Paris package to mix it with water. This is the most difficult step because despite the instructions you may need to add some water depending on the consistency you get. Once you add water to the plaster, make sure you mix thoroughly to avoid clumps
Depending on the volume of your mould, I recommend you calculate what quantity you want approximately so that you pour everything at once. I made a few mistakes and when I poured a new quantity over the old one the result wasn't great.
Step 3: pouring
Quickly pour it in your mould, you'll have to work fast because it dries very quickly.
When you pour, make sure you gently shake your mold to remove any air bubble and help the mix set evenly. Leave it to dry for about 24 hours or until you feel the plaster is hard enough to remove the mould. When you take it out, you'll need to let it air dry further for a few days.
Some moulds may be difficult to remove such as my oven tray. We had to gently tap on it on all sides to let the plaster slide out. I used what I had on hand, but it would be best if you used one that can be opened or any other mold that would be easier to take off.
Step 4: sanding & painting
Time to sand to even out imperfections, lines from the mould, etc. I used a 220 grit paper and lightly sanded the surface. You also want to make sur that your base is even and straight. Use a level to check this, if it is not, you can gently scrape the surface until it's all levelled out.
Then, paint. I chose an acrylic white matte paint and applied 2 coats ensuring they dry completely before applying a second one.
Step 5: seal
Use a spray sealer to seal the paint onto the plaster and let dry.
Step 6: assemble
It's time to assemble them together. Using glue, glue them together and let dry.
Cut the wood dowels to the required height. In this case, I cut them to cover the base. If you're covering the base, no need to sand it or paint it. Using wood glue, glue them onto the base ensuring the first one is straight (use a level to place it properly). Once this is done, follow with all the others until the whole base is covered. You can choose to stain them first if you like. I left them in their natural color, and varnished them with a water base varnish.
Voilà! Now style them to your taste and you have 2 pretty side table for a fraction of the price found anywhere on the market.