Freebie Project! Lap Table

Margaret Riley

by Margaret Riley

Take off to the nearest flea market or garage sale and start rummaging for an old frame. A flat wood frame will work the best. Find four candlesticks exactly alike (or different but same height) for the legs. You can find wood candlesticks at mass merchant craft supply stores, too. Add plexiglass (if the frame did not come with glass or plexiglass) in the frame opening, attach legs, and you have created a lap desk.

Great to use for holding a laptop on your lap, in the center of a coffee table, on a nightstand to give you more table surface room, or turn it upside-down and add a centerpiece along with candles in the legs for a fabulous functional table decoration.


  • Old frame of your choice (note: 2” width or larger works best as well as 14” x 18”) with glass insert
  • 7” wood candlesticks


FolkArt® Acrylic Paint

  • 427 Ivory White
  • 938 Licorice
  • 437 Lipstick Red
  • FolkArt Gloss Varnish


  • No. 4 flat shader
  • No. 10/0 liner
  • 1” foam brush


  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Pencil
  • Palette paper or foam plate
  • Water basin
  • Paper towels
  • Four 3-inch wood screws
  • Drill and bit
  • Fast drying glue
  • Four 3/4” x 1/8” wood circles



  1. With a damp sponge, wipe frame clean. Let dry completely. Remove glass, if possible.
  2. If there is a high gloss finish on the frame, lightly sand and wipe off sanding dust.
  3. Using a 1” brush, base coat frame Ivory White. Let dry. Lightly sand, wipe, and repeat with another base coat. Let dry. Repeat adding layers for complete coverage, if needed. Let dry completely before processing.
  4. Using pencil and referring to photo, add V-sections, wide wavy lines, and various vertical lines on white area. If needed, refer to an image of a zebra’s design
  5. Add a square to each corner and paint Lipstick Red.
  6. Paint stripes Licorice.
  7. If you have an edge around the frame, paint it Licorice.
  8. Paint circles Licorice and glue in center of each red square.


  1. Base coat wood candlesticks.
  2. Paint each “section” on candlesticks a different color. Add checks, dots, and stripes, if desired.
  3. If there is a screw in the bottom of the candlestick, remove it. If not, drill a hole into the bottom of the candlestick and in each corner of the frame.  
  4. Attach candlesticks with opening of candlestick downward so that the frame can be used on the reverse side as a candle holder. Glue painted circles over screw heads.
  5. Using a foam brush, apply varnish.  
  6. Replace glass insert.

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  • Holly on

    This is so fun and striking! Love it!!!

  • Kathy C Bradley on

    So very adorable – what a fun project this would make!

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