Chris and I were invited to spend the day with three other teams of DIY’ers in Toronto to compete in the first ever Mars DIY Challenge! The information we were given was very basic leading into the challenge – we knew we had to build something, but we weren’t sure WHAT that was going to be nor were we sure of the materials we were going to be supplied with. We were told to come armed with our imaginations because there was a guarantee that some quirky items would be thrown into the mix of building supplies.
When we got on set, we found out we would be building a table and got a sneak peek at the supplies we’d be using. With about 15 minutes of prep, we were able to come up with a plan before the mad dash to the finish line.
Right away we could see that there weren’t many legs available to support a table, yet we were tasked with building a table. Chris knew he was going to have to cut down some 2×2’s to function as table legs, but we also didn’t have any power tools other than a sander. That’s right, we had to use hammer, nails, glue and a rickety old saw! This definitely made the building process challenging! Good thing we had more Mars bars than we could count to help keep the morale high and the creative energy flowing!
One of the table top materials that immediately caught my attention was a pre-fabricated oblong hexagon piece of MDF (I think originally from Ikea). It took a little convincing with Chris but we finally decided it would make for the perfect “out there” table top.
Chris knew he wanted to build a skirt around the underside of the table to hide where the legs and table top meet. That definitely took some work as he only had a rusty saw and uneven bench to cut the wood on.
While Chris was cutting down the wood, I spray painted the top of the of the table a light blue. Once that was dry to the touch, I grabbed a stencil and borrowed some gold spray from another team to do a gold Aztec-like pattern. Once Chris was done with the legs, I was able to paint them a bright blue, to complete the lighter blue top.
I found this blueish gray wrapping paper that had an orange pattern on it and decided it would be the quickest way to cover up the wood skirting around the table. I then cut up some stiff, woven pattern (think like plastic beach mat) to act as a ribbon around the edge of the table.
Once Chris had the legs on and we flipped the table right side up, we both realized that the original idea of what we were going and what we had actually produced were a bit different. Originally we were aiming for a side coffee table. But once we saw the combination of the weird table shape, the colorful paint and the legs, it immediately felt more like a child’s school table (ie. desk).
So instead of fighting with the design and trying to force it back into a coffee table (remember, we were on a tight timeline of three hours to complete), we decided to run with the child’s desk and play up the idea with some finishing touches.
We ran back to the picked over pile of materials and found some sheets of cork along with some decals. So I made a makeshift placemat (which I often make my kids use something like that when they are crafting at their tables at home). Chris also took another piece of cork and created a super cute pencil holder with a few finishing screws.
And what school table is complete without an apple! We were down to the wire and I was scrambling trying to come up with something with something that resembled an apple. I looked over at Scott McGillivray’s team and realized he had used red spray paint, so I knew there was a red cap floating around. Once I found it in his garbage pile, I took it and Chris made some green leaves out of painter’s tape! It might be the detail I love most in our design just for the sheer last minute creativity we used to make it!
We finished on time and all the teams lined up their tables to talk through each design. It was really fun to see what the other teams had constructed…all four tables were completely different in concept, design and function which was really fun to see!
While we didn’t win the challenge, we sure had a blast working together. The whole purpose was to have fun and get creative using the wacky building supplies they had provided. We certainly bit off more than we could chew when it came to design and structure, but that was the whole point. It wasn’t necessarily who could build the best table, but who could persevere and keep on building while having fun amidst some really challenging circumstances.
And isn’t life all about that? We will all face challenges that at times feel like it’s more than we can bear. But one foot in front of the other, with a couple Mars bars brought in as reinforcement and we really can take on any challenge and succeed, even if the end product turns out differently than what we originally planned!
Thank you Mars for including us in this challenge! It was so much fun to work together as a couple but also work alongside three other fabulous teams who were determined to create something fabulous!
Check out the video HERE to see how the whole competition went down!
Love & Blessings,
Note: This post and challenge was sponsored by Mars. All thoughts and opinions are my own.