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I adore little things, whether they be handmade lovelies from Iran, a needle felted replica of my dog Sugar, or that sweet little pine cone that calls to me from the forest floor. The only challenge with little things is how to display and preserve them. The king of kitsch, Matt Maranian, gave us the perfect project to solve that dilemma in CRAFT Volume 06: the curio case table. Matt teaches us step by step how to build a glass table that “turns knickknacks into exotic relics.”
His intro to the project is so funny and so true:

I’ve always been a sucker for those big ol’ dusty glass cases found in natural history museums or underfunded historical attractions. It never really matters what these cases actually house: a taxidermied armadillo, Abe Lincoln’s top hat, the world’s longest tapeworm — put almost anything in a case behind glass and it suddenly seems valuable and exotic.

To make a dusty glass case of your own that serves double duty as an intriguing side table, start with a scavenged window and some furniture legs salvaged from a thrift-shop castoff. A few dollars’ worth of cheap building materials and a little paint will finish the job. Suddenly your own collection of worthless relics will have museum-quality legitimacy.

The build itself is fairly easy, and the resulting table is just that much cooler because it incorporates an old window. The fun part comes when you get to choose and arrange your own little display. You can play with thematic layouts, arrangements based on color, seasonal arrays, or pairings that only make sense in your mind. Get all wunderkammer with it.
Here is the full project for you in our Digital Edition. You can also still pick up a back issue of Volume 06, the Play issue, in the Maker Shed.