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Creating an Heirloom Glamping Table

Mrs. Padilly's Heirloom Glamping Table

How To Create Heirloom Glamping TableDid you ever repurpose something you own, that you did not know the value of, and it became priceless?

Well, that is exactly what happened when I created my Heirloom Glamping Table to bring on camping trips in my Casita.

A little Padilly background information:

In addition to my passion for the subjects of this blog, I’m also into genealogy, and have lots of vintage family photos, including many of my mother and her family taking road trips out west during the 1940’s. These family photos do a wonderful job of capturing the time period, and all deal with outdoor travel activities.

Then one day it occurred to me, what better way to bring their memory with me on camping adventures than to make a table with all their photos glued on top!

But I couldn’t decide what table to use (I didn’t want to have to buy one), and then I remembered an old table in our attic; it was left there by the previous owners when we bought the home.

It was the PERFECT size and the legs folded inside, which makes it easy to store and bring camping.


So I got the table out of the attic, and cleaned it up.

Mrs. Padilly's Vintage Singer Featherweight Folding Table

I then printed a bunch of my family’s travel photos using my inkjet printer (from scanned originals).

With photos printed, I trimmed them with my pinking shears, added Mod Podge to the back of each photo, and randomly place them on the top of the table.

Once I completed that task, I took some alphabet stamps, and started stamping words that reflected the theme of some of the images using white acrylic craft paint.

Finally, once I was certain the pictures and paint were dry, I put a little Mod Podge on the top of each individual photo to seal and protect them from the varnish.  I then applied several coats of varnish to the top of the table to protect the photos and table from damage that could result from being outdoors.


I was so happy with the results that I posted a picture of my new glamping table on “Lou’s Glamping for Beginners” to receive feedback.  

As I hoped, I received lots of praise…until one comment took me by surprise. One woman didn’t comment on how wonderful she thought my table was, but instead said that the table looked like a Singer Featherweight Folding Card Table, and that they can be worth a lot of money (I also think she may not have liked that I repurposed this rare table, as there is now a reproduction market to meet demand).

Since I had no idea what a Singer Featherweight Card Table was (which, if I did, I may not have modified it), I immediately went to Ebay and discovered some of these tables are going for well over $200!

Mr. & Mrs. Padilly sitting at her Heirloom Glamping Table

The Padilly’s enjoying their heirloom table.

Amazing! To think this old table was left in the attic of our home by the previous owners, and I too was unaware of its value, and I turned it into something priceless!!! Seems like the perfect glamping table to me.


Okay, if you read this far, you MUST indulge me a little.
I can’t do a post that includes family photos without sharing with you
some of those photos glued to the tope of the table… Wait! Where are you going?

Mrs. Padilly’s Family Photos
that appear on her
Heirloom Glamping Table


This is one of my favorite photos from their trips.
It is a little hard to see the woman in the convertible,
but I find it shocking that the bear is literally at her door.
Not to mention someone in my family in nearby taking the photo!



Left to Right: my aunt, mother, and grandmother, and their car.


I traveled to Willow Creek Pass for the first time last summer,
never knowing my mother once traveled there, too.
Left to right: grandmother, aunt, mother


My family seemed to enjoy taking two kinds of photos; standing by their car and road signs!

Zion-National-Park-1940sThis place is on MY bucket list!



Padilly’s mother on her mother’s second favorite animal (dogs are her first).
Note to parents: You cannot have your own horse when you were young,
then expect your daughter to understand when you say NO to her request for one of her own!


This one accomplishes BOTH of the family’s photo goals: a sign AND a car!
(Left to right; Grandmother, Aunt, Mother)


Don’t let my Great-Grandfather Herpich’s and Grandfather Minnes’
long lean bodies and sloping shoulders fool you!

My great-grandfather was an Army Ranger in the 1890’s and even had the honor to guard the Spanish Exposition during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and my Grandfather Minnes was a Chicago Police Officer in Al Capone’s neighborhood. These were two tough guys!

Gloria-Darlene-MexicoImaging traveling from Chicago to Mexico on old gravel roads, in a car with no air-conditioning,
carrying your wife, your wife’s parents, and your two daughters?
Is there any wonder why Mrs. Padilly likes to travel! 😉

Okay, now you must really indulge me a little more
as I point out something I think is totally cool!

The picture below is another road sign taken by my grandfather, but this one is in TEXAS! 🙂


This is the spot on Google Maps where Mrs. Padilly is 95% sure
the photo was taken over 70 years ago!


This Google Map shows the location in proximity to Houston.

Note near the top of the map the town of Conroe, which is about 15 miles from Mrs. Padilly’s home (I am a big believer that everything is connected). I find it very cool that my family traveled this area 70 years ago, on a road trip from Chicago to Mexico, and then 40’s years later my parents moved to this region. I’m pretty sure my mother did not know she traveled these same roads as a child… 🙂


I’m going to take a Padilly trip to this spot REAL SOON,
and see if I was right about the location. Photos coming soon!


I took a trip to the spot pictured in the 1940’s photo, and confirmed it is indeed the same place!

Here are a few photos from my visit. The bend to the right is for Old State Hwy. 35, and was probably closed off when it was rerouted (slightly) to bypass a train bridge.

It was very cool for me to stand at this isolated area knowing my family from Chicago stopped to take a picture, back in the 1940’s, at the point where Texas State Hwy. 71 begun, heading north to El Campo, and Old Texas State Hwy. 35 made its bend to Bay City.

This image shows where Hwy. 35 bends right and the beginning of Old Hwy. 71.

Old Hwy 35 and 71 Intersection

This image shows the section of Hwy. 35 closed due to reroute around train tracks.

Old Texas Hwy 35 Bend in Road

This is the old (still active) train bridge, which was probably the reason for the reroute.

Old Texas Hwy 35 Train Bridge

Having a little fun comparing and merging the old 1940’s sign into modern-day site.

El Campo Bay City Hwy Signs 1940's

Old Texas Hwy Sign in Modern Location

Present Day Signage (not as photogenic)

Note, I’m parked on what would have been Old Hwy. 71 (now Route 442), which use to end where it and Hwy. 35 met in the photo above.  Now it “T’s” into the Hwy. 35’s reroute, and you must go right and then make a quick left onto Hwy. 71 (Yeah, that made sense…)

New Hwy 35 and 71 Signage


Mrs. Padilly’s Previous Series on her 17′ Spirit Deluxe Casita Travel Trailer’s Glamping Makeover:


Casita Glamping Makeover:

10 Comments  to  Creating an Heirloom Glamping Table

  1. Pit says:

    What a great idea and a wonderful table!
    Have a great weekend,

  2. Gerri Jones says:

    Love what you did with the table!!!! Who would have ever thought something left in an attic would be such a rare find!!! It all turned out fantastic!!
    Love the photos of family….such great memories!!

  3. Lee says:

    Very good use of that table. Have you considered a digital picture frame that can hold thousands of pictures which wouldbe dispayed as a slide show. You could set it on that table.

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      I actually have one of those in my house, but I never thought about one for my camper! It would be great for family events and rallies. Great idea, Lee! 🙂

  4. GP Cox says:

    A terrific collection of photos – they remind me of my childhood – always going someplace!! Great memories!!

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      Just like the vintage campers I love so much from that era, travel in the 40’s and 50’s, even what I can remember from the 60’s, seemed to have a sense of glamour when families took to the road. Glad to hear the photos brought back great memories!

  5. Tonita says:

    What a cool table. Wonderful family photos.

Please share your comments with Mrs. Padilly!