Marble gets its characteristic swirls from impurities in the stone. As such, all marble is inherently different and truly unique. This lack of uniformity is one of the reasons why marble furniture is so expensive. A casual bedroom dresser or end table topped with a marble slab can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars and require extensive care to keep it looking its best. An easier option is to create your own furniture using a simple “furniture hack.” An easy DIY with supplies easily acquired from stores will create the unique look of marble without the high cost.

First, locate a dresser or end table. Size is only important in relation to the room, so a big or small table can work. A relatively plain square table works very well and can be found for cheap online or at IKEA. IKEA carries “Hemnes” style tables of different sizes, which is a great choice for this project. They are inexpensive and have the signature square shape and visual interest created by the slight tapering of the table’s legs. Assembling the table requires no special tools (as IKEA generally includes everything needed to construct at home) and should only take a few minutes.

Replace the store included fixture on the drawer for something else. Interesting knobs for furniture can be found at “junk” craft stores, any hobby or art shop, and thrift stores. Vintage knobs can also be found online, but thrift stores usually have some in their “knick-knack” or miscellaneous housewares section. Replacing the table with a unique or resourced knob has a few benefits. Replacing the knob instantly classes up the table with new visual appeal and allows you to personalize the table. Different hardware also obfuscates the fact that the furniture in question was bought for cheap at a chain furniture store.

Buy self-adhesive marble printed paper. This can be found at craft stores and online. It comes with one side of the paper showing beautiful marble swirls and the other side layered with adhesive and a protective plastic film. Measure the table side to side to ensure your paper is cut at the proper width, leaving a few inches of extra space on all end to wrap over the “lip,” or protruding area of tabletop over the shelving area. Wrapping the paper around the lip of the table makes the entire lip look like a slab of marble, rather than wood with a marble print on top. By keeping the swirls on all sides, the table is camouflaged as marble.

After wrapping the front of the table, including the lip, cut the excess on either side an inch or so until it can be folded down flush with the front wrapped area. There will be a line where those two sections meet, so cut carefully to ensure they meet. Cutting rounded edges or along the swirls be also be a viable option to overlay the two corner flaps to hide the joining line of the two pieces. If the corners turn out wrong, use small pieces of paint, tape, or sheet metal to create inch-wide corner covers. This will add more texture to the table and make it look as though the marble is “framed” to the top of the shelving unit.

For added interest, adding a glass layer on top of the paper prevents damage coming to the paper and warping the pattern. Glass also gives a depth to the pattern, which could be desirable. Ultimately, a marble-paper patterned table is just a starting point for personalizing a totally unique, expensive looking table.