Last summer I really wanted a new kitchen table but the aforementioned mortgage and groceries once again took priority. I thought about tiling over it but came across lots of decoupage ideas on the Internet and decided to try a combination of the two: paper mosaic.
It took many, many hours of all 3 kids and me working but was a great opportunity to just sit and chat. It's also fun to see their work style--Sean (age 12) saw it as a math project and fitted the pieces together like a puzzle. Elise (age 10) was more concerned about making sure no matching colors touched. Max (age 6) just stuck pieces on randomly but it didn't matter and I didn't have to teach him the "right way." We had a fun time doing this project but we were all glad when it was done, and the compliments we received on it continue to this day.
Paper Mosaic Table
First, prepare your table. We filled in the dents with wood filler and then painted the whole top black.
Purchase lots of card stock in your desired color scheme. It doesn't have to be too thick, and we got most of ours from Michaels with a 40% off coupon. Cut it randomly into smallish or large-ish (you will be happy about the large-ish pieces the longer you work on the project) shapes.
Brush some Elmer's glue (diluted with a little water) on to the table and start laying your pieces down. Make sure they stay flat so they don't curl up later and cause an uneven surface.
Once your table is done and dry, coat it with polyurethane (I used several coats of semi-gloss) to create a durable finish.
Note: The only thing that bummed me out slightly about this project was that the polyurethane soaked into the paper a little and created some dark spots on the paper. Not sure how to avoid that but would love suggestions if you can think of a solution.