I also will apologize up front for seeming a little scattered with my description of how I made this table decoration, but that's just how it all came together! This is also an exceedingly LONG post, heavy on photos.
Getting started on my project proved to be quite a challenge, as I have only a handful of seasonal crafting items for Thanksgiving and fall. I also have never decorated for Thanksgiving, as we are usually not here to celebrate it in our own home. In decorating, I generally move from Halloween right into Christmas!
So after having a quick look at Pinterest, I found only one thing which inspired me--a decorated bird cage. I love birds, so why not include them in my table decor?
I was mostly inspired by a Halloween grouping I had in my home, and knew right away I would use these old brown bottles somehow in my table decoration.
|This is what I was left with after I used some of my bottles for my centerpiece!|
Based on the birdcage idea, I had to have a grapevine swag. Off to Hobby Lobby where a bejeweled pumpkin caught my eye, but no grapevine swags available.It was then and there I decided this was going to be made solely from what I had on hand. I have a nice old birdcage I could use, but no swag. What can I use? Then I saw a roll of drywall tape I had purchased at a sale last week. After checking to see if it would accept ink the way I wanted it to, I looked to my cabinet full of natural elements. I'm greatly inspired by nature, as I work outdoors quite a bit. There I found some old Japanese Beetle riddled dried leaves my sister sent me from her Missouri farm a few years back.
|I had already started spraying before I remembered to take a picture.|
I placed the leaves as you would a stencil over the drywall tape in a paper towel lined spray box, intending to kill two birds with one stone ( A bird-lover, I hate that phrase, but use it way too much!) I layered on a variety of Dylusions spray inks (4 colors) and Heidi Swapp gold Colorshine, as well as gold Distress paint mixed with water in an old spray bottle allowing each layer to partially dry before applying the next, so they wouldn't blend. I worked on one section of the tape at a time, then dried that section completely with a heat gun before moving to the next section. I read about diluting the paint on a blog posting I recently commented on, but I'm sorry, I just cannot recall who did this--you know who you are--thanks for the inspiration. So now I have colored leaves and a nice stenciled pattern on my "swag/banner". This process took awhile, as I could only do a 8 inch section at a time, and ended up making an 8 ft. swag. While waiting in the orthodontist office, I distressed the edges with scissors. I think I'm going to get a cleaning bill from my kid's orthodontist! Back home, I spritzed it with water and wound it to make a tight spiral, blasting it with a heat gun to maintain the "corkscrew curls". This is not how it ended up--you'll see!
Now that paper toweling lining the box had an awful pretty mix of colors on it, and it would be a shame to waste it! So I used it to make some mums! I used 2 dies to make the 5 flower layers (Tim's Tattered Florals and Sizzix old Daisy#2 dies). The toweling didn't hold up well to the Tattered Florals, so I used some webbed fabric I had gotten at a sale this summer--I think it's interfacing. This took the sprays quite well, and die cut beautifully. It did take forever to dry. I shaped my layers using a pencil, toothpick and a stylus and hot glued the layers together. AND I DIDN'T BURN MY FINGERS! However, I did end up with a few paper towel layers stuck to my fingers, and had to redo a few! The flower centers are brass upholstery buttons on a roll I've hoarded, which I've altered with alcohol inks and Distress paint. I'm trying real hard to give my piece a Frilly look, but the Funky side of me keeps rearing it's ugly head!
I see that the banner/swag and the flowers look way too much alike and this will not look good in the same arrangement. What can I do to change the look of one or the other? I decided to emboss my banner using Tim's Thankful embossing folder. I put a section of my banner in the folder using the text I wanted embossed on that length of banner, moving the banner with each pass through my Big Kick to get different combinations of text. This didn't show up too well, so I sanded the raised areas down, and now the text shows up nicely. I'm leaving this alone now! Perfect! Or so I thought! The embossing took all of the spiral curl out of the paper, and it seemed less pliable than ever.
I now have bottles, flowers,leaves and a nice banner with Thanksgiving greetings all over it. Off to the Closet to see if I have any pumpkins. I have medium sized ones and a couple of bags of tiny ones I bought on clearance about 3 years ago, which I intended to spruce up my fading store bought wreath with--never got to that! My cat approves and takes a bite out of one of the medium sized ones. This is a good reason to make these look like the ones I saw at HL. I spread a layer of Extra Thick Tacky Glue around the stems and sprinkled them with microbeads and seed beads from my stash. I like how it turned out and the teeth marks are disguised! I liked the tiny pumpkins just the way they came out of the package.
|Plain old pumpkins before beads were added.|
|The glue is still wet and a little visible here.|
In the meantime, the leaves have lost all the color I've sprayed on, except the HS Gold Color Shine, so I dry brushed a little red acrylic paint on them. They are now good and thick and will hold up much better.
A trip to the outdoor closet of shame revealed a nice metal tray I had picked up (where else?) at a yardsale years ago. Hmmm...change of plans...I don't want to ruin my antique birdcage in case I mess up, so now I've changed my entire design plan! In our area of the country, we have very mild Thanksgiving Day weather, and many people take their meal outdoors. I will make an outdoor table decoration! And just last week, I purchased these 2 little metal birdcages adorned for Halloween (yes, at a yardsale!). I removed all their Halloween elements and was left with two very usable cages. At first I had visions of housing a couple of pewter turkey napkin rings I have in my china cabinet (a gift from probably 20 years ago--tags still on!), but my vision changed AGAIN!
Still trying to come up with a concrete plan, I looked to my recipe box for ideas. I know I had a couple of recipes for Thanksgiving dishes in there from my Mom, and they would be nice in my arrangement--maybe die cut some leaves??? out of them. Better idea! I photocopied them and stuck them on an old cereal box, die cut them with Tim's Postage Stamp die, then moved them up on the die and cut them again so they are square rather than rectangular to fit in the cages. I wanted them to be seen from both sides, so I die cut the recipe page out of Tim's Seasonal Paper Stash, cutting 2 of them in the same manner, and glued them to the backs of my modified die cut recipes. Next I inked them with Antique Linen Distress Ink, gave them a little spritz and flick with water to age them, and spritzed them with my marker spritzer and Vintage Photo and Walnut Distress Markers. On one I slathered some texture paste through a kiddie leaf stencil a friend gave me a long time ago, and while still wet, I sprinkled on 3 colors of embossing powder. After this dried, I inked with Vintage Photo to tone the colors of the EP's down a little, and colored it in using Distress Marker and a water pen. On the side with my Mom's recipe I used Crackle and regular Glossy Accents to highlight the existing design. On the other card, I embossed a turkey (Stampin' Up stamp) in copper, and colored it using my Distress Markers and a water pen. I dried it, and applied Crackle Glossy Accents over the parts of the turkey that might have gotten a little crispy in the oven. This gives the turkey a little dimensional look. Since the recipes contained a lot of spices, I got the idea to use my old spice and extract bottles from my collection in the cages, and save the turkeys for the purpose of holding napkins some year when we are all home for Thanksgiving.
|The embossing powder is very washed out from the sun in this photo.|
Can you see how I work yet? This is why I could never be a designer for a living! Too A.D.D. in my creative thought processes!
I have bottles, cages, a swag, which I will wind through my bottles, cages and pumpkins, some recipes and the leaves to accent my centerpiece. There's a birch tree outside my window, and last nights big wind blew some birch "paper" off it. Out to collect! Oh, there's that piece of driftwood found on the beach a couple of years ago getting worm eaten on the way out to the birch tree. I can use that! And while rummaging in my "nature" cabinet, I found all kinds of moss--some in a sheet I salvaged from some neighbor's discarded wreath years ago. Dried lichen collected on our hikes in the woods in West Virginia. All perfect for an outdoorsy table centerpiece.
Still sitting on my dining room table, not put away from last weekend's junking trip, is a set of old tinware Jello molds. They would be great used as "pewter" votive holders in my centerpiece. I am reminded of the jello salad my Grandma would make every Thanksgiving.
All my elements are collected , and I've moved outdoors to my worktable to assemble this. It's a pretty day, nature is here to inspire, and I need plenty of room, since this is 35 inches long! And my Closet is a wreck!
I begin by cutting some florist foam (hoarded from a long time ago, of course!) to fit the tray. Not too thick, because I will layer some moss over this, and then place the driftwood on top of that. This will be my base.
I find the larger bottles are just not in scale, so I built a "tree branch" to lift them up. I used a piece of florist foam, and hot glued my birch bark over this in layers along with some moss and lichen. (Still no burnt fingers!) My bottles were glued to the top, and moss filled in around them.
I glued my little spice and extract bottles in the cages and put in the "recipe cards". The cages were glued on, as well as the pumpkins, more moss and lichen also layered on my base. The jello molds were also glued into place, and a few leaves were scattered here and there, also glued into place. 4 glue sticks used and still no burnt fingers! I glued on my flowers randomly.
Now, for the big snag! Remember that swag/banner I worked so hard and long on? Well, it would NOT cooperate, and I had to quickly come up with plan B. I cut out 4 short lengths that contained some of the embossed text and cut notches in each end, distressing the notches with scissors. I looped them and secured with more glue to make 4 individual banners which I glued on each of the 4 sides. Good save!
|When embossing, I purposely chose areas without too much leaf stenciling. I was saving those lighter colored areas to stamp a Thanksgiving greeting, but could not find an appropriate sentiment.|
|I think you can see the stenciled leaf most clearly in this shot.|
I dyed Tim's Crinkle Ribbon with several Distress stains diluted with water, scrunched and dried with a heat gun. I made a Paula Cheney bow and attached them to each bird cage.(Paula, I will never be able to do with ribbon what you can!)
A few battery operated votive candles, a sprinkling of Tim's Idea-ology wishbones here and there, and we're done! Except the only ones I have that work right now are Halloween! I will get to the store before Thanksgiving and make this right! (Update: you will see orange candles in my jello molds: I found these in my buffet! And they are called AUTUMN LEAVES!!! Woo Hoo! I'm not going to light these, though--way too many flammables here!) Please enjoy the following photos of my completed outdoor Thanksgiving table decoration.
|One side--the other recipe is drying in my craft Closet!|
|The other side|
|My "tree stump"|
|You can see the driftwood in this shot|
|Gotta love those Halloween votive candles!|
I'm real pleased to come up with a Thanksgiving themed table decoration made entirely from just what I had on hand! I hope you like it, and that you are inspired to make your own project to link to Frilly and Funkie's wonderfully inspirational challenge AGrateful Welcome. Create a Thanksgiving invitation, table decor, decoration for a door or home decor with Thanksgiving in mind! Be sure to give them a visit and see what gorgeous pieces the Design Team has made to inspire you! Thanks to all the super- talented design team members at Frilly and Funky for inviting me to join them for the day! And thank you, for all your thoughtful, inspiring comments that you leave on my blog.
Now I can get started on my Halloween decorations! Here's what I've started at the front door, but there are days worth of work left to do.
|Two of my most recent additions to my Halloween hoard.|
I would like to enter this into the following inspiring challenges (All of them have such wonderful inspiration pieces from the design team members--be sure to take time to visit each and every one!):
Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge #18 "Layer It" 3 layers used for my base. Layers of ink, texture paste, markers, and embossing powder on my recipe cards--3 layers to make the actual card. Layers of moss, lichen, driftwood...
Country View Challenges October "Sparkle and Shine" Sparkly pumpkins, Shiny bottles, brass buttons on flowers, "crispy skin" on my turkey and other Glossy Accents on recipe cards, jello molds with candlelight...
Inspiration Journal October's Challenge "In Disguise" Drywall tape disguised as a banner with Thanksgiving greetings, bark, moss, lichen and florist foam disguised as a tree branch, jello molds disguised as votive holders, used paper towels disguised as flowers, brass upholstery buttons disguised as flower centers...
LESSology Challenge #41 Beautiful Scenery This is a new challenge blog I have discovered which fits my style to a TEE. Love up-cycling and re-purposing! My banner, jello molds, sheet moss from another neighbor's discarded wreath, leaves from my sisters farm, drift wood, upholstery buttons, USED paper toweling, birch bark (well--almost EVERYTHING on this project is recycled!)
The Artistic Stamper October Challenge "Memories" My stamp is the turkey on the recipe card. My memories are brought to light in the jello molds and the recipe cards--reminding me of Thanksgiving dinners prepared by my Mom and my Grandma.