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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thanksgiving Tablescape Extravaganza!

First, start off by collecting a supply of interesting fall bounty from Mother Nature like acorns, tiny pine cones, and dried leaves.  Add to this collection by picking up walnuts, gourds, corn husks, etc from your local grocery store. Next, spray paint everything metallic gold or if you have a specific color story whatever fits!  With these supplies you can make any of the following:
  • Napkin Rings: Glue acorns and leaves onto a small branch and affix a satin ribbon is a dot of hot glue.  You could also glue two acorns onto each end of a length of ribbon and tie into a casual bow.  You could affix star-anise (found in the spice aisle of your local grocery store) to lengths of ribbon as well.  These ideas are especially festive if your fold your napkin into a cornucopia/cone shape!
  • Place Cards: Tie a ribbon with a name "tag" onto a gilded gourd or mini pumpkin stem.  Take a fresh pomegranate (you don't have to gild this one) and pin a leaf shaped name tag to the fruit.  Take your gilded walnuts and wedge flag/pennant shaped card stock name tags into the seam between the shells.  Write the names in script for an extra fancy look. 
  • Trivia Turkey Place Cards:  Find a turkey pattern online.  Cut out the appropriate number for your expected guests from card stock.  Create a base by making a one inch cut into the bottom of the turkey cut outs and slip a corresponding cross piece into it.  This will create your traditional cross bar base.  Next create feathers by cutting colorful card stock with pinking shears and on each card write a Thanksgiving trivia question.  You can write the answers on the back side of each feather.   Affix card stock "feathers" to the turkey bodies with a brass paper fastener.  
Use any of your leftover gilding supplies to scatter around your table or group together on other surfaces such as your side board or entry table.

Try making these other festively fall table decor items!
  • Basket of Small White Gourds with Gold Stems: Wrap each stem in painters tape and spray paint the gourds white (or any color really).  Next remove the tape, and hand paint the stems metallic gold.  Arrange in a cornucopia, a rustic wooden bowl, or woven basket (turn it on it's side and "spill" the gourds out for a creative touch).
  • The Modern Approach to Painted Small Gourds/Pumpkins:  Wrap the stems of your gourds or mini pumpkins in painters tape and spray the surface in an array of matte colors.  You can go primary and bold or stick with modern takes on fall colors.  You can stack these colorful beauties in a glass cylinder.  You can also arrange them in a free standing tower.  First, collect 4-5 gourds or pumpkin  in progressively larger sizes.  Next, remove all the stems of the gourds except the smallest which will serve as the top of your tower.  Make sure the base gourd/pumpkin is flat bottomed to ensure your creation is steady.  Take a wooden skewer and press it through the center of the largest gourd, slide the next largest onto the skewer, and so on.  Finish with the smallest gourd/pumpkin with the stem intact on top.  You can make these in varied heights and cluster them in modern trios.
  • Sheaf of Wheat:  Gather approximately 100 stalks of dried wheat (This can be found at your local craft store).  Place a piece of floral wire down first onto your work table.  Next, place your bundle of wheat on top of the wire making sure the wire falls towards the top but below the grain pods.  Tap the top of the wheat pods gently to ensure they are even.  Next, secure the wire around the bundle.  Stand the bundle upright and begin to spread and turn the stems until you have a comfortably large base.  Tie a beautiful satin ribbon over the wire and let it drape along the stems. 
  • Gilded Turkeys:  Buy wooden or resin turkeys and spray paint with metallic gold paint.
  • Squash Gourd Candles: You can use things like acorn squash or other small round (like acorn) gourds.  Next, cut the top off of these gourds and then scoop out as much of the meat and seeds as possible.  You can use a melon-baller or sturdy spoon to achieve this.  Keep the inside smooth and follow the contours of the gourd because this will become your candle mold.  Next, melt old candles or wax with crayons for color and pour this into your gourd molds.  Sink a wick into the candles and drape excess wick over a knife or skewer placed across the opening of the gourd.  This will keep the wick centered.  Candle wicks can be purchased at your local craft store.    Let the wax harden completely (this may take several hours) and then break away the gourd mold.

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