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Event Lesson - Decking the Dining Room



wow, check out all those awesome projects! I especially love the red letter banner and the framed tree art!

Terrific projects and very do-able! Thanks for the ideas, especially the list making! I love the inside scooters!

Golly, this is amazing. I think I want to come spend Christmas with you!! Loads of good ideas here. I like how you mixed the practical and the homemade, easy to do with the more time-consuming. The finished result is really wonderful.

Wow - I love the words strung across the table!

kellicrowe, you amaze me! that tree......on my to do list. I can't believe you've done all this before Dec 1. Please package some of your energy up and send Priority Mail to me!

Oh my! I KNEW this was your before I even opened the seed!
AMAZING, as always!
That paper-pieced tree....I'm gonna copy cat that-for sure!!!

Event Lesson - Decking the Dining Room
About this project

Event Lesson - Decking the Dining Room
by kellicrowe
posted 11/30/10
Galleries: Packaging

Decking the Dining Room: Paper Piecing, Place Cards & a
Carol-ific Banner Idea

I really love decorating for Christmas. I start on November 1st….the day my Halloween decorations come down.

We use our dining room at least once a week, if not more.
So it is a fun room to decorate because it gets used…but not too much! You can use any of these ideas for paper piecing, place cards and a banner in other rooms of your house or in your scrapbook.

Photo 1: The full photo of the dining.

Photo 2. I started off my plans with a list and a sketch of ideas I wanted to use. It is a combination of things I had seen previously and a few new ideas.

(I did this while waiting in the car for one of my boys to finish chess club. By making a list like this, I can get the ideas out of my head and onto paper. It lets me prioritize all those ideas rolling around up there. It feels more like choosing what I want to do when on a list verses that sinking feeling post-Christmas where I feel like there was so much more I wanted to do and just ran out of time.)

Photo 3: Paper Pieced Tree Art
I have a photo ledge in my Dining Room where photos, etc. are displayed year ‘round. But all you need is a frame anywhere. (on the wall, sitting on a sideboard.)

*I used a tape runner to make a triangle on a piece of white 12x12 card stock.
*I filled that triangle in with the tape runner tape.
*Then I placed rectangular pieces of scrap patterned paper in bright colors all over the triangle.
*Add a star.
*And then I actually just used some masking tape on the back of the paper piecing to stick to the outside of the glass. My framed photo is still safe inside the frame.

Fun display tip #1 - Pull out older Christmas photos and put them in small frames around your home.

To give them even more display power: use a larger frame than photo and mat the photo with Christmas plaid fabric, patterned paper or even that fun laser cut paper from KI. Or place ribbon around the boarder of the photo.

Photo 4: Paper Pieced Package Art
*I cut a piece of heavy card stock into a rectangle.
*Then I cut rectangular pieces of patterned paper. I started with the larger ones and used a glue stick to adhere them to the background card stock. I then filled in with smaller pieces. *Then I took a fat ribbon and tied it around the whole background piece of card stock. (The ribbon was the shopping bag handle of my Anne Taylor Loft purchase. As soon as I saw it, I knew that ribbon was coming off and going to find itself on a gift or decoration for sure!)
*I used glue dots to keep the bow in place.
*I used masking tape, again, to secure the Paper Pieced Package to the front, outside of the frame.

Photo 5: This is the finished product.

Fun display tip #2 - Do you have any special Christmas cards or art that you have held on to? Put them in a frame. My Aunt is an artist. She drew this picture years ago. My Grandmother used it for her Christmas cards. Inside the card is a note written to me by my Grandmother, probably 7 years ago. I now have it safe in that little frame. I plan to keep it in this inexpensive frame even when not displayed to protect it. (Frame cost about $4)

Photo 6: Paper Piecing Place Cards

These are super easy to make.
*Just fold down the edge of a double sided patterned paper however tall you want your place cards to be. I wanted mine to be about 3 1/4 inches tall, so I folded down the side of the green patterned paper 3 and 1/4 inches tall. (Presidential ruler not needed).
*Cut a connected triangle out of the folded down paper. You are cutting out a triangle but just not cutting the papers apart.
*When you open up the paper, it should look like a bow tie. I covered the outside of one of the triangle sides with glue dots. Glue dots are very flat and hold very well. (Better for this project than a tape runner).
*I used small, thin rectangles of patterned paper scraps to stick to the outside of the tree. Mine were aprox. 1 inch long.
*Start from the bottom and work up. Let the bottom rectangles hang off the tree.
*Turn or roll the bottom of the rectangular pieces up.

Photo 7: Paper Pieced Place Card #1
*The ends of the 1 inch rectangular papers are not actually glued to the tree, but rolled up.
*Use a star punch or a cut star or a circle punch for the top.
*Write the name of the person on the tree topper.
*Place above or on top of the place setting.

Photo 8: Paper Pieced Place Card #2
*I alternated the place cards in photo #7 with simpler ones as in this photo.
*These are still the same bow tie shape, folded in half. Because they are already made out of patterned paper, I simply added the same tree topper to it.
*Then I added jewels.
*You could pop dot small circles or add any sort of little embellishments you have sitting around.

Photo 9: The Carol-ific Banner
*I saw this photo on several people’s Tumbler notebooks and on blogs last year. The photo is from “katy did” blog. I made mine a little differently, but the idea was all hers.
*For me, when hand cutting items (especially letters) the key isn't to have them all look the exact same, but to have them all within proportion with each other.
*I cut 12x12 card stock into 4 6x6 squares. (So I got 4 letters from each piece of card stock). Yes, I used all my reds in pretty much any shade of red that I had and a few pieces of double sided pattered paper tossed in too.
*If you want to use this banner for more than one year, I suggest card stock over construction paper because
a.It has more weight to it and will hang better.
b.It keeps its color better while hanging in sunlight and in storage.
c.It is easier to handle and less likely to wrinkle.

Photo 10: Cutting the letters
*You do not have to cut perfect letters.
*If the letter is symmetrical, like a “T”, then fold your paper in half and cut out half of a “T”. Unfold your paper and there you go.
*When you get to later letters, like an “I” or the top of a “J”,
use the top of you “T” as a template for drawing any of the same shapes. EX: I traced the top of my “T” for my “I” and then turned my “T” upside down and traced it for the bottom of my “I” as well.
*This also works well with using an “O” to help make a “C” or a “G.”
*I free handed the bottom of the “J” and then used the bottom curved piece to help me trace the parts of an “S”.
*Or you can free hand them all and you know they will be roughly the same size because you are cutting them all from the same sized 6x6 papers.
*I punched 1 1/2 inch circles and astrid shapes out of my card stocks and my patterned papers too.

Photo 11: Punching holes and stringing up the garland
*I used my Crop-a-dile to punch holes in the tops of the letters and circles. I think a hole punch would work for this too.
*Punch 2 holes in the top corners of your letters about an inch away from the edges (to keep them from ripping easily).
*Punch 2 holes in the circles as well. (Just one hole punched lets the letters or circles turn perpendicular to the string once hung up. I wanted mine to stay flat.
*I cut out all letters and spread them out on the floor first. I suggest proof reading your words like this first before stringing them up. It is frustrating to have to unstring them because you left out a letter or word. Trust me.
*Using string or twine (I used Martha Stewart's Baker's Twine so it has some color on it) lace up your letters - one line of music per string. (My song is Joy to the World).
*I placed 2 circles before and after each word on the string to help with the readability by better separating the words.
*Using tacks, we tied the string on each side of the Dining Room wall at the ceiling.
*It was my husband's idea to move the banner above the light fixture - which I think is why it works so well. It is decorative but non intrusive in anyone's personal space.
*We did hang the banners going in different directions so there is a line readable from each angle in the room. (It isn't like people are going to refer to the banner to remember the first verse of Joy to the World in a singing situation.)

Fun display tip #3 - You can use a banner for any occasion!
You can use it with the words to Happy Birthday….or lines from your favorite movie or book. Or from your wedding vows. OH, my mind is spinning right now with ideas!
DUDE….how about lines from Darcy to Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice? “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I love you.” (Paraphrase) OR something fun like “Live long and prosper” or great lines from Tombstone “I'll be your huckleberry” or Star Wars, “I have a very bad feeling about this”………

Whew…I am super pumped that I have twine left over!!

Display tip #4 - Pick a fun centerpiece (photo 12)
I saw this Kit Kat house on line (can be found at the Nestle web site) because folks were talking about it on the NSMB a few weeks ago here at 2 peas. When I googled it, the message board conversation came up second on the list:) I loved it. I mean, I'm not going to eat an old gingerbread house after a few weeks of sitting out…but I might just eat a Kit Kat after a month on the counter.

Photo #13 My Kit Kat house
My version of the house…and yes…those are store bought cookies around it!
*I used candy we already had and some of my kiddo's Halloween candy left over.
*Other than that - I followed Nestle's instructions.

Display tip # 5 - Frame hand made items from the kids.
*I framed a little star ornament that Alex made when he was 2. It usually hangs on our tree, but after 10 years, it was starting to look worn. I put a piece of patterned paper in a frame and stuck the star and string right on top. Easy a pie. Actually, far easier than making pie.
*Frame a letter to Santa from one of the kids. (After you send a copy of it to the big guy, first….of course.)
*Keep some of your regular photos mixed in as well.

Display tip #6 - Use the containers you already have.
Normally, our display shelf has these glass hurricane vase things on it. The small ones have candles in them and the bigger ones usually have our wine corks in them. (Whenever we have people over and we drink some wine, I write the people's name and the date on the cork and drop it into the hurricane vase. At Halloween, I fill the vase with a glittered skull (from Martha Stewart a few years back) and moss. At Christmas, I fill the vase with Christmas ornaments.

Display tip #7 - Mix in small personal, decorative items.
Even my Christmas decorations need to have meaning to me, otherwise they are just clutter. My Mom has traveled a good bit and collected Nativity Sets for me. This tiny one is from Mexico. It is small enough for the shelf and shiney like the ornaments displayed near them.

Display tip #8 - Keep your family in mind
Our inside scooters are always parked under these display shelves. (I mean, where else are we going to park the inside scooters??) I think kids' toys around makes the room feel even more festive. I do move items out to make room for Christmas decorations - but I try to keep the space personalized to fit our family.

So there you have it.
3 easy projects for you Dining room.
But the banner can be used for any special occasion.
The paper piecings can work on a scrapbook page.
The place cards can also double as gift tags.

There are A LOT of products listed. However, I bet you have a lot of them already! I used bright colors - but look at your own supplies and see what colors you usually purchase. Use those colors because they make you happy.

You don't have to come up with new ideas.
There are tons of them out there just waiting for you to take them and personalize them for your needs and space.
It is really a matter of prioritizing which of the ideas you want to use. At the end of the Holidays, it will not be the banner or the centerpiece that is important in my memories - but the people who were around the table.

Challenge: Create something inspired by this project. Be sure to mention how you were inspired. Upload your project to the member gallery by January 2nd for your chance to win a sponsored prize pack. Don't forget to check the challenge checkbox! The winner will be announced on the Education message board and the 2PsEvents blog on January 3rd.
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