Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’
While I’ve never been a big user of napkin rings (or my husband a user of napkins), I still love them. I used to have a neighbor that always used cloth napkins. After they finished eating, they would fold them in half and hang them on the back of their chairs. I always thought this was so neat and “fancy but casual”. I’ve tried it, but because I’m always using the kitchen table as my craft table, the napkins fall to the floor, the dog claims them, and I later find them in the backyard. But…Thanksgiving is a different story. Thanksgiving calls for all kinds of fancy; honestly, other than Christmas, when do you insist on hand washing the dishes instead of putting them through the dishwasher?
I found the idea for these napkin rings in a craft magazine I grabbed at a yard sale. (Hello, my name is Kelley and I’m addicted to Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications.) Although I didn’t come up with the idea on my own, I did put my own little twist to them. So here ya go:
Beading Wire: You’ll need the kind that is malleable. I bought 20 guage. The higher the number, the finer the wire. You want the stiffer stuff, but you don’t want it too big for your beads.
Beads: Use whatever suits your fancy.
Head Pins: These are what you use to make drop earrings.
Needle nose Pliers and Wire Cutters
Decide on your bead layout and string them on your beading wire. Don’t cut the wire yet.
Once you have the desired length of beaded string (mine was about nine inches), make a small loop on the end of your wire. This is where you’ll attach the head pin.
Get a bead (or two) that matches your ensemble and put it on your head pin. Cut the head pin to leave the right about needed for a loop. Make sure you don’t close the loop before you hook it onto your beading wire. Personally, I found that closing the loop on the head pin last was easier than the beading wire. The head pin will take more “strength” to close, but if you do it slowly and carefully, I think you’ll end up with a nicer looking product.
Here’s where I give my other two cents’ worth: Instead of using a toilet paper roll to wrap the wire around, use a spool of thread. And here’s why: When you wrap the wire and then release it, it’s going to expand a bit. Using a spool of thread allows it to expand to the normal size of a napkin ring. When I tried using a toilet paper roll, it expanded to something that looked like a bracelet.
When you wrap your wire around the spool of thread take into account how much you’ll need for a loop on the end and then cut your wire. You don’t want to cut it before wrapping because you’ll need more length as you wrap. Put more beads on another headpin, cut, loop, and attach to the other end of your beading wire.
I did put my own twist to the these napkin rings. I decided to personalize the rings for each person. I know that it’s somewhat impractical if you aren’t sure who will be dining with you or if you plan on using them for regular meals, but I wanted to add a little extra. There’s also the fact that Marissa and her kiddos traveled down to have a big Thanksgiving with Jen and Debbie. And even though I wasn’t there, I wanted it to be super special for them. So…I thought I’d go ahead and send these napkin rings on over for them to use.
And so here’s what we have:
Debbie, Jen, and Marissa’s rings are made with various styles of pearled beads…because they really are pearls.
Jen and Marissa’s daughters are the two girliest girls you’ll ever meet. I made theirs with pink beads.
Jen’s son is a master soccer player. He has soccer beads with his team colors.
Marissa’s son is really into cub scouts (future eagle scout, I’m sure!). He has blue, yellow, and wooden beads.
Jen’s husband has a purple belt in Brazilian Jujitsu. Although I made his with purple and black beads, don’t laugh, because he can totally kick your butt…or twist you into a pretzel…whichever you prefer.
Marissa’s husband is in the navy, and although he is deployed and won’t be there for Thanksgiving, he still get’s a spot at the table. I made his with red, white, and blue beads (they also have stars and stripes on them!).
A little tacky? Maybe.
A little extra special? I really hope so.
Thankful for all of them? You have no idea.
I had hoped to have this up on the site BEFORE Thanksgiving, but it was not to be … but, this stuffed meal (as opposed to the condition you’ll be in — stuffed — when you finish your Thanksgiving feast) would still be a fun gift or centerpiece for the Christmas table! Thanksgiving is about family, food, and fun … so, since part of the “family” could only be here the weekend before Thanksgiving this year, that is when we celebrated! I did tell Jen that my universe feels a bit like it is tilted since everyone else is in the kitchen making their big Thanksgiving meal and I’m putting together a leftover turkey sandwich … homemade pizza at her house later today for the shopping strategizing session!
I downsized my diningroom furniture a few years ago, and “the grands” are “upsizing” so we decided to have our first “kids’ table” this year (Josh suggested that next year it be moved to the patio!).
This fun little centerpiece idea came from Smashed Peas and Carrots, a young mother’s fun blog full of recipes and craft ideas. You’ll see from my close-up pictures that I made a few changes, mainly for simplicity’s sake (and because I have limited time and need to make two of them!).
1. Draw the pattern pieces freehand (no kidding!) on paper.
2. Cut out fabric pieces (I used felt for all pieces).
3. On one of the ”meat” pieces for each drumstick, sew velcro.
4. I topstitched the “bone” pieces together without stuffing. May insert a bit of stuffing or a piece of interfacing for the second one I made since the bones are a bit floppy.
5. Pin together two meat pieces (inside out, making sure the velcro piece is the one you want stuck to the side of the turkey body), with a bone inserted.
6. Sew the pieces of the drumsticks together (inside out), leaving an opening to insert stuffing. Stuff, and whipstitch opening closed.
7. Repeat with the second drumstick.
8. Sew the matching velcro in the appropriate place on each of the body pieces.
9. Sew the two body pieces together, inside out.
10. Sew the body to the bottom piece (you will probably have to do some adjusting here, I ended up trimming about 1 1/2″ off one end of the bottom to get the body to fit the right way), leaving an opening on the rear end to stuff. Stuff as tightly as possible. Whipstitch closed. Using dark embroidery floss or perle cotton, stitch “Xs” across where you whipstitched so it looks like he’s been stuffed and sewn shut (since that is exactly what has happened!).
11. Attach the drumstick pieces.
12. For the other veggies, use your imagination! I made carrots by sewing together triangles and inserting the “top” after stuffing, then tied it off with embroidery floss. The green beans are just two strips of felt sewn together with a bit of stuffing inserted (used the eraser end of a pencil to do the “insert” part!).
13. I purchased a pack of 3 inexpensive foil pizza pans to use as the serving tray.
This little guy was a big hit, especially with the girl “grands” … they entertained themselves and the family for about an hour that evening “serving” up turkey dinner!
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” — William Arthur Ward
I certainly have much to be thankful for, so hope that everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving (no matter when you celebrate or what you eat)!
Hello again everyone! Today I am highlighting the pinecone place card holders originally featured in our 100th post with Thanksgiving table designs. I had a lot of fun making these, mostly because they were SO easy to do! I pulled out the materials and from start to finish I don’t know if this even took me ten minutes.
- Designer stones with flat bottoms, usually found around the stepping stone area of your local craft store or Wal-Mart
- Glitter in the color of your choice – I used gold to make it look more Autumn-ish
- Pinecones – I just picked mine at the local park! but you can also buy a bag for usually $1 -3
- Spray adhesive (you will also see regular tacky glue in the picture…I didn’t use it)
- Glue gun and sticks
- Container to work on/put glitter on – in our family we use recycled meat and veggie trays as can be seen in Jen’s post
- Card stock
- If the bottom of the pinecone is not level, pull or cut off excess pine spokes
- Pour a small amount of glitter into your container
- Spray pinecone generously with spray adhesive, coating entire cone
- Roll pinecone in glitter making sure to thoroughly cover the outside of the cone and allow to dry
- Using glue gun, put a dime-sized amount of hot glue on the bottom of the pinecone and immediately place pinecone on rounded part of designer stone; hold steady in place until glue dries, usually less than one minute
- Print out or hand-write the names of your guests on 2 x 3 inch pieces of card stock and place holder at the top of your place setting
At the end of this project, the design was SCREAMING Christmas tree at me, so I guess I will be making these again at Christmas time with green glitter instead. I will probably still use the orange stones though because they will make great “tree trunks!”
When we decided at Threaded Together to each do a piece of the Thanksgiving table, I was assigned placemats. I automatically thought about having the kids do turkey handprints or something similar on construction paper. What we decided to do was cut out turkey feathers and a turkey body. I let the kids put together each turkey and then we glued them to the whole sheet of construction paper. Laminate them and you have fun placemats for Thanksgiving!
A few days ago as I was reading some craft blogs, I saw a suggestion where you should let the kids make the placemats on Thanksgiving day. I wish I could remember the site! What a great way for the kids to stay entertained and out of your hair while you get Thanksgiving dinner together!