When I was selected to participate in DailyBuzz Moms 9×9 November Challenge, I was absolutely thrilled because this Thanksgiving is extra special for us. Hubby’s parents, who have never experienced a traditional American Thanksgiving, are coming to the States for the holiday and we’ve been busy trying to plan out an authentic meal and setting in the hope of letting them in on what makes this American holiday so meaningful.
Personally, it’s one of my favorites – I know you thought I was only Halloween obsessed, what with the pumpkins, popcorn, candy and treats– since it means family together, eating, and enjoying each other’s company.
For those of you who don’t know about the DailyBuzz Moms 9×9 challenges, here’s the deal: 9 participants are selected to complete a given month’s challenge in 9 hours. You can see the October 9×9 challenge here.
For those of you who don’t know my situation, I have a 2.75 year old and an 18 month old, who love to wrap themselves around my ankles or wrap their hands around each other’s necks when I’m not looking. So to say this was a bit of a challenge is an understatement! Every now and again, a piece of decor would suddenly go missing or someone would be tangled in leaves and flower wire. I have to say, though, that I had so much fun with this challenge!
Just a note before I tell you the story of our table: if you’re going to replicate something similar, I do not recommend doing it all in one day . . . I’m not sure it’s completely safe to be Mod Podging, spray painting and glitter painting so much all in the span of 9 hours!
On the day of the challenge, I tried to wake up before Jane, but of course, she woke at the spritely hour of 6:00 a.m. Foil one. Then I looked for a white tablecloth for a nice, clean canvas for our table setting, but realized I never bought one! Foil two. Of course, the ultimate foil: our new dining table didn’t arrive in time. So, I set a table for six and will have to transfer it to our table for 12 – if it ever arrives – before Thanksgiving Day!
I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do, but knew I wanted to incorporate natural fall elements. Jane and I have been collecting and pressing leaves all fall and that sparked the entire creative process. My other inspiration was this incredible Preston Bailey spectacular Thanksgiving setting.
The first thing I did was create a runner (since I didn’t have one of those either). I fashioned the runner out of four cork board (that will double as trivets) that I topped with pretty gold patterned cardstock my mom gave me for my birthday. Of course, Mom to the rescue!
Then I spray painted some of our fresh yellow sycamore leaf stash with gold glitter and Mod Podged the rest. The awesome Mod Podge idea came from a post I saw from Jen at paint cut paste – thank you, Jen! I also sprayed painted some of the pressed maple leaves from our backyard.
I used the same batch of cardstock I used for the trivets to cut out individual place cards in the shape of gift tags and attached them to the nests by stringing random “twigs” through a punched hole at the top of the cards. As a finishing touch, I wrapped styrofoam berries around sections of the nests.
To tie in with the nests and leaf theme, I added the glittery maple leaves to wooden napkin wrings and secured them with more of the berries. I also made tissue paper flowers to add more color and interest to the place settings. (Tutorial coming soon! I know I said I would post one when you saw them here, but I really promise to post the tute this week!)
Now, this piece you might think incongruous, but it’s so important to me because it represents my own mother. She’s an Ikebana artist and I wanted to include something as a reference to her. More spray paint: this time gold metallic on a dried bird of paradise leaf and piece of dried bamboo and bright red on dried agapanthus. Oh, and I also spray painted the styrofoam ball I stuck them into!
And the pinecones my daughter painted! (This awesome centerpiece idea came from Catherine at Sun Hats & Wellie Boots).
To add dimension to the table, I filled tall pillar candle holders with leftover Halloween mini pumpkin and pinecone decorations, the rest of the berries and fresh crimson gold apples.
And I had to include clove orange balls – although, technically this is a clementine! Plus, a glitter painted pumpkin and some glitter painted styrofoam balls. Why? Because they’re glittery!
Obviously it’s clear I have an incurable glitter addiction. To top it off, I floated golden candles in small votive holders and sprinkled confetti on top of the water. The glimmer and pop of the sparkling candles was just beautiful under the lights at night!
So much glitter deserved some natural fireworks, so I place cut marigolds and other real flowers around the table. Don’t worry, I didn’t paint them.
My favorite part of this process was hanging cut maple leaf branches from the light above the table to create a warm canopy above. In the evening, the entire table just glowed. I can’t wait to have the family all around it.
Last, but not least, I placed our Eucalyptus and Manzanita Leaf Thanksgiving Candle on the table.