Thursday, November 24, 2011

A little bit of love for the Dining Room

My dining room is a work in progress.  We've been in the house for over 4 years, but there is nothing on the walls, no window treatments, nothing but a table and chairs and an incongruously fabulous chandelier I got for the cost of shipping it across the country by Greyhound ($60).  We only eat there a few times a month when we have company; mostly it is a place littered with homework, crayon drawings, and my most recent crafting excesses.  It seems that after painting the room and finding the table on craigslist and hauling it home, I ran out of steam.  For 4 years.

But this year, inspired by a friend's dinner in the woods, I thought I'd try to dress up the room a little for Thanksgiving. I loved the garland they made, so with some borrowed circle punches (thank you, Jenn!) and some fall colored cardstock, I made enough garland to criss cross the room, loop up the stairs, over the archway and backyard sliders ... yeah, it's a little addicting. And it brought some lovely color into a room that is, well, pretty much entirely Behr's Harvest Brown.

Then, because the table, which started out a lovely vintage trestle from Bavaria, is starting to show the effects of 4 children and a careless crafter, I thought I'd make a tablecloth and some napkins from some fabric I picked up years ago (for another dead-in-the-water project of making slip covers for the green velvet chairs.  It was easier to make peace with green velvet than get around to white slipcovers.  Circle garland, however, I can do - anyone want to trade me some slipcovers for a few hundred yards of garland?  ;) Bet they'd be cute in Christmas colours...) 

But back to the table linens.  I don't like to hem, so I thought I'd go for a fringed look, and found some good ideas here.  But rather than try to cut square napkins along the grain with a ruler and rotary cutter, I measured along the edge to the desired width (19" worked well), then pulled a single thread out, which left a neat line to cut by:

Then I pulled off enough of the strands to make a 3/8" fringe, and stitched along the edge to lock it in:

An easy enough project to start and finish in a day, so I could start setting my table a day early for the big feast (instead of leaving it to the kids while I'm pulling the turkey out of the oven, as has been our "tradition" so far).  Not bad for a last minute effort, don't you think?

(The candle ring and napkin ties were made last year - it was a good year for acorns - but never used because I had no napkins.  I'll put up a tutorial for them sometime soon, when I make  up a couple more).


  1. Lovely - so wish I was there to craft with you and everything else slipcover chairs are still waiting, much to John's annoyance! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Oh do I ever miss you. I bet between us we'd have slipcovers within days if we lived close :). Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. Joy: love the runners as placemats. What is the fabric? Do the runners wash well?

  4. The runners (and matching place mats) were from ikea, have held up very well to many washings, and nothing has stained them, yet (crossed fingers). I can't name the fabric... It is ribbed and looks woven from thread and cording.