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With a few discarded mailing tubes, construction paper, and Fiskars Squeeze Punches you can craft these characters in under 20 minutes.
Whether you want to dress your table for a special occasion or to enjoy everyday all winter long, here are some ideas to add warmth and character this season with lots of texture and natural materials.
When dressing a table, I often do not stop to think about the chairs, too. I am honestly getting tired of our table and chairs, but we are not able to invest in something new right now. By covering the chair backs, it gives them a new life. I think I will be sad when winter is over and I have to take off these sweater covers! They add so much warmth and texture to the space.
And they are super simple to make! I purchased several men's XL sweaters from a thrift store (and washed them). I went with all different shades of gray, but you could get as eclectic as you want. Measure the height of your chair back as well as the width (include the thickness of the chair, too) and add in a little for a seam allowance. Your width can be a little smaller for a snug fit since the sweater stretches, but you do not want to skimp on the height. Turn the sweater inside out and cut to size on a cutting mat using a rotary cutter and acrylic ruler. Be sure not to cut the bottom of the sweater as this finished edging will be the bottom of your cover. Sew around the sides and top and turn right-side out to slide onto chair. It is as easy as that!
I envisioned our winter table as a beautiful, almost rustic, textural setting with pops of color. But there isn't much I do without injecting a little humor. I find it hard to take myself too seriously, so I wanted one pop of silliness among all of the beauty! To mark each place setting, I created a photo place card with personality.
To recreate, take a full-body photo of the subject with their knees bent and hands in a fist. Don't worry about what's in the background as that will be cut out. Silhouette around the body using a retractable craft knife or Micro-Tip scissors. You can back the photo with neutral cardstock for a polished back side before cutting.
Fold a small, neutral strip of cardstock (adhere two pieces together to strengthen if using a thin cardstock) and adhere to back of foot and to craft stick skis. To curve up front of skis, first place craft sticks in hot water for a few minutes and very gently curve. Glue toothpicks to back of hands for poles with discs applied at bottom by first punching a 1/16 inch circle into cardstock then a 1/4 inch circle hand punch centered and feed onto bottom of pole. A scarf adds an extra wintery touch (and is especially silly if you have subject wear shorts!) and can be easily created by feeding a small amount of circle punch onto edge of striped cardstock and then a little further in. Adhere to neck with a strip fringed at bottom with scissors.
A quick and easy way to add warmth to your napkin is by tying around a felt scarf. Cut strips of felt using a rotary cutter and acrylic ruler on a cutting mat and fringe ends with fabric scissors. Tie and you are done!
I knew I wanted some snowy trees for a centerpiece but couldn't decide what style to go with. I opted to go with two different kinds and pulled the centerpiece together by displaying them on a cake stand. This not only gives them a presence instead of being scattered on the table, but it also makes it easy to remove them quickly when we need the center of the table. Place them on a bed of snowflake punches for added texture.
The first tree was created from a vintage book I had. I took off the cover and drew a diagonal line from the top to the bottom and cut using a ruler and craft knife. I cut back and forth patiently through several sheets at a time until done. Then glue the book open and spray with white spray paint.
The smaller trees take much more time, but they are worth it for their beautiful texture. I grabbed all of my star punches from my XL squeeze punch all the way down to my 1/4 inch hand punch. Then I began punching from a couple different colors of cardstock with all of the sizes. I never bother counting, but instead stacked my punches as I went along so I can visually see how many more I wanted. Once you have them all punched (if you have kids at home, they can help with that part!), adhere them in a stack on a chipboard circle base beginning with the biggest punch with the pieces spread apart and tapering in as you go. Once completed, dust with white spray paint.
Once you have the chairs and tables covered, don't forget about the ability to hang additional décor! A simple cluster of snowflakes adds a dramatic finishing touch when hung from the chandelier with clear thread.
Using the scoring blade in your rotary trimmer, score a 6" x 12" strip of white cardstock centered at the 3 inch mark and 3/4inch on each side of center. Cut into strips at desired width and fold each at scored marks with a glue dot at ends to keep closed. Bend in at both sides of score marks to form snowflake points. Hot glue ends of points in sets of six onto cardstock circle punch. Top with another hot-glued circle punch and top each side with wooden button at centers.
When decorating your table for the holidays, consider a winter theme to enjoy the entire season long. Add lots of warm rustic texture, pops of color against neutrals, and a little humor for a warm, beautiful setting with personality!