Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Christmas on a Dime Part 1: Create a Holiday Table Centerpiece for less than $30!

Since we relocated to Northeast Florida, we have been on a tight budget.  Christmas is right around the corner as the Buddy the Elf memes have been proclaiming for weeks now.  The majority of our belongings, including ALL of the Christmas decorations, are in a black hole portable storage container somewhere in Florida.  We have been faced with having to provide a festive Christmas for our family and extended family that is visiting without breaking the bank.

First off, I have been wanting to prepare a festive table for the holidays.  I would love nothing more than to just run out and purchase the implements to create a beautiful holiday spread a la Arhaus or Pottery Barn, but obviously that is not feasible. So, I decided to roll up my sleeves and get crafty.

Right now we are living in a temporary apartment.  It's not exactly the best place but we try to make the best of it.  There are, however, a lot of trees surrounding the apartment complex.  I immediately had the idea to make use of branches and pine cones to adorn our holiday table. 

I also used a 10 foot burlap runner, which was purchased from the wedding department of Wal-mart for $5.96, and three LED battery-operated candles from Sam's Club ($19.99).  This is really an area where you can personalize your project.  Basically all you need is a table runner of some sort.  You could even purchase inexpensive fabric or burlap and make your own if you're feeling especially crafty.  You can purchase LED candles from the Dollar Tree.  Throw them in a cylinder vase and bam!  Doing these things would significantly decrease the price of this project.  I bought a non-holiday runner and candles that I could use in the future (again, saving money overall), but you can select whatever style you would like. 

To dress up the pine cones, I used one can of $.98 white spray paint from Wal-Mart and a bottle of iridescent glitter I had around the house.  For my look, you could use the same materials, or you could adapt the colors of both to suit your decor.  I will say that if you use another color or prefer an opaque white coating on your branches and pine cones, you would probably want two cans of paint in your color of choice.  You will also need a tarp, sheet, drop cloth or old shower curtain to protect your painting surface.

Step 1: Find your branches and pine cones.

This is the FREE part of the project!  Go outside of your house or to a park.  You can get the kids involved and turn it into a game!  Make sure you have bags to collect the pine cones.  We did not and it would have gone a lot better if we had brought some along.  Select clean pine cones that are dry and not too dirty.  Use a brush to remove any dirt if necessary.  Select twigs that do not have a lot of fungus on them.  It does not take the paint well.  Select twigs and pine cones that suit your style and table size. There are a lot of varieties out there, and it really is just a matter of preference and/or availability. 

Step 2: Prepare your crafting area.

Spread your surface cover over your painting surface in a well-ventilated area.  Make sure your paint and glitter are within easy reach.  Gather your pine cones and branches and spread them out on the tarp. 

Step 3: Get painting!

Spray paint one side of the pine cones.  After painting each cone, sprinkle glitter on it immediately so it will stick.  Then spray paint the branches.  Apply as light or as heavy of a coat as you'd like.  I did a light coating of white.  Allow everything to dry, then flip over and repeat the process on the other side.  I did not put glitter on the branches.  If I did I would do it after the paint dries and use a spray adhesive to apply the glitter.

Step 4: Arrange your table.

First, I rolled out my runner.  Then, I arranged the LED candles on the table.  After that, I placed the branches and pine cones on the table.   

Voila!  Your table has gone from post-Thanksgiving drab to holiday fab!


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