Thanksgiving 2011: Friends, Football and Fried Turkey!
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook then you’ve seen me talk about Thanksgiving being my FAVORITE holiday of the entire year! No offense to Christmas, but Thanksgiving is the one time of year we get together with friends and family to just eat and enjoy each others company… no gifts, no hype! I’m bummed that I wasn’t able to fly back to Texas to be with my family, but I am so thankful that I have such a wonderful group of friends in LA that are much like family to me. My friends understand my obsession with Thanksgiving and none of them even blinked an eye as I sent out 10 zillion food related emails (including recipes) and obsessed about decorating the Thanksgiving feast table. My goal was to decorate the table for no more than $20.
First order of business was to pick a theme. Leaves! I wanted my Thanksgiving decor to be all about Fall and nothing says Fall more than red and orange leaves. Do you know how hard it is to find Fall like leaves in Los Angeles, the land of palm trees? Well not as hard as I thought. Above is a shot of a block less than a mile away from my house. Imagine my surprise when I turned the corner and happened upon this street…so Hollywood! It looked like a scene from Father of the Bride especially since it was 80 degrees outside and didn’t feel like Fall in the slightest.
A few weeks ago Plaid Crafts sent me a Simply Silk Screen Printing Kit and instead of spending my time, gas and money searching around town for decor items covered in leaves I pulled out the kit to create the personal and unique pieces I needed.
My friend teaches silk screen printing classes that I’ve always wanted to take, but I was thankful when Plaid’s at home kit arrived and I was able to practice in the privacy of my own home. My inner protectionist gets nervous about trying new things in public. For those of you not familiar, screen screening is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink which can be pressed through the mesh. A squeegee is moved across the screen stencil, forcing ink to past the threads of the woven mesh in the open areas. (Thanks, Wikipedia). The Plaid Simple Silk Screen Printing kit is great. It came with all the materials you needed… including the light bulb. The process is usually used for printing t-shirts or canvas bags, but you know me… I need to add a little Fall fabulosity to my dollar store glass plates before Thanksgiving dinner.
I searched the internet and came across a clip art image of leaves that I loved. Having a good image is first step to screen printing success. It’s important that your image is dark. When I printed of this image, the leaves were a dark gray I had to use my black Sharpie marker to make the image black. I had to learn from my mistakes. The darker the image, the better the transfer is and the better screen printing success you will have!
I used the light box set up included in the kit and let the image transfer onto the silk screen exposure sheets for 25 mins. Once it was done I rinsed the screen in lukewarm water. I was so excited when my image appeared. It was literally the first sign that I’d done something right.
After I let my screen dry I taped it down to the bottom of my glass plate. The screen literally became a stencil as I applied paint and used my squeegee to press the paint into the screen. Now my first few attempts weren’t perfect, but as I got around to my 3rd and 4th plate I get getting a handle to the technique. It’s important to make sure you squeegee all the way to the edges of your image for the best results.
Viola! I let the plates dry and when I put them on the burgundy plate holder (also from the dollar store) you could really see the image. Note: The screen printed image is on the bottom or the plate, not on top because I’m sure that wold have been some sort of food hazard.
Our fancy Thanksgiving Day table. PS: This is only a quarter of the food. My decorations were taking up lots of room so obviously some of the food just wasn’t going to fit. Amazing table decorations > having all the food within arms reach
Oh but wait there’s more…
After I’d gotten a handle on screen printing technique I was on a roll. I wanted all the place mats at the table to have a special Thanksgiving 2011 logo. I pulled out the good ole Sharpie marker and doodled out my own logo by hand. And using the same process…
I didn’t stop there. I transformed previously purchased Halloween pumpkins into glitterly, glowing candle holders. I simply cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin, sprayed it with gold glitter and inserted my candle for hours of illumination. They created quite the ambience at the table.
All and all I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I laughed with friends, ate entirely way too much and got to test out a new crafting technique. I’m in love with the idea of screen printing now because it allows me to add personal and individual touches to my Holiday decorations. Click here for more information about Plaids Simple Screen Printing kits or head over to your local Hobby Lobby to pick up your own. I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday with your family and friends. And now that Thanksgiving’s over I can officially get pumped for Christmas!
PS: The grand total for my Thanksgiving table decorations was… $17.87!