Don’t Have One? Make One! (Autumn craft)

Yesterday, my siblings and I did our best to adorn the house with autumn decorations  The effort was valiant but unsatisfactory because we have a pitifully small collection of decorations:a few plastic pumpkins to scatter around, a couple of swags, one indoor wreath, one wall hanging, a glittery orange garland…and that’s about it.

So I decided to Do Something About It.  Since last autumn, I’ve collected items that could be turned into decorations.  One of these items was a round wooden bowl that nobody uses anymore.  And speaking of disuse…


…this garland is about 193 years old, starting to fall apart, and hard to attach to the mantle piece in any case.  But the Styrofoam apples, berries, and leaves are still perfectly good (most of them).  And I found a bag of decorative Spanish moss lying around and began to envision what to make…


I ripped off the apples, the berries, and the leaves.  Then I played around with the decor, creating different arrangements in the bowl and figuring out how I wanted the decoration to look.  Once I had a general idea of how to arrange everything, I squashed some foil into a 1/4″ thick pie into the bottom of the wooden bowl.  Then I crumpled more foil into the rough shape of a cone and stacked it on the flat foil.  The apples had wire fasteners attached, and so I speared the foil cone with a  letter opener, stuck the wires inside the foil, and fiddled with the apples until they rested in the positions I wanted.


Oops, but that sandy, checkered wood pattern doesn’t match the earthy tone of the apples.  I decided to cover the bowl with earthy-toned fabric.  Gingersnap lent me some from her collection, and I ironed the cloth, measured the bowl’s height and circumference, and cut the fabric two inches longer and wider than that measurement.


And then hemmed the sides and the bottom.

On a totally unrelated note, I’ve had that sewing box for years.  And yes, I hemmed the fabric by hand; this is honestly faster for me than dragging out and threading a sewing machine.

When the fabric was hemmed, I put in a running stitch at the bottom and one near the top.  Then I gathered the fabric as though on a drawstring and fitted it over the bowl.


It took some tweaking and pulling and tugging to make it fit, and you can see I haven’t gathered the stitch near the bottom of the fabric yet.  I did sew the two ends of the fabric strip together, though.

Actually, the running stitch near the bottom of the fabric wasn’t near enough to the bottom, so I put in a second seam.


And I gathered the fabric around the bottom of the bowl and tied off the thread after some more tugging and tweaking.  In hindsight, I should have hemmed all four sides of the fabric, but I figured that since one edge would be hidden, it wasn’t absolutely necessary.


Now the fabric is nice and tight around the bowl, and the edges of the fabric look kinda like a pie crust.  Although the greenery will hide those those crimped edges.


Then I carefully replaced the foil and the apples…


…and tucked moss over the foil and under the apples…


…covering most of the foil and those crimped fabric edges.


Then I tucked berries into the moss and between the apples.  (The moss made a huge mess on the floor.)


More berries here and there…


…and the leaves.


More leaves.  I really just stuck them into the moss, so if someone sneezes hard enough in the right direction, the whole display will fly apart.  🙂  If the family likes the centerpiece and doesn’t find it revolting, I’ll probably take all these elements apart and glue them in place.


The finished product!  I put it on the dining room table.





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