katy: floating centerpiece

+Katy Tullos  from www.birdinatreeblog.com is our brilliant luxe|wise friend featured on the blog today. Read on to see how she is inviting autumn in with a raised centerpiece, and please feel free to comment with any questions for her. 


After seeing the beautiful mock Pottery Barn centerpiece here on luxe|wise, I was envious to stir up some fall feelings at my dinner table. The only trouble is that my table has two highchairs and a booster seat that come along with littles! A gorgeous centerpiece would have been quickly destroyed if it was within reach! This raised centerpiece is influenced by a beautiful play on big chandeliers at one of our favorite southern date night spots, Tillman’s Roadhouse. This craft was extra fun because I took my kids with me on a nature walk to collect all our materials, this would also make for a great walk with your honey (you could get him to help with a craft without even telling him!).  I feel that now would be an appropriate time to disclose that I am a once-a-year kinda crafter. I don’t have any special supplies or techniques, so if I can do it—you can do it.

Supplies List
Metallic Gold Spray Paint (I used Valspar brand)
Glossy Mod Podge
Paint Brush
Old Target plastic bags or drop clothe of some sort
Kitchen Twine

First things first. Go outside! Go find a bunch of branches that are big enough to be a little durable, but small enough for you to break them into the lengths that you need for your home. Look for leaves that have bright colors but aren’t crunchy and shriveled.

Then take them on home and get them set out to be spray painted! I spray painted the branches and a few leaves. Save most of your leaves for the glitter and Mod Podge later.  Spray paint the branches liberally. The more coats you spray the more metallic the paint will look. If you want just a hint of glam, go with one coat. If you want these to look like they are straight gold, you will probably need to buy an extra can since mine lands somewhere in the middle of “bling” and “understated.”

Don’t forget to let the branches dry and then flip them over to spray the underside, making sure you are also getting the sides.

While the branches are drying set out your leaves on top of a surface you don’t mind getting glue and glitter all over. Mix about ¼ a cup of GLOSSY Mod Podge with a boat load of glitter. I know that isn’t a very technical term. Basically you want a lot of glitter in that mess because after all the Mod Podge dries clear. I used an ultra fine chocolate color glitter that I had around the house from the other craft a did….a year ago (not an exaggeration folks).  I LOVE the look of the bronze/brown glitter against my colorful leaves. But if that doesn’t excite you choose gold or red or orange! Basically, you just want to enhance whatever colors make you feel all fallish and cozy!

Paint the leaves with the glitter mixture. Just cover the things, you can really free yourself from any sense of technique or coordination on this. Let the leaves completely dry and flip them over doing the other side. **Make a completely new glitter mixture for the underside since Mod Podge dries rather quickly and it will be far easier just to make a second batch of goop than to try to use stuff that is getting clumpy.

Once all your pieces are dry you can really get going putting it all together.

This part of the instructions is going to be more like guidelines than verbatim instructions since every house and every light fixture is unique.

First of all, consider the lightbulbs:
1.     They are breakable, be careful.
2.     They do get hot, check the wattage your dealing with.
3.     Be mindful of the exposure of your bulbs. (For instance, mine are sitting in glass bowls, so the branches and leaves are not touching them.)

I wove my branches through the fixture. Then when I had somewhat of a base on which to build a nest, I tied the corners together with kitchen twine. Then I built my branches to look more like a nest by adding some thinner and curvier twigs and branches.

After I was happy with my arrangement, I added leaves by squeezing them in between the branches. This doesn’t have to be the most durable thing ever. It’s not going outside and it should be out of everyone’s normal reach.

If you are like me you will pick at it and reexamine it for the next 24 hours until you feel like it’s just right. Feel free to glue on your leaves, but if you do you will miss out on the opportunity to transform this into a winter wonder! I plan on adding some of my metallic (both gold and silver) ornaments in place of the foliage. Somehow we always end up with like a million of those since they come in ten packs and are so cheap!

Happy Harvest, Happy Autumn, and Happy Thanksgiving!