The weather is turning cool and favorite scent and taste is pumpkin spice. We tend to think of the upcoming holidays and the gathering of friends and family around some great meals, presented with a beautiful tablescape of course. But if your budget is tight (and whose isn’t these days), you may be searching for a low cost way to reve up your presentation. Economical acrylic chargers are a great way to instantly elevate your placesetting, but just look how covering the chargers with some decorative paper makes so much more impact.
A traditional florentine patterned charger in neutral colors adds needed elegance to this simple ironstone plate from the 60’s and visually separates it from the classic linen tablecloth.
(decorative paper CRT 109)
I tried my old vintage china against this art nouveau patterned charger and fell in love with it all over again. Instead of tired and dated, it looks exciting and rich.
(decorative paper CRT 117 – TSC 046)
14 inch acrylic charger with a wide rim
printed papers from Rossi
jar of modpodge
small paint brush
dime or other small coin
Optional: gold paint pen
I used acrylic chargers from Micheals and a collections of papers from Rossi. The gold chargers blended best with the gold accents of the Rossi papers and also added a bit of a rustic gold leafed charm to the project. The chargers from Michaels are 13″ in diameter and the broad rim has only a slight slope.For a basic project, the rim section is 12.75″ at the outer edge and 9.25″ on the inner edge. Because of the slope of the rim, the paper is cut into quarters to allow for the slight overlay needed for the taper.
1. Make the pieces for the plate rim:
Measure across the middle of your plate and decide on the inside and outside measurements for the decorative rim of paper. Divide the outside measurement in half and add an extra half inch to the measurement. You will use this to locate the center of your cutout. On the reverse side of the paper, measure in that amount from each edge of one corner and draw two intersecting lines. Adjust your compass to one half of the largest measurement (the outside measurement) and draw a circle, then adjust your compass to one half of the smallest measurement (the inside measurement) and draw a circle, placing your compass center where the lines intersect for both circles. Cut out your rim along your compass lines to create a donut. Then cut the donut into four quarters along your remaining pencil lines. To help assemble them again, it is helpful to number them before you cut them into quarters.
2. Make the pieces for the plate center:
Measure across the middle of your plate and decide on the outside measurements for the decorative center. Adjust your compass to one half of the outside measurement and draw a circle on the reverse side of the paper chosen form your plate center. It is helpful to tape a coin just underneath your compass point to keep it from punching a small hole in your circle. Cut the center piece out.
3. Position the rim pieces:
Place the four rim sections right side up on the charger, matching the numbers on the reverse side. This insures the print will joint correctly from piece to piece. Allow a small band of charger color to show as an accent at the outer edge and place the pieces so they are just touching. Secure them in place lightly with small pieces of painters tape.
4. Glueing the pieces:
Once you are happy with the placement of your rim pieces, remove one at a time and using a small bristle or foam brush, coat the reverse side of the paper with a thin layer of modpodge. Also coat the uncovered section of the rim, allowing the coating to extend to the edge of the plate and slightly into the center. Don’t worry, any glue extending beyond the rim paper will dry clear and become part of the finish. Position the coated piece back on the plate, lining up the edges with the other taped pieces. When wet with modpodge, the pieces will stretch slightly and overlap a tiny bit but the pattern will still flow nicely. Repeat with the other three pieces and flatten gentlry with your fingertips to remove any air bubbles. Repeat with the other three pieces. Coat the center circle paper and the center of the charger, then center the center circle on the plate and press down.
5. Let the charger dry for for two hours, them apply two coats of modpodge as a finishing coat according to label directions.
For the double layer style, a second layer of paper was applied to the plate rim. The donut for the top layer uses a smaller measurement for the outer measurement, allowing the bottom paper to show as an outer band.
For the peacock feather pattern, steps 1 is done on scrap paper and a single quarter piece is cut in half and used as a template. Working right side (pattern side) up, trace your template on to your paper using a pencil and a light touch. Trace eight pieces following the same pattern direction, matching the pattern position from piece to piece. Carefully cut the pieces out. Erase any remaining pencil lines unless you plan to cover the edges with gold paint pen. Follow steps 3 and 4 above, positioning eight pieces instead of four. Once the pieces are dry, accent strips of paper can be glued over the overlapping edges to hide any mismatch in pattern.
with thanks to Shelly Gardner-Alley