Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo

Winter mantel or table decoration

by: Jo

Winter mantel or table decoration
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For the “Natural” round of the So You Think You’re Crafty competition, we had to make something that was at least 50% natural.  We started out with an idea of making giant snowflakes out of sticks, but that ended up a horrible mess and I almost poked an eye out.  So, we sat there with a pile of nicely gathered sticks around us thinking of what else we could do with them.  We finally settled on making a miniature wood scene to go on a mantel or in the middle of your dining room table.  It was super easy to do — let me show you!

First, cut a piece of Styrofoam to size.  In this case, I measured the top of my mantel and made the Styrofoam a couple of inches smaller than that all around.  You can make your piece any size you want, but I think a finished size that is long and narrow would look best.  Now poke your twigs into the Styrofoam. We snipped the end parts off of larger branches to get twigs with lots of small branches, which ended up looking like mini trees.

Winter forest centerpiece

Winter forest centerpiece

Once you have your forest filled with trees, you will need to do the next two steps at the same time. First, spray everything in sections with white spray paint. As soon as you finish spraying a small section, sprinkle coarse Kosher salt over top of the trees.  Yep, that’s our secret ingredient for making snow — salt!  It will stick to the wet paint and make the trees look like they are glistening with snow.

Winter Forest Centerpiece

Once you have finished sprinkling the trees, you’ll want to build up the snow on the base. Use some spray adhesive (this is quickly becoming one of my favorite crafting tools) on the base and cover it with snow. Repeat as necessary to build up layers of salt until you get the snow drifts looking just like you like them on the ground.

Once the whole thing is dry, it is time to make the adorable little red birds.  Pinch off a little bit of Sculpey III red polymer clay and squish out a little tail and beak, while bending the body a bit. These do not have to be finely detailed!  Place your little red birds among the branches and you are finished!

Winter Forest Centerpiece

You could also nestle some tea lights within your forest to give it a nice glow at night.

Winter forest centerpiece

Winter forest centerpiece

Winter forest centerpiece

Winter mantel or table decoration
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9 comments so far:

  • 1
    Mandy 11/15/2010 at 12:48 pm

    I liked this one!! – great job – Mandy

  • 2
    Jo 11/15/2010 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks, Mandy! Your wreath was just too awesome!

  • 3
    Carol 11/15/2010 at 4:17 pm

    This would be a perfect backdrop for a Dickens Village! So cute.

  • 4
    Jan 11/15/2010 at 7:49 pm

    Salt, very tricky.
    And I figured out the voting secret… the others say “I” in their posts, you say “we”. :-)

  • 5
    Jo 11/15/2010 at 8:47 pm

    Carol, what a good idea. I actually have a little village I put out and it never occurred to me to do this! Jan, we do use “we” and “we” hadn’t even noticed until now! Thanks for voting!

  • 6
    Amy 11/16/2010 at 6:21 am

    Oh cool! I did vote for yours…thanks for the instructions.

  • 7
    Baye 11/16/2010 at 8:02 am

    I liked yours best, and it is something I will more likely actually do. These pictures show the snow and trees better. It’s more impressive that I thought! Thanks for the how-to.

  • 8
    pam 11/16/2010 at 1:08 pm

    You know what i love the most about this project? I can be used from the beginning of November to the end of February – may be even into early march depending on where you live!

    Beautiful! And a perfect hideout for a collection of snowmen who can stick around till march too!

  • 9
    Rebecca 10/13/2011 at 6:26 pm

    so impressive!

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We are two best friends sharing our creative journey. You never know what we will be into each time you visit. We could be throwing a unique party, refinishing a flea market find, or whipping up a new cupcake recipe. We invite you to join us for the ride as we tackle life one project at a time!

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