How we made centerpieces for Romancing the Smokies Reader/Author Event
I’m happy to share with readers and authors alike my experience doing a crafty project. You see several of the authors in my local writing group would be participating in Romancing the Smokies. We wanted some pretty centerpieces for the luncheon. Attending readers will come away with great books and lots of swag, but we also wanted these centerpieces to be prizes given away.
We set out to make many of them reminiscent of spring with bright colors. One could certainly do all of them alike, but we had the idea of naming the tables. Some readers had requested to have lunch with authors they wanted to get to know better. Instead of being seated at table 5, our guests would be seated at the pansy or daisy table.
I know you are all asking, “How is that cup suspended in air?” Hidden among the flowers is a bent-up fork that has been hot glued to the cup and saucer. On this black and white version, I covered the fork with some black satin trim.
On this centerpiece I covered the fork with some of the green leaves. Sometimes after you get all the flowers arranged they have covered up the fork nicely. But to ensure it looks magically suspended it is worth taking the time to hide it from the get go.
As with many creative endeavors, you can spend a great deal of money on supplies and tools or you can do things in an economical fashion. I’ll share with you that some things about this project are very reasonable. I found a whole bag of silverware for three bucks at a local thrift shop. They also have silverware at the Dollar Tree store.
I also found some cups and saucers for fifty cents.
For the purposes of this blog post I also wanted to show a more modern set of saucer and mug with a beachy scene. Even buying those two pieces brand new was only three dollars for both.
There was a great deal of variance in pricing at the different retail stores. I found the sea shell items at Carolina Pottery for three dollars a bag. I was later at JoAnn’s and they were the same brand, size of bag and they were asking almost double.
I also found some great artificial flowers at Dollar Tree. Don’t forget to check out the jewelry section at the thrift shops while you are looking for teacups. I found a green bracelet for a dollar that have fabulous big green pearl like baubles that went perfectly with some of the green and orange large flowers.
There is one thing you can’t skimp on: the right glue gun and glue. You can use any regular glue gun for the flowers and decorations. Gluing the fork to the saucer and cup must be the hard-drying high temp glue. The glue that is rubbery and can be peeled off can’t hold the weight or the seal with metal to glass. Here is a shot of the type of glue that worked superbly for the fork attachment.
A couple of points to keep in mind:
- The thinner the fork, the easier it will be to bend.
- Make sure when you glue the fork down, the weight of the cup will still be ‘over’ the saucer. Otherwise it will tip the saucer over.
- Do put down some newspapers or other covering on your work area. I was being careful, but some strings of hot glue do end up threading places you didn’t intend. And when you set the gun down on occasion some glue drops may still get on the work surface.
- We used regular pliers to bend the fork. Most needle nose pliers have a section close to the fulcrum that is a wire cutter also. They can also be used to snip the artificial flower pieces you need.
- Place the whole arrangement on the saucers to see how it all works together BEFORE you start gluing the decorative items down.
- Use a spare fork as a poker and tucker tool. All of us burned our fingers at one point or another the afternoon we put these together. It is so easy to think “I’ll just push this to get it placed correctly.” But the heat can travel through the thin layer of silk flower. I suppose a popsicle stick would work just as well and save your fingers.
Did you have a sharp enough eye to notice I used the seashell bag to look like a fish net on this one?
We all had a great time meeting at one of the authors homes to create these beauties for our readers. Just to let you know the level of difficulty here. I had never even used a hot glue gun before this day. Nor had I taken any type of flower arranging class. It was just a fun process to mix and match and see what looked good together.
We hope the winners of these get as much enjoyment from them as we had in making them for those fabulous readers!
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Felita Daniels is currently working on The Case of the Sad Sons. Follow her on Amazon to be notified when it’s released.
Her non-fiction book is available at Amazon.
Felita Daniels will be attending
Romancing the Smokies
March 17-18, 2017 | Hilton Knoxville Airport, Alcoa, TN
Romancing the Smokies, a production by Sweet Romance Author Donna Wright, is a romance readers dream with an Emerald Isle event, author meet and greet, an elegant luncheon, book signing, Masquerade Ball including fun casino games, plus tons of swag and giveaways.
Here, readers get to meet their favorite authors and authors get to connect with readers. We have put together authors from every sub-genre of Romance and even some Mystery authors so you, the reader, can make a personal connection and really get to know the authors whose books you’ve loved.
See full details at our website.
See ticket options at Eventbright.
(the book signing from 2 to 4 on Saturday is free to the public)
Find out how to win the