autumn tablescape for two

wow, wow, wow! i've been having so much fun with my giant box of stencils, silkscreens, and paints by martha stewart crafts from our friends at plaid. scroll down to the bottom of this post to watch my oh-so-dramatic box-opening video i made when my shipment first arrived...and the falling in love part is all true, baby. there is just so, so much inspiration in her product line!

the hardest part was figuring out what to design, followed closely by trying to narrow down which of martha's many products to work with first. i landed upon a tablescape for two reasons:

1) i don't have a formal dining room, but i have a tall, prominent, and empty pub table in my family room that was just crying for some adornment.

2) i'm trying to make a dent in my fabric stash, and this autumn-themed layer cake (a coordinating set of 10" fabric squares) was just begging to be ripped open and run under the sewing machine.

then i decided i wanted to try martha's stencils and silkscreens with her glass and craft paints on three different surfaces—fabric, paper, and glass. so that's how i ended up creating a patchwork table runner, a poster board pumpkin pedestal, and a tealight candle holder (upcycled from a cute little glass jar of peaches). click on the pics to enlarge.

i chose a pumpkin (i trimmed off the jack-o-lantern face inside) and a leaf from the holiday stencil pack to paint on the solid squares of my table runner:

•  secure the stencil into position with painter's tape

•  spread some paint onto a piece of freezer paper (just a little dab'll do ya!)

•  pick up some paint with a fingertip dauber, tap it a couple times on the freezer paper to remove the excess, then lightly tap the color on to the fabric inside the stencil

•  carefully peel back and remove the stencil immediately, while the paint is still wet...if you leave it there to dry, it will get stickier on the fabric and be harder to remove

•   remember when stenciling—less is more!

too much paint can seep under the stencil and ruin everything...the dauber should seem almost dry on the surface, but there is plenty of paint inside that sponge tip that will come out nice and even as you tap (aka "pounce") straight up and down. i painted the pumpkins solid orange, then came back after they were dry with a small brush to paint the stems green.

i wanted to really glitter up the leaves. i started by blending a little red glitter paint into yellow, but since stenciling requires a lighter application of paint, i couldn't get much glitter in there. i decided to switch to sprinkling gold glitter, which needs more wet paint to hold, but i didn't want to risk seeping at the stencil edges. so after lightly stenciling the leaf, i removed the stencil, added more paint with a small brush, and then piled on the sprinkly sparkly!

after everything was dry, i gently heat-set the painted areas with an iron (medium heat), using parchment paper between the iron and the fabric.

the self-adhesive silkscreens have beautiful detail and are super easy to use with martha's little squeegee brushes. both are flexible enough to use on curved glass, although i still secured the edges of the silkscreen leaf with painter's tape to make extra sure there'd be no shifting, which also gave me more space around the edges for paint overflow.

after silkscreening my leaf on the outside of the jar with opaque glass paint, i used my finger to dab a little gold craft paint inside the jar to give the leaf a little transparent glow of color. safety first...i recommend using battery tealights instead of real candles, so as not to burn the paint on the inside, plus these peach jars are probably not made from tempered glass.

the silkscreens and squeegees work great with craft paint on paper and fabric, too (oops, I used glass paint on the fabric, but guess's just fine).

for my pumpkin pedestal, i alternated a leaf stencil with a few different leaf silkscreens in different colors on a long strip (approx 6"x20") of black poster board. i glittered the stenciled leaves here too, except i left it in clumps for extra texture and contrast. i also tried a two-tone striping effect on one of the silkscreened leaves which i think turned out so pretty!

once the poster board was dry, i lightly scored the back side to divide it into four even sections, then folded the strip into a square and taped the edges together on the inside. i placed a cup inside it that was almost the same height, laid a couple pieces of folded fabric down, and set my pumpkin on top.

i'm in love, love, love with all of the martha stewart crafts stencils, silkscreens, paints, and tools...they are so incredibly easy to use, and you get such amazingly gorgeous results. i will definitely be screenin' and stencilin' up a storm for a good long while!!

and now for your viewing pleasure...the opening of the martha box.

please visit the plaid website for loads of inspiration.
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be sure to check out all these martha-mazing projects, too!