Red Plates and Tables and Stuff

oldalgebraNovember 4, 2012

Hello, Old Friends. I've been away for a while - knee deep in so many other projects.

Thought I would share something I did this weekend, just in case someone is facing the same dilemma I was having.

My son (bless his little smarty pants heart) complained last Christmas. He was "tried" of eating Christmas Eve dinner in the entryway. Hmmmm. That made my blood boil and I poo-pooed his complaints. "Don't come then," I thought to myself. But of course, that would never do, so I turned over possible solutions to the Where-Can-Everyone-Sit problem. We have between 15 and 20 people and I have a very small dining room.

So here's what I did:

I decided to eat out on the patio. Southern California can be pretty sunny on December 24 (think, "Rose Bowl), and even if it cools down after dark, we have a nice patio fireplace that throws out a tremendous amount of heat.

Now, I still had a problem. There's a good chance that the evening will be pretty cool and we would be needing a nice fire to warm everyone up. That being the case, I found it impossible to design a two-table configuration, as one table would end up being too close to the fire. I had to get everyone out on the patio and away from the fireplace.

Just a couple of months ago, we had a set of drop-down drapes installed on the two exposed sides of our patio overhang. I lowered the drapes and got all my white folding chairs from the shed. I arranged them in a slightly curvy line, making sure that the chairs weren't too close to the fireplace in case we'd have to light the fire.

The best part about this is, you can arrange the chairs in any way you want - slight curve, major curve, no curve, or, in my case, a curve closer to one end than the other. (Am I making sense????) It turned out that, despite what I imagined was a small space, I have 10 chairs on the outside curve and 8 chairs on the inside. And if need be, I can add a chair at either end.

Anyway, I got some butcher paper and made a template for the table top.

Next step was to call the lumber yard and order 4 X 4s and 2X4s cut to length, plus three sheets of 3/4 inch plywood.

My grandson and I made 6 legs. Six is probably over-kill, but my patio floor is quite uneven and I wanted LOTS of support.

Everything is screwed together, so it will all come apart later.

What you don't see are four utility shelf brackets (meant to support 10" shelves) mounted on the top of the legs.

The table top was cut and . . . . .

In addition to being able to configure the chairs any way you please, you will also note that this is sort of a "pedestal table" with no legs near the edges, so no one needs to straddle a table leg.

OK enough about that.

Here's the other things I wanted to say. Dollar Tree has solid red plates. Yep. $1.00 each. You order them online and have them sent to your local store (unless you're lucky enough to live near a store that has them in stock).

Almost as good as a garage sale find. I know you all have a couple of Christmas sets, but this turns out to be lucky for me, as I've never had so many people sitting at one table, so it was easy to use just a little of this dish pattern and a little of that dish pattern. Now, for $20, I can have all 20 people eating off the same colored plates.

Well, it's been good to talk to you again. Hope this wasn't too boring.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You are a great problem-solver, OA! This is really quite ingenious ...the table legs esp & the curve of the plywood tabletops! Wow! I can't wait to see this all decked out for Christmas! Great $ on the red plates ...will look very festive! TFS! Good to hear from you! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 12:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a wonderful solution to your seating dilemma! In fact, this is a wonderful addition to your holiday even if you had plenty of room for every one to sit down inside--- it puts everyone in close proximity and looks like a festive banquet! LOVE your ingenuity!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 12:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How clever and resourceful! It will be great for your large gatherings. I always love something that's a little out of the box and different from everyone else.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 6:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great to see you back here again, OA.
Your creativity is amazing!
This looks like the perfect solution for your Christmas Eve. gathering.
I'm looking forward to seeing the table in all it's finery.
hope to see you back here soon.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 7:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So glad to see you post...I've really missed all your fun creations and decorating. I know we all have here. Speaking of creativity, you rocked this one!! What a great
job of planning, designing, and making! Pretty darn impressive. And can't beat the buy you got on the red plates.

Hope you can find time to get back here more often during the holidays.
hugs, Karen

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 3:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, everyone. I thought with the holidays upon us, maybe someone was wishing they had a screwy-shaped table and could use mine for a little inspiration.

The red plates are Dollar Tree's "regular" swirl plates that you see in different colors all the time. Not as vivid a red as I'd like, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.

Normally, I prefer to mix-and-match patterns, but for some reason, unless I'm stacking different materials, as opposed to setting them next to each other, (china salad plate upon a pottery dinner plate, for example), I just don't like mixing the materials side-by-side. Don't ask me why, it just doesn't fit for me.

Since the dinner will be outside, I'm going for the Cabin in the Woods look. Jeanne, I'm looking into sending you a plane ticket to come and help me out. You're the resident expert when it comes to pine cones and pottery. My pine cones will be coming from a bag they sell at the grocery store. I have a feeling you go out and collect your own.

Well, I'm working on the tablecloth this morning. It's made out of burlap. I'm not happy about having to work with fuzzy old burlap. It's all over the house by the time I'm done.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 10:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh boy! oh boy! 'Cabin in the Woods' ... LOVE it, OA! Since you're making a burlap t'cloth (& I just bought a couple yds myself for projects) ...anyway, it made me think of this old barnwood tote we donated from last yr w/the wood Cardinals in it...I notice HLobby has them again this yr & I think they are so 'woodsy' ... if you use your 40% coupon ... maybe they would go great w/your burlap & pinecones!!! (& red plates) ~~giggle

Yes, I do go out & gather my own pinecones & greenery ... you'll find some good ones I am sure! Have fun, OA! TFS! Jeanne S.

ps I remember you do have a HLobby, right!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 7:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, we do have one. I'm going to have to visit it. The birdies would be perfect.

Also, where on earth did you find those ornaments in the first picture? I HAVE TO HAVE THEM. (Hmmmmm. Why do I think you're going to say you've had them for years?)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 7:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marlene Kindred

What a GREAT idea OA! You are one smart and creative lady! And what a great find in the DT plates...I'll have to check ours out to see if they have any. Hope you have a marvelous dinner with all of your guests too!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 7:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OA, "Hello, Old Friends." who are you calling 'OLD?'haha So good to have you back with another wonderful project!!! You are just so clever. I haven't looked at your Blog lately. Anything new and exciting on there?

Hope you will share your Holiday decor with us.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 9:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LOL, OA ... no, I haven't had those ornaments for 'years' ... like most things around here, uh! Those were also one of those end of the season HLobby finds ... ya know the 90% off the ornament clearance & I thought ...ohhh, I will be able to use these 'somewhere.' LOL! Inspiration for the old barnwood tote! ;-) Jeanne

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 9:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello, OA! That's a creative solution and wonderful job you did designing and building the table! I was wondering how you'll handle the tablecloth around the curves, especially with that table length, but it sounds like you already have your plan. I'm surprised you're using burlap -- can't wait to see how it comes out.

I think your red plates are the same ones I've seen here. They've had both plates and bowls in several colors. I got the green bowls and just LOVE them and have wanted to get back and buy more. They are a good size, shape, and weight, and they are such an appetizing color of green that they make everything look good. :)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 10:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Just over a month ago I spotted a bolt of burlap on a lower shelf at Joann Fabrics. It has the word "believe" printed in red - all over it. The entire bolt was $10.99.
I used that for the top of the table cloth. I purposely made the top look like it was made from big patches of the fabric.
Then I edged the sides in red and white tiny check gingham. I'm going to make matching napkins (Figure I can use them for our Fourth of July Party as well).

Here's a picture.

My grandchildren will be painting the legs red this weekend. I just love free labor!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 10:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh, I forgot to mention - it's over 43 feet all the way around the table. My back is killing me from leaning over the machine for so long.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 10:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OA...LOVE having you back 'Old Friend' !
You ALWAYS blow me away with your clever ideas!!
Your solution for where to put everyone and how to seat them is just Spectacular!! Love how you configured your table legs and then table top. Showed it to DH - who loves woodworking and making furniture..and he LOVED what you did and how you did it! I'm sure your family will be so thrilled sitting there...I know I would.
Great find on the red dishes. I've seen where they will ship an item to your store and I think that's so convenient and a 'Garage Sale Find'...
Thanks for all your clever tips. Hope we see more of you

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 10:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OA...lovin' that burlap!!! I bought burlap with the thought in mind of 'stenciling' or 'stampin' some Christmas words on it ...& here you find the doggone thing already done! BELIEVE!!! & those Cardinals would be a perfect table accessory!!! Great work on that t'cloth...omgosh, 43'! I wouldn't be able to stand up again! TFS the pics! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OA, so good to see you back on Holidays again. You don't realize how much you are missed when you stay away so long! How can I say anything that has not already been said so well! Your creativity is genus. If I only had a place where we could eat outside at Thanksgiving, Christmas and yes even sometimes Easter, I would steal your idea in a New York minute, but here in the mountains it is quite likely that our temps and the snow to say nothing of the wind would make it impossible for me. Nevertheless. I love it at your house. I also love the burlap and gingham table cloth you made. MY DD and I were just talking last night about buying some burlap for some projects. I was thinking table runners and she was talking about wreaths.I bought a service for 4 last Christmas at Wallyworld to use with the Pfaltzgraff Christmas I found at GW, but the ones you found at Dollar Tree are perfect! TFS,Janet

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 7:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OA, love your new burlap tc made like big patches
with the 'BELIEVE' fabric. Super buy on that!
This is what I call icing on the cake. I'm tickled
you will be letting the gkids paint the legs.
Free Labor can't be beat.LOL I've missed your sense
of humor too. Your table is going to be Beautiful
with red dishes and all. Can hardly wait!

I still remember the adorable 'Lemonade' stand
all of you made together. One thing for certain,
you know how to be a Special Gramma. So glad your
back sharing another neat project.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 9:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, gosh. I don't know why I've been away this long either. You gals are wonderful on the ego. Can't beat all the kudos.
I thought I add these two pictures to the post, just to keep things clear.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 10:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It all looks great, OA! But I think what I call burlap is something entirely different.... Maybe because I bought mine at a feed & seed store?! LOL!!!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 9:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great tablecloth OA..Wow my back is hurting for you..that's alot of fabric to sew.
I like how you anchored those legs with the shelf
brackets. Nice and sturdy - looks like King Kong can
lean on that table w/o any harm!! lol
Again, DH was so impressed with how you put it all together. I told him how your Dad gave you your own tools when you were little and you've been creating ever since!!
He said 'she's like 'JoJo' from Hometime'! He was always impressed with her. (hope you know who that is)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 10:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Alas! No red wooden cardinals at Hobby Lobby. I'd even had my grandson paint an old birdhouse red in anticipation of doing a little matching vignette on the fireplace mantel. Got some peppermint pics there.

Went to Dollar Tree and found some felt Santas to use on the table.

I hadn't gone to Hobby Lobby in quite a while. Was a little surprised at the prices. Not cheap there! Looked for some fake garland to use down the center of the table. Even though it was 50% off, it was still expensive. Very good quality though. Perhaps that was the reason.

Not much in the way of Thanksgiving. One measly isle. Poo.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 11:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh my Goodness OA.... this is wonderful!!
I admire that you plotted ,created and succeeded. I would have fell
You certainly made good use of all of the available space. What a chore to get the tablecloth completed though but it looks fab!!
May you have a wonderful holiday dinner filled with the love and conversation of each person being close to you instead of scattered throughout the house wherever one can find to sit. Happy Thanksgiving a bit early and kudos for your hard work (and to the "free labor" to , that's always good to have

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 11:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Welcome back OLD friend!
Cute, clever, creative...amazing as always.
Ditto to what everyone else has said.
Not a possibility around here, even my sunroom is too chilly unless I run an extra heater out there.
Since I also am a seamstress, that tablecloth is amazing, but does make my back hurt to look at it.

I am really looking forward to seeing the final product, because your smaller tables are always so incredible, this one will be incredible X 43, LOL.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry to hear that there were no Cardinals @your HL ...I haven't looked here lately ... & yes, I buy w/40% coupon usually or when one of there many, many discounts are applied each week...still some things can be pricey...I agree.

Your image (up aways) of the table cloth on the table w/sunshining on it made me think of our last get-tog & one of my little gr'son's wore his 'sunglasses' while eating cause of all the sunshine coming thru on the porch @the table! So you may want some 'shades' in a Santa dish or something, OA! LOL!
Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh my gosh, Jeanne. If I were having the dinner early, as we often do for Thanksgiving, I would have the shades already!

I got 24 of the glasses in anticipation of a Christmas in July Backyard Theater Party for nest summer. How funny that this would be one of those "six degrees of separation" people often talk about.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 11:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When you're all done pouring over the new posts, use the link to see my plans for the Christmas in July Party.

If you've got any tips of suggestions, let me know.

Here is a link that might be useful: Christmas in July Backyard Theater Party

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow OA, this is fantastic!
I don't have any tips or suggestions.
I'll be sure to bring a lawn chair and a toy!!!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 7:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You are amazing to design that table! Great find on the burlap, too.
I am so impressed you have this planned out in Nov for Christmas! Happy Belated Birthday, you are some whiz kid!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OA, I want you to adopt me so I can be part of your family, please? I would love to take a vacation and come and help you with these fun projects you come up with! I'm surprised they let your retire if you had fun like this while teaching.

Thanks for sharing your Christmas in July. I'm really good help but don't have the talent like you. Maybe I could sing and play my accordian!LOL


    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 11:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Wella, wella, one anda, two anda, . . . . ..

You can come, ONLY if you promise to play the Beer Barrel Polka.

The truth of it is, (and I know all the gals that visit this site know it), there's not much to putting together a decent arrangement (or a table for 20), if you have the will to try. You just need to have the guts, (Oh, my mother hated the word "guts.")
My husband is always kidding me about having a ton of self-confidence that's "founded on absolutely nothing at all." Actually, he's quite proud of me, but he's a terrible kidder, too.

What's so neat about this forum, is the encouragement we all get when we first find this place. Suggestions on improving a setting are just that - suggestions. You just can't get your feelings hurt around here. Believe me, that's not the case everywhere you go. I know my place settings and vignettes have shown improvement over time, and I've seen it in others.

Of course, you are welcome at my house anytime. Come in the summer and you can see movies on the lawn.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:40AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Mardi Gras Breakfast
Getting ready for tomorrow. For more information and...
A test link to a photo
Nana, here are some sample uploads.
I thought I'd try to upload the same image saved in...
Valentine Decor
It was a little crazy decorating this year for Valentine's...
test 2
Caroline's table
Sponsored Products
Chard Bolt Down Manual Meat Grinder - HG-22
$42.21 | Hayneedle
Matthew Wall Sconce by Norwell Lighting
$149.20 | Lumens
Stencil Dining Side Chair Set of 2 in Blue
$159.00 | LexMod
Tufted Hammock, Patio Furniture
$599.00 | FRONTGATE
Quadrate Shaped Flush Mount with 9 Crystal Acrylic Lights
Sonneman Handkerchief Square Silver 11” ADA Wall Sconce
Euro Style Lighting
Thermostatic Shower System, Square Head & Ceiling Arm & Body Jets
Hudson Reed
Xacto X-Shape Plated Chrome Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™