Friday, May 6, 2011

Barbed Wire Family Ties

HOWDY!  Get'n ready for an Old Fashioned Family BBQ round these parts and got to look'n for a way to display some family pictures on the buffet table.   I thought about stringing up some barbed wire and using clothes pins to hang pictures from it.  I even ran across this realistic barbed wire cord from Oriental Trading Company, so I wouldn't have to use the real thing (and risk boo boos).  This cording is soft, pliable and only $4.99, so not too bad.  I originally used it for a Cowgirls & Caviar Party I hosted - FUN!
barbed wire cording
I liked the idea, but really didn't have a decent way of hanging up the barbed wire cord, and besides I really needed a centerpiece of sorts on the buffet table.  I soon found my inspiration with our Avalon Accent Trees.
Avalon Accent Trees, set of 2 from Willow House
They were the perfect height, and I loved the pattern and style.  I have added a bundle of twinkle lights to them in the past and clipped Christmas cards along the swirls for a fun holiday accent.  I knew they would be great as a centerpiece to display a few family pics.  It was the color I wasn't so sure about.  The Avalon Accent Trees lean toward elegant, and this was a rustic affair, fit for a saloon, not a country club.  What I really needed was a rustic tree to hang our photos from . . . So I decided to spray paint the trees to give them the look of my barbed wire.
love the spay nozzle - Thanks Rust-o-leum!
I must say how much I love the new spray nozzles from Rust-o-leum.  I've been spray painted for decades and the nozzle always did a number on your finger, including turning it a different color.   So a big THANK YOU to them for giving us hope that it is possible to use a can of spray paint without injury!  For this project I used Espresso Brown.  I ended up doing a few coats, letting them dry about a half hour between. Flipping them over, turning them around, until I painted them inside and out.
Lovely emerald green towel huh?
The color is actually darker than it appears in this cruddy shot, but I hope you get the idea.  After giving the new brown trees a chance to loose some of their fumes outside, I brought them in to sand them down a bit with a fine grit sandpaper (on top of my ugly green towel leftover from my college days).  This would remove the paint on the embossed pattern, letting some of the original gray pain from the tree poke through - which would mimic the barbed wire.  The finish result was much more to my liking.
Love the bits of silver peeking through!

Now, all I had to do was gather my pictures, some clips to attach them with and put it all together.  I loved the idea of incorporating a few bandannas into our buffet set up, and I wanted to add a pop of color to this display to tie it all together.  I ended up using small strips of bandannas and gluing a piece onto one side of each small clothes pins (not mini, but small :).  I used fabric glue, but any tacky glue would work.
The fun part came next!  Picking some fun family photos from the history books and putting the display all together.  One of the first rules of setting up a buffet table is adding interest by elevating several dishes to create levels, and I wanted to add extra height to this centerpiece so it wouldn't go unnoticed.  I absolutely love using the Parisian Ottoman Tray, and felt the intricate metal cut outs would be great with the western theme.
Parisian Ottoman Tray from Willow House♥
Makes a cool cake stand too!

I just needed to flip the tray - now, I got my added height and enhanced the design of my display to boot!  I top the tray base with a round sea grass place mat that I picked up at Pottery Barn a while back.  I love to add texture to the base of a large vase by placing it on top of the place mat.  In this instance the place mat mimics rope. 
No display of mine is complete without a little candlelight, so I added one of our adorable Drake Firefly Lanterns.  I placed a strip of a red bandanna around the glass tea light holder for a pop of color and I love how the candle light glows through it (not sure if you can pick up on that here).  I dabbed a bit of glue to keep the fabric in place.
Until it is time for the family shindig I have placed the display on top of a wine cabinet within my foyer.  I added one of my favorite pictures of my little cowpoke (when he was 3) to the display to really make me smile.
I love incorporating family pictures in any family gathering.  I think they encourage story-telling, or story exaggerating (which is most often the case in my family).   It is a wonderful blessing to be able to share fun, thought provoking details of our childhood and family history with our kids.  It keeps the memory of our departed loved ones alive, plus, I believe the details of these moments will remain within our children's hearts.
To keep me from being as lonely as a preacher on pay night, let me know what you think!  How do you like to incorporate family photos into your décor?  Any family stories you're willing to share? : )

Linking to TDC's Before & After Party and
Tip Junkie handmade projects

1 comment:

  1. This is adorable-Following yopu from TDC-stop by for a visit!