Last year, I’d seen a photo in a home decor magazine that became my inspiration for our Thanksgiving table: Oil lamp chimneys with candles burning inside were grouped loosely together with a few scattered fall leaves on an off-white tablecloth. So simple and elegant.
So I found a muslin curtain that I wasn’t using anymore, and it became that simple off-white tablecloth.
Now that I had my “blank canvas,” the fun could begin. And to me, fun is always more fun when I’m saving money. Since I had most of what I needed already on hand, this was a very budget-friendly look to pull together.
Of course I immediately strayed from the magazine photo that had inspired me. I couldn’t resist taking home some huge maples leaves I found on a walk in the park. Maple leaves don’t stay beautiful for very long, so I spray painted mine with Rust-Oleum “Pure Gold” Metallic spray paint.
After they dried, I pressed them, and some other leaves that I’d painted, under glass for a few days.
This was easy since we have a glass piece that covers our dining room table when it’s not extended. But pressing the leaves into a large book or under a heavy board may have worked too.
The Oil Lamp Chimneys
I took a few of the glass chimneys from vintage oil lamps that we’ve collected over the years and put candles inside.
A small glass ramekin served as the base for each one.
In the magazine photo, the chimneys were of varying heights, which is why they looked so beautiful grouped together. But, since my chimneys were more or less the same height, I would be scattering them across the table instead of grouping them.
The reason I loved that magazine photo so much was because, by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, I’m usually already wanting to move on from a fall decor look. But it’s too early to set the table for Christmas. This look was such an elegant compromise.
My table ended up looking very different from the photo, but I was still happy with it.
The largest maple leaves became place mats.
Since Thanksgiving comes only once a year, I like to use the good stuff: Real silverware, vintage china, and vintage crystal wine glasses.
A Word Of Caution
At the end of the evening, I discovered that the candles were a little hard to blow out unless I took the chimneys off first, but the chimneys had become very HOT. I had to use a pot holder to take them off and sometimes, because of the melted candle wax, they were stuck to the ramekin base.
So, just a little warning that, if you try this, be very careful when you handle the hot chimneys, and also keep kids, pets, and flammable items away from them.
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!
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