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10.04.2022

let's make plate pumpkins!

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this project was hatched when i started to throw something away...
and then thought twice about it!

my 'thing' is to embrace the 'trash to treasure' approach
to life, decorating, crafting, etc -
using up stuff from the recycle bin and the waste basket,
stuff like junk mail and empty containers. and sometimes, even bonafide trash. 

why? because it's cheaper, it's easily accessible, it's good for the planet
AND it makes me stretch my creative muscles to use what i have.

that said, you don't HAVE to use 'trashed' plates for this project.
there are many possibilities and permutations - any kind of plate would work!
(check out the ones i made using ceramic plates the end of this post)

continue reading to see them all...

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the 'trash' in this 'trash to treasure' project is plates made from biodegradable palm leaves.
with beautiful natural graining that evokes woodgrain,
these are a perfect natural element to use for dining - AND for craft projects!

i found a set at TJ Maxx, but they can be found at Walmart online as well.

we had used four of them to serve some appetizers on,
so they plates weren't 'dirty' - but i was still walking them over to the trash bin.
as i looked at them in my hand, i admired the grain patterns and colors,
and thought 'they could become boho-tropical style pumpkins!'

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the finished plate pumpkins are VERY lightweight,
so they can be propped on a shelf or mantel, tucked into any arrangement,
and added to a wreath on the wall or door.

our home has a tropical decor motif, and i love how these fit into that.
(i also used them as decor for our camping trailer - you'll see that soon!)
they'd be just as perfect for a warm woodsy cabin look
or beachy boho / seventies style decor.

oh, those stems are made from 'trash' too - paper bags!

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i just loved the message on this Trader Joes bag SO much that i had to snap a pic -
and to answer the question, "why yes, Joe, it IS recycling"!

ok, now for the easy stem tutorial:
pumpkins,tutorial,re-purposed,up-cycling,trash to treasure,fall,tropical style,boho style,beach style,woodsy style,crafting,,DIY,diy decorating,gift wrapping,palm leaf plate pumpkins,pumpkin decor, pumpkin decorating,diy pumpkins,eco-friendly crafts.cut your paper bag open, then cut as many strips as you need stems.
i cut two strips from the bag, twisted them both, then cut one of them in half
so that it would make shorter stems for two pumpkins.
note that i cut it in half on an angle, to create a more realistic stem 'end'.

now let's attach the stems to the plates:
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before attaching the stems, look at which direction the grain is running on the plates.
decide how you want it to run on your finished pumpkin - horizontal or vertical.
make sure you place the tape on the back so that the pattern does what you want.
all of mine run vertically - i just liked them better that way.

you'll be working with the flat end of the stem -
and because it is twisted, there are layers to it.

i separated those layers just a bit, so one part will be in front of the plate,
 and one part in back.
i cut some 'v' shapes into the front part to emulate a real stem. 
a tiny piece of tape holds it in place on the front of the plate.

place a 2" piece of duct tape, rolled up, at the top edge on the back side of each plate.
lay the back half of the 'stems' on top of the tape, at an angle if you wish.
a hard press will adhere them,
and a second piece of duct tape placed at the bottom end of the stem holds them in place.
(duct tape holds really well on textured items like these with a raised grain.)
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the finished plate pumpkins!
even all by themselves, they serve up loads of style... 
(sorry. i couldn't help myself with that one)

arranged on my studio's faux mantel with some tropical foliage,
they embrace fall with the spirit of aloha.
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think about alternatives...

if you used party plates in orange tones and black paper bags for stems,
they'd be Halloween ready -
AND you could always add some facial details to make them jack o' lanterns!
this would be a terrific project for the kiddos.

when Miss Donna at Funky Junk Interiors featured my plate pumpkins,
she noted that using wood plates & chargers found at thrift shops
would result in a similar look. brilliant idea!!! 

for a more upscale look, let's use some real dishes as pumpkins:

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this vintage china is from a tea set that i bought while working at a resale store,
and it's a favorite each fall due to the color palette and floral & leaf motifs.

turning the plates, saucers, and serving platter into pumpkins
gives them a whole new purpose for the season!

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enjoy the look, and then when fall is done,
simply remove the tape from the backs of the dishes
and put them back into the china cabinet!

related content:



shared online:

funky junk interiors | new upcycle ideas #647
thank you for featuring my project, Miss Donna!

me and my inklings | creative crafts linky party #113

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2 comments:

  1. Ooooo... these are so rustically cool, Deb! And easy too! Nice find with those plates!

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    Replies
    1. thank you Miss Donna! i admit, i have a weakness for a good woodgrain pattern! ;) i have quite a few of these plates left, so i'm sure i'll come up with more ideas for repurposing them in other seasons...

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