Thursday, October 1, 2009

Getting Ready for a Canadian Thanksgiving.

As I promised I am going to show you how I put together my Thanksgiving Hallway display. Right after October 12th (Canadian Thanksgiving) I will transform it into my Hallowe'en display.

I hope that this will be helpful and give you ideas for your own displays. I was going to show you the finished display and then break it down but I decided to start the way I do at home and you will finally see the end product.


The first thing that is important to do is to create a background and figure out where any risers or columns are going to be placed. Figure basically where you want these to be it will change as you go along. Be very open to that accident that may happen and give you a look that you would never have thought of but is better than your initial idea. This is the way that I approach all of my work. I never totally know what I am going to produce!

The pictures above show my secret weapons for getting a draped background is 2 camping poles, 2 pieces of plastic PVC pipe, 14 small dowels and a 4' length cardboard tubing. Our hallway is 9' high so that is the reason for the dowel and PVC pipe. I had the pieces of 12" dowel on hand and 7 small dowels snugly inside of the pipe. I think that the small dowels are probably better than one large piece of wood but do what is best for you. The first picture shows a close-up of the pipe. The second picture shows the camping pole inside of the dowel filled PVC pipe. It also shows the black photographers curtain pinned around the tube. I use T-pins; they are just easier to handle. You will notice a small black dot about 6" down the tube, that is the hole for the top end of the camping pole to go in.


Here is the curtain up and in place. This is a two-person job. Raise the poles and push them up as tightly as possible to the ceiling. If you put the pole at a slight angle you can push it to straighten it and that will make for a very snug fit. The pole should be as straight as possible and the base against the wall. Don't give it a chance to decide to fall down. This is how I get that curtain up without damaging the walls or ceiling.

This is a picture of the small base that I made for the hall displays. I found 8 beautiful heavy duty antique casters. I attached 4 of them to two pieces of plywood that make the base about 1 1/4" thick. I stained it a dark brown. This base helps to raise some of the display from the floor and make it visually separate from the rest of the display. The underneath area can also have branches or something else placed under it as well. On the platform is a bolt of bark cloth that I traded from a friend.

After the black cloth is up I then pin the swags of fabric in place. After that the brown taffeta bedspread was pinned in place behind the curtain.



I am now starting to pin the bark cloth in place.


This picture shows some cording that I made with 3 strands of gimp in light green, dark green, and light brown and 2 strands of orange crotchet cotton. Once all of the fabric is swagged in place I then pin the cord in place to make it look like the cord is holding the fabric in swags. You can also see a branch of silk leaves in place. They are just bent in place and held by the cord.


The swagged curtains are all in place with long loops of cord hanging down from each swagged point.

Here is a picture of all of the flowers, gourds, and branches that I thought I might use. To my surprise I used all of them.

Here is a front view and a side view of the finished display. The hallway is small so it was a little difficult to photograph. The display is narrow so as not block any hallway traffic. I also kept the amount of breakables to a minimum so most of what was used was my stash of silk flowers and leaves and fake veggies. Right after Thanksgiving most of the items at the base of the columns will go and Hallowe'en will be placed there. When I have changed it I will post pictures of the finished and transformed display. With 9' ceilings and the height of the curtains you get enveloped with the colours and textures of the display as you walk by it.


Here is a close-up of the items I put on the columns. My plaster pumpkin guy and two ceramic pumpkin bowls filled with my Thanksgiving postcards.

This is the best photograph that I could get of what you see when you come in from the outside. It sort of gives you an idea of what to expect. From start to finish this display took me about 5 hours but that did include stopping to photograph my progress for the blog. I hope that there were some ideas for your own displays. Have fun.