In this casual centerpiece, a piece of driftwood stretches along the center of the table, accompanied by clusters of freshly picked flowers and ponderosa pinecones and needles.
Stenciled Latte Bowls
We used an image of a horse as our stencil, but you can use any design that captures your attention. The project will be easier if you pick an image that doesn't have a lot of intricate detail; you may want to consult a stencil book. You will also need a thin sheet of vinyl or plastic (preferably self-adhesive), a craft knife, large ceramic latte bowls, and porcelain or ceramic paint (available at crafts stores).
1. Select an image, and make a black-and-white photocopy of it, enlarging or reducing the image until it's the desired size.
2. Place the photocopied page on the vinyl sheet. Using the craft knife, carefully cut around the image, creating a stencil; discard the cutout. Tape or adhere the stencil to a bowl, and then paint inside the stencil. (It may take a few coats to cover the surface completely.) Repeat with remaining bowls. Fire bowls in an oven following the directions on the paint packaging.
Low-tack Frisket Film, from $14.55, from Pearl Paint, 800-451-7327 or pearlpaint.com.
Asian footed bowls in Milk, $48 for 4, from Potluck Studios, 800-442-8157 or potluckstudios.com.
Star-Topped S'more Sticks
You'll need several 2 1/4-inch wooden stars, craft glue, birch bark, a craft knife, a hot-glue gun, long twigs or sticks, and a pocketknife.
1. Coat one side of each star with craft glue, top with a piece of birch bark, and press to adhere. Turn upside down, top with a heavy weight, and let dry for at least several hours (or overnight).
2. Use the craft knife to cut around each star. Using plenty of glue, hot-glue each star to the end of a twig or stick. Let dry. Use the pocketknife to whittle a point on the opposite end of each twig.
Wooden stars (STR-225), $2.50 for 12, from American Woodcrafters Supply, awsc-online.com.
Birch bark, from Bark Canoe Store, 509-327-7902 or barkcanoe.com, and Native Wholesale Products, 715-374-2135 or naturalforestproducts.com.
Birch Cake Stand
You will need a fairly straight 6-inch-tall portion of a branch and a 3-inch-thick cross section of a trunk. Both are available at lumberyards. While there, check that the cake stand will be level: Stand the branch on a flat surface, and place the trunk on top, perpendicular to the branch; the surfaces should be flush. You'll also need a drill, yellow wood glue, and a wood screw (about 4 inches long).
1. Drill a hole in the center of the trunk. Center trunk on branch, and put glue in hole, allowing some to drip onto branch. Insert the screw. Drill the screw into the branch. (The screw should extend at least 1 inch into the branch.) Let dry.
2. Cover the trunk with a piece of parchment or waxed paper before placing food on the surface.