Friday, January 17, 2014

DIY Table Cover for a Puppy Paw-ty

Oooooh! I love it when things come together and actually turn out the way that I picture them in my head. This is the first decoration that I have tackled for the upcoming puppy paw-ty: a hand-stamped table cover. I made the stamp out of a piece of Styrofoam tray and stamped the paw print all over some brown kraft roll paper that I picked up at a garage sale. (Note: You can also find this at Dollar Tree.) I am pleased with the results and with the fact that I made this for absolutely no cost!

{Close-Up of Table Cover}

  • Styrofoam (left over meat packaging, run through dishwasher)
  • pencil
  • carving tools (I used a small screwdriver and my fingernails. A screw, nail, butter knife, or similar item would likely work as well. I don't suggest anything that you could easily injure yourself with, though!)
  • scissors
  • roll of brown kraft paper
  • brown ink pad (or black)
  • rocks to weight paper down (optional)

  1. Cut away the sides from a Styrofoam tray to make a flat surface.
  2. Using a pencil, draw a paw print. Mine was a kidney bean shape (or an upside down heart) with four circles on top. Tip: After my first trial did not turn out as I had hoped, I learned to make the circles for the toes larger than I expected to need them to be, and placed everything fairly close together.
  3. Use your tool (I liked using a small screwdriver for this.), repeatedly go over the outline of the paw print design to make it deeper. Then, using your tools, start carving out the extra white space around the parts that you want to be raised up for the stamp. (I resorted to using fingernails, but I don't necessarily recommend doing this. I bent one nail back slightly and eventually tore it a bit from this.) Tip: Don't worry about making it perfect because a) This is impossible! and b) The imperfections look nice on the final product, more realistic, in my opinion.
  4. Press your Styrofoam stamp onto an ink pad and test it on some scrap paper. If it doesn't look as clear as you would like, go back to step 3 and carve away more. Test and repeat carving as desired.
  5. Once the stamp creates a print you like, you're ready to make a table cover. Measure out the kraft paper to more than cover your table and cut it to size. Lay it out on a flat surface (I used my kitchen floor because a) the table was covered with... stuff and b) this was easier on my back since I could just keep scooting along as I went rather than bending and stretching over my table). Tip: Weight it down if it is trying to curl back up. (I used some painted rocks that were handy.) Stamp paw prints however you would like. I chose to make it look like a dog had walked up one side of the table cover and back down the other. You could do random paw prints if you like. This didn't take too much time, even with re-inking between impressions, which I felt would ensure the crispest prints. Again, I didn't worry if some of the prints didn't turn out "perfect" because this adds to the charm. 
  6. When I was done stamping, I made sure the ink was dry before rolling it up to store until party time. I anticipate that I will need to tape it to the table. It should be a cute and low-key table runner, perfect for a puppy-themed paw-ty.

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