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Paper Chains and Tablescapes with Lisa Przystup

Paper Chains and Tablescapes with Lisa Przystup

Throughout the holiday season, we delight in the beauty of homemade moments. Of gingerbread houses and paper snowflakes; of decorated roasts and brandied butter; of handwritten cards and books read aloud.

Feeling inspired by these homemade moments, we reached out to the endlessly creative Lisa Przystup , who is always crafting up something delightfully whimsical. She walked us through making an eye-catching paperchain, complete with foraged garland, greenery, and more for the most spectacular festive display.

For the Paper Chains

All you’ll need for these paperchains is a selection of festive paper and adhesive (either double-sided tape or staples).

I try not to be too precious about my paper chain making only because they’re supposed to be a fun, low-lift way to make a space feel festive BUT I am a bit of a type-A perfectionist… so that sometimes gets in the way of things.

For these I used my husband’s drywall t-bar—it’s exactly 2″ wide so I just flipped the paper over to the white side and used that as a guide to drawing the lines. Next, I cut the strips and folded them in half and tore them at the fold. (But if that feels scary you can always use scissors.)

Then, I just loop each strip and secure them with either tape or staples. I tried double-side tape one year (less visibility) but found that it doesn’t hold and the chains were just coming apart.

For the skinnier set of paper chains (those were about 1.5″ wide ), I just eyeballed the cuts and used the pattern on the paper as a loose guide and free-cut them. This was faster and VERY liberating. I think that for things like these paper chains, perfection is overrated—a little imperfection adds to the whimsy of it all. And that’s it! Easy peasy. Don’t overthink it.

For the Tablescape

Generally, with tablescapes, I like to bring nature in and use found bits and baubles from trail walks and our yard to anchor the whole thing. Then, I like to add in fruits (kumquats! persimmons! oranges! tangerines! pears! pomegranates! apples! grapes!) and vegetables (squash! pumpkins!).

For this particular little centrepiece, I foraged some evergreen springs and moss (here’s a great article about how to forage for moss responsibly) and arranged it in an organic circular shape in the middle of the table and then added some pinecones, pears and citrus. I also stuck a couple of little dried things into the moss itself.

Next, I dropped some dried grasses and branches with leaves into a couple of small, decidedly unfancy glass bottles — I usually save ones that we have leftover from olive oil or small bottles of vinegar etc. to use as bud vases—making sure to vary the height so as to keep the eye moving (it also makes for a more dynamic visual). When I find a good spring of dried leaves or thistle or other pretty dried bits I hold onto them to reuse somewhere else in the house or save them so I have them already for the next time I want to create something for the table.

And, candles! Always add candles.

Lastly, a bowl of walnuts at this time of year always adds something vaguely holiday-esque to the table.

We love the idea of throwing caution and minimalism to the wind when making paper chains. We recommend collecting any bits of festive paper scraps you have lying around the house and using them to create your décor! Of course, if you feel so inclined you can certainly opt for a more curated palette. For that, our Italian wrapping paper would fit the bill.

And there you have it! We’d love to see how your tablescapes turn out this season! With our community stretching beyond our own hometown, it will be especially captivating to see the variation of foraged centrepieces you create.

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