I come from a tight-knit family. One that is rich in love, humility and long-standing traditions. Growing up, we spent every birthday, holiday and Sunday sittin’ at my Nana’s kitchen table. When it was your birthday, you sat at the head of the table. But if you even tried to eat Sunday lunch in the living room, you would get a mean talking to. Rules were rules. There as a family, we shared laughs, our hearts, coupons and church gossip (oh, you know… who came in late, who didn’t show up and who was tone deaf). That table has always been like Grand Central Station for us, and, thankfully, it’s still there and welcomes me well with each visit back home.
The memories that are made and shared at the table are held dear for a reason. In Luke 7:34, Jesus himself said that “the Son of Man came eating and drinking”. Throughout the gospel of Luke, Jesus seemed to literally always be at a meal. No matter your profession or social ranking, Jesus was open to sharing a meal with you. Even today, meals together are a powerful expression of welcomeness and friendship. In a graceless culture, extending your home and table to others can turn into an outward expression of God’s grace and mission. Pretty stinkin’ cool, huh?
So clearly, an eye-catching kitchen table is a high priority in our home, and I try to dress it beautifully to reflect each season. This fall, I wanted a simple table-scape made up of deep colors and natural elements. The entire design for my table was built around a Magnolia leaf garland that I DIY’d. This garland is easy and inexpensive to make but adds incredible depth and texture.
To make your own Magnolia garland you first need to measure the length of your table. (You will need around 25 leaves per foot.) Then, gather your supplies (I’ll link them as I talk about them and also have a supply list below). All you need is wire, wire cutters and Magnolia leaves from outside. (I borrow Magnolia leaves from the Olive Garden parking lot for my projects. Shhh…) Once you have all the leaves you need, string two leaves on your wire at a time. To have the leaves stand up against each other like in my photos, pair the leaves with the backsides (the brownish side) touching each other, and then string on the wire. Continue to string leaves until you fill the desired length of your garland, make knots at each end and you’re done! Adding to the table, I paired the garland with white candles, gold chargers (from the Dollar Tree), twigs, and fall-colored flowers. Building onto this table-scape, you could add other fun fall décor like small white pumpkins or birch wood candle holders. (You could even take this garland through any season, exchange the fall-color flowers for sunflowers in the summer, or add pastel Easter eggs and blue and white hydrangeas for spring. The options are endless!) One last thing, napkins and silverware. We have limited utensils here in the Damas household, so we can’t just throw that stuff out there like candy. But it looks fabulous if you have more than one set to spare!