November 25, 2013

$1 Table Runner

Last week I showed you my Thanksgiving mock set up, but hinted that changes were coming.  In fact, I even told you I had some plans to make the boring table runner a little more exciting.  Truth be told, the table runner wasn't actually a "runner" per's actually just a roll of Dollar Store white wrapping paper.  And actually, it's just half of that roll (cut width-wise).  So to make it a bit prettier I just used one of those Martha Stewart paper punchers.  They're available in all kinds of designs, so I just picked the one I liked the most.

Now here's the thing.  I'm pleased with the result. And even more pleased with the price.  I have long realized that investing in fancy decorating items does me no good because I don't want to use them the second time around (hence the piles of fancy place mats and napkin rings I bought one Thanksgiving 5 years ago and have never used again!), so this is a perfect solution for me.
But like most DIY projects that save you a few bucks, this one definitely was a bit more of a headache than I anticipated.  The biggest problem was that .my wrapping paper kept getting stuck in the punch after I used it.  Eventually, I figured out that the paper may have been too flimsy and I started doubling it up with some cardstock I had on hand (and could be wasted!) which definitely helped alleviate the problem...although it did get stuck a few more times beyond that!  Once I got the hang of moving the cardstock with the wrapping paper, making sure both were aligned straight, and punching, the project actually went fairly quickly.
That being said I did have a few more issues with Miss Martha's product (I know, blasphemy!).  The punch definitely required a bit of muscle behind it.  That's probably not a big deal when you're just using it for a punch here or there, but to do both sides of a 6 foot runner it got a bit tiring!
  Plus, towards the end of my second runner (we're hosting 23 people, so we need 3 tables), it started jamming after every single punch.  Luckily, I was near the end of the second one, so I finished it off and then just decided to ditch the third one!
I also found the spacing hard to you can probably tell from the picture above.  Maybe it's just me, but the way the punch is made makes it hard to judge where to place it to evenly space it.  Towards the end, I kind of got the hang of it, but there are definitely places that are spaced further apart than others...oh well!
And finally, the punch does not have anything on it to catch the paper it cuts out, so it leaves quite the mess.I would dump the scraps every few times, and certainly tried to contain the mess to a small area of the table, but there was still a big mess on the floor...enough that I even had to bring the vacuum out.  And I hate the vacuum!
All in all, though, the runners cost $1 so I probably can't complain too much!                                                                                                                                                                      

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