When you cut up and
What you're actually left with, once you've unguiltily torn out and re-purposed the innards of many books, is a glut of book covers.
So, last year, when I was in search of inspiration for a party table-setting - particularly table mats - my mind turned to all those colourful covers sitting in a big basket on my shelf, and suddenly I had a plan ...
The table-mats.So it started by thinking the book covers from retro storybooks and annuals would make perfectly-sized table-mats:
In fact, everything I used on the table was pulled together from the random crap we have in our house ... I didn't go out and buy anything especially for the party.
So, after sorting out the table mats, I turned to some smaller book covers to act as coasters:
The place settings.
Once I had the table-mats in place I added individual place settings:
These consisted of:
- self-adhesive chalkboard vinyl, die-cut with various label dies;
- mini glass bottles wrapped with the chalkboard labels;
- a colourful paper drinking-straw;
- a lolly or a toffee chew;
- and a colouring-in sheet ... for after-dinner activities (I supplied the pencils and crayons) And here they are in use:
The balloon modelling. Yes, there was balloon modelling. What? I YouTubed it.
Someone had bought James a balloon-modelling kit and - if ever there was an appropriate occasion to put it to good use - it was on a retro children's party themed table (for adults. Obvs.)
After some YouTube tutorials, a few bursting incidents, and a little bit of deflation (!) I managed to create a balloon flower, a heart, a few dogs:
... and some ... erm ... some ...
Swords. They're swords. Of course they're swords. Look here they are being swordly. En garde!
The other characters who came to tea ...
To create different levels and interesting nooks and crannies across the table I stacked up book covers and half-hollowed books and even a tiny little wooden stool to stand various different plates on. Well ... plates plus a few little friends I'd invited along to get people talking.
I trawled drawers and shelves collecting together a cast of characters to create little scenes such as Harry Potter, practicing his flying car skills:
The finished table, complete with the really important stuff: the food!
Proof that, in amongst the hoard of old books and a cross-over universe of characters we actually made room for food.
And it was normal 'grown-up' food too. While the decoration may have harked back to a 1980s kid's party table there honestly wasn't a bacon flavour Frazzle or an Iced Gem in sight!
Now, over to you ...
- What would your ideal childhood party style table include? Wagon Wheels? Hot dogs? Lashings of ginger beer?
- Which characters would you invite to the table? Or which action figures could you grab right now, from your collection, without having to leave the house?
- What about the party music? The Kids From Fame soundtrack? (Me and my sister almost wore out our copy). Now That's What I Call Music 7?
- Or which books from your childhood would you love to see again (cut up or not)? Or have you kept them all?
Drop me a line, leave me a comment, tweet, IG, or FB me your retro-inspired-responses.
I'd love to think this post has grabbed your attention, because, seriously, don't tell me I learned how to balloon-model for nothing??!!!
If you enjoyed this post ...
- Please consider sharing it with someone who might enjoy it too. I bet there's a child of the 80s in your life who'd revel in the excuse to regress back to being a kid for a while!
- Maybe pin the title photo to Pinterest or share it on social media somewhere?:
And you might also like ...
- There's more inspiration here on how to make special events even more special in my post on creating a 'personal Advent' - a gift-giving season in the run-up to a special event/birthday.
- And you can find all the vintage paper from between the covers of these retro-fabulous books on sale in my Etsy shop. (Custom orders welcome.)
- Plus I'm also more than happy to put together a custom pack of book covers which make perfect journal covers OR if you fancy creating a retro table of your own. Just get in touch.