I am on the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) steering committee for our Southlake group. I serve in the hospitality role. I was in charge of the table décor this year. I had done the table décor using the Flourished theme last year. This year I needed to change it up to the new theme- Starry Eyed. I wanted to reuse as much as I could from last year, so that involved using some ModPodge to recover the table boxes we use. I completed 95% of the décor yesterday. It was a long day, but got it done. I have a love-hate relationship with iron-on materials. I will provide some tips below if you plan to use iron-ons.
Here are the photos of a sample table below. We use a different color for each table. That way each lady in our group of 60+ women is assigned a color before the year begins and they are that color for the whole year. We now have seven colors, thus seven table. The sample I set up on my kitchen table is the yellow table. The box is from Hobby Lobby- last year I spray painted each of the sturdy card board boxes to match the colors for each table. I then printed images from Pintrest that matched our MOPS theme (many were made by the MOPS organization and posted to Pintrest by other MOPS ladies). I Modge Podged the images onto each side of the boxes. Here are the Modge Podge instructions: I printed the images I wanted onto cardstock, cut them out and then pasted them onto the boxes using Modge Podge and a paint brush. When using Modge Podge I do the back and edges of the image first. Once that is dry I then do a thin coat of Modge Podge to the entire front, including the image. You want to be sure not to make it too thick, or the liquid will smear your ink. Smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles before it begins to dry. If you mess it up, just remove all paper and wipe clean using a damp cloth (I used a damp cloth, as it was not raw cardboard, it was sealed with spray paint). Use a new image and begin the process over again.
The plastic table clothes were purchased from Walmart and also match the boxes and specific color for each table. I made flower pens that are the same color as each table as well. This year we are adding a prayer request book to each box. At the end of each meeting the ladies pack up everything from the table, including the table clothes, flower name tags, pens, etc and put it all into the box to store for the next meeting. This makes setting up each week very easy. The storage of these items takes up very little space at the church as well.
I made the two squares of fabric for each table. The floral/paisley were the ones I made last year. I had purchased that fabric from Hobby Lobby. I then purchased a thick, almost canvas like white fabric to go on top of that square from Walmart. For those squares I printed iron-on images to add to these squares after I hemmed them. The iron-ons gave me a little bit of a headache, but I eventually got better at it. I have used iron-ons in the past, but maybe it was this material that was making it tough this time. I also figured out some things to make it easier- I will provide these tips below. To print images on iron-on material you first buy the iron-on sheets. I bought my two 6-pack packages that were the Avery Brand from Walmart. I also tried some of the HP sheets I had at home, thinking they may work more easily than the Avery when I ran into problems, but they were not ironing on any more easily. To print the images YOU MUST REVERSE THE IMAGES. If you have a photo shop program this will mean to “mirror” the image”. It makes the image appear backwards, but that is how it needs to appear so that when it is placed faced down and ironed onto the fabric the image will then appear correctly. Here are some of my images I printed in mirror image before ironing them onto the fabrics.
Here are some tips to using iron-ons:
- Don’t iron on the images for at least an hour. You really need the ink to fully dry. I waited overnight.
- Empty the iron of all water. Push the steam button several times to ensure it is empty. Water will damage the iron-on.
- Use a flat countertop surface that can handle the heat. Do not use an ironing board, as it is too cushioned. You need it completely flat.
- Preheat your iron to the highest cotton setting (steam off).
- Pressure and heat are your friend when applying an iron-on. Hold the iron on the image for a full three minutes moving the iron slowing back and forth and then up and down. DO THIS FOR A FULL THREE MINUTES. Use both hands and your body weight to add pressure.
- Watch your iron, if it has an auto shut off for ironing too long just pick up the iron when the light indicates it is shutting down, that will keep it turned on for most irons. Then you go right back to ironing.
- Let the iron-on fully cool. Moving it from where it was ironed will help it cool, as the surface will remain hot.
- After it is fully cool and it has been at least 2 minutes you can attempt to remove the backing. Start with a corner, but be careful, as corners want to lift up.
- Slowly remove the backing. If at anytime you see the image lifting from the fabric or not adhering STOP. Do the ironing process all over again to make it adhere. Use more pressure.
After I added all the images I wanted to the fabric squares I decided I wanted more stars. Instead of using-ons I found a silver paint pen that is intended for use on fabrics. I had a set of these in our art cabinet. Luckily it was a full pen when I started because I used up almost the entire pen drawing stars. I went over the iron-on stars (that I had initially added before drawing on the others) with the paint pen, so that they all matched.
I searched for a while on Pintrest to gather up all the “Starry Eyed” themed images that I could use for our décor. That took a bit of time. I am sharing them here, so fellow MOPS ladies can download them and use them. It is always nice to find them all in one place!