Magazine article Sunset

Stars, Stripes, and Baseballs

Magazine article Sunset

Stars, Stripes, and Baseballs

Article excerpt

Celebrate the Fourth with our colorful floral centerpieces and star-spangled tablecloth

* Get into the party spirit a day or so beforehand by making these Independence Day projects for your table. Francoise Kirkman designed the all-weather tablecloth with star cutouts over red and blue fabric liners (above). Our floral flag, designed by Jill Slater, captures the occasion with miniature red and white carnations and blue statice (page 102), while the baseball (page 102), designed by Bud Stuckey, salutes our national pastime. All can be made ahead, giving you extra time for last-minute barbecue preparations.

Party tablecloth

This cloth can be fashioned from a variety of materials, including white vinyl or plastic. We used blackout material (available from fabric stores; about $6 per yard). Place red or blue fabric or plastic lining under the cloth, to show through the cutouts.

TIME: About 5 minutes to cut each star

COST: About $20 for blackout fabric to cover a 3 1/2- by 7-foot table; less for plastic or vinyl

MATERIALS

One 8 1/2 by 11-inch piece of thick cardboard

Pencil, pen, and ruler

Craft or utility knife with sharp blades

Firm cutting board to work on

3 yards 54-inch-wide white all-weather fabric

Red or blue plastic or fabric liner

DIRECTIONS

1. Make a cardboard stencil from the star template. For different star sizes, reduce or enlarge the template.

2. Use a pen to trace the star shapes where you want them on your fabric.

3. Cut out the shapes with a sharp craft knife, replacing the blades as necessary.

4. Cover table with liner, then with the cloth, or tape the contrasting fabric over the back of the cutouts.

Note: You can place the star shapes at random all over the fabric, just in the corners, or in a border pattern at the fabric's edge as shown.

Floral flag and baseball

Suitable for either a buffet or the center of a table, these decorations are created with florist's foam and fresh flowers. …

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