Host a Christmas dinner to remember with Becki Clark’s easy-make tablescape
For the tablecloth Three avocados Linen tablecloth Large saucepan For the napkins Potato Mustard yellow fabric paint Napkins For the plates Posca paint pens in blue and gold Plain plates For the baubles Fillable baubles (ours were from www. hobbycraft.co.uk) Foliage sprigs Gold glitter Special doesn’t always have to mean fancy. This year, instead of dusting off the best china, we’re embracing botanical vibes and a warm, gentle palette for a relaxed take on Christmas feasting. Think sprigs of greenery, natural dyeing and hand-drawn leafy details.
Forget fast-paced festivities – slow down and simplify the season, taking time out for a lazy avocado brunch and a winter foraging walk to gather your materials.
Cut the avocados in half and scrape them out so you’re left with the skins and stones. Give them a good wash and leave them to dry.
Fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to the boil. Drop the avocado skins and stones in and let the water simmer on a low heat. The water won’t change much to begin with, but keep checking it every 10 minutes and you’ll see the colour develop. To achieve a blush colour, simmer them for about 45 minutes.
You’ll see the colour appears a lot darker than blush pink, but you can do a test with a scrap of linen fabric to see how the colour’s looking. Once you’re happy, strain the dye to leave just the liquid.
Pop the tablecloth into the saucepan with the dye and let the fabric absorb it. Remove it from the pan and leave to dry.
Press the napkins and lay them out, right side up, on a flat covered surface.
Cut a medium-sized potato in half and cut a grid into one of the halves, as shown, creating a rectangle in the centre.
Carve the surrounding edges away leaving just the central rectangle at its original height.
Apply paint to the potato stamp, making sure the rectangle is fully covered, then begin printing a design on the napkins using the image as a guide. Work your way across the napkin. You don’t have to keep the prints in straight or horizontal lines – you can experiment first on a piece of paper to create a pattern you like.
To draw a wreath design, work from the middle of the plate outwards so you don’t risk
smudging it. Start by using the blue pen to draw a small circle in the middle of the plate. You may find it helpful to use a small circular object as a template to draw around for this step.
Work around the circle adding teardrop shapes all the way around to create leaves, as shown.
Next, draw another larger circle around the smallest motif, as shown – you can do this by eye. Continue to add more teardrop shapes as leaves, this time slightly larger than the previous ones.
Add a final circle around the edge of the plate and draw the same teardrop botanical leaves.
To finish, add gold dots as berry accents onto the botanicals using the gold pen. You can work over the coloured leaves.
Add strokes of ochre paint to ivory dinner candles for an ombre look, and fill clear baubles with a pinch of gold glitter and sprigs of evergreen foliage. For cutlery wraps, use small money wallets and letter onto them with your guests’ names. We used a brush pen, but you could use a pen and ink to get the same effect.