November 24, 2010

If You Simply Must Plug It In

It's not yet December and the Christmas Season is upon us. Lights are everywhere. Suddenly the sparkle factor increases ten-fold.
Let's pretend that you're going for the gaudy look this year. Wouldn't glaring electric lights look great on your table? Sure they would! But how do you plug them in? Despite the increase in battery powdered LED lights, not all things twinkly can be lit with a Duracell Double AA. Here's one way to handle the situation.

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First, focus on the spectacular, attention-grabbing photograph below. I believe it's important to capture my reader's interest right from the get-go.
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1. If you possess minimal woodworking skills, you can make an extra leaf for your table. The leaf can be made from the cheapest wood available. Its edges don’t have to match the beveled edging on your present table. It doesn't even have to be stained or painted. Tablecloths and table pads make such details unnecessary.
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It's pretty much just a board with holes drilled on one side and holes fitted with pegs (called table pins) on the other side. If you can't locate pins locally, you can find them at Rockler Woodworking.

The THICKNESS of the board is the most important measurement to keep in mind when locating the wood. You can cut the board to the proper length or have the lumber yard cut it for you. Remember, you will be covering it with a tablecloth, so aesthetics are of no concern.

Of course, for a fee, you can hire a carpenter. I hired my dad. He was very cheap.

My leaf is rather crude, but it has served me well for many years. No one suspects it's anything less than part of the original table. (I take that back. The lamp wire disappearing down through the middle of the table is probably a big give-away, but my guests definitely don't know how ugly it is.)


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2. Drill a hole in the middle of the leaf, big enough for a large electrical plug to drop through. Screw a long block of wood near the hole on the underside of the leaf. (Mine shows two wood strips that form a right angle.) Attach a power strip to the long block.

DO NOT attach the power strip directly to the underside of the leaf. You may want to plug in those heavy adapters commonly known as wall warts. They'll fall right out if they're plugged in upside down. I discovered this the hard way.

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3. In order to connect the power strip to an outlet, run an extension cord under the tabletop and down the inside of the table leg that is closest to an outlet.

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PhotobucketTry as I may, I've been unable to come up with a way to camouflage the extension cord as it runs along the floor from the table to the outlet. So I've taken the reverse position and decided to call attention to it.

4. Grab a paper tube from a gift wrapping roll. You should have a lot of them this time of year. Make a very long Christmas Cracker with fringe at each end. Insert the extension cord before you tie the ends with ribbon. (I know that was obvious to you, but I had one end all tied up before it dawned on me.)

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5. Put a very large buttonhole in the center of great grandma's linen tablecloth.

OK, I'll wait a minute while you catch your breath.

Breathe . . . Breathe . . . Now think about it for a minute. A buttonhole is not going to prevent you from using the tablecloth without a lighted feature at some other time. If you go to the trouble of ironing a linen tablecloth, you’re probably going to place some type of centerpiece, whether fancy or plain, right in the center of the table. It will cover the buttonhole. No one will ever know - especially not great grandma, because she went to heaven years ago.

6. Plug everything in. Don't forget to flip the power strip's switch to ON.

7. Sing "You Light Up My Life" while you admire your handy work.



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16 comments:

  1. What a wonderful idea.. I think i heard a lot of gasps at the buttonhole! Happy Thanksgivings.

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  2. OMG this is amazing girl! I love it!
    Thank you so much for coming by my blog and spotting the stemware from your mom! I was lucky enough to have received that entire set from my grandmother along with her china...150 pieces total! Many blessings to you this holiday season!
    Terry

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  3. OA, you are so funny! You've created an informative and humorous blog post about a very interesting subject! I've run clear mini-lights down the center of some of my tables but I left the cord on top (hid by some sort of garland) and then had it run down the table leg. I LOVE your idea for "calling attention" to the cord on the floor though (I've just taped it to the carpet!) Now, I want to see the table you've set using this unique idea ....is that Part 2? LOL! Happy TG to you!
    DD

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  4. You are funny. Thanks for visiting me. I love your table settings as well. Happy Thanksgiving day.

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  5. Very clever...actually genius :)

    Blessings!
    Gail

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  6. Okay, this is sheer genius! Don't know if will happen this year, but I've always wanted to use actual buffet lamps on a tablescape...and here is the brilliant (pun intended) answer! THANK YOU! Cherry Kay

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  7. So clever! We don't have a leaf in our table, but if we did this little project would move to the top of my list. :-)

    Thank you for sharing this idea! ~ Sarah

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  8. What a great idea. I've used battery lights on the table before as well.

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  9. Great post, really appreciate other bloggers sharing their tips on fun ideas

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  10. You are such a hoot! I agree...Grandma won't be upset at all about the buttonhole. I think she'll be pleased that we found another way to use the cloth she left behind for us!

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  11. Oh boy, Oh boy a blog!!!! This posting is hilarious...I have so enjoyed reading everything, but I will have to say it would take me more than breathing to get through a buttonhole in my linen tablecloth. MY Great grandma would rise right up and smite me!!!!
    Love you..this is great!
    J

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  12. Mike made me an 8 in extension for my breakfast table years ago, stained it too, but it is always covered when we use it. I don't think he would let me drill a hole in it! LOL. I bought those battery operated lights from QVC . Works like a charm!No holes in the cloth! :)

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  13. What a clever idea. I would never have thought of doing that but it is going to be covered anyway. Thanks for the fabulous tutorial.

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  14. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

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  15. Good LORD, you sure are cheering me up!!!!!!!!!! I ahven't laughed this hard in a long time!!!! LOLOLOL!!!!! God bless you!!!!!!!! XO, Pinky

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  16. Oh my, not only do I love your incredible ideas but your sense of humor put a huge smile on my face! Thank you for sharing.

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