When I sat down to do some crafting this weekend, I wanted to challenge myself, a la Craft Wars. Use supplies on hand to create something pretty as well as practical from stuff around the house, whether or not it’s a traditional crafting material. I also gave myself a time limit by putting on a one-hour TV show and got to work. Here’s what I came up with:
A set of four picnic tablecloth weights made with washers, clothespins and mason line. My grandparents had a store-bought version of these things that featured glazed metal frogs hanging from spring-loaded clips. They always looked kind of morbid, and they always got lost in the shuffle of cleaning up after a picnic with a zillion grandkids running around covered in sticky watermelon. These little dudes, with being neon to the point of hurting my eyes as I edited the photos for this post, are hard to loose track of in a picnic situation.
mason line twine in two colors
4 clothespins with springs
super glue (optional)
Cut four 2-foot lengths of each color of mason line. String one piece of mason line through the spring of your clothespin. Then using a needle, sew a piece of mason line in your second color through the spring.
Line up your ends so that they’re the same length. Tie a knot next to each side of the clothespin, keeping the same length of string on each side.
Tie a knot at the top of where you’d like one of your weights to hang.
Weave one of your colors (in my case yellow) from the front of your washer and the other color (pink for me) from the back through the center of the washer, as shown.
Wrap your first color all the way around the washer. When you reach the end of the washer, all of the inside of the washer will be covered. The outside of the washer will reveal pieces of the metal inside for now.
Loosen the pink twine and thread the end of the yellow (first) string through the pink line to stay in place. Pull the pink line tight to secure the yellow.
Begin winding the pink (second color) of twine from the back through the front – the opposite way from how you wound the first color of twine – and hook it in the spaces between each wrap of the yellow (first color). The result will be a sort of peppermint design.
When you get all the way around with your second color, flip your wrapped washer over and tie the two pieces in a square knot to secure. You can add a drop of super glue onto the finished knot to 100% guarantee its security if you want. Trim excess length from your knot.
Repeat the whole wrapping and tying process on the other side of your clothespin to complete your first tablecloth weight.
When you take a full set of four of these out to a picnic, there are a couple ways to attach them to your tablecloth to keep it from blowing away. You can simply clip it to an end like this:
Or you can gather the corner of your table cloth into a bundle under each corner of your table and clip into place. As you can see from this photo I captured on a windy day in my building’s hideous yard, the corner-gathering method works really well for securing your tablecloth. It’s like creating a faux fitted sheet on the top of your table to make it stay despite kids pulling at it, wind, and other picnic factors.
A tip to keep in mind when you’re trying to cover a table in a breeze is to clip these weights to your shirt hem! It makes it really easy to keep track of them. All this picnic talk makes me want to go get some watermelon and have a picnic right now…