Tuesday, April 17, 2012

framed dresses centerpiece {tutorial}

Last month I was put in charge of centerpieces and other decor for a celebration of our church's women's organization's (Relief Society) 170th birthday. We used a popular theme that has been passed around during the last couple of years. It was based on the children's book The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes, which teaches love, acceptance, and forgiveness.
We also set a goal to collect 100 dresses to donate to the local women's shelter for women entering the workforce. You can find some great ideas here if you want to plan a similar activity for your group. And here are some fun centerpiece ideas that would work for this theme or for a bridal shower, tea party, or little girl's birthday party! These would even be cute in a little girl's room (something I would know nothing about).

I cut this dress out of several patterned papers using my Silhouette machine, then mounted them on a book page (to go with the literary theme). Then I framed them in various frames to use on the tables (this one was on the buffet table).

 I made about 30 frames, and I had to do it on the cheap. Enter the $1 Walmart frame.

I had originally planned on having several people loan me frames to use, but I later decided I wanted them to match. In addition to a couple of thrift store finds, I found a couple of sizes of plain black wood frames at Walmart for a buck. But they looked like they cost a buck. Bring on the sand paper and spray paint! 

I left some frames plain black and just sanded the edges for a distressed look. I was surprised at how much cuter they looked with just a little distressing!

My colors were aqua, pink, and black. So I sprayed some of the frames aqua and let them dry. Then I took my sandpaper to them as well. I loved how the black showed through a little.

I didn't have a chance to take pictures at the dinner, so use your imagination. We had white tablecloths and each table had a vase of my coffee filter flowers surrounded by 3 of the framed dresses.

In the area where we were collecting dress donations, we hung this cute dress bunting (which I also used as part of my Easter mantel display.

I just hung the leftover dresses from the framing project on a piece of jute with cute mini clothes pins.

And in between dresses I folded a paper doily in half and glued it together. Probably the quickest bunting/banner I've ever put together!

This was such a sweet activity, reminding us of our responsibility as daughters of God to reach out and include others in our circle of friends, not to judge others by appearance or circumstance, to forgive others when they do not show the same kindness, and to show God's love through service. I love that I got to help my sisters in the gospel enjoy a wonderful night together with a few $1 frames and some doilies! Hopefully these simple decorations will inspire you for your next girly get-together!

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16 Responses to “framed dresses centerpiece {tutorial}”

Unknown said...


Lucy | Charm About You said...

cute ideas, it looks really pretty :)

Kooky Corner Crafts said...

Very very pretty. I love the frames. What kind of spray paint was it? I'm looking to buy some retro wardrobes for my bedroomand paint them in a distressed look so would be interested if this kind of look could be achieved on a larger surface? xx

DG said...

This is awesome. I love using a book as a guide to an event. Nicely done-- hope your event went well.

mekei said...

super cute idea. the centerpieces came out great.

dlw said...

nice job! nice sentiment, as well!

Shirley Hatfield said...

I am LDS too, and I so enjoy helping with RS birthday decorations. You did such a wonderful job...I hope your Ward appreciates how much talent you have. I hope you don't mind if I save a picture of your dress/frames to my ideas file...would be so cute for my granddaughters. =D

beetree said...

I LOVE the dollar frame technique- they all came out adorable, and I think will be making an appearance in a grouping on my wall soon. Love the aqua- great idea!

Ribbonwood Cottage said...

Love this. I love little dresses and clotheslines...so sweet. this would be cute for table numbers at a wedding reception...
I like what you did with all the frames too. Very creative.

Simply AJ said...

Wow... these framed pieces turned out so pretty! You could use this idea for so many different things.
What a great way to give to others that need our help and support.

tawn said...

I love you beautiful dresses. I was so intrigued with the idea and the book that I had to read that book. I work at a middle school and the book was in our media center, so I immediately checked it out. Great book!! One that I will definitely read to my grandchildren...first one due in October. Thank you for this lovely post.

Bari Jo said...

I loved your sweet post! Very inspiring! And your project ideas are wonderful, too!

Kimberly T. said...

What a great idea for the birthday dinner! I'm pinning ths idea in case I have that calling again. :)

About me said...

I really liked it.

Tausha said...

These are darling! How very clever of you to use 100 dresses as inspiration. If only I still had this calling. I would totally be copying! Great job my friend, as always!

Audrey said...

Where did you get the music and book pages you used as backgrounds? Did you just get them from Goodwill or did you print them from your computer? I love what you did! Could you respond at apetersen23@gmail.com


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