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  • Writer's pictureLisa from MollyMac

Table Decoration Inspiration for Book Clubs!

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Paper Birds over a table

Are you part of a book club? If so, this blog was written for you!

The very next time you are hosting your club, why not have fun theming your table decoration to fit your book? We know it will wow your friends - and amuse yourself - with your all-round creativity and general cleverness.

You in?

OK, then – here’s how:

First of all, you need to read your book and finish it in good time to plan the food and table decoration

There’s been plenty of times we’ve been reading the book five minutes before we get to the club – so do as we say, not as we do! – we’re sure you’re bound to be more organized than us!

A thousand paper birds book

Our blog today celebrates: A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall

Photo 2

As Tor is coming to the Jersey Festival of Words this September, we thought that it was perfect for our first choice of book club table decoration blog.

We read the book and digested (see what we did there?) the main themes of the book and then decided which ones would make the best visual impact for our table decoration.

We don’t want to give away too much as we really hope you will be inspired to read this beautiful book, but A Thousand Paper Birds is a book about love and loss, based on five characters, two love triangles and a mysterious death. It’s told from multiple perspectives and two different time frames and takes place in Kew Gardens over one calendar year. One of the characters is Chloe, an origami artist, and she is the character who folds the paper birds of the title. Another character is Harry who saves the seeds and protects life – we know! That’s a biggie!

The book not only features Kew Gardens, but was also inspired and written on a bench there - anyone who has been to Kew will understand what an inspirational place it is.

We started our design by using the Bird On A Wire table runner and napkins and folding some origami birds. I found out how to do this online and there are lots of different ways to make them.

Paper birds

We used YouTube as it is a great resource for this – and so many other things!

We realized after we had made ours that there are even simpler ways to make birds than we did – find what works for you - we can assure you that no special skills are required and some of our folding certainly would not be up to Chloe’s standard! If people come to your party and judge your origami skills, well…we have no words! There are some amazing paper-folders out there - just search and support - we’re sure they’ll appreciate your support!

The Birds

Using branches stowed in a large glass bottle stood on the floor - you could wedge them in a bucket with earth or stones or, if you only have small branches, place them in a vase on the table. We then used a hole-punch and fishing wire - you could use cotton - to thread the birds in pairs and then strung them over the branches. Make sure the birds hang at different levels to create a flock to hang over the table – hopefully the pictures illustrate this - it is glorious to get some height to the design so that you can still see your friends across the table!

Creating Kew

Obviously there is no recreating Kew on a table because it is one of the most wonderful places in the world, but we wanted to create a feeling of a garden, so we gathered trailing branches from the garden, branches, and bits of wood. This could be done in a multitude of ways depending on what you have access to and what is lying around your home. We bought some flowers and used willow withies that were happened to be handy – I know, right? We also gathered any and all bird-related objects that we could find: brass salt and pepper shakers, etc - including illustrated books – thank goodness for charity shops and boot sales, eh? - and an old nest that had blown out of the bush in our garden and that we preserved in a glass dome without any idea what possible purpose it could ever serve…until now!

We foraged some greenery and branches from the garden – but this could be scavenged from hedgerows or elsewhere, and maybe a bunch of flowers. Work to your budget and steal everything else!

Thoughts About Seed Collection

For us, the seed collection was an inspirational part of the book and we were sure we had a collection of seeds squirreled away somewhere, but we couldn’t find them – agh! Cutting a few corners, going to a general store and picking up some potpourri - full of seed- like shapes and smelling divine may have set us back a few pennies, but we think brought a centrality to the overall design.

Paper birds over a table

Tag us an image on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook @MollyMacLiving when you create a beautiful table for your next Book Club, so we can all share in all its loveliness.

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