a tiered galvanized tray, with harvest fruits and leaves
Holidays » Thanksgiving » A Harvest Barn Dance Centerpiece

A Harvest Barn Dance Centerpiece

Twenty-three bloggers make a harvest centerpiece for Autumn using a tray, around the house fresh and faux, and their fondness for the season!

Thanks to All Bloggers participating and thank you to our hostess, Katherine of Katherine’s Corner, for the gigantic task of organizing each of us!

If you’re coming over from Common Ground, thank you!

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Welcome Autumn Blog Tour
What Is Autumn on A Tray?

I believe most of us can derive inspiration not only from the seasons, other people’s homes, or small joys in life, but also from experiences we’ve had that affected us in some positive way. Autumn on A Tray is a gathering of all of that inspiration and all of those memories and experiences, arranged thoughtfully on a single tray or tiered display tray. It’s a collection of what you have already, what you find and collect on your morning walks, and it bespeaks YOUR Autumn from whichever angle you look at it.

Join this tour with me and follow on an inspirational ‘blog hop’ to view the ‘Autumn’s of others’ through their memories and experiences. I have an idea you’ll walk away with some creative ideas 😉

Link NOW to three of my most popular Fall Recipes!

a tiered galvanized tray, with harvest fruits and leaves

All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC and collage image ©Bobskatie Enterprises, LLC

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A Harvest Barn Dance Centerpiece

Something different today, and no…not a recipe! Join me in saying ‘thank you’ to my friend Katherine from the home inspiration blog Katherine’s Corner as she guides us on an Autumn Tray Blog Tour!

Now, my readers will recognize this post as ‘unusual’ for me because it doesn’t involve food. When Katherine asked me to participate, I thought maybe she’d confused me with another blogger, or perhaps misinterpreted the extent of my talent!

I am more than a little humbled that I am included among this group of talented bloggers. Moreover, I am nervous because this is my first time EVER decorating a themed tray. Please don’t judge harshly…

a tiered galvanized tray, with harvest fruits and leaves

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Channeling A Long-Ago Evening for Inspiration

When I was 16 years old, I was invited to a birthday party for a school friend. It was her Sweet Sixteen and it was to be hosted by her parents at their family farm in the town I grew up in, Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

Curiously, the invitation read: BARN DANCE & REFRESHMENTS; NO GIFTS, PLEASE

So, New Jersey may be ‘The Garden State,’ however, and in my 16 short years, I’d NEVER heard of or attended a…abarn (me continuing to re-read the invite)…barn dance before. What kind of birthday celebration was THIS??

an old barn at night, with string lights

Recreating A Night, I’ve Never Forgotten

The dance was pure magic. It seemed as if there were a trillion tiny white lights twinkling, and everywhere I looked was broad gold ribbon to catch the reflection.

To create my harvest centerpiece Autumn on A Tray, it seemed appropriate to recreate that night of the barn dance some 36 years ago. In particular the cornucopias that decorated each table filled with acorns, hay, apples, gold ribbons, and autumn branches and leaves.

I first grabbed for an old galvanized tiered piece I picked up thrifting forever ago. I guess at the time, I envisioned filling it with baked goodies, but I’ve sadly never used it.

a tiered galvanized tray, with harvest fruits and leaves

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Tackling the Largest Tier First

I filled my harvest centerpiece tray with fresh acorns, faux gourds and apples, a variety of faux fall fruits, and wide gold ribbon. Nothing new was purchased for the project, rather I dug deep to use what I knew I already had.

I began by stuffing wadded up newspapers in the large bottom tier. The newspaper is acting as a wall or a lift to keep the small faux pieces from getting lost in that big bottom.

There is no perfection here, no rules. Just ‘stuff and place’ and keep manipulating the paper to conform to your vision. The wide gold ribbon helps to camouflage the newspaper.

a tiered galvanized tray, with harvest fruits and leaves

Tiers Two and Three with Whatever Materials Remain

The two undecorated tiers were quick and easy. I placed large items like the apples and gourds first. Whatever small pieces of decor remained in the nooks and crannies.

I made sure to turn my tray as I decorated. This same barn dance-inspired harvest centerpiece will also become the real centerpiece for a buffet table. There is an upcoming party being held in a 250-year-old cotton dock here where I now live in Charleston, South Carolina.

The rustic colors, and even that crazy gold ribbon, will most excellently play off the tiny string lights that illuminate the ceiling timbers of the cotton dock. In fact, I am placing a bet that I will garner some lovely feedback, all of which I would not have done if it were not for these ladies allowing my participation.

Please continue the tour by clicking HERE to see what Thrifting Wonderland has created for today’s tour!

Thanks to All Bloggers participating and thank you Katherine for the gigantic task of organizing each of us!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

a tiered galvanized tray, with harvest fruits and leaves

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  1. Hi Jenny, so nice to meet you! I love your recollections of the Barn Dance, which sounds so magical. Your tiered tray is wonderful, and perfect for the season. Glad to find your blog, you have some amazing recipes. So nice to hop with you. Have a great week!

    1. Debra, you are too kind! This process has been fun, and I cannot wait to check them all out – just getting behind my screen now 🙂 xo Jenny

  2. Oh, this is so beautiful! I love that you used the barn dance as inspiration. I’m not really a home decor blogger either, so I’m always less than confident with this type of challenge, and I understand your fear of it. But, you knocked it out of the park!

  3. Hi Jenny! So wonderful to meet you through this blog hop. Your tray came of wonderful and you need to give yourself more props! It will make for a fabulous centerpiece at your event. I love the backstory and learning so much about you. I grew up in Bergen County NJ and absolutely love Charleston so you’re a lucky girl. So fun to be hopping with you today…and….. I will definetly be checking out all your recipe inspiration for sure! XO- MaryJo @ masterpiecesmylife.com

  4. Wow – I’d never have known that was your first styled tray Jenny! You totally nailed it! And I loved the story of your barn dance inspiration – what a wonderful memory! It’s great touring with you! Hope you have a lovely fall and I can’t wait to hear your tray feedback from the Cotton Dock party! 🙂

    1. Barbara you are too kind, thank you! Our event is coming up next weekend for a harvest festival. The buffet table will be 21-feet long and 6-feet wide. I will be only one of twelve centerpieces that will grace the table. Let’s hope you’re right and folks admire it 🙂 xo

  5. Hi Jenny, nice to meet another Jersy girl. I have lived here my entire life.

    Beautiful autumn colors and I have never heard of a barn dance here either. Pinned

    1. Cindy, I feel like as we travel closer to west Jersey and into Pennsy, maybe the barn dance is more familiar? All I know is that it was so, so beautiful and imagining the farm fields of Basking Ridge and Liberty Corner, dusk at that location with all the tiny lights was MAGICAL. I’m going to poke around your site some more. Lovely that you are indeed a Jersey Girl!!! xo

  6. I love how a Barn Dance inspired your tray, Jenny. With all of the fall colors and textures, it’s sure to be a hit at your upcoming party!

  7. So nice to meet you Jenny! I think you did a wonderful job on your tray. The colors are so vibrant, I can imagine how neat the barn dance was. I also like how you added in grapes and apples. Excited to be touring with you.

    1. I am laughing just a little because when I look back on my photos, I can see just how exhausted all of those elements look. They’ve been moved from house to house in a big old dusty box for years. May be time to invest in some new swag! xo Jenny

  8. HI Jenny,
    This is so awesome! Nice to meet you! Love your blog name too! I love meeting new bloggers to follow and get to know! xo laura in Colorado

    1. Laura, I am elated at all of these new friends! Thank YOU for dropping by to visit me here – meaningful! xo Jenny

  9. Jenny,
    Pleased to meet you!! For your first attempt at doing a tray, you showed that you are a pro at it!! I love your tiered tray first of all and everything you used in the presentation just screams Autumn in the Northeast!! I am a Pa, girl like you mentioned in your kind comment on my post!!!!!! And I think you hit the Harvest Barn Dance nail right on the head!! Great job!! Enjoy the Tour!! Thanks for stopping by!!!

    1. Debbie, this is the time of year I miss the Northeast the most – autumn. My season is fall, and I was always on the top of my game in fall….really in my element. I will look to your page to keep me feeling less homesick by way of pictures and nostalgia. Jenny 🙂

  10. Hi Jenny, such great Fall colors incorporate in your tiered tray. I really liked the combination of fruit and pumpkins. It really does welcome Fall. Lynne

    1. Lynne, growing up, our purple grapes were always ripe and fragrant and buzzing with bees and wasps eager to load up on the juicing fruits in early October. It seemed only fitting to toss grapes over the tray once it was sort of done! Thanks for visiting! xo Jenny

  11. Jenny, I love it when bloggers talk about past events that inspired their post. You have nothing to fear about extending your talents in another direction. This tray is a beautiful burst of color – perfect for fall.

    I will have fun exploring your recipes, and with your permission, would love to include you in some of my “What I’m Eating” posts that I feature each Monday. I always link back to the blogger I feature.

    Happy October!

    1. Rachelle, you’ve humbled me. You including my recipes in your series would be my honor, and I promise to pay that forward. You see, this website is my full-time job. When folks make and enjoy, share and recommend my recipe posts, it is an elation. Thank you is not a big enough expression for this gesture. xo – Jenny

  12. Your tray is beautiful Jenny, and the inspiration is wonderful! Love the colors and the way the elements are spilling out in Fall abundance! Great textures too, I love all the different berries and pumpkins~ the gold ribbon adds a lot of punch and how clever to use newspaper and disguise it with the mesh ribbon. It will be a big hit at the party I’m sure! I will be back to peruse some of your delicious recipes!

  13. Hello, fellow rookie tray decorator! I too was so nervous this being my first time! But it was so much fun– and nice to meet you! 🙂 I have to say that your tray is beautiful, and perfectly captures the beautify of fall harvest. It was fun stopping by and meeting you!