December 31, 2013Foiled Again! – New Year’s Eve Decor by Alcoa
By Eartha Kitsch
I love interesting old craft books and some of my favorites are those put out by Alcoa, one of the world’s largest producers of Aluminum. During the decades, they’ve published quite a few holiday decoration books that are well, quite obviously meant to hawk aluminum foil. Trust me when I say that there are no bounds to what they suggest that one can do with aluminum foil. Wallpaper an entire basement to make it feel like a spaceship? Why the heck not?! Is your chandelier simply not dazzling enough? Then coat it with aluminum foil! Cha-Ching!
Since today is New Year’s Eve, I thought that it might be fun to bring you some of their New Year’s themed ideas. First up from “Alcoa’s Book of Decorations” published in 1959, you’ll find the perfect New Year’s tablescape:
Wow! Just look at those hors d’oeuvre topiaries! And of course, the whackadoodle animals. Here are some of the foil critters up close:
This little guy is said to be a pig but I imagine that you can also fool your guests into thinking that he’s a hedgehog or porcupine if you suddenly realize that Helen down the block already dazzled with an hors d’oeuvre pig at her New Year’s Eve party last year.
This fella was made with a grapefruit. Just cut a slice off to use for the head and attach to the remaining grapefruit, all covered in foil. His ears are lemon slices and he has meatballs for eyes.
Next up: Foil Swan
This beautiful bird is made simply from covering a large bowl in foil and then making a neck and head by covering a small plastic ball. Add feathers and a crown and you’ve got a New Year’s swan!
And who can forget about this little guy, the….um, I don’t know…. Puffer fish? Unfortunately he goes without a mention so he’s open to interpretation. I guess he’s kind of a bit player since foil wasn’t involved!
Now we’re going to switch over to another one of Alcoa’s books. This one is entitled “401 Party and Holiday Ideas from Alcoa” and was published in 1971. Here is Alcoa’s idea of a fun party for the seventies:
Okay, so let me explain. In this party idea, Alcoa suggests finding a bunch of large cardboard boxes (maybe your neighbors all got appliances for Christmas?) and making tables out of them and covering them with wallpaper, gift wrap or foil. In this scenario, they showed a bit more restraint with the foil than in the 1959 version.
Besides covering trays in foil and dangling some foil flower shaped lamps from the ceiling, there are only the sparse foil clocks to bring the aluminum razzle-dazzle. In this book, Alcoa divided their focus by including party recipes that can be made by using the convenience of Alcoa foil like stuffed tomatoes. Oh, and this guy:
Happy New Year, Mister Fish….you poor dear.
Notice how the host has whimsically placed a party noisemaker near his mouth as if he almost got to enjoy the festivities. Heck, call me old fashioned but I say that if you’re going to go all out and make an entire striped bass act as your party centerpiece, take the final step and put the noisemaker in his mouth. Why stop halfway? Maybe a wee little party hat perched jauntily upon his head?
You also can’t go wrong with a pretzel tree flower bush thingie:
And once again, a pig. This time made from a lemon:
So there you have it, folks! – some great ideas for your New Year’s Eve parties! I completely understand if you don’t want to dash to the store and buy cases of aluminum foil with today being New Year’s Eve and all but let’s call this fair warning: Start clipping those coupons and get that foil saved up for next year! And hey, if you plan far enough ahead, you can go ahead and cover your basement walls with foil and have the party there! Mind: blown.
We ladies here at No Pattern Required wish you all a very safe and fun New Year’s Eve! We wholeheartedly hope that 2014 will be your best year yet!
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