The DIY Summer Table: Priscilla’s Woolworth Conversation-Starter Place Settings Made from Castoffs

Priscilla Woolworth is a green goddess: for decades now, she’s been speaking out about the climate crisis and coming up with artful, approachable ways to avoid waste at home. An LA transplant in upstate NY, she lives at River’s Edge Farm, which, in her words, is “a climate-resilient, carbon-neutral, zero-waste, composting, organic vegetable and medicinal plant mini farm.”

From her 1790s farmhouse, Priscilla puts out The Newsletter, her tip sheet of healthy choices and promising environmental news; holds workshops on “the what, why, and how of everything growing here”; and runs The Rabbit Hole, her tiny shop of homemade natural goods (retail runs in her family).

Priscilla also frequently entertains and a DIY of hers recently caught our eye on Instagram: for an outdoor dinner party, she set her table with things found on the ground and rescued from the trash bin. Take a look.

Photography courtesy of Priscillia Woolworth (@priscillawoolworth).

“i got the idea to make placeholders when i found some american syc 14
Above: “I got the idea to make placeholders when I found some American sycamore bark on the ground. It’s often curled but lots of pieces were just flat enough.” After experimenting with paint—”too messy”—she got out a stencil sheet she’s had for decades and found that it worked well with Sharpie fine point markers.

The pieces of bark are 6 to 8 inches long and the letters, spaced by eye, are an inch tall: “you want to make a statement,” says Priscilla. She warns that the bark breaks easily: “look for sturdy pieces and gather extras; if they’re dirty, just wipe them carefully with a damp cloth.”

for placemats priscilla used the paper wrappers from six packs of quilted north 15
Above: For placemats Priscilla used the paper wrappers from six-packs of Quilted Northern Toilet Paper: “I recently came across this new product at my local Hannaford supermarket: no plastic cover and no paper around the individual rolls, which are made from FSC-certified paper.”