Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tablescape Thursday: Lions & Tigers & Elephants, Oh My!

So God said to Noah, I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them......So make yourself an ark.....I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it.  Everything on earth will perish.  But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark - you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you.  You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female.....Noah did everything just as God commanded him.  Genesis 6:13-14, 17-19, 22 (NIV)

I must begin by telling you that this is unlike any tablescape I've ever done (& I must admit, it didn't turn out quite like I had envisioned it!).  In fact, it is so different from my usual style that I considered not posting it, but what fun is that?  I tend to lean toward doing more elegant (for lack of a better word) and seasonal tablescapes, but after blogging about "The Flood & The Blood" on Sunday, I thought it might be fun to do something a little different: a Noah's Ark tablescape.  I usually like to come up with a scripture verse that coincides with my tablescapes, but this time I figured I'd do it the other way around. 

Oh, and one more thing, I added a little challenge by attempting to construct as much of it out of dishes & tabletop accessories as possible!  This will all make a little more sense as you read on. 

So I invite you to jump ON BOARD and join me in embARKing on this JOURNEY (after all, the animals did go in PAIRS), but I must warn you, it's a ROUGH and WILD tablescape, and you'll be FLOODED with many pictures!  (Sorry, I went a little OVERBOARD.)  So grab an umbrella, hold on tight, and enjoy the RIDE as I POUR on the explanations!

(In case your wondering about that big cream colored thing in the back, no it's not a robot or a white chocolate fountain!  That's supposed to be a mountain! 
I'll show you a close up a little later on!)

I began by starting with a light tan tablecloth that reminded me a little of sand.  Then I fluffed up the turquoise blue table topper to resemble waves of water.  (As you can see, the water is beginning to subside.)

I decided to do 2 place settings symbolizing the pairs of animals.

I used bamboo placemats to symbolize the wood of the ark.  (I purchased these for $1.00 each at Dollar Tree many years ago!  I've since seen identical ones at other stores for over $5.00!)  To add a little texture and color to the place settings, I topped each placemat with a sheet of moss (borrowed from my spring decor). 

I chose giraffe dinner plates, followed by zebra salad plates, then topped each off with an animal appetizer with a lion.....

.....the other with an elephant.

(When the idea occurred to me to do this tablescape, I remembered having seen these animal appetizer plates at Ross about a month or two ago.  So I made a quick trip, fully expecting that they'd be gone, but they still had a few!  And at less than $2.00, I figured they were worth it!)

Then I layered the plates with bamboo flatware and added animal print glasses.

(I have my giraffe glass lying down in this one for a little better look.)

I chose a mossy green napkin, layering it over a brown & cream zebra print napkin, so that just a hint of animal print was peeking out.  I tied each one with giraffe ribbon & then clipped on a couple of animals. (Those are actually tablecloth weights to keep the wind from blowing the tablecloth around, but I thought they'd be cute on the napkins.)

(Please excuse the black marks on the ribbon.  Those aren't really there.  My camera just decided to add them!)

Now for my centerpiece.  First I'll start with the "Mountain" of bowls, representing Mt. Ararat, the place where the ark landed.  In keeping with my challenge to primarily use dishes or tabletop accessories, I gathered several cream colored bowls of varying sizes, and simply stacked them upside down to resemble a mountain. 

Either those are some really big animals, or that mountain is the smallest mountain ever!

I decided I also need a few animals walking about, although technically the animals weren't out 'til the water was completely dried up!  Hmmm, is that tiger walking on water? 

I simply used small clear easels to hold the animal dishes.  (I had originally planned on having pairs of animals - 2 elephants & 2 tigers - but it looked too crowded.)

My pair of birds are actually salt & pepper shakers.  If you remember, Noah sent a bird out 3 times to test & see if the water had dried up.

And last, but not least, what's a Noah's ark tablescape without an ark?  Of course, I didn't have an ark just sitting around the house.  I considered trying to make one out of dishes, but quickly decided that was not going to be an easy task.  Not wanting to spend any money, I figured I'd just cover some boxes with brown paper to make my ark.  Truth be told, my attempt to make an ark wasn't turning out so well, so my super sweet hubby took over!  (I mean, how many husbands out there would take time to make an ark for their wife's tablescape?!)  And about 30 minutes later, I had an ark!

The ark is the only part of the tablescape not constructed out of dishes or tabletop materials, but 2 of the boxes originally came with some of my dishes....does that count?

Now, don't JUMP SHIP just yet.  I have one last surprise.  See those animals enjoying their ride on the ark? 


Well, they're actually little spreader knives!  That was another reason I decided to construct the ark out of that I could use my spreader knives as the animals on board!

Just as I was finishing up, I decided to make one more change.  I wanted something to represent the rainbow that God created as a symbol to never again destroy the earth with a flood.  So I quickly changed out my animal glasses for these "rainbow" colored striped glasses.  Although I didn't like the overall look quite as well (it didn't exactly go with my color scheme), I thought it made the story complete. 

Well, hope you've stayed AFLOAT and survived this TURBULENCE!  Thanks for joining me on the journey!  And don't forget to stop by Between Naps on the Porch to see all the amazing tablescapes!

Tablecloth - Ross
Turquoise Table Topper - Tuscan Loggia (a local decor store)
Bamboo Placemats - Dollar Tree
Giraffe Plates - TJ Maxx or Marshalls
Zebra Plates - TJ Maxx, Homegoods, & Marshalls (I had to go all over to get a full set!)
Animal Plates - Ross
Bamboo Flatware - Steinmart
Animal Print Glasses - Dillards
Striped Glasses - Kohls (I think!)
Bird Salt & Pepper Shakers - TJ Maxx or Marshalls
Zebra Napkins - Z Gallerie
Green Napkins - Burlington (I think)
Animal Napkin Weights - Tuesday Morning
Animal Spreader Knives - either Ross or TJ Maxx
Mountain Bowls - Gracious Goods & Chris Madden from JC Penney


  1. This is so amazing! I'm glad that you stepped outside of the box on this one and went for something different. You did an incredible job!

    The mountain of bowls cracked me up, but it certainly did the job. You really thought out each and every detail.

    You did Noah proud!

  2. This is so creative! Just adorable!

  3. I love your whimsical Noah's Ark table, it is adorable! Those plates are the cutest.

  4. Oh I love your creative tablescape. It's wonderful. I'm so glad that you decided to share even if it didn't turn out like you imagined. What a sweet hubby too. Thanks!