It’s funny how something small can inspire us. This safari table setting started with something small: a pack of 8 small safari animals.
Yep, a pack of plastic toy animals was the inspiration. Crazy!
I was at Dollar Tree and saw a pack of small plastic safari animals that I thought were pretty dang cute. I was trying to think of something to use them for, and then an idea came to me … napkin rings!
I could use them to create napkin rings.
These toy animals were the catalyst to creating a simple Safari tablescape.
I knew I didn’t want to vomit Safari all over the table. I wanted it to be obvious, and subtle at the same time. There is one color I associate with a safari: tan. Tan represents the dry land and the khaki-colored clothes worn when going on a safari.
So I decided to create a tablescape with tan, or other light neutral color, as the focal point.
Transforming the cute safari animals into napkin rings was really easy. And it was a fun DIY project. See for yourself how easy safari napkin rings are to make.
As with all of my table settings, I needed more than one DIY project. I found an amazing pitcher at the local thrift store and knew it would be perfect for a Safari table setting. It too needed to be transformed to fit the theme. Easy-peasy! Check out the thrift store vase make-over so you can make one too.
The only items I bought for this safari-themed table setting were the supplies for the DIY project. Everything else I have had for years.
I believe in using what I already have as much as possible. And not spending much money. So look at what you have first, before investing in anything new.
How to Create Your Safari Theme Table Setting
The concept with this table setting is to keep it simple and understated, but still obvious as to the Safari theme.
Start with a neutral tablecloth as your base.
Find a neutral-colored tablecloth that will complement the color of your napkin rings and other table decorations. I have a dark brown tablecloth that I thought would work well, as it would allow the dishes and décor to really stand out on the table. I wanted them to be the focal point, not the tablecloth.
If you don’t have a dark brown tablecloth, a cream, tan, or other neutral color will work well.
Next is to add the DIY safari centerpiece to your tablescape
For my DIY safari centerpiece, I started with a brown rectangular serving tray that has cream accents along the edge. I’ve had it for years. I then placed my DIY upcycled thrift store vase in the middle of the tray and surrounded the vase with dried decorations (I’ve had them forever). Since they are all neutral-colored in browns and creams, they work well together.
The small green flowers I had from a craft project I did a while back. They just happened to match the green plates – lucky me! (Again ~ see what you already have and put it to use on your table.)
Next, add height to your safari centerpiece by placing flowers or dried branches into your vase.
I had found the dried stalks on clearance at a local craft store a few months ago. I placed them in the vase to add height and visual interest to the table. *Note how they are tall, but don’t interfere with guests being able to see each other. It’s SO annoying when centerpieces prevent guests from seeing each other. It can ruin the enjoyment of the meal.
In addition to the decorations inside the tray, I also placed them around the tray and added a small safari animal to each end. These are the same safari animals used on the napkin rings. Aren’t they cute?! And placing them on the table emphasizes the theme even more.
Safari-Themed Place Settings
Once your table’s centerpiece is complete, move onto your safari-themed place settings.
For this place setting, I used straw-colored placemats, apple green colored plates, cream plates, and plates that had a design that incorporated all the colors. I don’t own six of any of these plates, so I mixed them up on the table. I really like how it worked out.
*Keep that in mind ~ sometimes mixing it up is better than everything matching.
In digging through my stash, I discovered that I had dark brown napkins. (I honestly have no idea where or when I got them, as I don’t remember having them at all. But that is why you need to look at what you have first, before buying anything!) The brown really makes the cream napkin rings stand out.
Building Your Safari Place Setting
First, put the placemats in front of each chair. Then place your dinner plate on the placemat, followed by a salad plate on top of the dinner plate. Using two different colored plates gives the place setting visual interest.
Next, fold the napkins so they fan out at the top and bunch together at the bottom. Kinda like a tree. Then slid the bottom of the napkin through the napkin ring. The safari animal napkin rings are really the focal point of the place setting. They are TOO cute!
The final step is to add your flatware and glasses. If you need a reference on the proper way to set a table, take a look at my How to Set Your Dining Table images and easy-to-follow instructions.
Voila! Your simple safari table setting is complete. Don’t you love it!!
Check out the DIY Projects to obtain this look
PS: if you want your own copy of how to set a table, just “join the others” in the sidebar on the right and I will send it to you.