This crab table design started out as one design and then through serendipity and circumstance, it ended up as something different. Several years ago I bought three small crab bowls at a garage sale. I used them in a ocean tablescape a few years ago with other ocean elements. In Virginia this Christmas we were at an antique mall and I found six more of an almost similar design and one larger one on sale. I had been gathering red crab items for a future table for a while. The plan was a navy tablecloth with red crab bowls and red and white accents. But when I finally got out the crab bowls again and looked closely, they were not red, they were orange-red and nothing matched. I really wanted to use the bowls so we shifted gears and Hubby spray painted the things that were red, orange-red.
These small crab bowls really have a presence, I love the claws, and the tiny face. They are labeled Made in PV Czechoslovakia.
Going to serve some kind of crab dish, that’s for sure!
I looked all over for salad plates with an all over pattern of red crabs but every one had one crab or the crabs were silly looking. I was googling crab plates and these popped up from Pfaltzgraff. They were on major sale and are microwave and dishwasher safe. The orange-red border matches perfectly. So the red crabs suddenly became blue crabs and the overall design was tweaked a bit. This happens sometimes with my tables, I can’t find what I need so I substitute something else and change the design.
The next plate down is melamine and I bought them at Crate and Barrel a few years ago.
For design purposes I am actually using two chargers on this table. This one is Mikasa’s Color Spectrum in Royal Blue. I have a few different colors and I bought them on Ebay a few years ago. I used a Hunter Green one on my St. Pat’s table this year.
The second charger is my Antique Beaded one from Williams-Sonoma a few years ago. I used it on one of my Easter tables this year.
The navy place mats came from Pier 1 on sale a few years ago.
I bought the frosted white flatware on sale online at Wayfair a few years ago, it is made by Cambridge. It is 18/0 so the fork tines are a bit sharper than I would like but I really liked the frosted color. Wayfair has really good sales on flatware sometimes. I used this flatware in blue on one of my Easter tables this year.
I recycled these goblets from my Bird tablescape, the blue was just what I was looking for and I hadn’t packed them away yet. I bought the blue goblets on Ebay, you can still find them for sale there. They were made by Libbey in the 1970’s and the pattern is Tulip in Dusky Blue. They actually are a bit lighter blue gray than this photo shows. This clear goblet is actually the pattern my mother chose for her wedding crystal in 1938. She couldn’t remember the name of the pattern or who made it and I searched for decades trying to identify it with no luck. Finally one day I was reading through old San Bernardino newspapers online doing some genealogical research looking for information about my grandparents and I stumbled on an article about a wedding shower for my mother that mentioned her gifts and the name of her crystal! This Rock Sharpe crystal goblet was made by Libbey and the pattern was Ridgeway. I was able to complete the set buying them a few at a time on Ebay.
I looked all over for orange-red crab napkin rings with no luck. Found lots of metal and blue ones but nothing the right color. I had bought these small crabs on Amazon to use as table scatter but they were shiny red when they arrived. Hubby was going to spray paint them orange-red and my daughter was over and I was telling her about my bad luck finding napkin rings and she suggested that I turn these into napkin rings, genius! So Hubby bought plain wood rings and spray painted them all and glued the crab to the ring and viola, cheap napkin rings! Navy napkins came from HomeGoods I think, I used them in the bird tablescape too. I think I found the orange-red ones there too a few years ago, sheer luck that they match.
I love these crab place card holders, I found them at Pottery Barn this year and yes, they were red but Hubby spray painted them for me.
I was in the middle of transforming the table elements from navy and red to navy and orange-red and I went on Amazon looking for a plain tablecloth for another table I am planning and suddenly stumbled on this tablecloth. I couldn’t believe it, it was the perfect color combination. Sometimes my table designs are like that, I find something late in the game that pulls it all together.
I was planning to just use the large bowl as a centerpiece but I was looking online at Pier 1 and here was a large wire crab! Another bit of serendipity that changed the design. It was red but Hubby did his magic and it now matches everything else. I set the larger crab bowl on top of it and done!
My rule usually is plain tablecloth with busy dishes or busy tablecloth with plain dishes but this tablecloth creates such a different mood than a plain navy tablecloth would have and the scale works so I couldn’t resist the combination here.