Elk Antler Wildlife Tablescape

Elk Antler Wildlife Tablescape for Thanksgiving

Do you want to create an elk antler wildlife tablescape that will wow your guests and put to use those elk antlers you’ve been meaning to use somehow in your most ‘manly of man’ office? It’s hard to find a place to store or display over four foot tall animal parts, but this Thanksgiving we created a table to remember and our horn overflows.



When creating a large tablescape, start with the largest element first and build from it. Luckily the table was long and wide enough to accommodate the width and breadth of these magnificent antlers. Working with them made me appreciate how large and incredible the elk must be to grow a pair of these and carry that weight around on his head. I guess you could say they are a beautiful weapon as the bull uses them to fend off other males coming to check out his harem of cows. Regardless of all that, here they are on my table!

elk antler wildlife tablescape

The focal point of the table was then composed by adding a set of three birch bark covered tin vases that would hold the greenery and flowers.

elk antler wildlife tablescape

Then additional smaller elements were added to create interest along the antlers, working outward from the main focal point in the center. The pine cones added texture and the candles added a contrast of elegance opposed to the organic structure of the antlers. The table was coming together and had a beautiful wildlife and hunting feeling of the great outdoors.


The next step was to go outdoors and cut some pine boughs to use as the base greenery for the vases.


Using different kinds of greens added another layer of texture and color to the table. I love creating with what I have at hand and often don’t have to go shopping. Use what is in season and in you garden, yard or surrounding open areas. They are rich with possibilities.


Here you get an idea of the scale and flow of the individual elements from above.  I knew the back bone of the table was done and all that remained was to add the color with some flowers and to set the tableware out to complete the picture.


Because the table had a wild theme, I didn’t work hard on creating a formal arrangement, but just added the stems randomly like they were growing in a field.


Here is the almost finished table minus the flatware, and it is at this point that Thanksgiving and guests and cooking overtook me.  With potatoes, stuffing, cranberry relish, homemade bread and gravy needing serving dishes, and a turkey and a prime rib needing last minute prep, I was lucky to get the ice and water in the glasses and the candles lit. Unfortunately I don’t have a final photo of the finished table in all it’s glory, but you get the idea.  There was a soft glow to the table and the smell of candles and savory food, the hurry of getting to the table and sitting down together.




In my dreams the grandkids are polite and waiting to eat, the adults are thankful and overjoyed to be together, the food is hot and delicious, the conversation is thoughtful and gracious. But, we have a typical family and there are kids wanting butter for the bread, milk instead of water and catsup on their turkey. Someone came late, and someone brought a duplicate item we already had. Oh well, let the Thanksgiving chips fall where they may, I made it through hosting yet another wonderful, dysfunctional family dinner that looked beautiful.  I think I have to reset the expectations in my dreams and accept the reality of my grown children and their tribes invading grandma and grandpa’s for a noisy and active family time that will not be featured in the glossy pages of a design magazine. And in retrospect, I am thankful.

Lastly, here is a picture of the youngest wildlife to come to the party and their special little table just for them. Aren’t they the best? Makes me think I should have used paper plate on the adult table.





One Minute Video Recipes