Last week when I did THIS “every place setting is different” tablescape … 

… I started thinking about the only other time I ever remember doing a tablescape with mismatched place settings. (Not mismatched DISHES, mind you, but every place setting different.)

The event was the 2008 Festival of Tables at my church.  (I posted about the 2010 event HERE.) Since I was also the speaker for the evening, sharing about Renaissance Man’s and my involvement with Hope Unlimited for Children (which I told you about HERE and HERE), I decided to do my table using the theme of children around the world.  My table was called Precious In His Sight. Unfortunately, I wasn’t blogging then and hadn’t learned tricks like turning off my flash — or not downsizing my pics;  there’s so much I would do differently today!  But I do have some pictures I think you might enjoy. Hopefully they’ll give you some ideas …

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use a globe as my focal point, but I did NOT want a common multi-colored desktop globe. Since every place setting was going to incorporate different colors, I wanted the center of the table to be visually calmer — a place for the eye to rest.  (This isn’t very calm, is it?)

Free from

So what did I do?  I went straight to Goodwill and bought a $2 common multi-colored desktop globe … then came home and sponged gold metallic glaze all over it.  I used glaze rather than paint because I wanted just a faint hint of color to show through — to give a bit more depth. You can’t really see that very well in the pictures, but you can in person.

Next I removed the stand, threaded the globe on a dowel rod, and glued black painted wood finials on each end. When it was time to do the tablescape, I set a small clear glass bowl on a black wooden stand — then rested the globe at an angle on top of it for a “floating” look.  I used several styles of black candlesticks to complement the black stand — then added white candles. To the pillar candles I taped bands of paper printed with the theme:  Precious In His Sight.

Finally, I used black chargers at each place setting to give some continuity. Beyond that, as you will see, I mixed it up … a lot! I certainly didn’t have authentic elements from each country, but my intent was to achieve the “feel” of the different cultures.

Because I would be speaking of our work with the children in Brazil, I obviously wanted one place setting to feature a Brazilian child. This sweet-spirited young man is one of our kids at Hope Unlimited for Children.

After that, there was really no rhyme or reason to what countries I chose …
just whatever caught my eye!

My mother once made a costume like this one from The Netherlands for my sister … many years ago.

One of my daughters has a soft spot for children in India. Maybe that was in my mind when I chose this one …

I seem to remember thinking I wanted to do a place setting with lots of “rough textures” when I came across this young Pakistani boy. The slate floor tile placemat was the place to start …

My other daughter lived in the UK for several years.  I think that’s why this little guy with his Union Jack-painted face got my attention.

And this little girl from Bangladesh … precious!

How could you not smile when you see this little Zulu boy? Besides, I have a young nephew who exudes the same attitude!

It was the ornate costume that first caught my eye — but that smile.  Oh, my …


As I said … Absolutely no rhyme or reason to my choices.  In fact, it wasn’t until after the project was finished that I realized I didn’t even have a child from my own country!  Oh, well.  So many other countries I “left out” too.

But now you want to know about the plates, don’t you?  To make the plates, I found high-resolution pictures of children in their native clothing. Then my wonderfully talented graphic designer-daughter placed each child’s image in front of their country’s flag — and enlarged it to fit the center circle of my inexpensive clear glass plates. I then printed the pictures on photo paper — and cut out the circles. I laid each photo in the center of a charger — and set the clear plate on top. They were a hit! Everyone wanted to know where I found the plates!  (The key is high-resolution pics — so they still look clear when enlarged. Wouldn’t it be fun to do something like this for a graduation party … or wedding … or family reunion?)


The world’s children … our future … our responsibility
Jesus loves the little children.
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow.  Black and white.
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world. 

Precious …

But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”  (Luke 18:16)
Precious …

If you dare care wish, go HERE to read more
about the realities of OUR world’s children.

I’m linking to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch and Inspiration Friday at At the Picket Fence 


  1. What a fun table! I’m here from BNOTP and am so impressed with how much work went into this!

    Great job!


  2. What a great table! I have done that with pics and clear plates, but your dd sure took yours to a higher level.
    Love the globe! 🙂

  3. Great altered art with the globe…and the high resolution photo is a great tip! The black worked as an uber effective frame for those magnificent children. Thank you for sharing your inspired design. Cherry Kay

  4. What a great idea! wow. I’m glad you explained how you put them together. I Loved each place setting. delight to see.

  5. Wonderful tablescape and so much work went into it. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Such neat ideas … my sister did this once … when I visited her. We don’t get to spend holidays together, so we set her table for dinner with holiday dinnerware. Each placesetting was a different holiday!

  7. Such neat ideas … my sister did this once … when I visited her. We don’t get to spend holidays together, so we set her table for dinner with holiday dinnerware. Each placesetting was a different holiday!

  8. Wonderful table!

  9. Such a clever idea! It looks like a lot of love went into your design, what a beautiful table!!

  10. What a wonderful theme…I love it and you’ve executed it beautifully.

  11. Susan, this is just beautiful on every level! The globe, the place settings and most importantly, the wonderful ministry you are drawing attention to. So well thought out and executed and I’m certain every person who sat at that table felt your love for them and for these children around the world! Thank you so much for linking up to Inspiration Friday this week!

  12. What a great idea to feature children from around the world. I know you worked hard on this. The theme and the way you executed this are just perfect.

  13. WOW! What an incredible table and boy, lots of fun work, it looks like you enjoyed it so much with your family. Each place setting is beautiful with each child of the world. The globe’s great, and so well thought out and executed, couldn’t have come out any better!
    Here I am at BNOTP, and so glad I pass by you to visit.
    Have a nice weekend.