Cake/Cookie How To's · Party/Tablescapes

Butterfly Mother’s Day Tablescape

Because of the pandemic, I haven’t seen my mother in over a year. Now that we’re all getting vaccinated, we are more than ready to get together to celebrate, not only Mother’s Day but all the occasions we’ve missed while sheltering in place. Butterflies spreading their wings and emerging from their confining cocoons seem an apt metaphor for our “coming out” from COVID quarantine. So, to fete our own metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly, I decided to create an exuberant Butterfly Mother’s Day Tablescape.

The Venue

This Butterfly Mother’s Day Tablescape is all about breaking out of our home chrysalis. For this reason, I decided to get out of the house and set the table on the pool deck. It’s lovely out there this time of the year with the azaleas and the dogwoods in bloom.

The pool makes a picturesque backdrop for the Butterfly Mother’s Day Tablescape but the water is still way too cold to take a dip.

Unfortunately, the crepe myrtles are still bare. They’re especially horrible looking since my husband aggressively pruned them back in the fall—in an act I call crepe murdercide!

To add a festive touch and to counteract these sad trees, I strung butterfly garlands on the potted boxwoods that surround the pool.

Our Bernedoodle posing in front of a "butterfly bush" which was decorated as part of a Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape.
Our dog, Calamity, posing for her glamour shot in front of the “butterfly bush.”

The Table Setting

I elected to use this striking Mexican Serape blanket as my tablecloth. It seemed to fit the bill as the vibrant stripes echo the multicolored hues of butterfly wings. The butterfly placemats‘ dark background adds drama and contrast while coordinating with the black stripes in the table covering. I chose the dinner plates (similar) because their crisp checked borders stand out against the placemats. I also selected them because the black gingham pattern is repeated in some of the butterflies on the salad plates.

Place setting for a Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape

The spectacular Mackenzie-Childs enameled tin plates inspired the entire tablescape. As a gift for my guests, I placed small crystal butterflies on top of each plate stack. Layering all these different elements adds interest and dimension to the table.

Crystal Butterflies are lovely  gifts for guests -- Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape

Folded fuchsia butterfly napkins flutter at the corner of each placemat. While sturdy stainless cutlery, green stemless wine glasses, and oversized Mexican goblets complete the place settings.

The Centerpiece

The centerpiece of this Butterfly Mother’s Day Tablescape is also a delicious dessert. I baked a two-tier layer cake, iced it with white buttercream, and decorated it with piped grass and leaves. I further adorned my centerpiece cake with DIY chocolate butterflies (see my thoughts about this below.)

Cake decorated with chocolate butterflies for a  Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape
See more of my cakes in Cake Gallery.
Cake decorated with chocolate butterflies for a  Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape
Butterfly Cake serves as the centerpiece on a Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape

To take the theme to the nth degree, I placed the towering confection on top of a whimsical wooden laser-cut butterfly cake stand.

Butterfly cake stand  hold a butterfly cake in a  Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape

Green bud vases containing brightly colored grocery store flowers finish off the table decoration.

A  Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape
A poolside setting for a  Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape
A Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape

Chocolate Butterflies

I got the idea of making chocolate butterflies from the Oh Nuts blog. I had intended to photograph how I made them. However, I found it very difficult and ultimately felt that this process was akin to sausage making–nobody needs to see how it’s done.

Piped chocolate butterflies for a cake- Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape-
I piped the chocolate butterfly wings and antennas on parchment paper. Then carefully lifted them off with an offset spatula and positioned them on the cake.

I have been decorating cakes for 20 years but had never really tried to pipe chocolate before. If you are interested in giving it a try, I warn you that getting the temperature of the chocolate just right is the key to success. I confess that I never really got the hang of it.

Rice Paper Butterflies

If you are not interested in trying your hand at this tricky endeavor, I have an alternative for you. You can purchase a package of edible rice paper butterflies for under $10. Arrange them artfully on your cake and achieve a similar effect with no hardened chocolate spattered all over your kitchen.

Outdoor setting for a  Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape
A Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape poolside.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if the cake is a little wonky or your outdoor venue gets rained out. What matters is taking the opportunity to get together with the people you love. If this pandemic taught me anything, it’s that we need to savour the time we have with family and friends.

Puppy contemplating the "butterfly bush" -- Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!

A Poolside Butterfly Mother's Day Tablescape celebrates mom and escaping our COVID cocoons.

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12 thoughts on “Butterfly Mother’s Day Tablescape

  1. Wow Lisa !! this one is really a Big WOW.
    The butterflies are terrific. I am reposting ,( I hope it is OK) in my Garden Club site since we are interested in Saving the pollinators! Love it.

  2. Wow, just spectacular! I can only imagine the level of work and artistry that went into those butterflies! Also, what a beautiful dog, such an angel!

  3. What colorful table Lisa. I love the serape blanket base. It lends itself to a beautiful color pallet. Your cakes look beautiful. Thank you for the idea of a rice butterfly. I believe that would be my choice.
    Calamity is a star!

    1. Thanks, Deborah. I agree. If I ever make another Butterfly Cake I would definitely use the rice paper butterflies!

  4. This is awesome. Thank you for the links that you included to help us out. I love that everything is so colorful. Your cake is lovely.

    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Sandra. Piping chocolate seems to be all about the temperature. The learning curve is too steep for me!

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