an easy Mardi Gras tablescape idea

Mardi Gras is a tradition that’s been celebrated on Fat Tuesday for centuries. Here is a fun and easy way to celebrate at home with a pretty tablescape in honor of the Mardi Gras festivities.

Mardi Gras tablescape

Mardi Gras is known for the traditional colors of purple, green and gold. I simply purchased a 10 count ballon bag of each color and lined the middle of the table. That’s it! Done. It cost about $5 dollars and it was super easy to put together. Viola – an easy Mardi Gras tablescape!

I did not want to buy any decor or Mardi Gras specific tabletop items for a couple reasons. Not spending money on something which might no be used again was one. Also storing said items would be a drag in my book. The balloons inject the perfect festive vibe and once done they go away.

For the table settings I used everything I already owned. I used my green goblets and china that have gold and green detailing to reinforce the color palette. I did not have anything purple otherwise I would have included it.The napkin rings have fleur de lys which are also popular in New Orleans, where Mardi Gras is celebrated.

History of Mardi Gras

The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. The French-Canadian explorer Jean Batiste brought the tradition to the United States and the first Mardi Gras was celebrated in 1703 in Fort Louis de la Mobile {aka Mobile, AL}. New Orleans was established in 1718 and by the mid 1700s Mardi Gras began to be celebrated openly in NOLA.

It wasn’t until the late 1830s, when New Orleans held street processions of maskers with carriages and horseback riders to celebrate Mardi Gras, resembling our current Mardi Gras parades. Today Fat Tuesday is a holiday in Louisiana and it marks the last day of Carnival, which begins on January 6th. January 6th is called the Twelfth Night and is the official start to the Carnival season.

I find it interesting that the celebration starts on the Epiphany, January 6th and ends on Fat Tuesday the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent. Clearly it’s rooted in religious traditions.

Traditions of Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is about music, parades, picnics, floats and excitement. As I mentioned earlier the traditional colors of Mardi Gras are Purple, Green and Gold. Purple represents Justice. Green represents Faith. Gold represents Power.

The parade is put together by different krewes, which are social organizations that have a unique history and theme. The different krewes will throw beads, trinkets, doubloons {coins} and more along the parade. Spectators are told to bring a bag to carry their throw loot home. Besides the parade the King and Queen of each krewe also hold individual balls.

Masks are also a big part of the Mardi Gras tradition. Masks add an element of mystery and intrigue when worn. The mask tradition allowed wearers to escape society and class constraints, providing anonymity and mingling across classes. Today float riders are required to wear masks by law but all in attendance are encouraged adding to the excitement and magic of the celebration.

Foods of Mardi Gras

King Cakes are synonymous with Mardi Gras. Based on the Christian faith, Jesus first showed himself to the three wise men and to the world on January 6th, also known as Twelfth Night or the Epiphany. This is the day Mardi Gras season begins, hence king cake season also begins. Each king cake has a tiny baby inside (generally plastic now, but traditionally it’s possible the baby might be made of porcelain or even gold).

Cajun and Creole cuisine are customary for the Mardi Gras celebration. There are traditional dishes like Jambalaya, Gumbo, Crawfish Boudin Balls, Fried Shrimp Po’Boys, Maque Choux, Beignets, and let us not forget the iconic Hurricane cocktail.

I hope this gets you in the mood to have a little Mardi Gras celebration of your own. Get some purple, green and yellow balloons and you are all set for a fun, easy and festive Mardi Gras tablescape.

“An American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi Gras in New Orleans.”

Mark Twain


  1. Amazing!! Loved learning about Mardi Gras and the beautiful visuals. You really do have an epic vision💚💚

    1. TY Lexi Girl. Love you so much. XO- mom

  2. CoCo says:

    These pops of green, gold and purple are all so pretty MaryJo! I can’t believe it’s already time to celebrate Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras but we’re gearing up here as well. It’s such a fun and festive holiday. Hope you have the best day, CoCo

    1. Thanks so much COCO. Yes the colors are fun! The year feels like it’s speeding by already, but I am ready for Spring. Lol. Thanks for stopping by. XO- MJ

  3. Barbara at Mantel and Table says:

    LOVE this table MaryJo – the balloons are perfect, and your china is beautiful! Thanks for the history and the menu ideas too!

    1. Thanks so much Barbara. The china is from our wedding registry and I love using it any chance I can. I am glad you enjoyed some Mardi Gras backstory. I am always curious about these things. XO- MJ

  4. Denise/My Home of All Seasons says:

    Such a fun idea MaryJo! I just love your posts. I always learn something new. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend ahead!

    1. Aw! Thanks so much Denise. That totally made my day. I always want my posts to inspire and enlighten our community. I am so gad you stopped by. XO- MJ

  5. NikiLEOwife says:

    Thanks for sharing on Crafty Creators! I love using balloon strips for centerpieces and arches. They make the perfect celebratory decor! I live on the Coast, and tomorrow will be all the big day parades. It took my husband 45 minutes to get home from work Saturday because of everyone lining up for the night parades. He was so mad lol. Lucky for us, it doesn’t stay cold here (we may have 14 total days of cold, cold a year), so it’s pretty warm for Mardi Gras this year. Not as warm as we Coasties like, but it’s not cold cold lol. If you’re ever look for the most perfect King Cake, you should try to order one from Paul’s King Cakes in Long Beach, MS. Oh. My. Goodness. The cinnamon cream cheese is perfection. Some years they ship them, but I don’t think they are this year. We were only able to find one in one of our local mom & pop stores, and usually they stay stocked. So sad.
    Niki ~ Life as a LEO Wife

    1. Thanks Niki. I have never been to Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest or New Orleans for that matter. Definitely on my list and hopefully soon. Thank you for stopping by & the tip on the King Cake. XO- MJ

  6. Such a fun table with the traditional colors of Mardi Gras. Great idea with the balloons. The history is nice to know. We had the pleasure of visiting New Orleans a few years back. Great restaurants. Thanks for sharing at Love Your Creativity.

    1. Thanks so much Linda. I hope to get to NOLA one of these days. History, good food, architecture all up my alley. Thanks for stopping by. XO- MJ

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