Q: I’m obsessed with your blog! This year, instead of doing a sorority preview day, my school has decided to basically do massive tabling for every sorority on campus. Each sorority gets 5 tables and the only thing that can be on the floor is a set of letters. Please help me find massive tables that will set our sorority apart!
A: Wow ~ designing 5 tables is a big project, but the end result should be stunning! The first thing you should determine is if your table will be out in the middle of the room, or against a wall. Being against the wall gives you additional wall space to decorate with flags, banners, or signs. Being out in the open limits your decor to the table tops only and a need for more display support.
I highly recommend you use the sorority sugar archives to your advantage and browse the inspirational table photos I have there. You will see lots & lots of table display ideas that you can use. Search key word “table” or link here:
✿ Planning your 5 table displays: ✿
- STEP 1: Determine a theme. You can either go with your sorority colors and symbols, or incorporate an additional theme such as flower power, patriotic, nautical, or country chic. Adding a little extra theme can unify all 5 tables.
- STEP 2: Establish a focus for each of the 5 tables. One idea would be 1) Welcome & Sorority Swag 2) National & Chapter History 3) Sisterhood Fun, 4) Philanthropy, 5) Academic Achievement & Awards. If there are other areas of your chapter you want to highlight, switch things around. But this gives you an idea of how to basically organize your tables.
- STEP 3: Plan your decorations. Make a statement by selecting 2-3 colors to work with. Use them consistently on all your tables. Tablecloths, balloons, posters, flowers, streamers, etc… should all use your key colors. (Otherwise your tables could start to look like a flea market!)
- STEP 4: Select your display materials. You need extra large tri-fold boards to decorate with words and photos. Stacking shelves to display paddles and crafts is a good idea. Extra large picture frames and memo boards are also handy. Frames & boards can be supported by easels, leaned up against crates, or leaned up against a wall. Cover long plywood boards with fabric to make lovely backdrops for several tables. Arrange your table tops like a caterer would. Create different heights by placing plastic or wood crates on the table tops. Then cover with your tablecloths to hide the “boxes” underneath. Now you have different display levels to keep your table from looking totally flat. And they provide a backbone to lean things up against.
- STEP 5: Consider adding a little something extra to your table lineup! A tabletop photo board would be cute, where PNMs can stick their face in the cut-out hole and snap a photo. Make it something fun like a ladybug, squirrel, or unicorn and title it "go greek - go XYZ." Another idea is to build a cute table top lemonade stand where you hand out pink lemonade with a sorority napkin. How about a tabletop fountain? Create some drama and think outside the box.
If you can give guests a cookie, or piece of candy, offer treats that fit your theme. Also think about giving away small favors, such as a sorority pencil, decal, or magnet. Of course, check to see if favors, food, or drink is allowed.
Overall think 3-D! Raise your table in some spots for display. Use tall tri-fold boards to create height. Accent with flowers, props and other unique items to create interest. I love to decorate with “real” things such as fresh flowers, real plants, tropical trees, burlap swags, lanterns, etc… Think of your table displays as a real interior decorating project!
• Here are some inspirational ideas to help you start brainstorming:
✿ Make a sisterhood photo tree:
✿ Use walls for hanging things high:
✿ Cover a long board with fabric and use for display:
✿ Create giant picture frames out of long boards and smaller picture frames:
✿ Create different display levels by placing crates under fabric:
✿ Incorporate shelves into your display for extra interest:
✿ Set a tone for your tables that’s warm, welcoming, classy and chic:
✿ Use color to your advantage:
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