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How to Create a Senior Night Display Table in 5 Easy Steps

Let’s celebrate high school graduates! We’re sharing 5 easy ideas to set up a senior night display table to recognize your senior’s accomplishments.

Do you have a high school senior in your life?

Maybe you’re a coach or teacher?

Or a youth mentor, pastor or parent volunteer?

The end of high school seems to mark the closing of the door to a student’s childhood.

After graduation from high school students move on to the next chapter in their life.

Some will choose to continue their education in college or trade school and others will join the workforce.

There are often award ceremonies to recognize seniors for their accomplishments in academics, athletics, fine arts, and other programs.

If you’re looking for a special way to recognize graduating high school seniors then you’re going to love these easy ideas for setting up a display table.

Not only is a senior display table perfect for senior night ceremonies but these ideas can be awesome party decor for your graduate’s celebration.

How to Recognize High School Seniors

dancers wearing sunglasses posing on stage after last recital

Many high school students are involved in clubs, activities, and athletics during their four years.

My daughter has been involved in dance since she was three years old and danced at the same studio for 14 years.

She committed her childhood to dance and that left little time for any other activities.

Emma absolutely loved dance and was really sad as her senior year was winding down with all of the “lasts”.

Last Nutcracker ballet performance…last weekend rehearsal…last competition…last recital.

And to be honest she wasn’t the only one feeling blue…I was going to miss watching my girl dance her heart out up on that stage.

So when her dance studio contacted me (the day before the recital no less) and asked if I would organize a small photo display of the senior dancers I quickly agreed.

They just wanted me to ask each senior mom to bring a throwback dance photo of their daughter.

Well, they asked the right person because if you know me I wasn’t to just set five pictures on a table and call it done.

Do they even know me after all these years?

Actually, I think they do!

I messaged the other senior moms and got them all to send me two pictures of their daughters, one dance picture from when they were little, and a senior photo.

Then I looked in my decor closet and grabbed some supplies.

I didn’t have enough old picture frames so I borrowed a few extra from the shelves around my house.

Where to Set Up a Senior Display Table

table in school with photos displayed

Dancers don’t have time to participate in other sports and although this wasn’t actually a sports “senior night” it was really nice to honor the senior dancers at the recital.

This was the first time the studio had done this sort of recognition and I really hope they continue it long after Emma graduation year.

The display table was set up in the lobby of the high school where the graduating seniors were performing their very last spring concert end-of-year recital with their dance studio.

Everyone who came through the doors at the school enjoyed seeing the senior display table and took their time looking at all the photos.

All the younger dancers at the studio loved it too!

It was a really special addition to this bittersweet weekend for the girls.

Determine Theme for Graduates Display

long 6 foot table with white tablecloth in lobby of school for senior display

The school provided the studio with folding tables for ticket sales on one side of the lobby and concessions and flower sales on the other.

I was able to steal an extra table and tablecloth to use for the senior recognition table.

Since I didn’t have much time to pull this display table together and I was using things I already had at home I went with a farmhouse rustic vibe.

I had brought wood crates and risers, chippy wood picture frames, and metal buckets from home so a farmhouse theme it was.

Plus the wrinkled tablecloth went with a rustic aesthetic don’t you agree?

Looking at these photos now I realize should have grabbed Emma’s clothes steamer from the dressing room and steamed that tablecloth. Oh well!

If you have more time to prepare for assembling a display table like this you could find items to use that would coordinate with the sport or activity you’re celebrating.

The spring concert dance recital has a theme each year as well so I could have styled the table to match that concept.

Another easy idea for a senior night theme would be to use the colors of the high school.

How to Decide What to Display for Senior Recognition

picture frames displayed on table

The main focus of this senior display table was the photos.

There were four other dancers graduating with Emma so a total of five seniors.

I placed the photos of each girl as a tiny dancer inside simple silver picture frames.

This set of 6 silver 5×7 frames won’t break the bank if you’re looking for some to buy.

Look how cute my girl is…that picture was taken the year she performed her very first solo during competition season.

The photos of all the dancers as graduating seniors were put into the chunky wood frames.

Here is a set of 4 distressed wood frames that are really affordable if you need them.

The other moms were great and sent me the pictures I needed quickly so that I could get them printed at my local Walgreens.

I got all of the prints in a 5×7 size since those were the frame sizes I had on hand at home.

pictures of seniors and senior moms in frames on wood crate

I also framed a couple of pictures of the five seniors together at their last Nutcracker ballet performance and holiday benefit show.

And I even displayed a picture of all the dance moms!

Super fun!

How to Vary Height on a Table

antique wood brick mold with silver photo frame on top

When styling any table it is always a good idea to use risers to add varying heights to the items on the table.

By using pedestals it gives your table more visual interest rather than everything being about the same size.

If you don’t already have trivets or risers think of other things that can be used like this vintage brick mold turned upside down.

I also turned two wood crates over for different levels on the table.

These crates are a budget-friendly easy DIY.

Purchase unfinished wood crates and stain them in any color you choose.

How to Decorate a Senior Night Farewell Table

rusty wire basket with bouquets of flowers wrapped in paper ballet shoes in front

The studio always sells these beautiful bouquets of flowers for people to buy their dancers at the show.

I grabbed a few bundles of the gorgeous flowers and placed them in a rustic wire basket.

A pair of pointe shoes is the perfect finishing touch to this side of the table.

flowers in galvanized bucket on senior display table next to wood crate

On the other end of the long table, I filled a galvanized flower bucket with more flowers.

The combination of the different color woods with the matte silver frames and distressed vases works well together for this senior night display table.

small chalkboard with word seniors written on it

Small easel-style wood chalkboards add more charm to the senior display.

A simple word message on each written in white chalk is super fun.

I wrote “seniors” on one chalkboard and “ADFA” which stands for the Academy of Dance and Fine Arts on the other.

Well, actually I bullied another mom into helping me because my handwriting is awful! haha

I hope I inspired you with these ideas for celebrating your senior graduate this year!


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collage of products to style a graduation table

Sources: chalkboard stand | wood risers | wire basket | antique brick molds |distressed white wood 5×7 picture frames | square wood trivit riser | silver 5×7 photo frames | wood pedestal | galvanized flower bucket | wood crates

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!

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