Decoration ideas for banquet table -- Sleep themed
November 10, 2014 6:36 AM   Subscribe

For the annual students' holiday banquet at my college, faculty/staff sign up for a table that they decorate and serve food for. This year a colleague and I want to do a sleep theme, but need some ideas.

The table is two long banquet tables end-to-end, with seating for 14 down the sides and ends. There's a white tablecloth and white plates/napkins. In the past we've done a number of themes, including Alice's tea party, circus, 80's, and peacock. Typically we dress up, there's a centerpiece, some decoration on the table at each place, and then a gift to the student. The gifts are supposed to be around $1/person, but sometimes that gets fudged a little, depending on what's available. Still nothing crazy. Some tables have games or activities to do at the tables while waiting for food, or have music playing

So far we're thinking of wearing pajamas, and gifting them handmade sleep masks and maybe a small pillow or some lavender lotion. (We're a women's college, so women-specific things are fine). Maybe a centerpiece with sheep and some ZZZs. Hive mind -- do you have any fantastic sleep or slumber-themed idea that might help make our table awesome?
posted by bizzyb to Grab Bag (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You should pull from In The Night Kitchen.
posted by Mizu at 6:49 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Being cheezy is kind of the point, right? I'd keep the lights very dim, and have glow-in-the-dark stickers, candles (or LED lanterns) and feathers scattered everywhere. For the centerpiece, maybe a huge, lit-up dream catcher (e.g. suspended from the ceiling), or a big "book of dreams"?

(You could get those LED lanterns at the dollar store and use white Christmas lights for the dream catcher.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 6:52 AM on November 10, 2014

What fun!!!

Look for a sheet set with little sheep or other obvious "these are sheets" pattern on them (flannel?), to use as a tablecloth.
posted by aimedwander at 7:00 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, there's this 'Starry Night Sky' projector too! (Yes, fun!)
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:10 AM on November 10, 2014

What about a big centerpiece made of teddy bears? Just random teddy bears wired together, forming a cone / tree-like shape.

Alarm clocks.
You can get wooden moons and stars at a craft store and paint them silver and tie them to the napkins or the backs of the chairs.
A stack of logs and a saw ;)
Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime herbal tea.

Lullaby music, and also, a recording of the sound crickets make.

Your themes and the effort put into them sound amazing.
posted by the webmistress at 7:16 AM on November 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Viking helmets for everyone.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 7:28 AM on November 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

I would do a flannel runner made out of sheets. If you can pull it off, something with sheep. You can get cardboard/papier mache letters. I would grab a few Z's and paint them blue with clouds to make the centerpiece. scatter them down the table. If you are crafty, you can embroider "Zzzz" on each of the sleep masks to keep with the theme.

So many ideas!!
posted by Sophie1 at 7:56 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I can't believe no one's suggested pigs in blankets. Too obvious?

You could use veggie hot dogs, even.

Also, anything on a bed of lettuce. Or a bed of rice - you can even mold the rice into the shape of a bed.

Black-eyed peas? Maybe stretching a bit.

Oh! Some kind of REM-oulade. Maybe to go with the pigs in blankets.
posted by amtho at 8:08 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

If anyone you know has one of those little cotton candy machines - or you have access to a place that has a big machine - you can make edible clouds to dress the table.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:27 AM on November 10, 2014

(On reflection, that dream catcher idea may not be the most appropriate choice, sorry. I just thought it'd look so pretty, hanging there.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:31 AM on November 10, 2014

It would be fun to serve Ben & Jerry's Late Night Snack ice cream, with Dream Whip on it even. Maybe have some classic bedtime story books on the table, like Goodnight Moon and Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book.

You could pass a little notebook down the table through the course of the meal and have each person write about a memorable dream - like some people keep notebooks by their beds to record their dreams. Then pass it back around so everyone gets to read everyone else's.
posted by lakeroon at 10:00 AM on November 10, 2014

Big sprays of chamomile flowers for centrepieces... They look like small daisies.
posted by jrobin276 at 12:03 PM on November 10, 2014

Pillow mints!

Or a little Andes mint or suchlike on top of a little (lavender?) pillow at each place setting. Tucked under the napkin which is turned down?
posted by bink at 12:52 PM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sleepytime tea for the gift and/or the drink of choice for your tables.

Soft foam stuffing (the kind you use for pillows) makes great "clouds" for decorating your table, along with confetti stars sprinkled along the table.

Sleep masks (the ones that cover your eyes),would also fit your theme and I don't think they'd be hard to make if someone in your group is crafty. Even better if you can scent them with lavender.

Maybe you can make up your own school-themed version of Goodnight, Moon?
posted by misha at 7:55 PM on November 10, 2014

Oh, and turkey is known for making people sleepy, with the tryptophan.
posted by misha at 7:58 PM on November 10, 2014

These are great -- thanks all! I really love everything so far, but marked a couple based on what we're able to put to use. Unfortunately (or fortunately, as far as our workload!) we don't have anything to do with the food itself, but those are some clever ideas there.
posted by bizzyb at 9:39 AM on November 11, 2014

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