Ideas on Decorating a Table for a 100-Year-Old's Birthday

More and more people are reaching their 100th birthdays these days, so planning a celebration for such an occasion is not the rare occurrence it once was. Table decorations for a centenarian's birthday party can look back at events from the guest of honor's life while also marking the impressive milestone of 100 years. The color scheme can be dictated by the birthday person's favorite color or, if that isn't known, in silver and gold, to suggest longevity.

Make a Photo Timeline

Celebrating a 100th birthday should include a look back at significant or special events in the birthday person's life. To recall happy memories and to illustrate some of the highlights of the guest of honor's life, make a timeline that can be displayed near the table on an easel or, if the table is long enough, can be made so as to stand on the table, running its length. Close friends and family members can supply dates, photos and information about events.

Things You'll Need

  • Photographs from the guest of honor's life, representing such important events as weddings and anniversaries, graduations, past birthdays and births of children or grandchildren, and depicting moments the birthday person thinks of fondly

  • One or more large sheets of 18-by-24-inch poster board on which the photos can be mounted

  • Glue sticks or double-sided tape for affixing the photos to the poster board

  • Markers for labeling the photos with years and captions

  • One or more easels to display the timeline, if it is to be displayed in this manner

  • Scissors to cut the poster board in half lengthwise, if it is to be placed on the table

  • Clear adhesive tape to attach sections of poster board for placing on the table

If the timeline is to be displayed on one or more easels, affix the photos to the full sheet(s) of poster board, grouping them by decade or by theme or by some other form of organization. Label each photo with a marker.

If the timeline is to be placed on the table, cut each piece of poster board in half lengthwise and tape several pieces together at their ends, allowing a bit of space between ends so that the attached pieces can stand as a zigzag on the table. Affix the photos to the poster board in chronological order and label each image with the year or period in the birthday person's life. If you make duplicate copies of each image, both sides of the poster board can display the entire timeline, so people on both sides of the table can see it at the same time.

The Year You Were Born

Another kind of timeline or remembrance can look at the year the guest of honor was born and highlight significant local, national or international events in that year. Research the year and identify key events and people who were in the news or made some kind of impact. Find images to illustrate the events or people and make a poster that could be titled "The Year You Were Born." If you find an important event that happened on the birthday person's actual birthday, you can highlight that event on your poster.

Things You'll Need

  • **Scissors** to trim the images you find

  • A sheet of 18-by-24-inch poster board

  • Markers to caption the images

  • Glue stick or double-sided tape to affix the images to the poster board

  • An easel to display the poster

Celebrate a Century

Along with a retrospective look at the guest of honor's life that a photo timeline provides, you can decorate the table with items that celebrate the number "100." Paper cutouts of the numeral "100" can be scattered across the table, in different shapes and sizes, or glitter confetti can be sprinkled here and there on the tabletop. Placing and lighting 100 candles on a single cake may be difficult, depending upon the size of the cake, but cupcakes with birthday candles may be placed on the table; each cupcake can have four or five candles, meaning only 20 or 25 cupcakes are needed. If you have a large number of guests, you can still have a big cake in addition to the cupcakes, but the cupcakes will allow you to have 100 candles more easily.


If the birthday person is unable to blow out all of the candles, it is easier for others to help if cupcakes can be passed around the table. Everyone can blow on the count of three!

Things You'll Need

  • A table covering in a color that complements the color(s) you have chosen for the party theme

  • Sheets of construction paper in the colors you have chosen as the theme colors

  • Scissors

  • Stencils of numerals, so that you can trace the numerals "1" and "0" on the construction paper prior to cutting them out

  • Confetti from the party store in the shape of "100"

  • 100 birthday candles and matches or a lighter

  • 20 or 25 cupcakes


Someone who has reached the age of 100 may tire easily, so try to keep to a minimum any aspects of birthday parties that people sometimes find overwhelming, such as noise and commotion.