Sunday, September 30, 2012

Roaring 20's Party Tips and Ideas

For quite some time now I have really wanted an excuse to throw a 20s party. I am so interested in obsessed with the era. After a few weeks of thinking about how fun it would be I decided I really didn't need an excuse so I just set the date! I started to fish for ideas online for costumes and decor and was surprised that I couldn't really find a whole lot. Not many of the photos I saw really seemed to match the vision I had in my head...I saw a whole lot of fake looking zoot suits, plastic guns and underdressed flappers. I wanted go for a more authentic, vintage vibe. I wanted Ragtime, Art Deco, silent film stars and the like. So I knew I might have to get extra creative with the lack of said internet inspiration.

 One of the funnest parts of a costume party, of course, is deciding what to wear! As much as I love and appreciate flappers and gangsters I knew I wanted to do something that was not so overused. I ultimately decided on Charlie Chaplin because, well, he's awesome. And it was really pretty cheap and easy to pull off. My recommendation is to always shop thrift stores and yard sales before going and paying full price for anything, AND you may be pleasantly surprised to find more authentic looking or vintage items as opposed to something cheesy looking from a costume or retail store. 

I have a big, home made chalkboard on my wall that I love. It has served me well for many a party. I went from the above picture (which truly saddened me to erase because it took forever to draw and I loved it) to the below picture. I tried to tie in the Art Deco here...I hope you can tell! I realize not everyone will have a chalkboard in their home, another idea would be to create this look on poster board.
Next, I took 3 black 8 foot long table cloths from the 99 cent store and stapled one on each side the of chalkboard. I took the third and swooped it over the top. I wanted this to look almost theater-like if that makes sense. I have been to several movie theaters that were built in the 20s that had this regal, Art Deco feel and I drew inspiration from that. Above the chalkboard were some various papers and doilies I folded and fanned out, then taped onto the wall. ALL of this came from the 99 cent store, as well as the gold colored charger plates. I drew on them with black Sharpie and stuck them to the wall with 3M Command Strips. They read "The Bee's Knees" and "The Cat's Meow", two popular sayings from the era.

Unfortunately I took this photo after everyone had arrived and things had gotten somewhat scattered around. But what I did here was push my dining room table under the chalkboard and put a gold tablecloth on it. Feathers were scattered and I used candle holders that I owned and set serving platters on them. I found some gold and black pieces at yard sales for cheap to add to the table-scape.

Oops! Someone had gotten into the cupcakes already! These cupcakes were pumpkin minis bought pre-made from Walmart. I thought they could pass for 'gold' in color so I ran with it. Forks were displayed in a wine glass set atop the lid of one of my candles because it was also gold so I made it work!

With the Prohibition being a major theme in the 1920's I knew I had to throw in some sort of boozy element and some cig's. Since this was a family affair I went with vintage labeled miniature Martinelli's (from the 99 Cent Only store! What a find!) and some candy cigarettes I ordered from Amazon. They were a hoot! (And safe for the kids to partake in as well) haha! 
Next is the photo booth. I considered an idea I saw on Pinterest, where someone had painted the inside of a refrigerator box red to get a photo booth effect. I have a small hallway in my house and I decided it would be a whole lot easier to staple red table cloths (again, all from the 99 cent store) to the 3 walls in the hallway. I LOVED the end result. I cost me 6$ and took about 10 minutes!

Here I used a candle display I owned and filled the bottom with gold ribbon and black feathers. The photo booth props I found at Target. It had an awesome variety of mustaches, glasses and lips for 5 bucks! These I will be able to use for countless parties in the future! 

Right beside the hallway I posted a vintage looking photo booth sign (one I found online and printed) I taped it on top of black paper and surrounded it with some cute paper doilies and things from the dollar store (the Washi Tape shown I owned already) 

Highlight of the night!

We also set up a "Poker Room" where all the guys partook in the imitation booze and smokes. Love these shots! 

Lastly, I tuned into the "Mugsy Spanier and His Ragtime Band" station on Pandora, plugged my phone into my speakers and cranked it up! It was the perfect finishing touch, I thought! 

If you are planning a 20s themed party I really hope these ideas where helpful to you! It really is possible to throw a fun and fabulous party on a dollar store budget (but it doesn't have to look it!)...all you need is a bit of creativity and some thinking outside the box. Enjoy..and I hope your shindig is the bee's knees! 




  1. You put a lot of effort in to the party, and it showed. I think that so many people would benefit from reading this blog as so many think that they have to have booze and cigarettes to make parties fun! My husband used to believe that. I say "GREAT JOB!"

  2. Thank you so much for all the stunning, home-made inspiration! I also have been wanting to do a 20s themed party forever and now my birthday as excuse to do it ;-) And I was also pretty disappointed with other things on the web. Your post is the first truely inspiring one!!! Thanks so much!!!

  3. love that you showed how to do a themed party on a budget. I'm a pretty cost-conscious gal so I love finding inspiration at the dollar store :D

  4. Excellently done and what fabulous friends you have who made an effort to dress appropriately as well! I love that you chose to avoid the triteness of flapper outfits. I'm going to have a lot less time to put together my birthday 20's theme, but I'm definitely inspired by some of the ideas you've shared here, especially the candy cigarettes one!!! THAT is just solid gold! I was also hoping to make a sort of cigarette holder for them, it would be a hoot in the photos... Not sure if craft paper would do the job though, puzzler!

  5. entertainment is the part of life. if you want to enjoy your life. you need must enjoy it. we are provide you to chat in online, join with dance club, music, Hollywood Disco, TV show, bar and grill.
    Party ideas