1920's Dance Party -16yr- Old Timey DÃ©cor
Lauren in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
For my 16th Birthday I wanted to have a big party seeing as I missed out on the previous year. I took the few things that I loved and put it together; I love to dance, I love jazz and old fashioned clothes and so it came out to be a 1920's dance party.
Invitations: For the invitations I did a really layered effect. I used a black piece of card and then had a clear piece of plastic on top of that. I stuck a white piece of paper on the clear piece which created a clear border around the piece of white paper; I then put glitter all around creating a really cute shiny border. I spent a lot of time on the wording of the invite because I wanted to put it into code. That is I used 1920's slang on the invite and then put the words and definitions on the back piece so that the people have to decode the message (people love this). It just told people to come dressed in the 1920's style and be prepared to dance!!
Decorations: This was a huge part of the party which my mum and I talked about tirelessly about a month before hand. It is a great idea to talk to your mothers because they will know way more than you about the fashion of the era, the music etc. I'm also so lucky because my mum is fantastic at decorating and designing. So, we tried to create this atmosphere as soon as you walk into the house, which meant that we had a lot of decorating to do. As people walk in the front gate there was a low table and stools just in the corridor and then straight to the left was a sliding to the garage.
My mum and I decorated the garage by covering up the walls and shelves with this plastic type material (black with stars) which we attached with black masking type. We had red bulbed lights, which we bought at a hardware store, edging the room. The lights in the garage were really fluorescent and too bright for the mood we wanted to create, so we got a pillow case and pinned it to the roof which made a duller light. We grabbed some big cushions and pillows from around the house and placed them in the corner of the garage (this is good for people that like to just hang around and chill). Hanging from the garage roof was old records (bought at an op-shop), we hung them at different levels to create a cool effect. I reused the boxes the records came in by printing photos of friends that were coming on just normal paper, and stapling them to each other to create a long hanging decoration. In another corner of the garage, we set up a photo corner where we recreated a 1920's looking scene with old photo frames, tables and lacy material (all stuff we had).
Moving into the house from the garage door, we had collages of photos that we just stuck on top of a picture fame that already hung there. In our lounge area I made a large balloon arch. I looked it up on the internet and learnt how to do it. I didn't have helium so all I did was blow up normal balloons, take a long piece of fishing line and go from balloon to balloon tying the fishing line to the ends of the balloons really close together. To hang it up, use the fishing line again and your trusty masking tape to make the top of the arch stick to the wall. From there we rearranged furniture and cleared some out to create a dance floor. With much difficulty, we eventually got a colour changing light to hang from the roof and this made a really cool effect. The outside doors were open where we had a dart board for the boys. Also, on one patio was a table and chairs for people to play card games; and outside, we had solar lights that change colour and some chairs for people just to hang.
Activities: As you all would know, sometimes you have friends with different personalities and different ideas of fun; it is important to cater to these people by having some type of activity for everyone. We had a dart board outside for boys, a table with a whole bunch of cards on them (people know card games, you just need to supply the cards), we had cushions in the garage for people to chill and a photo corner for those glam girls that love to take photos of themselves. We had another long table for a poker game (this was really popular), and then of course we had the dance floor for me and a lot of my friends. To make this a hit, it is vitally important to have awesome music. I had a mixture of swinging 1920's songs that were really fun to dance to, plus some oldish classics that everyone knows and of course the newies that you just have to have. I had all my music on an iPod and just plugged it into the sound system; this is good because then you can get other peoples iPods to play on there too.
GAMES: We were a bit too old for games as such; but we did have fun dancing music such as a remixed chicken dance, the nut bush, Macarena etc. that is almost a game in itself.
COSTUMES: This was so much fun to see people really get into it. Girls wore short, cute flapper dresses with shiny bands, feather boas and tassels (I found some sweet as high heeled closed in, lace up shoes); girls had dark eyes, curled hair and feather pieces. The boys wore long pants, striped jackets, suspenders, fake cigars and funky hats. It's really easy to put together an outfit from stuff you already have. I bought my dress and shoes but other people just took dresses they had and spiced them up. Look on the internet for ideas on makeup and fashion etc. for the era. Party Snacks and Cake: We did not have dinner but my mum made a whole bunch of finger foods that went down well. This including things such as; slices of turkish bread with yummy toppings, spring rolls, sausage rolls, chicken pieces etc. For dessert, we had gone and bought a really yummy marble mud cake. BEWARE- don't buy too much rich cake; we bought a big cake that was yummy but really rich (You will have plenty left over). On top of my cake I had a long silver decoration piece that said 16 and also candles of little men in suits that are mooning you (sounds gross but it was really funny). We also had other dessert things such as ice cream, fudge and eclairs.
Favours: I didn't have party favours because everything cost quite a bit, but the party's memories were a favour that people took home. A year later, they still remember it, and some even claim it was the best party they've been too. Also, something that I keep now (apart from cute photos) is a guest book which I decorated with feathers, glitter and buttons that have people birthday messages to me on the night. Sleepover: After people had left at about 11 (make sure you start to turn down music at this time and also give your neighbours a heads up about the party so they are prepared for noise), I had a few close girlfriends stay over. We opened presents, took a whole bunch of photos in our photo corner (absolutely classic: they are fun to edit in black and white) and had some midnight munchies whilst watching a girly movie. In the late morning we had some bacon, eggs, toast and pancakes whilst recovering from our dancing fever. It was such a great night; people enjoyed the food, fun and fantastic music and most importantly, I had fun. Make sure that if you have a party like this that you remember to enjoy yourself and don't run around and worry about food and people (THIS IS YOUR PARTY). That's all from me and my roaring 1920's jazz party.