Relive Woodstock with a 1960s Themed Party


A music-based ‘60s party is a way to treat your guests to a feast for ears and eyes.

Woodstock took place August 15-17, 1969. As far as we’re concerned any birthday, fundraiser, reunion or retirement taking place this summer, particularly in mid-August, is fair game for a Woodstock theme and available supplies are more numerous than ever.

The harmonic focus of the original festival, advertised as “Three Days of Peace and Music,” transcended miserable conditions on the ground including rainstorms, mud, and lack of adequate facilities. You, of course, will want to provide the soundtrack at your Woodstock Revisited party while avoiding excessive sogginess and such. Do it by romanticizing the venue in mod colors and designs reminiscent of 1960s concert posters.

Our rainbow tie-dye gossamer — highly rated in dozens of customer reviews – will give you a strong start in decorating as long as you understand its qualities. By this we mean gossamer is very thin and translucent by definition. You can drape it, twist it, pleat and tie it; but for actual areal coverage you’ll need something in a light color behind or under it.

If you want to cover walls with this gossamer fabric and your walls are dark, try a solid gossamer or poly vinyl backing in white or yellow. On tables, cover a light solid cover with a runner made of this tie dye pattern, which then leaves you free to coordinate in solid colored tableware that echoes one or two of the runner hues. This patterned gossamer will also make luscious wraps and bows for chair backs.

The same decorating fabric plays very nicely with the Retro Times decorating theme kit as you can see at the top of this post, and it goes with any of our Set the Stage retro kits as well. FYI the kits in our retro collection rank among some of our most affordable prop sets, though you’d never know it by the buzz these pieces create.

Complete the color riot with red, yellow and blue paper lanterns overhead. We have recently expanded our sizes to include 24” and 36” lanterns in addition to the traditional 12” so they won’t get “lost” in cavernous ballrooms and other large venues.

OK, now what about taking your Woodstock theme outside? Retro banners are no problem and gossamer usually isn’t, but most decorations are meant for indoors and placing them in a structure sheltered from wind and rain is recommended. That being said, many have successfully decorated parade floats and other open-air venues by employing strategies for reinforcing, anchoring, and protecting against moisture. Only you can decide if added work and weather-related risk are worth it.

When it comes to party favors we are highly attracted to wearables. Flash the peace sign to guests at the door, place beads around their necks and hand them round metal glasses with tinted lenses. Or check the swag bags in retro novelty favors for fun favors to wear and more.

To see more far out party ideas for your Woodstock remake, the 1960s store is where it’s at. There or square, man! ;)

Top Party Themes for Baby Boomers


Here are some groovy theme parties to throw for Boomer birthdays, anniversaries and retirements.

1. Luau celebration. When Hawaii became a state in 1959, it sparked a tourism boom (no pun intended) that was so pronounced it – and Don Ho – promptly got absorbed by popular culture. “Gidget” went there, Elvis went there and even the Brady Bunch vacationed in the islands. Kiddos coming of age in the years following WWII were continually tempted by the allure of ocean breezes, boogie boards and poi products. The islands still rank high as vacation destinations, the luau likewise as one of the all-time popular party themes. Boomers were among the first to appreciate both.

2. Party of a Decade. Though the timespan depends on the context of the discussion, the Baby Boom by most accounts occurred about 1946 into the early 60s, so it is often helpful to think in terms of early Boomers and late Boomers. The early wave came of age in the 60s and a whole lot of them are retiring now. Those who came later finished high school in the 1970s – and in the 70s, the 50s party first became popular! That means there are at least three decades the members of this generation love to party to.

3. Zebra retro. Big, colorful florals, op art and zebra patterns were all iterations of the strong, “mod” patterns fashionable in the 1960s for clothing, accessories and even home furnishings. A zebra party is another way to go retro, and as luck would have it, it also happens to be an “in” party theme for multiple generations right now so there are plenty of decorating options to be had. The fashion plates and the Boomers who adore the excesses and exaggerations of the Austin Powers movies really dig this party, baby, in both regular and hot pink.

4. Murder mystery. Boomers grew up playing Clue (as well as other classic board games such as Candy Land and Monopoly) and many of them likewise enjoyed the first Clue-based murder mystery role-playing parties of the 1980s. Combine nostalgia, humor and lots of entertaining activity during a dinner party with a Boomer as guest of honor, starting with the coolest licensed murder-oriented props around.

5. Music. When you read above about the luau and Don Ho, does the song “Tiny Bubbles” run through your head? Background music is far more than just about movies; it is woven inextricably with our memories and therefore comprises a powerful force in our personal and shared histories. Match the party soundtrack to theme and mood, and include some of the party VIP’s selections. You can also spotlight music itself – check out the new Music Note decorations as well as established favorites Music of the Night, Disco and Jazz/1920s collections.

While there’s no substitute for knowing the tastes and interests of the Baby Boom generation co-worker, friend or relative in your life, we hope discussing popular themes has helped you work those creativity muscles! Explore even more on the Themes pages, and let us know how it goes.

Party Tips for High School Reunions


Whether it’s the fifth or sixty-fifth anniversary of graduation, many elements of high school reunion planning are certain to be the same. Here’s our formula for success.

Do Your Homework
Put out a call for newly unearthed photos of school events, hangouts and landmarks. With these you can create photo collages and perhaps some life-sized cardboard cutouts of favorite teachers.

Also, send ‘round short questionnaires soliciting fun facts about the individuals in your class. Find out about unusual college degrees, professions, skills, travels and achievements by asking open-ended questions such as, “What is the most unusual job you’ve had?”

The photos and information will come in handy later, as you plan theme, decorations and activities.

Put deadlines on your requests and be ready to make follow up calls, emails or Facebook posts if needed.

Play with the Theme
Once you are looking over stacks of photographs and yearbooks, an entertaining theme may present itself. For example, if you get lots of pictures taken at Fisher Lake and you realize it was a universally popular high school hangout, consider a “Return to Fisher Lake” beach party theme.

A decade retro party of the 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s is, of course, always OK. If you have done this before, know that it is perfectly fine to reuse your decade, but do check out the latest theme party supplies to see about freshening up the décor a bit.

Sometimes we like to delve a bit further so we can expand the pool of theme possibilities. One way to do this is to look up the top 100 songs for the year you graduated and tie one of them to a theme. For example, 1967 had “White Rabbit” (if your class is adventurous, note that Alice in Wonderland decorations are gorgeous) and the lucky ducks from 1987 had “Walk Like an Egyptian!”

Themes can also be based on events that happened to the entire senior class, such as winning a state championship.

Plan Group Activities
Just because you have school days in common does not mean everything will naturally fall into place socially. For any number of reasons it may be advisable to have structured group activities to help things along.

If you just have one activity, make it an icebreaker right at the beginning of the reunion party. Take the most unusual fun facts from your earlier information gathering and list them on sheets of paper. Ask reunion guests to figure out who did what. Include a signature line next to each fact so the participants are actually mingling and collecting facts and signatures “from the horse’s mouth” and not just the grapevine. Reunion party favors can reward guests who are able to match all the facts to the classmates they belong to.

During dinner, one or more class officers will address the group and this is another opportunity for a fun activity. Here, we recommend awards. Certainly there should be at least one award, for the classmate who traveled the farthest to attend the reunion!

After dinner might be a good time to gear activities to the musical entertainment. If you are using a DJ, select period music for a “name that tune” or dance contest, or find a song attached to dance moves that a big group can do (for example, a late 1970s graduating class doing “The Hustle.”)

Unlike your ice breaker, keep after-dinner activities short and afterward ensure that the music isn’t so loud that it overpowers conversation, since many will prefer lots of chat.

There’s Always More
Explore additional ideas by visiting Reunion Party Supplies.

Ideas for Your Awards Night Party Theme


Celebrate with a Red Carpet Party Theme

You’re already planning for your college mixer, school prom, adult cocktail party, corporate event, or kids birthday. We’re here to open the brainstorm with a few themes and supplies to get those creative juices flowing.

Awards Party Themes Take Center Stage

Note these dates on your social calendar and build your next theme party around a Bollywood party or Hollywood theme party.

Movie Theme Parties

Pop popcorn and snuggle in with the fam for movie night or dream big and snuggle up to a Marilyn Monroe party.

Film Festival Theme Party Decorations

Whisk your intellectual crowd into a sophisticated night of wine, International party supplies, and the sultry, Abhi Mujhe Mein Kahin or organize France party supplies throughout the banquet facility of your Cannes Film Festival event.

Country Music Party Theme

Celebrate country music in our cowboy party store. Show them city slickers that your tableware party supplies don’t have to be fancy because a Dirt Road Anthem surrounded by NASCAR party supplies is the party theme to remember. Invite military families to your event and open the welcome home theme party with We Take Care of Our Own.

City Theme Party Decorations

Go downtown and dance away at a sweaty, city theme party. Continuously play music videos and movies on wide screen TVs. Promote fresh, theme party faces like pop’s Asher Monroe,

soul’s Adele,

or Bollywood’s Vidya Balan.

Political Theme Party Supplies

Want to shake it up? Times are changing. Make a statement with your theme party supplies and political rally decorations. Anjulie will turn heads and so will Occupy party supplies or national debt party supplies peppered throughout your theme party decorations.

College Theme Parties

There’s time to coordinate a frat party, toga party, or birthday with the MTV awards night. Just add a few props, cocktail accessories, and rock star party supplies to go.

Corporate Theme Parties

Let music loosen up the execs. Invite Taylor Swift to your private concert or just watch her perform at the Grammys along with Coldplay.

Give guests a few elephant hats and decorate with baby elephant standees, safari decorations, and other mascot costumes to get in the spirit of Coldplay’s Paradise video. Paul McCartney will be honored at this year’s Grammys. Celebrate the successes of yesterday, while your company presses ahead into 2012. These retro theme party supply or Wizard of Oz party stores can help you emphasize both achievements and goals.

Funny Theme Parties

Laugh it up with clips of Billy Crystal going Off the Grid for the Academy.

Dress up as your favorite nominee. Send party invitations and decorate with party favors, party tableware, and party decorations (such as Money Ball baseball party supplies) that revolve around your picks. Give awards night male statuettes or awards night female statuettes to the most creative or funny, theme party costumes.

Awards party themes spice up winter dull drums and celebrate successes. Host your own Academy, Grammy, MTV, Bollywood, or Hollywood theme party!

Reunion Decorating Ideas


Personalized Disco ArchWhile we may concede that there is such a thing as the end of an era, it doesn’t mean we can’t revive it from time to time just for fun! This is especially true when you’re talking about shared experiences and planning reunions of any type.

Start your search for the perfect reunion decorations with a school yearbook or photo albums. What was particularly memorable? Was your basketball team the best in the state during your senior year? Has your family or class shared a favorite hangout or trip? Themed decorations can help you recreate the setting, from beachfront to big city lights.

If your group is too big for universally-shared memories, just change your focus a little. In that case, go with a theme that reflects the larger culture of your favorite time, for example taking inspiration from the most popular movie or song of the senior year. (Was a cool James Bond film released that year? See our Casino theme decorations and Madison Avenue party supplies for classic Bond settings and giant martinis!)

Other theme decorating ideas:

  • Go retro! Decorate for the decade you grew up in, such as 60s flower power or the 70s disco scene.
  • Use party decorations in your school colors
  • Tailor decorations to reunion activities; for example, if home movies will be a big feature during the get-together, you might select a movie theme

Reunion Party Supplies Must-Haves
Theme decorations kit: Free-standing large theme pieces give kapow to your entrances, divide spaces in a stylish way, and set the scene for photographs. Also visit the Table Settings page in the Tableware department for ideas on bringing your theme to your tables.

Life-sized cutouts: Are you spotlighting certain family members, former classmates or other reunion group members for special recognition? Pull photos of the ways you like to fondly remember them for life-sized cutouts to place near entrance, stage or podium. (It can be even more fun to select people randomly.)

Fabulous Favors: Customize key tags or photo buttons for a unique keepsake from the reunion.

Reunion Party Supplies Special Tip
Reunion parties can be a little different from other parties in that the planners will probably want to include displays. Newspaper clippings, family tree diagrams, photographs of members who have passed, even time capsule contents might be artifacts to share with the rest of the group.

At the very least, you’ll need a table or two near the entrance for name tags (if needed), yearbooks or photo albums, mailing list signups and so forth. Be sure to plan early on for incorporating theme colors and elements (table covers, balloon bouquets, centerpieces) into displays — they’re too important not to!

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