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! ;)

Party Table Basics

Whether you’re talking kitchen, folding, banquet or picnic, tables that reflect your event with distinction are a breeze with just a few fundamental decorating steps.

After you’ve chosen your theme, select a color scheme and work from there. Typically you’ll be working with a two- or three-color palette. Other times you may want to go monochromatic, and one way to do it is to work with two or three shades of the same color. Another is to select a single dominating color and choose an accent hue or two. You can create an especially dramatic effect by accenting one color with black, white, gold or silver. Think: navy with white, red with black, white with gold, etc.

Once the basic color scheme is worked out, you’ll be choosing materials based on theme, effects you want to achieve, ages of the partygoers and level of formality. For informal tables, bright gingham oilcloth, plastic table rolls, burlap or a patterned seamless or flat paper might fill the bill. More formal events might call for adding a matching or metallic skirting to a plastic or linen tablecloth, and/or use of taffeta, tulle, or fabrics that glimmer and shimmer.

If you are using a plain tablecloth, why not decorate it with fabric paint? Use a color to complement your theme to leave a special message at different angles all over the tablecloth. The same concept will also work with a plastic tablecover. As an alternative, stamp a fancy design onto the tablecloth with a pre-cut kitchen sponge.

Add table squares cut from colored cellophane for a whimsical look. Squares or other geometric shapes will add texture and depth to the appearance of the table.

If you have not had the pleasure of decorating with gossamer in the past, you are in for a treat. Gossamer is a wonderful, lightweight nonwoven material that creates fabulous decorating touches at a very reasonable price. It drapes, hangs and holds its shape beautifully. Ideas:

  • Swag gossamer on the edges of table skirting. Try twisting or braiding two colors together for a stunning look.
  • Cut gossamer into tabletop squares to place on the top of a plastic tablecover or cover the entire tablecover with an overlay of shimmery, sheer gossamer.

  • Gather the gossamer at the corners of the table, and tie with gossamer streamers, tassels, or satin ribbon.

  • One of the hottest trends today is to cover banquet or reception chairs with chair bows…and the trend tends to be quite costly! Do it yourself with gossamer! You can drape a piece of 19″ gossamer across the top of each chair back, and then tie a gossamer streamer bow around the back of the chair. The bows can be cut to any length, and even look lovely with tails trailing on the floor. The bows hold their shape just fine, and at a fraction of the cost of wired ribbon.

    For more decorating ideas using this wonderful material, see our video presentation of “How to Use Gossamer” — and we hope you’ll check out our other selections of decorating fabrics, too!

    Decorating Tables with Gossamer Material

    Deeptone GossamerChoose gossamer material for your table decorations! Its versatility and beauty make it a great accent for all your tables.

    Table Covers
    Create unique table covers with gossamer. Choose two different colors and layer one over the other or use patterned gossamer over a single color gossamer. Depending on the size of your table, you will either want to use 60” wide or 107” wide gossamer.

    Table Runners
    19” gossamer makes gorgeous table runners. Start by covering your entire table with a gossamer table cover (see above). Then, choose a different color, or a patterned gossamer for your table runner.

    Table Skirting
    Use 60” wide gossamer to create your table skirting. You can either create a “flat” skirt, or bunch it at the top for a different effect. Secure the gossamer with double-sided tape and trim to your desired length.

    Table Bows
    Once you have used gossamer to create your table skirt, you can create bows and swags around the edge of the table with 19” gossamer. Swag the gossamer around the edge of the table, securing it with double-sided tape every 12”. Add a gossamer bow at the top of each swag with double-sided tape or a small pin.

    Chair Bows
    Drape two pieces of 60” gossamer across the top of each chair back, and then tie a 60” gossamer bow around the back of the chair. The bows can be cut to any desired length. For a romantic look, let the bow tails hang down to the floor.

    Chair Swags
    If you choose not to create a bow on your chairs, then you can opt to add a fun swag to each chair. Cut an 8-9’ piece of 19” gossamer. Attach the gossamer to both corners on the back of the chair. Then let the gossamer hang loosely in the middle to create the swag and “puddle” it on each side of the chair.

    Napkin Bows
    Start by wrapping your cutlery in napkins. Tie the cutlery bundle with a small piece of gossamer streamer and create a bow. Choose your gossamer streamer in a color that complements your napkin color!

    Centerpiece Accents
    Puddle some gossamer around your centerpiece to give your table some extra pizzazz! (Do not use gossamer around candles.)

    Basket & Bowl Liners
    Line baskets and bowls with gossamer to serve dry foods like chips, pretzels, rolls etc. Choose a patterned gossamer or solid color to match your party theme.

    Covering Walls with Gossamer Material

    Shimmera GossamerAny type of wall surface can be covered with gossamer material. Gossamer looks best if slightly stretched and pleated. Pleat each gossamer strip to 1/2 its original width. Fasten the gossamer to a wall or run a wire at the top and bottom of the wall. Attach the wires at each end with a screw eye.

    Hang paper lanterns at various heights throughout your room for a trendy Asian flair and extra soft illumination.  An excellent companion to this decoration would be Bonsai Trees as centerpieces.

    Greenery always adds another dimension to a room and warms up a large reception area beautifully. Faux Parisian Fir Trees are perfect placed in groups of 3 around the room or placed on either side of the head table.

    Ceiling-to-Floor Gossamer “Columns”

    Use 60” wide gossamer for these columns. For each column, you will use between three to five strips of gossamer, depending on how wide you want the column to be.

    Take the end of the gossamer roll and attach it to the ceiling with double-sided tape or folded duct tape (this will create the center of the column). At floor-length, roll out an additional 3’-5’ of gossamer before cutting it. (You want excess length to belt and bunch the gossamer later.) Have someone hold the strip flat and straight at the bottom. Repeat the process for the side strips, and angle them into the center strip. Gather all the strips together at the middle.

    Tie a piece of gossamer around the middle of the column to “belt” it.
    Fluff the ends of the column and allow them to puddle on the floor, or cut them to your desired length.

    Decorating Ceilings with Gossamer Material

    Decorating your ceiling with gossamer decorating material is great for making a large area feel cozier or accenting theme party decor. Here are our tips for beauiful gossamer ceilings:

    Tent-Style Gossamer Ceiling
    Suspend a 3′ metal ring or a 3′ circle of 1/2″ plywood in the center of the area to be decorated. The distance above the floor is determined by personal preference, and ceiling height. If the gossamer strips that will make up the ceiling cannot be fastened directly to the outside walls of the room, run a wire around the room attached by inconspicuous screw eyes. The wire could be an all-purpose steel or aluminum decorating wire from a hardware or craft store. You could also use a monofilament line of 30 or 40 pound test.

    Use 60″ wide or 107″ wide gossamer strips to run from the center to the outside walls. To determine the length of the gossamer strips, use a builder’s or carpenter’s measuring tape and measure from the center ring or plywood disc to the walls. Start by measuring the distance to the four corners – since those will be the longest strips. If your ring or circle is positioned correctly in the center of the room, you need only measure to one corner since all four will be the same. Allow additional gossamer to fasten around the ring or fasten on top of the circle and to fasten to the wall or around the wire.

    Put up a test strip of gossamer to one corner. If you have a ring, gather the gossamer to 2″ or 3″ across, loop it around the ring and staple gossamer to itself. The stapled loop is on top of the strip of gossamer, out of sight. If you have a wooden disc, gather the gossamer the same way and use a staple gun to fasten it to the top of the disc. Carry the gossamer to the wall, loop it over the wire (or fasten it directly to the wall) and staple the gossamer in the same way – allowing for a swag or droop in the fabric.

    At the outside wall, pleat or gather the gossamer to 1/2 its original width for the best appearance. The 60″ wide gossamer should be 30″ wide, the 107″ wide gossamer should be 54″ wide. 19″ wide gossamer is not practical to use for ceilings in any but the smallest of rooms. Measure additional strips and fill in the complete ceiling the same way.

    Side-to-Side Gossamer Ceiling
    Strips of gossamer of any length can be swagged across a room from one side to the other. If you cannot fasten the gossamer directly to the walls, attach wires along two opposite walls. Use screw eyes to hold the wires. A wire on each side of a room will allow you to create a single swag of gossamer from one side to another. An additional wire down the center of the room, parallel to the two side wires, will create a double swag. Three equally spaced wires will create four swags in the gossamer from one side of the room to the other.

    60″ or 107″ wide gossamer make the most successful ceilings. At the outside wall, pleat or gather the gossamer to 1/2 its original width for the best appearance.
    Strips of any width gossamer can also be attached to all four walls and woven in and out (basket-like) for an unusual ceiling treatment.

    Lighted Wire Hanger


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