Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscar Party!

Need some ideas for an easy Oscar night get together?  Last summer, some co-workers and I gave a retirement party for a friend of ours who happened to work in the film industry.  We decided to make the retirement party a "Hollywood" theme, and at the time we were planning and getting things together, I thought how great this would be for an Oscar night celebration, as well.  As you'll see, we got a lot of atmosphere with not very many supplies and not very much money!  And keep in mind, all of this stuff would look even better in the warm atmosphere of a home -- our event was held in a conference room so we had the added challenge of trying to make that sterile atmosphere a little softer and a lot more fun.

I was originally going to make cupcakes for dessert and I had the idea of putting little flags in the cupcakes with famous quotes from movies on them.  In the end, I decided on brownies, but I kept the flag idea.  I did a simple Google search for "famous movie quotes" and found several dozen great ones.  I printed them out in two columns on my printer (so each flag would be double-sided), then trimmed them and wrapped each one around a toothpick and glued it in place.  These were the hit of the party, as people tried to remember what movies the quotes were from.  This, of course, got everyone talking about old movies that they loved -- a perfect ice-breaker type of activity.  This could easily be turned into a contest, as well, with the quotes printed out in quiz format on sheets of paper.  I chose a mix of quotes from old as well as newer movies.  Here is a close-up of a few of the flags:

For the main beverage, we served golden punch fit for a Hollywood star.  A friend actually made the punch in this picture, so I don't have her recipe, but I know she used something that had pineapple juice, ginger ale, and orange juice, which together gave the punch that great color.  You could easily find a suitable recipe online (and you could add alcohol if you wanted, as well).  My friend did two other genius things -- she made a "star" ice mold from a simple round foil cake pan (just molding the sides into the shape of a star), and she hand cut some stars from slices of pineapple.  The original idea was to just use slices of star fruit, but for some reason, the store didn't have any, and the pineapple slices turned out to be the perfect touch.  Doesn't this punch look great and totally in keeping with our "Hollywood" theme???

The following photo shows our main food table with the tableware and tablecloths that we used.  To our surprise, we found a TON of inexpensive, movie-related party supplies at the local party store.  We bought plates, napkins, tablecloths and gold plastic cutlery, as well as the cute table sprays featuring reels of film and stars.  We added a few sets of white lights to give the table the right ambiance, and once those were plugged in, the whole table took on a truly elegant feel.

To give the food table and the eating area a real touch of class, we put huge bunches of white hydrangeas in big vases and set them on gold charger plates.  The effect was stunning.  Now, as I mentioned, we held this party in the summer, so the flower were free since they came out of a friend's flower garden.  In February, you're probably going to have to rely on something from the florist, but the important thing is to look for flowers in the right color (white or gold) and to use something with a lot of height.  Tall vases of flowers will really add some impact and interest to your table.

Oh, the gal that provided the flowers also happened to own these fantastic sterling silver candelabras, so of course we used those, as well.  Small candles set around the table, or another string of white lights, would do just as well.

Another thing we did (which I think was pretty clever!) was set all of the clocks to "Hollywood time."  As simple as this little touch was, our guests just loved it, particularly the guest of honor.

We also had the idea of buying gold rimmed sunglasses for everyone to wear at the party, but we had around 25 guests so this turned out to be cost-prohibitive.  Again, though, the perfect sunglasses were available in bags of 12 at the party store!  So, if you're thinking of having friends over to watch the Oscars this year, why not try a few of these simple and inexpensive decorating ideas?  Your guests will truly feel like "A" list celebrities!


  1. Wow, you guys know how to do up a party. Nicely done :)

  2. I LOVE all your ideas! This year I'm actually looking forward to watching the Oscars. Love James Franco!;-) Thanks for sharing!