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    And the Winner for Best Party goes to…the Academy Awards!

    A few years ago, we hosted an Academy Awards Themed Costume Party for Isabelle and her middle school classmates. The girls came dressed as their favorite character or star some from television and some the big screen.

    Jov.E at party (2)

    We had Disney represented with Lilo & Stitch and Darla (the headgear wearing girl in Finding Nemo), The Hunger Games Katness Everdeen and Effie Trinket’s (in her butterfly outfit), Alice in Wonderland’s Red Queen and White Queen, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, plus some TV pairs like Lucy & Ethel and Castle & Beckett.

    There were four activities:

    • Costume Contest with Best Overall, Funniest and Most Creative categories.
    • Acting Screen Tests where the girls embodied a range of emotions written on cue cards: shocked, sad, excited and happy.
    • Photo Booth with an array of glamourous and silly props.
    • A Make-Your-Own Italian Soda Bar (below) was probably the biggest hit of the party.
    Serving items included an antique brass store riser, Murano compotes, Rock Cut dessert plates added to the table.

    The basic layout of the party was arrival on a “red carpet” with “spotlights” on either side of the front door with a fog machine adding some ambience, then inside our living room was cleared out except for 3 stand up cocktail sized tables and the photo booth set up.

    We went with the stand up tables because seated food service felt too stuffy for this party. We skipped bar stools and the girls just grazed on finger foods so no need to take up more space or spend money on them.

    The gilded, glittering theme was throughout and started off with the above small globe lights strung from corner to corner of the room with strands of gold tinsel hanging from them. Full DIY info is here.

    Two strings of lights with gold tinsel created a fun vibe to the living room.

    Behind the tables there was a “wall” of gold helium balloons that were a great bang for the buck item. It was ideal too for saving space and while adding impact at the same time.

    Foil stars were personalized with guest names and hung with fishing line over inexpensive sheers.

    Another nod to the Hollywood was the “walk of fame” stars strung with fishing line in the window. Each guest had their name on a star.

    Next came the kitchen that included a tiered popcorn stand, white velvet couch with gold lantern display over it, food buffet and dessert buffet. The biggest hit of the party was the Make-Your-Own Italian Soda bar. Full DIY instructions for the Italian Soda Are are here.

    Favors and Prizes:

    • Movie Gift Baskets that included gift cards to local movie theaters, consession stand boxed candy, popcorn and an Oscar Statue.
    • Dollar Tree gold rimmed glasses that were personalized with each guest’s name. I created a template to make these easily and full DIY info is here.

    Decor Details:

    • Ready made Hollywood items like the scene marker at right, “film” created with a strip of black wrapping paper created a fun touch to the buffet table.

    Centerpieces were dollar store carnations sitting on black glitter stars
    • The stand up table centerpieces were not originally planned, but when I saw the carnations at Dollar Tree I knew they’d be an easy, cheap and make ahead option.  I’m not a huge faux flower fan but carnations are one type that look pretty darn good.  Each $1 vase was filled with black marbles and then I bound 3 – $1 stems together with strong string and clipped the stems with a wire cutter.  SO EASY! Next I set each vase on top of a black glitter star to create a finished look. I used the foil hanging “walk of fame” stars as a tracing guide for the black glitter stars.  
    • Each table had a $5 rented red tablecloths, layered with a 50 cent matte gold plastic square tablecloth (from Dollar Tree & cut in half so each cloth made 2 toppers), so it plus the $1 black star with a $ 4 centerpiece on top.  And voila!  $10.50 total for an awesome looking table.

    Menu Details:

    • Caprese bites were a nice healthy addition that the girls devoured.
    • 3 kinds of popcorn (caramel, buttered and white cheddar)
    • Red Velvet mini cupcakes from Seattle’s Cupcake Royal.
    • A variety of candy including Red Vines, M&Ms, Reeses and Starburst.
    • Delivery Pizzas with a choice of Cheese, Pepperoni and Vegetarian.
    Red velvet cupcakes, 3 flavors of popcorn, Redvines and other movie candy filled the dessert bar.

    The girls all had a great time! And I have to say, so did our friends that helped Steven and I out. Judging the Screen Take Contest was hilarious!


    • Amazon for statues, tickets, cupcake stars, misc. decorations, popcorn boxes and gold tinsel. 
    • Invitation design by Etsy’s Maddie and Marry.
    • Target foil streamers and gold patterned lanterns (not shown). 
    • Crystal “Rock Cut” pattern dessert plates Tiffany & Co.
    • Apothocary Jars and light strings Fred Meyer. 
    • Gold rim glasses, photo booth props vases and red silk carnations Dollar Tree.

    All photos by Elizabeth Curtiss