My daughter’s love of the 50s started when her school had a 50’s day earlier this year. And then she saw the movie “Grease” – Or at least, a modified version of Grease! She was hooked. So, it was only natural that she would want a 50s Sock Hop for her birthday party.
How to Host a Fabulous 50s Themed Birthday Party for Cheap
When you throw a themed party for a child, you want it to be unique, but no parent wants to spend said child’s college fund to make it so! The best way I’ve found to avoid excess cost when planning a party is lots of planning and lots of DIY.
There are SO many items you can use for inspiration! For our party, I started with the color scheme – pink, turquoise, black with shots of red for contrast then, including things that make me think of the 50s – pink Cadillacs, cherries, and diners. And, of course, it wouldn’t be the 50s without mid-century modern rounded shapes, black and white checks, jukeboxes and poodle skirts!
To keep costs low I designed a set of printables – everything from invitations to photo props – to perfectly coordinate with our 50s Sock Hop. Even more fun? I’m sharing the guide and pattern to make an adorable 50s Pink Cadillac Photo prop with you for FREE! I hope you’ll find just the inspiration and budget-friendly ideas you’ll need to make your 50s themed birthday party a huge success!
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PRINTABLES PACK.
A pink Cadillac convertible, with fuzzy dice, is the quintessential 50s car set the theme for our party.
The cupcake topper centers and retro-shapes were quick to put together with a circle punch, a hot glue gun, and lollipop sticks. I paired red and white polka dot liners to add interest and contrast.
Other elements I DIY’d included this oversized jukebox painted on kraft paper and a fun “Diner” sign on posterboard.
To keep costs low, and make it easy to execute, we served a simple “Diner” food menu. Sliders and Veggie “Fries,” Coca-Cola and Root Beer Floats, served in fun containers and snack boxes.
Fun cherry treats and fruit add to the 50s theme.
Chocolate pudding “malts,” topped with piped cool whip and a cherry, round out our diner-style options! Tip: Although you may be tempted to use Redi-whip, it tends to deflate. Cool whip will hold shape throughout the party. Fill a Ziploc bag with Cool whip, snip off one of the closed corners and pipe through the hole directly into a store-bought pudding cup. Top with a cherry – voila! Super cute and easy peasy!
A wee bit of a splurge, pink flamingo straws make everything more fun.
After blowing out the candles and our girl making her wish, guests had their choice of angel food cake with strawberry icing or vanilla, and chocolate cupcakes topped with retro shaped toppers. The cake and cupcakes were both store-bought. I purchased an un-iced angel food cake – you can get them at most grocery stores for under $4 – and added strawberry icing. A light sprinkling of nonpareils and a grocery store bouquet of over-dyed daisies is the perfect, custom topper for the cake!
Pink Ladies T-Shirts made out of a stencil, a sharpie and plain, cheap pink t-shirts, poodle skirts and neck scarfs in pinks, teals, and polka dots made the event! Everyone came dressed in their 50s best and danced the afternoon away. I made my girl’s poodle skirts following this tutorial, and used Walmart twin sheets for the fabric – they were inexpensive, and I could cut the patterns out in one piece.
No party is complete without a fun playlist. Fortunately, the 50’s era offers much to choose from!
The girls had a great time with the games we planned! Some ideas include:
- A Hula Hoop contest
- Limbo fantastic (even backward!)
- Hand jive lesson
- A bubblegum blowing contest
- Donut bobbing. It’s a tradition at our home to ALWAYS have donut bobbing at our parties.
Donut bobbing – A game in which you suspend three donuts from the ceiling. Each player stands in front of a donut, put their hands behind their backs, and must be the first to remove the entire donut from the string using only their mouths. Very, very un-ladylike. Awesome. Trust me.
Other activities included photo ops taken in a DIY pink Cadillac Cut-out. You can download the pattern and tutorial on how to make the fun car cut-out here if you’re interested in making your own!
After three hours of non-stop fun, we sent our well sugared fed friends home with pink goody bags embellished with a poodle that contained:
A polka dot neck scarf
Cat Eye Sunglasses
Roll-on Lip Gloss
Mini Nail Polish
Coke Bottle Gummy Candy
My daughter’s 50’s dreams realized, our 50’s themed party was a huge success, with fun had by all!
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You’ll find everything you need to throw a fabulous 50s theme party in this customizable at-home Printable Party decorating pack!
50s Party Pack Printables – $6.00
This PDF file includes:
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