Throwing a Fabulous 50s themed party really can be simple and inexpensive. These DIY 50s party ideas and planning tips are the best way to keep your party in budget AND wow your guests

How to Host a Fabulous 50s Themed Birthday Party for Cheap


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.

When looking for 1950s party inspiration, it makes sense to start with the unique color scheme of the era - pink, turquoise, black with contrasting shots of red.   Then, add in popular trends of the time - mid-century modern looks in rounded shapes, black and white checks, jukeboxes, poodle skirts, pink Cadillacs, and diners!

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Our set of printables were made to perfectly coordinate with your 50s Sock Hop, and contains everything from customizable invitations to cupcake toppers.


birthday-party-50s-sock-hop - invitations_update

Make an adorable 50s Pink Cadillac Photo prop with our pattern and instructions (coming soon!).

Tabletop jukebox centerpieces are a cinch to put together with cardstock, double-sided tape, and grocery store flowers(coming soon).

<a href="" target="_blank"> 50s Party Cadillac Photo Prop Pattern</a> | <a href="" target="_blank"> See the 50s Sock Hop Party!</a>


Match polka dots of different sizes and colors with the black and white checks of a fringed backdrop and lay on marble contact paper to mimic a diner Formica counter. Various other prints with retro, mid-century modern style woven into the accessories help to carry the theme after the invitations.

birthday-party-50s-sock-hop - small snack box veggie fries

Pink flamingo mini lights helped to bring attention to our birthday banner. The cheery (cheesy) flamingos look so retro and fun against the DIY black and white fringed background! (COMING SOON) (hint: it cost me $5)


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Other elements to DIY include this oversized jukebox painted on kraft paper(pattern to come) and a fun "Diner" sign on posterboard (pattern to come).


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birthday-party-50s-sock-hop - diner menu board and desserts


No 50s diner is complete without a letter board highlighting all of your party offerings.


birthday-party-50s-sock-hop - all the food


Serve a simple "Diner" food menu; Sliders and Veggie "Fries," Coca-Cola and Root Beer Floats, served in fun containers and snack boxes.

Our cupcake toppers in retro-shapes are quick to put together with a circle punch, a hot glue gun, and lollipop sticks. Red and white polka dot liners add interest and contrast. Store-bought cupcakes and angel food cake are easy to dress up with nonpareils, cutting down on your preparations!


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Fun cherry treats, fruit, pudding “chocolate malts” round out the 50s theme.


birthday-party-50s-sock-hop - chocolate malts
Tip: Although it is tempting to use Redi-whip for your pudding “chocolate malts,” 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!



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Send your well-sugar-fed friends home with poodle-embellished pink goody bags filled with:


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Our 50's themed party was a huge success, with fun had by all! But, most importantly, the birthday girl had a peachy-keen time!


We strive to help you bring your trendy, dreamy, do-it-yourself projects to life and get you the creativity you crave, with project inspiration, printable templates, and tutorials that take from a dreamer to a do-er, from starter to finisher, and from fearful to empowered - in an hour, a day or a weekend - all while having fun. We offer projects you’ll love for the holidays, celebrations, and everyday life. Consider becoming a member!

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  1. Cathy on May 4, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Awesome post! I wish I was invited to the party LOL.
    Awesome post!

    I would love for you to link up to my TGIF Link Party! Who knows, you just might be featured next week!


    • Kim Young on May 6, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks, Cathy! I missed you this week, but I'll be sure to link up next!

  2. on May 4, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    This is super cute! You did a great job! I am a new follower from southern charm! I would love for you to stop by my blog and hopefully you will want to follow me back. Nicole!

    • Kim Young on May 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Hi Nicole! Thanks so much! I'm so glad to have you follow along and I was able to stop by your blog as well. Love it and I'm following along!

  3. Kristin on January 16, 2015 at 6:25 am

    Great info! We're having a sock hop at my daughter's elementary school in a few weeks, and I'd love to know how you did the cadillac cardboard cut-out for the photo booth. Did you have a pattern, or just free-style it from a refrigerator box? Either way, it's awesome 🙂 Thanks, Kristin

    • Kim Young on February 22, 2015 at 3:52 am

      Hi Kristin! Thanks so much. 🙂 I think I might be getting back to you a little late (sorry, it's been crazy) but thought I'd respond anyway in case. I had made it for 50s day at my daughter's school as well and they were nice enough to let us borrow it back for the party. Believe it or not, I actually used a tri-fold poster board. I followed a picture that I'd found online – I'll see if I can find it and update above – blew it up, printed it out on a million pieces of paper in draft and black and white, pieced it together and created the pattern. Then, I traced it, and painted it by hand. It was really fun project, and I believe they still use it today, 2 years later!

      • Tanya on March 9, 2017 at 5:57 am

        What dimension did you make it as looking to do the grease car as a photo booth for a 50th b’day party

        • admin on March 12, 2017 at 9:30 am

          Hi Tanya, I used a 36″x 48″ tri-fold foam board. On a table-top it would work for adults but it would be better if it were a bit larger without. I hope your party is fantastic!
          – Kim

  4. terry koosed on February 15, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Saved as a favorite, I like your website!

    • admin on February 17, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Thanks, Terry! I’m glad you found something fun and useful!

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