How To: Throw A Retro 50’s Diner Themed Party

Transport back to the 50’s and host the ultimate retro diner themed party! I was first inspired to pick this theme for my party after visiting Daddy O Doughnuts the cutest little retro doughnut shop just outside of downtown Toronto. After visiting there, all the ideas starting flowing, and the fun part of planning  the flashback to the 50’s began!

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Once I had the theme, I was pleasantly surprised to see how much I could do with it. I didn’t want to impose on my guests to have to put too much effort or money into their themed outfit, but still wanted them to have fun with it. With that being said, everyone gave it 110% and looked so amazing!

If you have followed along with any of my previous parties, you will have noticed that once the theme is picked, I pretty much go into full party planning mode. It starts with the colour theme all the way through to decorations and on-theme food and drinks. Right away I knew I wanted the classic aqua blue, pink, red, black, white, and of course checkered!

The fashion in the 50’s really looked like so much fun, and a lot of the old styles have come back. One quick look for an outfit at the mall made me realize how full skirts, polka dots, neck-ties and cat eye sunglasses were taking the shelves by storm, and I was allllll for it!

With that being said, it is usually the girls who are more into dressing up, and had more options when it comes to variation on 50’s inspired looks- I think us ladies killed it! The boys actually knocked it out of the park too with their James Dean digs and totally played the part of cool greasers.

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Food is always an important part at any party and I had so much fun coming up with the menu. I kept it pretty simple with a major nod to classic diner grub. I went with sliders, fries, hot dogs (which were on a functioning hot dog roller), movie-theatre popcorn, fountain drinks, homemade soda floats and milkshakes, snow cones, cotton candy, and of course, all the retro-themed candy from that time that I could possibly find! I found the cutest red plastic baskets with the classic checkered paper liners in them along with condiment bottles at Party Packagers. I picked up the mini glass coke glasses that were 2 for $1 from the Dollar Tree and the float glasses from Bed Bath and Beyond. One search online and I found a ton of Coca Cola themed kitchen items, which ended up working out perfectly on the food table and really fit in with the theme.

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The decor surrounding the rest of the party were old vinyl records lent to me from my grandma and my fiancé’s parents, it was really special to be able to have actual records from so long ago out on display! We also came across an old camera and camcorder when we were digging for records, and of course, no 50’s party is complete without an authentic turntable!

When I decided on this theme I instantly remembered this incredible old ’55 Chevy painting that my brother had in his room, and luckily after all these years he still had it. It was so cool to see that the headlights and taillights still light up too! I also made a backdrop that was designed to look like stools in a diner (I ordered the stickers on Amazon and added them to plastic table cloths), it was finished off with a plastic checkered table cloth.  While I was looking online I also came across this 10-pack of cardboard cut-outs that I tied with fishing line and hung around the party. I kept costs down by building my own backdrop, most complete ones I saw were $50.00 and I made this one for around $15.0 total! It’s a fun for guests to take pictures in front of and was a huge part of the overall decor.

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No birthday party is complete without a cake and this was definitely the centrepiece to my entire food table! I was lucky enough to have the creative mind of Sweet and Shy Cake Co. behind the amazing retro diner-themed cake. Check out Shay of Sweet and Shy Cake Co.’s  Instagram for pics of all her sweet creations! I had given some ideas but really let her take the wheel on this one, and she did such an amazing job picking up on all the small details of the theme.  Once we dug into the cake we were hit with this amazing orange creamsicle flavoured icing (talk about the icing on top of a cake). Such a small little detail did not go unnoticed and it was such a personal and thoughtful touch! I just loved the name banner at the top of the cake and could not have been happier with how it turned out .

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Having help cut the cake HAHA952FBDB3-4012-4F9E-A7FB-D80E0A0FC74C2811E37B-7E4E-4185-BBC1-5F4321D47D9FEBC0E808-8CA3-463F-A513-D5E8AD083338B359B9FE-0EB9-4F66-BC79-D67D14C539A0

Cake c/o: Sweet and Shy Cake Co. 

I am so grateful for all my friends who made it out through a terrible storm to come help me celebrate, and to my fiancé of course for helping me pull off yet another themed birthday bash (when will I be too old for this?! NEVER I SAY!)

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This was one of my favourite themes to do yet, and I already can’t wait to start planning the next one!

Thanks for stopping in!

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And of course, the super talented work on Facetime With Daniela for giving me the most flawless makeup ever (no filter required!) Check out her Instagram to follow along with all her luxury makeup artistry!

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xoxo,

Sara

Talk Derby To Me- DIY Derby Party

Anyone that knows me knows I am the biggest fan of themed parties so when a friend suggested doing a Kentucky Derby themed party I jumped at the idea. I also love to decorate and party plan, and so the fun began…

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If you are like me and have always wanted to attend the Kentucky Derby but just can’t fathom the cost, this was a great alternative and fun to see everyone dress up in their best Derby attire. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones that gets to attend the coveted Derby and rock a beautiful floral dress and elaborate hat/fascinator, why not try an at-home version instead?

The Attire:

What’s even more important than the race itself is all the beautiful fashion that comes with it. I have to say I’m guilty for following along every year on social media only to check out the derby style with the upmost envy!

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Fascinator: Obsessions Fashion, Dress: Banana Republic

The good news is, since you will be doing a DIY version your outfit really doesn’t have to break the bank! For the ladies, you’re more than likely to find a floral or flowy dress already in your closet! The Kentucky Derby is known for its over the top hats and fascinators so having one is a must!  Finding a big floppy hat or fascinator will really top off your look! A lot of my friends bought hats from the dollarstore and then glued on flowers and they looked amazing!  For the gentlemen, wear a pair khakis or pastel coloured pants and throw on fun colour/print shirt, a sports jacket and of course, a bowtie and straw fedora!IMG_5007

My favourite accessory store (Obsessions Fashion) gifted me with this beautiful white fascinator adorned with small feather details and stunning veil.

Sips/Snacks:

I kept the food to a minimum so the focus would be on the fun games and everyone socializing! Of course no Derby is complete without mint juleps. I made a large jug of it using (Powdered sugar, Bourbon whiskey, Water, and Mint leaves  ). Add some fun straws into mason jars or traditional julep silver cups to get the real experience! Next on the food table were mini pulled pork sliders, easy to pick up and eat. The pork was cooked in bourbon bbq sauce (bourbon whisky is the liquor of the South).

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Bourbon Barrel Stout and Bourbon Whisky straight from Kentucky were the perfect touch to the bar!

AG Macarons donated this beautiful assortment of colourful French macarons that matched perfectly with the décor on the table and were to die for!

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Now to the Cadillac of cakes…this 14k gold dipped cake from The Social Cupcake is seriously #cakegoals. When I was envisioning my Birthday cake this was exactly what I had in mind from top to bottom. I cannot thank the wonderful staff for making all my cake dreams come true, it made my Birthday extra special. I had also planned to have the cake match the photo booth wall.  The first tier was vanilla cake with classic buttercream icing and the second layer was red velvet with cream cheese icing. I still cannot get over every single detail of this cake and how intricate these flowers are (would you believe me if I told you they were edible, you better believe it!

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Décor:

Once I landed on doing a Kentucky Derby themed party I started to think of décor. After googling a few images right away tons of flowers popped up and the ideas starting flowing. Thanks to Bloomingful Flowers, guests were able to capture their Derby looks infront of this stunning customized 8 foot paper flower wall. Fill a box with lots of props and extra floppy hats, etc so the guests can get creative with their pictures and have something to remember 🙂

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 I picked up this fake grass from Homesense it was the perfect compliment to the floral backdrop!

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The illuminating circle lamp was the selfie light we didn’t know we needed in our lives.

The tissue paper flowers were so beautiful and exactly the look that I was going for a (indoor) garden party!

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I carried out the flower theme with the rest of the décor, adding it to the food table along with the entrance in the front foyer.

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The majority of the decor I found from Homesense or Winners. The white horse head (Winners), Green Leaf Balls (Homesense), Faux Flowers (Homesense), Stone Containers (Homesense), Plastic Trophies, Horses, Grass, , Mason Jars/Straws, Plastic White Fence (Dollarama), “Derby” Letters and Marquee Horseshoe (Michaels). IMG_4846

I used the hashtag “Talk Derby To Me” for the night because I love a good pun. This Lightbox by (My Cinema Lightbox) is a great decor piece that lets you get creative and express yourself with fun quotes or puns to really set the mood!  The adorable faux-fur wraps for the bottles I picked up from Winners.

Games:

No Derby party is complete without horse racing! I did a simple DIY version that had guests placing bets on toy horses to win the pot of money! I bought a green plastic tablecloth from Party City and then used green tape to outline the lines of the “track”. I made 6 starting positions where each of the players horses would start. For the horses, I picked up a package of toy horses from Dollarama and spray painted them gold. You will also need 6 dice.

Each player wagers $1 (or higher if you’re feeling lucky) and then each player rolls a dice to assign a horse. Next, roll all 6 of the dice, the number on the dice corresponds with which horse gets to move (i.e 662344- the “6” horse moves two spots, the “2” and “3” horse move 1 and the “4” horse moves two spots. First horse to cross the finish lines wins the pot!

Derby themed Bingo:

I printed off a number of bingo cards that had derby-themed sayings. This was simple to do since all I had to do was print and cut and have pens out for the players! I cut one card and placed all the sayings into a hat and pulled them from there.

Horseshoes:

Unfortunately with the cold weather we couldn’t do any outdoor games so I had to improvise with horseshoes by doing it indoors. I found a small plastic ring-toss game from the dollar store and spray painted it gold. It may not have been the best game of horseshoes but it did the trick and fit the theme, which was really what it was all about!

Bean-bag toss:

I picked up this game from Homesense for $29.00, quick and easy installation and safe to play indoors if you have the room to spread out the boards.

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Safe to say I got down and derby and horsed around all night!

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Sara