Retro 1950s party ideas and centerpieces

Written by lori soard
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Retro 1950s party ideas and centerpieces
Ask guests to dress up in 1950s clothes. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

When you think of the 1950s, you likely think of soda shops, drive-in theatres and sock hops. Take your guests into a soda shop with props like tall tables, jukeboxes and ice cream sundae glasses. Centrepieces can include items like bowls made from old records, retro candy towers and table jukeboxes.

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Party Decorations

Borrow leather biker jackets reminiscent of "Grease" or "Happy Days" and hang them around the room. Purchase a scene setter at your local party supply store or through an online site that has items like a jukebox, vinyl records and poodle skirts and hang around the room. Add a few cardboard cut outs of celebrities famous in the 1950s and place them around the room. Some celebrities might include Dean Martin, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.


Play games that will remind your guests of the 1950s. Hold a hula hoop contest. Create a photo opportunity and take pictures. Include blond wigs, sunglasses, sideburns or soda shop scenes. You may even want to purchase a pink car prop from one of the party supply stores. Hold a Double Dutch skipping rope contest. Other games that might have been played in the '50s include charades, Pin the Tail on the Donkey and drop the clothespin in the bottle.


Stick with soda shop fare for your menu. Include items like hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries and ice cream floats. You may want to let guests mix up their own milkshakes with various flavours or create their own sundaes.


Centrepieces can be as simple as scattering bubblegum across the table or as elaborate as renting table jukeboxes for each table. Party supply stores also offer small, inflatable or tissue paper jukeboxes for a fraction of the price.

Consider making some record bowls. Take an old vinyl record of your choice, and preheat your oven to 121 degrees C. Place a metal or glass bowl on top of a baking tray. Lay the record flat on top of the bowl. Place the entire baking tray, bowl and record into the preheated oven. Turn on the light and watch carefully. Within five to 10 minutes, the record will begin to melt a bit around the bowl. When it is the shape you want, use your oven gloves to pull the baking tray out of the oven. Allow to cool completely and remove from the bowl. Repeat to get the number of record bowls desired. You can then fill these with retro candy or leave them as-is for the centrepiece.

Goody Bags

Send home a loot bag with your guests to remind them of the party. Include items like yo-yos, Sugar Daddy candy, bubblegum, pencils with musical notes or white poodles and candy necklaces. Place everything into a pink goody bag and tie with a black ribbon. Add a small white poodle sticker to the front.

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