How to Decorate for a Bad Taste Party

Christmas lawn display image by Micah Jared from

When it comes to theme parties, there is no shortage of ideas out there. One theme that is always popular is the intentionally tacky bad taste party. It's popularity can be attributed to the fact that it is easy for both the host and guests, as all of the accoutrements consist of things that most people have lying around their house already. Decorating for a bad taste party is relatively simple, and with a few steps, you can easily turn your home into a campy den of fun for all to enjoy.

Select a sub theme. Tacky is the goal, but it can have several manifestations. For example, around Christmas time, many people have bad sweater parties. Or, you might opt for a different retro route, such as a 1970s theme. Other people choose the homemade option; the more ragtag and improvised something looks, the better. For instance, table cloths fashioned out of newspapers duct-taped together works well for this sub theme.

Take inventory of what you have around the house. Decide what will work and what will not. You may very well have everything you need in your garage, or you may need to take a trip to your local second-hand store. Remember, the more unconventional, the better.

Pay attention to the small stuff. For example, plastic or dead flowers work well for minor decorations. Ideally, you want to temporarily hide anything that is aesthetically pleasing. Hanging an old, ironic movie poster has less of the desired effect if you leave your nice art hanging next to it.

Use props to your advantage. Mix and match decorations for different holidays. Place plastic palm trees in every corner. Girlie posters and cardboard beer cutouts work as well. Depending on you and your guests, every situation is different. As a rule of thumb, you want to have a feel for your guests and their normal pop-culture leanings, then select things that are the polar opposite of their usual sensibilities.

Remember the outside of your house. While you don't want to draw the ire of your neighbours, a few well-placed objects in your front yard will serve you well in terms of establishing a vibe. Plastic pink flamingos are a perennial favourite, but anything excessive that is deemed contrary to your normal style will suffice.

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