A 1920s Theme Party
That Brings Alive The Wonders Of
"The Jazz Age"


A 1920s theme party will be the first step back into this wonderful decade for most of us. It was a decade of discovery, heroism and a new way of living.

A time that saw the young generation shed the Victorian age in favor of a more modern era. The waltz was traded in for dances like the Charleston, the fashions called for shorter hair, higher hemlines and heavy makeup. The family now gathered around the radio instead of the piano in the evenings and organized crime was on the rise due to Prohibition.

INVITATIONS

Flapper
Cut out the invitation in the shape of a dress. Complete with fringe and beaded necklaces.

Gangster
Cut out the invitation in the shape of a pinstriped suit. Complete with tie, handkerchief and pocket watch.

Speakeasy
Cut out the invitation in the shape of a drab building with a dark door. On the inside use lots of bold and bright colors.

Newspaper
Use an event such as the flight of Charles Lindbergh in an article. Change the wording to convey the information of your 1920s theme party invite.

Other items you might want to use on an invitation could include:

  • martini glasses
  • champagne glasses
  • pictures of popular celebrities, movies or books
  • flasks
  • old fashioned radio
  • 1920s style car

DECORATING

Great Gatsby
If you are looking to create a high end style for your 1920s theme party then you will want to think along the same lines as Gatsby and his friends. They were the type to dine in the finest New York clubs, trendy ethnic restaurants (Chinatown) or have an elegantly catered dinner at home.

Speakeasy
Perhaps you would like to create the mood and atmosphere of a speakeasy. An underground club that would sell illegal alcoholic beverages supplied by gangsters such as Al Capone. In order to gain entrance you had to speak in a low voice through a small opening in the back door to tell the attendant inside who it was who sent you. These establishments could either be elegant with bars, dance floors, orchestra and dining rooms or drab cellars with no thought to decor.


Whether you choose to host a re-creation of a high end party, underground club or an average home setting let's look at some other ways to bring about the atmosphere of a 1920s theme party.

Posters of movies made during the 1920's:

  • Way Down East (1920)
  • Over the Hill to the Poorhouse (1920)
  • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
  • The Kid (1921)
  • The Ten Commandments (1923)
  • The Covered Wagon (1923)
  • The Big Parade (1925)
  • Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
  • The Gold Rush (1925)
  • Aloma of the South Seas (1926)
  • The Jazz Singer (1927) - the first "talkie"
  • Wings (1927)
  • The Singing Fool (1928)
  • The Broadway Melody (1929)

Pictures of popular celebrities:

  • Charles Lindbergh
  • Albert Einstein
  • Babe Ruth
  • Al Capone
  • Gertrude Ederle
  • Rudolph Valentino
  • Greta Garbo
  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Mary Pickford
  • Rin Tin Tin
  • Mickey Mouse

If you do not want to spend the money to purchase the posters/pictures, especially if you are not planning on hosting another 1920s theme party in the near future, try to search online for what you are looking for and print them off your computer. You can place them in your current picture frames or hang them on the wall in a collage.

Simple flowers on the table or around the room:

  • Asparagus Fern
  • Crocuses (white or yellow)
  • Carnations (pink)
  • Daffodils
  • Pussywillows
  • Violets
  • White Narcissi

MUSIC

Check out your local library or itunes for compilations of music from the 1920s. Some of the more popular singers and bands during this time were:

  • Ma Rainey "The Mother of the Blues"
  • King Oliver
  • Paul Whiteman (very popular band/orchestra leader)
  • Bessie Smith
  • Jelly-Roll Morton
  • Ethel Waters

FAVORS


Deck of cards wrapped in plain paper with a picture of a 1920s symbol such as a celebrity or movie.

Flasks for "Bootleg Whiskey"

Book of Crossword puzzles which were very popular during the 1920s

Candy - place in martini glasses or tie up in silk handkerchief. Take a look at some of the sweets that were introduced in the 1920s:

  • Oh Henry! (1920)
  • Mounds (1920)
  • Gummi Bears (1922)
  • Clark Bars (1922)
  • Baby Ruth (1922)
  • Fruit flavored Life Savers (1924)
  • Milk Duds (1926)
  • Pez (1927)
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (1928)

GAMES / ACTIVITIES

Trivia of the 1920's

Costume contest

  • Flappers
    Bo
    bbed hairstyle, straight dress with no sleeves and a waistline dropped to the hip, skirts just below the knee, silk or rayon stockings held up with garters, high heels, cloche (bell-shaped) hat, layers of beaded necklaces, black kohl-rimmed eyes, blush and red lips.

  • Gangster
    Pinstriped suit, solid-colored tie, silk handkerchief in breast pocket, fedora hat, expensive jewelry, pocket watch with chain, pistol or tommy gun, flask and slicked hair.

Dancing
Try learning one of the following dances:

  • Charleston
  • Black Bottom
  • Texas Tommy

FOOD

What were the foods that were popular in the 1920's? In the city many kitchens were now wired with electricity which meant that foods could be safely refrigerated at home. This was also the era of prohibition so many recipes calling for alcohol had to be adjusted or discarded altogether. The effect was that we needed to be creative in the kitchen.

  • Coca-Cola, Ginger Ale, 7-Up (1929), Lemonade, Kool-Aid (1927), Punch, Coffee, Cocoa, Orange Pekoe tea

  • Fruit cocktails, Deviled eggs, Salted nuts

  • Jello-O molds, Waldorf salad, Caesar salad (1924)

  • Tea sandwiches - peanut butter & jelly, ham, turkey, chicken salad, tomato, egg salad and cream cheese

  • Pineapple upside down cake, Ice cream & chocolate sauce, Chocolate pudding, Popsicles (1923)

  • Chinese food was popular during the 1920's


Alcoholic Drinks
- found in Speakeasies

  • Champagne
  • Brandy Sours
  • Minute Man Highballs
  • Stingers
  • Charleston Bracers
  • Martinis
  • Cholera Cocktails
  • Orange Gin Sparkles
  • Palm Beach Specials
  • Locomotives
  • Whiskey Smashes




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