If you grew up in the 80’s then you remember the bright neon colors, the crazy hair and the most fun music there has ever been. So many things we experience today are based on the fun and ridiculousness of that decade. I love revisiting this time period when throwing a great party. I’ve thrown a few great 80’s parties in my lifetime but I was really inspired by some of the great ideas and decorations that I saw when I attended the DIY design blogger conference, Haven, in 2019 by the event’s creative mastermind and co-founder Kristin Stockdale. Here are a few of my favorite 80’s party decorations to help at your next party!
80s Party Decorations: Photo Booth
When you are getting people together and they are dressed up for a theme, it is great to have a place where they can commemorate the evening with a photo. My personal requirements for a good photo booth are simple.
Basic 80s Party Photo Booth needs
- Back drop- this can either be a neutral curtained back drop or one that fits with a specific 80’s party theme.
- Cute Props
- Camera/Phone Tripod
- Good lighting
- Instant Print camera
80s Party Photo Booth Back Drop Themes
- Rock and Roll back drop
- 80’s Hip Hop Photo Booth
- Glamour Shots Back Drop
80s Party Decoration Photo Booth Props
Props for a photo booth are always necessary to up the fun. This allows people who are less comfortable in a photographic situation to get to participate without anxiety.
80s Photo Props (32 Pieces) for Photo Booths, Parties and More! Our Photo Prop Party Favors are Pre-Made (Not DIY) for Your Convenience!
Feather Boa Set of Vibrant Colors – Fits Any Occasion – Mardi Gras Decorations – Party Supplies – Costume Boas – 6.6ft, Long Feather Boas – Fluffy – Eco-Friendly (Rainbow (6pcs), 40g)
Other Fun 80s Party Prop Ideas:
Pop by your local thrift store and see if you can find some of these clothing items to throw into the mix!
- Leopard print
- Funny formal wear
If you are near a good costume party store you may be able to find these easily.
- Classic mullet
- Hair Metal Wig
- the “Joan Jett”
80’s Party Decoration Ideas- Photo Booth Camera and Lighting needs
Having a good camera set up is important.
- I have a small gorilla tripod
- It’s great for this style of photo booth because it holds to anything it can wrap around.
- If I want to move the photo booth to a different location or have it in an area where a traditional tripod wouldn’t work, I can clip it to a branch or overhang.
- Perfect if you already have good lighting for the booth
If you want the complete package, this light ring and tripod combination is perfect.
- Adjustable heights
- Ring light provides the perfect lighting for your location
- Has a phone holder if you are using your cellphone for photos
Instant print camera
There are several different instant print cameras available these days. This warms my heart coming from the era of the Polaroids covering my bedroom wall.
- Quick printing with no ink to refill in less than a minute
- Optional sticker backing for decorative use
- Easy to use and refill
80’s Party Decoration Ideas: Tablescapes and Table Decorations
There are many table options when throwing a party. Once you have decided on the style and amount of tables you will have, you will be able to decide your direction on decorations. Tables to consider:
- Large party with round tables in need of decoration
- Smaller party tables- like high cocktail tables
- Food and drink tables
80’s Party Decoration Ideas: Tablescape needs
For the table you will want to have:
- Themed table cloths
- Optional layered neon/bright color table cloths
- Statement centerpiece with height
- Layers of thematic pieces
80’s party decoration table cloths-
GIFTEXPRESS 2-Pack Black & White Checkered Flag Table Cover Party Favor/Checkered Tablecloth/Disposable Checkered Racing Table Cover/Check Table Cover (2)
Curated Nirvana Wild Stripes Animal Print Table Cover Bundle | Tiger, Zebra & Leopard Print Jungle Theme Table Cloths
80’s Tablecover Party Accessory (1 count) (1/Pkg)
12 Plastic Tablecloths – Lime Green, Sunshine Yellow, Orange – Premium Thickness Disposable Table Cover, 108 x 54 Inch, 4 Each Color
80’s Party Decoration Ideas: Paint Bucket Table Supplies
300 Glow Sticks Bulk Party Supplies – Glow in The Dark Fun Party Pack with 8″ Glowsticks and Connectors for Bracelets and Necklaces for Kids and Adults
United Solutions 2-Gallon Residential Food Grade General Bucket FDA approved Pail Food Beverage Storage Container
- To set up the “paint spill” you will need to create a stand.
- This can be done easily with a post and weighted base similar to a paper towel holder.
- You will want this to be at least 24″ in height.
- Drape cloth over stand with enough excess fabric to “pool” over the base of stand and onto table
- Place bucket on the stand into the corner base seam of bucket
- If having trouble “balancing” bucket on its side, place a wash cloth or excess material in corner seam to adjust weight
80’s Party Decorations: Party Packs
There are so many party packs available to help this theme be everything you want it to be.
- Vinyl Records
- Themed Cut outs
12 Pack 11″ Safari Print Latex Balloons Zebra Cheetah Leopard Tiger with Matching Ribbons
11pc I Totally Love 80’s Balloon Bouquet Happy Birthday Neon Party Theme Boombox
Blacklight Party Balloons – Black with Neon Polka Dots that Glow in the Dark under Blacklight – 25 Pack of 11 inch Latex Balloons
80’s Value Pack Party Swirl Decorating Kit
Beistle 53410 I Love The 80’s Streamers 2 Piece, 7″ x 6′, Multicolored
Adorox Metallic Silver Gold Rainbow Photo Backdrop Foil Fringe Curtains Party Wedding Event Decoration (Metallic Rainbow)
Record Cutouts Rock and Roll Music Party Two Sided Decoration 30pcs 7 Inches
80’s Party Decorations: Mantel and Centerpiece Ideas
If the paint bucket spill look isn’t what you want for your tablescape or if you are looking for something to go on the mantel, I found this video that had some great ideas. Note: If you are going to make the vinyl bowls, they are not food safe!
I personally like the cassette tape vase. Here’s how they are made.
Items Needed For Cassette Tape Vase:
- Tall, clear vase (Glass or plastic)
- Colorful beads or rocks
- Old cassette tapes (or new if you can’t find any)
- 80’s Colored spray paint
- Paint the cassettes in various colors
- Fill vase to desired height with beads or stones
- Stack painted tapes in however you’d like
This is so simple. It’s so cute, you could even use it for everyday decoration too. I can hear my children now, “Mom, what are thoooooose?” lol
80s Party Decoration Ideas for Front door/ Porch
I’m totally digging these 80’s arcade machine cut outs. I would do one of these on the front door.
80’s Colour Golden Age Video Arcade Game Life Size Cardboard Cutout SC1025
Place some fun signs around the outside of the house to add to the thematic nature of the arcade.
Add other arcade themed items around the porch.
CHENXI LED Arcade Shop Open Sign Special Offer Graphics Ultra Bright Flashing 10 x19 Inch(48X25 cm) Store Signboard (48 X 25 cm, Arcade)
Line the walkways with fun LED lights- this will bring in the arcade feeling from the moment guests arrive to the house.
Bebrant LED Rope Lights Battery Operated String Lights-40Ft 120 LEDs 8 Modes Outdoor Waterproof Fairy Lights Dimmable/Timer with Remote for Garden Camping Party Decoration (Multi-Color)
I would also pick up different sized cardboard boxes and make large rubik’s cubes that can stack in any free space on the porch.
- These can be easily made with 3 cardboard boxes- 12″ cube, 15″ cube and 20″ cube
- Paint each side a different color
- Use black duct tape or electrical tape to create the edges of the squares
- Stack on of each other at different angles
80’s Party Decoration Ideas: Cotton Candy Maker
Bringing it back. Cotton candy is a great novelty item and the machines these days are inexpensive to buy, or you can rent one. By adding cute light up sticks, everyone will have a blast enjoying this retro treat!
If you have space, booking a themed band to play the night would be so much fun. Find a band that specializes in the classic 80’s music and recreate that awesome dance party from yesteryear! This is the band Electric Avenue who’s was the guest at the 2019 Haven Conference Finale party. They were amazing. Here’s their booking page.
I hope you enjoyed this fun 80’s Party Decoration ideas list! May your next gathering be an event to remember!
Kim Anderson is the organized chaos loving author behind the Thrifty Little Mom Blog. She helps other people who thrive in organized chaos to stress less, remember more and feel in control of their time, money, and home. Kim is the author of: Live, Save, Spend, Repeat: The Life You Want with the Money You Have. She’s been featured on Time.com, Money.com, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, and more!