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How to Throw a 1930s Theme Party

One of Kitty's dream jobs is to be a party planner. She finds joy in planning parties for children and adults alike!

Decade Party of the 1930s

So you want to throw the party of the century? Why not throw a party focused on one particular decade? There's ten decades from last century to choose from, all being very interesting and fun to put together. But this particular article will go into detail about how to throw a 1930s theme party.

The 1930s was a decade in which many people in the United States lived in poverty. The Great Depression was in full effect, but still there were those who wouldn't let the Depression get them down. Show your support for the beauty of the 1930s and recreate this mysteriously lovely decade at your next Birthday or Cocktail Party!

How to Decorate a la 1930s

Setting aside the fact that the Great Depression was in full swing in the 1930s, for a 1930s theme party decorations should really be more along the line of what the wealthy would have had. Of course that decision is up to you, but for our sake and purpose we'll look at some decoration ideas that might have only been seen in a wealthier person's home in the 1930s.

  • Art Deco

Art Deco was pretty popular in the 1930s among the rich and famous.
You could do a centralized theme of your 1930s party in Art Deco. Cheap Art Deco posters can be found online and then generously hung on the walls around your party area. Or if you don't want to purchase a set of art deco posters, simply find an image you like and print it out on photo paper. You can frame them in art deco (or art deco-like) frames found at a thrift store!

If you have some old wall sconces and candle holders around your house, dust them off and set them around to create an ambiance of the 1930s. The 1930s saw a lot of wall sconces being used, specifically in art deco style. Check out your grandma's home for items that might look like pieces from the might be surprised what she has in that musty old attic. Again, if you can't find anything of the sort, do a search of your local thrift stores. You can always paint some wall sconces gold or silver to make them appear art deco.

Silver, gold, black, red, and green are all wonderful colors to use in your 1930s theme party. Check out the red polka dot cup set from the 1930s above. How adorable and perfect for a party! If you can find real antique pieces from the 1930s, that is even better. That means that your 1930s theme party would be truly authentic, and no doubt you would want to re-use your party supplies over and over for future parties and holidays. Check out and ebay for wonderful antique pieces from the 1930s and beyond.

Another idea is to print pictures of famous Hollywood movie stars of the 1930s and hang them around the party area. Some famous stars from the 1930s include: Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Ginger Rogers, and Fred Astaire.

And please don't forget the wonderfully 1930s art deco cocktail bar!

1930s Theme Party Decor Ideas

What to Wear a la 1930s

What was more beautiful in the 1930s besides art deco? The gorgeous clothes, of course! Now to be realistic, many people wore clothing that might not have been flattering or even cost a lot of money because let's face it - times were hard. But when they got dressed up? Knock-outs, for sure. Check out some of the real pictures from the 1930s to the right to see how elaborate and gorgeous the people dressed in the '30s.

To mimic a 1930s look for your 1930s theme party, there are many options for both men and women.

Guys - pin-striped suits with the perfect hat will do just fine. Fedora hats, trilby hats, and the flat crown straw hat was popular in the 1930s for guys. You could even try to pull off a zoot suit riot, if you had enough attitude. Accessorize with a cigar, pocket watch, and suspenders for a tough '30s look. Or go for a total rebellious look and opt for a plain white t-shirt, vintage levi jeans, and black suspenders...don't forget the hat.

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Ladies - much of the flapper and drop-waist looks from the 1920s can be worn as a look for the 1930s. Many women continued to wear the 1920s style well into the 1930s, while others phased out the shorter skirts and wore the traditional longer hem-line. Short hair in waves and curls was still popular into the late 1930s, so if you can pull off a finger-wave hair-do you are in! Or go all out and dress like an Old Hollywood star in a gorgeous vintage-repro cocktail gown. Accessorize with a cute gold or silver clutch bag, the perfect pair of heels, a long strand of pearls, and sexy make-up.

Written and copyright © by Kitty the Dreamer (May Canfield), 2012. All Rights Reserved.

1930s Theme Party Costume Ideas


Kristen Mazzola from South Florida on April 16, 2013:

What fun ideas!! So cute! I always am looking for my next theme for a halloween party! This might have to be it!

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on December 29, 2012:

Thanks and Happy new year to you, Mike!

Mike Robbers from London on December 29, 2012:

Cool hub :) Happy New Year! Voted up and shared.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on December 26, 2012:

Thanks again, love.

ChleotheWitch on December 25, 2012:

Awesome Hub organizing and putting this Hub together. I love the pictures you used and how you organized it. Keep up the amazing work! :)

glamourous06 from United Kingdom on October 29, 2012:

awesome lens, great inspiration, thank you so much for sharing

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on September 17, 2012:

Thanks, AP. I agree with everything minus the bullet holes...bullets aren't much fun when aimed at you, ya know? :)

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on September 16, 2012:

Yes indeedy I like the 30s era very much kitty; nice one on how to throw a 30s themed party. maybe some quests will have those Al Capone cars with the fake bullet holes. Just give some wing-tip shoes, pin-striped coat and a fedora and I'll be right over for the fun times! Up n interest Moll Kitty!

ignugent17 on September 14, 2012:

Very interesting. I would keep this idea and maybe I will have a party like this someday.

Thanks for all this fun tips.

Have a good day!

Rich from Kentucky on September 14, 2012:

Kitty -

My, you're full of surprises! : ) Very well done hub and great ideas for a party. Great job and fun hub!

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on September 13, 2012:

Thanks, carol! You're too sweet. :)

carol stanley from Arizona on September 13, 2012:

What fun to read this. You did a great job with photos and research. I am voting up and sharing.

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