If you’re looking to add some serious glitz and glamour to your party repertoire, look no further than a Great Gatsby themed party. This ultra-chic soiree is perfect for any special occasion (proms, birthday parties, or even a wedding). So gather your flappers and bootleggers, and get ready to party like it’s the 1920s!
1920s themed parties are all the rage right now.
I mean who doesn’t love the roaring twenties? The style, the music, the parties!
So when I was planning to throw a fabulous New Year’s Eve party, a Great Gatsby theme with a speakeasy vibe came to mind immediately.
And since I’m all about over-the-top party decor, I knew this theme would be right up my alley.
In fact, I had so many ideas that I couldn’t do them all.
Which means that I’m going to be sharing the Great Gatsby party ideas I used along with some of the ones I didn’t get to, just in case you find them helpful.
So let’s get started.
1 | Send invitations
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I have to admit that most of the time, my party invitations consist of a text message.
But for some reason a Great Gatsby themed party seemed like it needed something a bit more.
And I was looking for an excuse to use my Cricut.
So I made these awesome Art Deco style invitations that look like the gate of a fancy old mansion. (Definitely not a representation of where I live).
They were quite a bit of work but I think the end result was worth the effort!
2 | Create a speakeasy entrance
Since the 1920’s were all about prohibition, creating a hidden speakeasy entrance was a great way to set the tone for the party.
I created an alley in my garage and had all the guests come in that way instead of through the front door.
Adding some boxes of liquor and fake money created a photo op before they even got to the door.
3 | Make some Gatsby-inspired Signs
The Great Gatsby was all about big, over-the-top parties that everyone wanted to attend (my kind of guy!).
To let everyone know what they’re in for, this “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” sign is perfect.
Since I’m not very good at hand lettering, I made my own version of this sign using my Cricut.
Or if you don’t want to do that much work, you can make some easy Great Gatsby party decorations by printing off a few signs and putting them in frames.
Like this “Prohibition ends here” sign that I put by the bar.
Or just tape them to the wall.
Like this “Time to drink champagne & dance on the tables” sign.
4 | Collect cards
If you’re looking to collect some cards for your party, this Gatsby-inspired gold bird cage* is perfect!
The Art Deco style will go perfectly with your Great Gatsby party or wedding theme.
5 | Hang balloons from the ceiling
Hanging decorations from the ceiling is one of my favorite ways to add drama to party decor. (And Gatsby was definitely about the drama!)
These balloons make everyone look up as soon as they walk in the door, and create an atmosphere that’s hard to forget.
I got this idea from save-on-crafts.com, except I didn’t have time to put up as many as they did 🙂
The clear or gold metallic balloons* almost look like champagne bubbles…perfect for a Great Gatsby party!
6 | Glam up your chairs
Adding some faux pearls* to the backs of your chairs makes them look like they’re wearing a pearl necklace. How appropriate is that?
And if you want to go all out, these Chiavari chairs with the gold bamboo backs* are perfect for this!
Of course, you could just drape the faux pearls over the backs of your existing chairs (which is much less expensive!)
7 | Add some ostrich feather centerpieces
I love these ostrich feather centerpieces!
With the big white feathers and clear beads, they add that extra sparkle that is perfect for the Great Gatsby theme.
I put them all around the room, in places where they won’t get knocked over.
But you could also use them for table centerpieces if you want something tall and dramatic.
These are also really easy to make. Which is always a bonus in my books.
8 | Hang beaded curtains
I hung a clear beaded screen between the dance floor and the dining area.
And I love the way the light bounces off it to create a subtle division that you can still see through.
9 | Put up chandeliers
You can’t have a glam Gatsby event without a bunch of chandeliers.
I hung plastic party chandeliers (like these ones*) from the ceiling above the dance floor to give it some extra sparkle.
Even if they’re not real, they still set the mood that we’re going for.
10 | Use a backdrop
If you really want to make a statement, try covering your walls with an Art Deco scene setter. (I used this black and gold backdrop*).
It is especially helpful in covering up walls that don’t go with the theme (or just don’t look that great).
Get more information on scene setters and how to hang them here.
In the past, I have also hung curtains and covered the walls in wrapping paper to accomplish a similar look.
11 | Make wine bottle centerpieces
Wine bottles are one of my favorite ways to create centerpieces without spending a lot of money.
Adding some metallic gold paint, lace and faux pearls will make them fit right in with the Gatsby theme.
12 | Add Glass candle holders
Make simple candle centerpieces using sand and faux pearls.
They’re elegant, really easy to make, and very inexpensive…perfect for when you need to make a lot of them!
And there’s lots of flexibility for what to make them in. You can use a traditional candle holder like the one above.
Or substitute a stemless wine glass for the candle holder.
Putting the glass on top of a candle stand (meant for pillar candles) lets you vary the height if you want more than one on a table.
It has the added bonus that, since it’s a wine glass, you can re-use it after the party for its regular purpose.
Finally, you can use a small glass vase if you want your candle centerpiece to have more of a vase-type shape.
If you prefer to buy your centerpieces rather than make them, candelabras with crystals and white roses add elegance to any setting.
You can find more Gatsby centerpiece ideas here.
13 | Make Gatsby-inspired candles
Another trick I like to do to create inexpensive candles for a party theme is to wrap ribbons around flame-less pillar candles.
For my Gatsby party, I did this with black and gold ribbons, as well as some black and gold Art Deco printables.
You can find out all the details HERE.
14 | Use gold and black table settings
Gold and black are the main colors of this theme, so having gold and black table settings is a natural part of the decor.
I used a black tablecloth with gold chargers, white and gold plates, and gold and black appetizer plates.
Black napkins with a gold napkin ring add the finishing touch.
15 | Create a Great Gatsby themed dessert table
The easiest way to create a dessert table that goes with the theme is to make a stunning backdrop for it, like this Art Deco design from thepartyteacher.com.
I made a similar (but smaller) version from foam board.
It’s not at all expensive and definitely makes a statement. (Stay tuned for the tutorial).
Of course, since I used the Gatsby saying ‘A party without cake is just a meeting’ on the sign, I had to put a cake right below it.
But normally for parties, I stick to desserts that come in individual sizes (like cookies, tarts and cupcakes). They’re just so much easier to serve!
16 | Decorate Gatsby themed Oreo cookies
Speaking of the dessert table, I have a couple of suggestions for desserts that will carry on the theme.
I originally got the idea of gold-trimmed Oreo cookies from seeing these beautiful Tuxedo and Pearls Oreo cookies on igottacreate.blogspot.ca and thought I could do something similar for my Great Gatsby party.
They are relatively easy to make, fit right in with the decor and everyone loved them!
It’s amazing how good Oreos taste when coated with white chocolate 🙂
17 | Make Gatsby cupcakes and toppers
However, if you don’t want to make the cupcakes from scratch, you can buy them already made and just add the gold accessories.
Then to make sure they made a statement, I printed off some DIY cupcake toppers with Gatsby sayings on them. (Stay tuned for the printables.)
18 | Set up a Candy Buffet
The candy table is one of my go-to dessert table options when I don’t feel like doing a lot of cooking.
You can easily make the table feel like part of the Great Gatsby party theme by putting on a black tablecloth and adding a gold runner down the middle.
Then stock it with white and black candies and chocolates with gold wrappers to carry on the color scheme.
Using these pretty apothecary jars* is an elegant way to create the display.
19 | Add some more feathers
Just in case you feel like your tables are still missing something, you can sprinkle some of these gold-tipped feathers on them to add more of that over-the-top roaring 20’s decor.
Or if you’re not in the DIY mood, you can buy gold dipped feathers* from Amazon.
20 | Serve drinks from decanters
Serve your drinks in decanters, from a bar cart (if you have one).
Everything looks more sophisticated when it is poured from a crystal bottle like this decanter*.
And they look much more expensive than they actually are.
21 | Use an old-school cocktail shaker
You will really set a roaring 20’s vibe to your party by mixing your drinks in an old-school cocktail shaker.
Then serve them in old-school cocktail glasses to continue the theme.
22 | Serve champagne in coupe glasses
Serve champagne (or sparkling wine) in coupe glasses*.
If you have a safe place to stack champagne glasses, this champagne glass pyramid makes a stunning focal point.
I have never been brave enough to try this with real glasses, but apparently if you stack them just right, you can pour the champagne in the top ones and it will run down into the other ones.
I took the easy way out and made a fake champagne glass tower out of plastic glasses that are glued together. It still looks good and nothing will break if it gets knocked over!
Another option is to set up a champagne fountain*.
It lets people help themselves to a glass of bubbly, and is a little easier to manage.
23 | Make champagne jello shots
I served these champagne jello shots sprinkled with gold sugar crystals at my Gatsby themed party.
Jello shots are always one of my go-to party drinks since you can make them ahead of time and they’re so easy to do.
24 | Create glam drink stirrers
These Pop, Fizz, Clink DIY drink stirrers have all the glam you need to go with your Great Gatsby cocktails.
And they’re super easy to make!
Many of the sites that I have linked to above have more awesome Great Gatsby Party ideas so be sure to check them out. With all of this inspiration your party is sure to be a success!
Other party themes you might like
Have comments or questions on our Great Gatsby themed party ideas? Tell us in the section below.
This post was originally published on December 23, 2015 but was updated with new content on September 5, 2023.