Category Archives: Carnival Theme

How to Host a 20 Year Reunion

One of the most important things to understand about hosting a 20-year reunion – or any reunion – is that outreach is as important to success as the big party itself. Start early to build anticipation and maximize participation.

Email and social media such as Facebook make this easier than ever. Chances are you already use Facebook, have joined the “You know you’re in/from [insert hometown here] if…” FB page, and have spun off a reunion page that you administer. (If not, all these ideas are translatable to email, message boards, etc.) The next step is to utilize it effectively. Use the page to:

Find high school classmates and 20 year-old artifacts. Put out short lists regularly of people you’re seeking, yearbooks you’re missing, and old photos of landmarks you’d like to display.

Build new reunion memories. Use status updates to provide a personal welcome to new members as they join. Ask questions: “Anybody here from the CHS Choir?” “Did you catch Jurassic Park when it opened? Who’d you see it with?” “Tube skirts or flannel shirts?” Conversations will nurture a comfort level among participants. They will also tell you what’s still universally memorable to the Class of ’93.  At the reunion itself, many committees set up stations that replay a high school video or leave scrapbooks filled with pictures.  Ask attendees to sign a physical or digital guest book with messages about the past or predictions for the future.

Add value to the reunion ticket. Perhaps reunion committee members have worked out a deal for a block of discounted hotel rooms, or someone is organizing an afternoon picnic. Give reminders of these extras regularly to ensure that new page members see it – some folks will search older threads and the Events page when they join, but many won’t.

Let’s say that the Jurassic Park mention got a huge response. What do you do with this information? We recommend planting a cardboard cutout of a T-Rex somewhere in your venue as a symbol of a good time had by all.

Take the symbolism as far as you want: Empire State Building prop to stand in for Sleepless in Seattle, Red Roses backdrop for Bon Jovi’s “Bed of Roses,” and so on.

Party props mixed with Class of ’93 artifacts (game balls, photo canvases of class outings, etc.) can form the basis of a guessing game about senior year events that classmates start on upon arrival.

The overall party theme could reflect early 90s popular culture or could come from other shared experiences, such as:

  • Favorite hangouts: beach, movie theater, dance club
  • Special events: annual fair/carnival, excursions into the city
  • School pride: winning-est sports, music and academic teams; school colors
  • Other: senior prom theme duplication, crowd-sourced ideas put to a vote

Again, let outreach interactions be your guide. Once the reunion theme is chosen, you’ll be able to coordinate banners, favors and tableware with theme decorations.

Two areas may require extra supplies: tableware and favors. Be sure to know how many display tables you’ll need for name tags, yearbooks and the like so that you can cover them similarly to the dining tables. Likewise, have contests worked out in advance of ordering (dance moves, classmate-who-traveled-the-farthest-to-get-here) so you can select favors as prizes.

Are you planning a reunion party this summer? Let us know how it’s going!

DIY Clear Favor Bags with Personalized Tops Keep Favors Affordable

Here’s a party favor budget breakthrough for you: personalized favor bags for less than 25 cents each!

The secret is a do-it-yourself component, but the DIY is not a tough assignment in the least. Just fill the bags with treats or treasures and close them by attaching the themed tops you’ve personalized at the Stumps website.

There are at least three ways to use the new bags:

1. Offer bulk items. Shift an investment in money over to time instead, by buying or making your goodies in bulk and bagging them yourself. Bulk candy, nuts, mints and gumballs come to mind immediately, and you can easily find this type of item in colors to match your theme. Edibles are welcome at prom and other teen parties, and are always a terrific strategy whenever you are planning a largish party with a smallish budget.

Don’t stop the imaginings with sweet treats, though. How about sharing small bulbs or seeds/flowerheads for a garden club party, a homemade Cajun seasoning mix for a Mardi Gras themed event, or a Russian tea drink mix for a Mothers’ Day get-together?

Some ideas might involve a slip of paper or a label that identifies the contents and gives instructions for use. As long as the directions are very simple (e.g., “add 2T to 6 oz. hot water”) don’t count out any idea your imagination brings to you!

A small spoon or scoop could be the perfect way to finish a bagged mix, too.

2. Protect favors. Besides leaving a personalized touch, your favor bags may play a role in protecting favors from one mishap or another. A bagged necklace or medallion can’t get tangled with another one, for instance. And if you’ve chosen something shiny to favor your guests with, such as mirror-finish metal key tags, you can keep them in pristine, un-smudged condition until the partygoers themselves get their hands on them.

3. Create an assortment or kit. We love the s’mores kit in the Western bandanna-themed favor bag at right. It’s an excellent example of what we’re getting at with this category, which takes the bulk idea and multiplies the fun in a clever way whether you are talking parties or commercial promotions.

Prepare allotments of poker chips, plush dice and casino mints for a Vegas theme, and for Castle event favor bags place glass slipper key tags upon nests of silver party beads. Carnival bags can include tickets or tokens along with pre-wrapped edibles. Sample sizes of spa products and small glow items are also candidates for bagging; three items per favor bag is usually optimal.

Whether you’re looking to put together something festive that doesn’t break the bank, or simply want to put the budget more toward the favor than the container, the new DIY personalized clear favor bags may be just the thing for you and your event. Come by soon to browse and brainstorm.

Energize Prom Cruise Guests with a Carnival Theme

Combining Prom Themes

No matter where you have your prom, an easy way to make it a memorable event is to combine two themes to make your own! Your prom will be much more personalized for your school and your students. If you do it well, you can tie in a variety of themes. This will also take focus away from the physical location of the dance. Combining themes makes it easier to have a dance anywhere, from the school gym to a banquet hall to a cruise ship!

Combining Nautical and Carnival Themes

Combining a nautical theme with a carnival theme gives you the opportunity to tie in a few other themes. Subtle hints are all you need—many cruise ships, for example, have a casino room, so you could also incorporate a casino theme. You can also tie in other themes with your favors. If you choose to add Personalized Poker Chipsthe casino theme, section off a portion of your event room with alternating red metallic curtains and black metallic curtains to create a mini-casino! Create Black Jack and Texas Hold ‘Em tables and give your guests personalized poker chips as a fun party favor.

A great way to combine prom themes is by mixing up the party favors. Give male prom guests gob hats and the female prom guests feathered masks. Also, rather than simply handing out beads to your guests, work the beads into the centerpieces for your tables! This way, not only will your dance have a much more “finished” feel, your guests will feel like they’re taking home a piece of the dance.  You can also place personalized candy jars around the table filled with extra snacks for your guests to enjoy while they’re dancing the night away.

If your prom is in a school gym rather than on a cruise ship, you can still combine nautical and carnival themes and make a splash with your students! Use decorations to set the cruise ship scene—hang anchor and porthole cutouts along the walls to give your guests the feeling of being on the lower Ocean Backgrounddeck of a cruise ship. You could also hang an ocean background on a wall and place a few lengths of ship’s rail in front of it— your guests will be able to lean over the rail and look out at the deep blue sea! Then, to incorporate the carnival theme, you could create a few different stations with carnival-themed snacks for your prom-goers. For example, you could hand out popcorn, cotton candy, and mini pigs-in-blankets. You’ll probably want to stay away from things like snow cones, as they could stain clothing.

The possibilities for a prom with more than one theme are endless! You just have to use a bit of creativity. Combining prom themes will make your even fun, memorable, and exceptionally personal for your high school and your students.

Homecoming 2011 Theme Ideas


Capitalize on this year’s current events and unique trends by featuring them as the theme for your Homecoming festivities. Below are a few inspiring ideas to get your creativity flowing:

Superheroes Theme
The movie industry produced several big box office superhero flicks in 2011 including: X-Men: First Class, The Green Hornet, Thor, Green Lantern, Captain America. Swoop in and save the day with a comic superhero theme for your Homecoming event this year. One scene these comics have in common is a cityscape. There are three great city scenes to create a superhero atmosphere including: Times Square theme kit, still of the night theme kit, and gangster gala theme kit. Another approach to pack a powerful punch into a superhero theme is by accenting with bright colors and cool lighting. There are plenty of props, balloons, and lighting effects to help you build the Homecoming adventure that you seek.

Glowing Galactic Space Theme
2011 marks the end of the space shuttle program but not the end of space exploration; celebrate this long era of U.S. space exploration with a cool galactic glowing blacklight explosion kit. Easily transform any room with glow star gossamer, blacklight panels and columns, as well as lots of glow necklaces and LED lights to generate a modern space age Homecoming motif.

Tiki Tropical Paradise Theme
Bring a touch of tropics to your Homecoming event with a tiki tropical paradise theme. Start the decorating off with an ornate tiki island kit to set the mood for your event. Add realistic tiki hut decorations to the mix with a tiki bar, LED candle, and a gossamer palm tree. Don’t forget the tiki lantern garland and tiki tabletop decorations to complete the theme!

80’s Flashback Theme
Turn back the clock and rock it out with the music of the 1980’s, not to mention the big hair, long shirts, leggings, and tall boots for both guys and gals. Start the head banging off with an explosion of colors, shapes, and patterns in the rockin’ eighties extravaganza kit. Decorate with mega signature 80’s colors such as yellow, turquoise, hot pink, and black.

Carnival Theme
Carnivals and amusement parks are invariably packed with thrilling rides, bold colors, flashing lights, and screaming teenagers. Recreate this wild and crazy experience with the carnival of lights kit for your Homecoming event. Give them a grand carnival entrance through a fun archway, and then add the bright glitter columns, along with the ferris wheel standee and the carousel horse to your bag of decorating tricks. Give the carnival guests a chance to divulge the future and snap a previously unforeseen picture behind the fortune teller photo stand in.

Entertain After-Prom Guests With A Carnival Theme

Carnival Themed Events Keep the Party Going!
Staying awake after prom can be a challenge, but theme your event as a carnival and energy will abound! Lights, rides, concessions, sparkle – a carnival after prom theme can bring out your inner child and drum up energy that lasts the night.   Create a carnival after prom event that is unique and memorable.

Carnival After Prom Ideas

The carnival prom theme is easy to carry out with a Carnival of Lights Kit.

carnival prom themeBegin with a 9′ carnival entrance arch, which can be personalized with your school’s name and event title. Guests can enter and be wowed by a ferris wheel standee, 9′ high and including chase lights and a rotating motor for a touch of realism.

Add free-standing carousel horses and scatter balloons in your choice of color for a fun-filled look.

Fortune Teller Booth Carnival Decoration

For more fun, how about staffing a fortune teller booth where a fortune teller can predict happiness for your guests? Then, they can wander over to a carnival concession stand, personalized with your school’s name, for treats. You can create a carnival with even the smallest details just right – how about some vintage-look popcorn containers, or rolls of carnival tickets in assorted colors to decorate your tables?

Carnival Decorations

Throughout your venue, luminescent columns and other decorative columns will add sparkle and visual interest. These 8′ columns are available in many colors, in either glitter or holographic finishes.

Vinyl, weather-resistant personalized carnival banners can carry out your carnival theme in your chosen colors. List your school name and event date on these and use them to publicize and celebrate your night at the carnival.

Carnival Theme Prizes
Choose a variety of prom favors to give to guests as prizes for games throughout the night. Sell tickets to special events at the ticket booth.

Set up a casino table for a group card game and cover it with a casino plastic table cover. Give players casino beads for each hand they win.

At each carnival booth ask teachers, administrators, or parents to host darts, coin tosses, bingo games, golf challenges, bean bag tosses, duck pond raffles, ping pong, or air hockey. Ask teachers to supply some of their favorite classroom games or challenge worksheets, too.

Hold a talent show or school idol contest at the carnival. A rock star theme decorating kit offers a simple way to decorate your sound stage for the evening.

Other Carnival After Party Ideas
There are so many ways to entertain with a carnival theme. Take our ideas and then create your own. What are your favorite carnival after party ideas?

Hot! Prom 2011 Themes

Prom is coming up soon and you’re school’s prom committee needs to settle on a prom theme. The committee has a big task ahead of them. They’ll want to be sure that they pick a HOT prom theme—not some tired and overused one. Here are 3 hot prom themes and how to decorate for them.


• Theme 1: Hollywood Theme
Everyone wants to be famous anymore! Why not give your fellow students a chance? Begin by welcoming your guests to the party with a gold star filmstrip arch. Pave the way through the arch with Hollywood sidewalk stars and red Hollywood rope streamers. Adorn tables with Hollywood centerpieces and create a fun photo op with paparazzi standees and a Hollywood sign. End the night by handing out award night statues.

• Theme 2: Carnival Theme
Bring out the inner children of your prom guests and have a little fun by having a carnival theme prom. Cover the walls in two colors of gossamer. Use red and yellow fabrics for a classic look or choose your school colors to show your school spirit. Next, set up the carnival of lights kit. The kit comes with a fun fortune teller photo op that you and your date can cuddle up behind. Give your guests some photo options with a carousel horse that could also be used for photos. Set up a few classic carnival games like a duck game and a ring toss with resources you’ll already have such as 2-liter bottles. Guests can choose their prom favors when they win one of the games.

• Theme 3: Black Tie Theme
Ladies love to get “all dolled up”. Give them a reason with a black tie theme party. Begin by promoting your classic prom theme with black tie banners. Choose either black or white fabric and swag across the ceiling then down the walls. Use the all about tonight kit to set the elegant stage for your guests. Embellish tables with silver reflection centerpieces filled with red roses for a pop of color.

No matter which theme your committee choses, be sure to consider both the guys and the gals that will be attending the event.