So, you want to throw a memorable party. It can be any party—maybe for a birthday, a holiday, or just because you feel like it. I know I feel like throwing parties all the time, just because. I spend too much time thinking about how to make the next party different than the last, putting an inordinate about of time how I can top myself.
During that time, it’s amazing I actually get anything else done at work or home. It’s to the point as my mind races, wondering how I can possibly out-do myself, I convulse and sweat and the party hasn’t even begun yet! No, not really. Close, though. I’ve become party-throwing obsessed. I’m not even excited for the actual party anymore. I'm merely excited to put it all together, especially my new favorite type of party: themed parties. Luckily, there’s no shortage of themes or ways to make those themes come to life in my apartment (or a very understanding friend’s apartment).
Most party themes can be easily culled from pop culture, such as film, TV, and literature, but you can be a little more creative and delve into history or different cultures (with ample respect, mind you), and, of course, pure imagination—whatever floats your boat. Whatever the theme, there is one thing I’ve been doing lately to help define the theme, particularly if it’s pop culture-based: posters.
Why posters? Posters can be created to shape the mood. They’re familiar. You see them on the street and at the movies. They can be artistic, informative, or both. They look great on a wall and take up space that otherwise might be unused during a party (or maybe there’s something you’d prefer to cover up while guests are over. I know I occasionally do). Posters can help trigger conversation and when the party’s all said and done, there’s no reason guests can’t take them.
What can you do with posters? Here are a few ideas to get started:
Advertise – Use posters to get the word out. Maybe you’re having a shindig to meet neighbors or to socialize with people. Don’t go crazy where you put them, though, as you wouldn’t want it to get out of hand (or maybe you do—I don’t judge). In college, I made posters and placed them on bulletin boards around campus, usually with permission.
Define the Theme – For themed parties, most of your guests should already know the theme, but you can go the extra step to define it further. For my niece’s recent birthday party, I helped her put together a mock movie poster. She loves movies, so we used on of her favorites as a base, then using digital images of her and her friends, I inserted them into the poster, changed the title and credits. We ended up taking it to a print shop nearby and printing it out.
Celebrate a Person – Maybe you want to make it a little more personal. You’re celebrating the life of a certain individual and you want to show it. Take photos of them or what they love and blow it up to poster size. I’ve embarrassed a few people doing this, but it’s always worth it to do whatever you can to show the person what they mean to you and everyone around them.