There are many ways to theme a party without spending a fortune hiring props and decorations. Although you can hire companies to deck your party out fully themed, the reality is, most people don’t have the budget for this kind of extravagance.

Theming doesn’t only have to consist of props and decorations. You can theme through your choice of a food and beverage menus as well as with invites, music and entertainment. You can even theme by including themed games and activities.

The first step is choosing your theme. If you haven’t yet found a theme that tickles your fancy, take a look at some popular theming options;

  • Grease – 1950’s
  • Alter Ego party
  • Arabian Knights
  • Leather and Lace
  • Creatures of the night
  • 1980’s Television personalities
  • Pop stars
  • Bad taste
  • Circus carnival
  • Casino Royale
  • Rocky Horror Show
  • Halloween
  • Pirate party
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Wild West
  • Hollywood glamour
  • Come as the party host
  • Favorite T.V character
  • Masquerade
  • Alphabet party
  • Come as you were 10 years ago
  • Come as you were 20 years ago

Themed Invitations

What ever your theme is, be creative and inspire your guests from the moment they open their invitations. There is nothing worse than having a themed or fancy dress party where no one gets into the spirit. By setting a high standard early on, you’re more likely to get people to make an effort at your party.

Think different with your invites. You don’t have to always use traditional paper. For instance, you could send a casino chip for a casino royale themed party or a ransom note for a ‘gangsters and moles’ themed party. There are many simple and easy solutions to create fun and interesting invitations and this is the first step to getting people in the mood to have fun.


Choosing the right venue for a themed event is important, as it needs to be an adaptable space. Some venues are already partially themed or can be adapted to suit a particular theme but when choosing a venue, make sure you check the room terms and conditions first. Not all venues allow party theming and some have restrictions on the kind of adhesives that you can use. Party ideas can recommend a range of venues suitable for themed events. Just click on the themed event option on our homepage. When visiting venues be sure to speak with the event coordinator about your idea and they should be able to give you tips on suitability.

Food and Drink

Get creative with your alcohol and food presentation.

Scour $2 shops for small affordable props that might be good props to place on your tables or platters to accompany the food and drinks. $2 shops have a large variety of toys, props, costumes and costume accessories and they’re usually very cheap.

Garnish your food with coloring dyes or liqueurs to bring add vibrant color to your food and drinks.

Think about how you might continue your theme by serving food or drinks in an unusual way or use props to garnish food platters. Serving red drinks in test tubes for a Halloween party or finger food in teacups for a mad hatters party are just two examples of inventive serving methods.

Offer shots, jelly shots or cocktails to your guests. These can be of your own invention and named by yourself in honor of the party theme.

Provide novelty cupcakes or birthday cakes for desert.

Party Costumes

A themed party is not complete without costumes. Party ideas have a number of costume shops around Melbourne who they can recommend. All of these shops offer a wide variety of costumes available to suit just about any theme.

Party decorations

Party ideas can also recommend party decorating companies who supply balloons, banners, props and decorations. If your budget doesn’t allow for props then hit the $2 shops around town. You’ll be surprised at what you can find in the hobby and kids sections. This may even be cheaper than making props yourself so do your research first.

Party games

To encourage people to get into the spirit and interact with one another at parties, what better way than to make up party games that fit with your theme. If you’re not the imaginative type, then give an old game a new twist by customizing the rules to suit your theme. For those with a slightly larger budget, Party ideas can recommend gaming companies who hire out electronic and video games, pool, poker and gaming tables.


Carefully selecting your music to suit a theme is vital in setting the mood. For instance, you wouldn’t have a 1980’s party without some classic 80’s tracks or a Halloween Party without a track like Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’. You can still play your favorite music throughout the night but by throwing a few carefully selected tracks into the mix every hour, people will be more likely to stay in the mood for fun.


Whether it is circus performers, belly dancers, magicians or professional actors, that you require, there are a number of talent agencies in Melbourne who hire out entertainers to suit themed parties. Hiring performers can get expensive but if you have the budget to afford entertainment, this can take your party to a whole new level.

More affordable means of entertainment could be as simple as a making homemade DVD’s to screen at the party. Try splicing movie scenes together to make a themed montage of images or ask friends to stay in character for a portion of the evening to make it more interesting.

When theming your event, always consider the following:

  • Invitations (facebook page)
  • Venue
  • Food and Drinks
  • Costumes
  • Props/decorations
  • Party games
  • Music
  • Entertainment