A couple of years ago, when The Great Gatsby film came out and it was all the rage again, we had a 1920s themed New Year’s Eve party and it was basically the best thing ever. I wanted to share a few of our props, decorations, and outfits to show how this can be done on a small budget by people with zero artistic talent.
As it was New Year and we still had the Christmas decorations up we didn’t want to go overboard with props so had just enough bits spread through the house to get people in the spirit.
The pyramid of cocktail glasses cost about £10 off Amazon. They were a pain to stack like that but once we’d done it they remained like that all night, quite sturdy. We arranged a couple of champagne bottles around them, which we served come 12 o’clock. Cocktails are also an obvious choice for a 1920s party.
The photos are in the kitchen and very much inspired by ‘downstairs’ on Downton Abbey. It’s King George V and Queen Mary if you’re interested in that kind of thing.
The gramophone was something behold! The base is the box something at Christmas must have come in covered in ‘wood look’ wallpaper I pilfered from a ‘tester roll’ at B&Q. On each corner there’s metal pieces which are available at most craft shops – they’re purely decorative but finish it off nicely. There’s a cardboard needle arm, decorated in simple Art Deco style, templates for which are readily available on Google. The top part was a little trickier but is basically just cleverly folded card spray painted gold. There’s a few wooden kebab skewers cleverly disguised inside to stop it from collapsing. The records were just a couple of quid each from a local vintage shop.
A scattering of fairy lights didn’t look amiss either.
Decoration-wise we stuck to a classy black and gold theme. We put foil shimmer curtains (£2 each off Amazon) up at the windows to create an effective backdrop for photographs and then put black, gold, and white balloons up on the end of curtain rails and around door frames.
We also had a lot of fun with the playlist. For early in the night when no one would be quite ready for dancing we had a mix of authentic 1920s songs and then modern songs covered in a 1920s style, all courtesy of YouTube and very easy to find on there.
But it was people’s outfits and the fact that everyone got involved which was the best part of the evening.