How to Host a Fabulous 50s Themed Party for Cheap

on May 1, 2013

My daughter’s love of the 50s started when her school had a 50’s day earlier this year. And then.. she saw Grease. Or at least, a modified version of Grease and she was hooked. So, it was only natural that she would want a 50s Sock Hop for her birthday party.

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We embraced the theme fully!


For fun,  its shape was of a 45 and had a

brad at the top to swivel open. Lucky for me, I had a pile of 45s in my attic – I scanned one in and used the image of that for the front, which gave it an authentic look.


We kept the menu simple with “Diner” food! Hot Dogs and Fries, Root Beer Floats and fun sweets and treats to fit the theme!


There were the required Pink Ladies T-Shirts, poodle skirts and neck scarfs in pinks, teals and polka dots. Everyone came dressed in their 50s best and danced the afternoon away. I made my girl’s poodle skirts following this tutorial, and used Walmart twin sheets for the fabric – they were cheap, and I could cut the skirts out in one piece, which made it all SO much easier.


The girls had their pictures taken in a pink Cadillac Cut-out we painted and donated to the school. I’ve shared the tutorial on how to make the fun car cut-out here if you’re interested in making your own!

I followed the lead of this incredible party and created checkerboard patterns on all the counters and tables, using printer paper cut in half, black, vinyl tablecloths and tape. I then used liberal accents of pink, fuchsia, and teal, turning my garage from a garage to a 50s dance hall! These “poofs” hid our “billiards” lamp hanging over our pool/ping pong table.
No 50’s dance is complete without a jukebox!


No party is complete without a fun playlist. Fortunately, the

50’s offers much to choose from!


The girls – all 15 of them – had a great time with the activities we planned! Some ideas include:

  • A Hula Hoop contest
  • Limbo fantastic (even backward!)
  • Hand jive lesson
  • A bubble gum blowing contest
  • Donut bobbing. It’s a tradition at our home to ALWAYS have donut bobbing at our parties.

Donut bobbing – A game in which you suspend three donuts from the ceiling. Each player stands in front of a donut, put their hands behind their backs, and must be the first to remove the entire donut from the string using only their mouths. Very, very un-lady like. Awesome. Trust me.


After three hours of non-stop fun, we sent our well sugared fed friends home with clear cellophane goodie bags containing the following:

Cat Eye Sunglasses

Roll-on Lip Gloss

Mini Nail Polish

Glow Sticks

Coke Bottle Gummy Candy

A pencil

My daughter’s 50’s dreams realized, our 50’s themed party was a huge success, with fun had by all! 

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  • Cathy

    Awesome post! I wish I was invited to the party LOL.
    Awesome post!

    I would love for you to link up to my TGIF Link Party! Who knows, you just might be featured next week!


    May 4, 2013 at 5:35 am Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks, Cathy! I missed you this week, but I'll be sure to link up next!

      May 6, 2013 at 4:35 pm Reply

    This is super cute! You did a great job! I am a new follower from southern charm! I would love for you to stop by my blog and hopefully you will want to follow me back. Nicole!

    May 4, 2013 at 11:13 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Hi Nicole! Thanks so much! I'm so glad to have you follow along and I was able to stop by your blog as well. Love it and I'm following along!

      May 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm Reply
  • Kristin

    Great info! We're having a sock hop at my daughter's elementary school in a few weeks, and I'd love to know how you did the cadillac cardboard cut-out for the photo booth. Did you have a pattern, or just free-style it from a refrigerator box? Either way, it's awesome 🙂 Thanks, Kristin

    January 16, 2015 at 6:25 am Reply
    • Kim Young

      Hi Kristin! Thanks so much. 🙂 I think I might be getting back to you a little late (sorry, it's been crazy) but thought I'd respond anyway in case. I had made it for 50s day at my daughter's school as well and they were nice enough to let us borrow it back for the party. Believe it or not, I actually used a tri-fold poster board. I followed a picture that I'd found online – I'll see if I can find it and update above – blew it up, printed it out on a million pieces of paper in draft and black and white, pieced it together and created the pattern. Then, I traced it, and painted it by hand. It was really fun project, and I believe they still use it today, 2 years later!

      February 22, 2015 at 3:52 am Reply
      • Tanya

        What dimension did you make it as looking to do the grease car as a photo booth for a 50th b’day party

        March 9, 2017 at 5:57 am Reply
        • admin

          Hi Tanya, I used a 36″x 48″ tri-fold foam board. On a table-top it would work for adults but it would be better if it were a bit larger without. I hope your party is fantastic!
          – Kim

          March 12, 2017 at 9:30 am Reply
  • terry koosed

    Saved as a favorite, I like your website!

    February 15, 2017 at 9:29 pm Reply
    • admin

      Thanks, Terry! I’m glad you found something fun and useful!

      February 17, 2017 at 8:18 am Reply

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