80s Party Ideas

By Emily Churchill

Created on June 14, 2016

The 80s began when Pac Man chomped into his first Pac-dot. This was followed by a decade of neon fashion, Nintendo and mixed tapes filled with songs from one hit wonders. Everyone wanted their MTV and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles taught us the importance of a good pizza. So, if your child is ready to have an awesome time and "like totally chill out" than check out our 80s Party guide for some gnarly ideas.

80's Party Planning & Invitations

Get your guests excited and anxious for all the totally awesome fun by sending out some cool and funky thematic invitations. Encourage guests to come dressed in their favorite 80s attire such as oversized t-shirts, tulle skirts, high-top sneakers and off-the-shoulder sweatshirts.

  • Pre-printed fill-in the blank or personalized invitations are a quick alternative.
  • Or step it up a notch by printing party details on adhesive labels and attaching to cassette tapes. Hand deliver or tuck tapes into bubble mailers so they can be sent through the post.

80's Party Decorations

Collect items representative of the decade by raiding your attic, borrowing from friends and scouring thrift stores. Integrate these pieces with our Totally 80’s Partyware for a gnarly rad party scene.

  • Splatter a black backdrop with neon paints. Hang oversized paper fans made of neon construction paper for a bold impact.

  • Machine stitch together punched poster board circles for an easy garland. Hang garlands over party tables as well as draping a few along their fronts. No sewing machine? No problem. Simply hot glue punched circles to baker’s twine or kite string.

  • A vintage boom box not only makes for a perfect focal point, but it’s also a great source for décor inspiration. Painted cassette tapes add color and whimsy to the entire party set-up.

  • Iconic 80’s movies and toys are another way to add thematic details to the décor. Rubik’s Cube party favors become ingenious stands for printed mini-movie posters. Action figures, such as He-Man, She-Ra, Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could also be posed to hold movie posters or quotes. But for a slightly softer touch, substitute Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony and Rainbow Brite dolls instead.

  • Whenever possible, add some zebra print elements. Ribbon wrapped vintage milk bottles filled with spikey flowers allow for both a touch of zebra print and a bold explosion of neon color.

  • Group centerpieces together for bigger impact. These were assembled using printed internet images, handcrafted icons and various parts of the Totally 80’s Room Decorating Kit.

  • Pac-Man comes to life simply by removing a pie-shaped slice from a bright yellow 7-inch cake plate then adding a black cardstock eye.

80's Party Food

  • Cupcakes are always a crowd pleaser and especially if they are frosted in neon colors, wrapped in zebra print and adorned with infamous 80’s catch
  • VHS tapes glued together make for creative risers and add one more layer to the 80’s themed décor.

Popular candy of the decade takes center stage when grouped together on black serving trays and perched atop additional VHS tape risers.

Cassette tapes get a new purpose when used as food labels for popular 80’s snack foods.

Use a few more neon painted cassette tapes to construct a quick and thematic tableware holder. Glue cassettes together then add a foam core base cut to size. Fill with our Totally 80’s Tableware.

80's Party Activity Ideas

When guests first arrive, have them stop by an accessory bar so they can embellish themselves with some of the more popular fashion fads of the time.

  • Neon Bead Necklaces, Earrings and Belts are all easy additions to any guest’s attire.

  • Sunglasses, Lace Hair Bows and Fingerless Gloves will offer even more iconic 80’s flair.

  • Glow Bracelets are always a fun element to include.

In addition to the Rubik’s Cubes, a giant inflatable cell phone and boom box are must have decade props. New wave sunglasses, permed wigs and leg warmers will further enhance any 80’s fashion statement.

Lastly, make sure to include some memorable movie quote captions. Guests will love finding and posing with their favorite(s).

80's Party Favor Ideas

Along with any accessories from the accessory bar, send guests home with a souvenir t-shirt and preppy sunglasses or an even broader collection of 80s goodies with this Ultimate Favor Kit. Provide Boom Box Favor Boxes so that everyone can easily carry their various props and favors home.

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