If your idea of paradise includes swaying palm trees, sandy beaches, and crystal clear oceans take a figurative trip to the tropics with your own island themed getaway. And we're here to get your creative juices flowing so you can fashion a fun and memorable event for you and your guests. For inspiration, take your cues from the environment, where bright sunny days are filled with vivid color, and everyday life makes the most of nature’s precious resources.
Create your own tropical paradise at each vignette and every venue by breaking down the details into 3 layers of decorating: background, color, and interest. Next, bring it to life with booming color using vibrant flowers, ripened fruit, exotic birds, and tropical fish as your guide. Interest: Finally, sharpen your focus with a layer of interest, highlighting a tropical location, event, activity, or specific element, such as Havana, Hawaiian luau, surfing, or pink flamingos.
In addition, incorporate real and simulated natural materials and textures into your decorating, such as: For a festive and interactive party that everyone can enjoy, the Hawaiian Luau or Tiki theme offers a number of easy decorating options.
Based upon Polynesian tropical island decor, add this interest layer to create a casual and lighthearted mood that will relax and entertain your guests anytime of year. Also, keep Hawaiian luau decorations on hand to add instant tropical atmosphere for an impromptu fete. Below, we've put together some of our favorite suggestions for decorating your party scene with tropical flair. MAKE a great first impression and set the tone for your event with a welcoming entrance:
Create a flourishing garden display of lush tropical foliage Buy a few silk tropical flowers to add color and complete the effect Hide pots with smaller plants, ivy, green fabric, and/or burlap (for sand) in front Simulate treetop foliage with hanging ferns, cascading plants, tropical leaves and/or ivy
Install one or two tree trunks and hide the top end behind your hanging leaves Hang ocean waves of blue & white bunting on fences and/or porch railings
Wrap columns & tree trunks in thatching or dress in Hawaiian luau grass hula skirts, coconut tops & floral leis Hang hammocks between bamboo poles or in trees with brightly colored pillows Embellish or build a floral wreath with a tiki god or raffia straw hula skirt, DIY here HARMONIZE your decor by repeating one or more tropical, island, or theme-related icons, symbols or motifs, such as:
Erect a directional signpost with tropical island destinations or Hawaiian luau activities, e.g. limbo, tiki bar, hula, surf. Leaf and/or floral throw pillows on a neutral-colored (or covered) sofa
Groups of hanging or tabletop picture frames with a printed flower or leaf in each Intersperse signs or Hawaiian phrases written in foliage letters, DIY here
Write on tropical leaves for signage, menus, table numbers, and/or place cards DECORATE the ceiling and transform the room; here are some ideas to lift your thinking: Hang out an assortment of new and/or vintage Hawaiian or tropical locale postcards on a clothesline Hoist round paper lanterns in green or your selected colors in varying sizes & heights
Crisscross banners of green fringe, tassel garland, and/or pennants Attach leaves to the end of tissue streamers in shades of green Suspend panama fedora hats & bare light bulbs for a Cuba or Havana theme Create a foliage wall with green drapes, fabric, or tulle behind potted and/or hanging plants Cover walls in thatching, or layer natural raffia table skirts Make a gallery wall using poster board or bamboo to frame individually printed tropical flowers and/or leaves
Add a realistic tropical vista behind the bar or dessert table with a photography backdrop or scene-printed bulletin board paper, featuring: Then, frame the view with curtains, bamboo poles, or tiki masks for a Hawaiian luau
Overlap blue & turquoise fabric, tulle, paper, and/or bunting Use mini white lights underneath to emulate sun/moonlight reflections on the water Hang a round orange or yellow paper lantern sun Hang plastic grass matting or artificial boxwood panels.
Hang a fishing net decoration on the wall and add shells and sea life Attach photos of your guest of honor or tropical travel destinations
Use bamboo or weathered wood bulletin board paper for the background
Mark the spot with crossed canoe oars or tiki torches over a doorway, bar or fireplace Label food with tents and mini signs in pineapple, palm tree or seashell card holders Decorate food with pink, green, or Hawaiian luau tiki mask flag toothpicks
Enhance food platters and serving trays with decorative themed centerpieces Trim serving dishes with aqua or blue rick-rack to look like ocean waves
Skewer & circle hors d'oeuvres and appetizer bites with shark fin toothpick flags
Hoist a thatch umbrella over a food station, buffet, dessert table, or bar
Drill holes in a wood slice, driftwood, or small log to hold skewers Arrange tropical plants in woven basket planters at varying heights on a buffet or food station
Decorate with edible sand made from wafers, graham crackers & brown sugar, recipe here Include enamel serveware in bright colors, such as cake stands, beverage tubs, and utensil holders Festoon dips, food platters, and cupcakes with cocktail parasol drink umbrellas
Give your food presentation a professional look with individual appetizers lined up in rows using: Colorful pineapple, orange, and maraschino cherry fruit garnishes Border the edge of your bar with rope, bamboo, burlap, flower leis/garland, or plastic crabs
Stretch a fishing net, thatching or table skirt across the front String festive light strands behind the bar, around the top, and under the overhang, include beach, tropical, and/or marine life themes Cut a rectangular piece of cardboard to go under the natural skirt and attach the top edge to the wall with push pins
Cover the opening between the wall and cardboard at each end with Kraft (brown) paper
Position the natural table skirt over the cardboard and paper roof Outfit beer & water bottles with mini Hawaiian luau hula skirts
Use a bamboo weave mat or printed wood-grain tablecover on the bar top and/or front Skewer drink garnishes with shark fin or tiki mask toothpick flags Pass South Seas Shimmy Jell-o shots, recipe here
Create a natural table runner centerpiece with any combination of tropical... Alternatively, use a tropical leaf or floral print fabric runner, bamboo or rattan weave matting, burlap, or wood Add another facet with the gentle motion & glow of flickering tealights or the charming whimsy of fairy lights
Foliage Arrangements Make it fresh & lush with a variety of tropical greenery leaf shapes & shades For eye-catching interest, highlight a specific plant or shape, such as the Fan Palm Fill glass vases with cut limes, oranges, or lemons
Go glam with all metallic gold pineapples or painted in your selected colors
Paint the base & crown different colors, such as pastel pink & metallic gold Make pineapple pine cones with yellow paint & green paper crowns
Decorate with tiki god wood carvings, coconuts, signs, masks, & totems Paint tiki gods on cardboard boxes wrapped in paper
Feature a vignette of musical instruments, such as drums, ukuleles, and/or bamboo flutes
Include cut fruit on a wood block for tabletop staging
Turn up the fun factor with coconut characters like a Hawaiian luau hula girl Decorate stacked wood crates with cascading plants & candlelight
Build tropical islands and/or volcanoes on top of floor urns the background and create focal points with themed wall decorations, trimmings, and backdrops:your food service with unique details at food stations, appetizer spreads, self-serve buffets, raw bars, dessert tables, and hors d'oeuvre trays:with extra fun touches and embellishments in cocktails and at the bar:a scene with centerpieces, vases, focal points, and vignettes, Construct an outdoor Hawaiian luau feast table from stacked wood pallets
Cover cocktail tables with gathered and tied over-sized tablecloths or fabric
Convert utensils to wood by applying a sliver of wood-grain contact paper to each handle GIVE your event that magic touch with an extra beam of brilliance.
Splash an eerie look on tiki gods and masks with purple lights at a Hawaiian luau Energize the bar, walkways, railings and serving tables with tropical, beach, & marine life themed string lights Expand perceived coverage of plants & foliage with green spots, bulbs, & string lights Bamboo tiki torches are a natural light source for a tropical or Hawaiian luau theme
Float candles in vases filled with water, tropical leaves, sea shells and/or rocks Shine orange lights behind palm tree silhouettes painted on a white sheet to invoke a beach sunset
Wrap jars with rope to make candle holders, then hang them from trees Fill colored and frosted bottles with fairy lights and decorate with a flower or shell on jute rope Give thanks with thoughtful tropical or Hawaiian luau themed party favors, such as: