This year I am in charge of decorating the Grade 8's dance. We chose a beach theme, but my partner in crime and I are having a few obstacles with trying to have the gym looking good. Since this is basically a graduation dance, we would like to make it really fun and would like the setting to look quite impressive. Any beach-themed decorating ideas would be VERY helpful.
Check out the Oriental Trading Company (you can find them online) they have great inexpensive decorations, and I think I have even seen inflatable palm trees! Or make ones with those big rolls of craft paper and appliance cardboard boxes spliced together. Maybe get a hold of a rental place and get patio style tables with the umbrellas, and use the folding chairs you have on hand. If you are serving beverages, maybe set it up like one of those beachside bars (I think if you watch any old beach movies, they may pop up, esp in Caribbean) With the lights fairly dim, maybe get an evening effect? If it is in a gym/auditorium, you could put up fake waves along the edge of the stage, and set up the palm trees there for more support.
For my beach-themed b/day party, one of the decorations I made were giant thongs/flipflops. I used brightly coloured A4 paper and drew large thong shapes and used contrasting coloured strips for the straps. I stuck these all over windows & they looked fab. You could maybe also string up some netting and put some toy fish inside. Beachballs and inflatable airbeds are also good. For table decoration I used kid's sandbuckets and spades...some shells...and snorkel masks. Have fun : )
When my son was in 9th grade they had a spring dance that had a beach theme. One of the mom's brought in a bunch of her own houseplants (Caladiums, a rubber tree and several different kinds of palms) We arranged these in one corner of the room on a fairly large tarp.(This will help when it comes time to clean up!) We left a little room behind it so we could place a small kiddie pool with about 2" of water in it. On either side if the pool we placed an old milk crate, on one we put a small fan pointed at the surface of the water. On the other crate we placed one of those old fashioned light wheels they used to use for aluminum christmas trees, also pointed down at the water. In front of the plants, to help camoflage all this stuff, we got a couple of yards of burlap, in a sandy beige color and drapped it around the pots to sort of resemble a sand dune. Then just to finish it off we emptied about 5 or 6 bags of play sand over the edges of the burlap and out a little way, making our own little beach! You can usually find a lot of things like sea shells, little fishermans nets, bucket & shovel sets to embellish your beach, at places like Hobby Lobby, Michael's, even sometimes at Walmart, possibly even at the Dollar stores. The coolest thing is when the lights are lowered a bit and you turn on the "special effects" You get all these rippling, reflections on the walls and ceiling just like the ocean was just outside! It's wowed our kids to no end and ended up being the one part of the decor that every one wanted their picture taken with! Sometimes if you just ask, some stores will donate or at least reduce prices for you when you are buying things for these type of events. Also if you can't find one of the color wheel lights you could use one of those clamp-on spot lights, you just won't get all the pretty changing colors, still a cool effect though. We also used some of the other suggestions ,already given to decorate the rest of the room. I might add if you are having a band or DJ or simply a sound system you might want to set it up next to your beach to add to the beach party effect.
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