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Black & White Theme Party Ideas

My son is turning 16 in January and we have decided to give him a nice party to celebrate with his friends and family. He has decided on a casual dressy Black & White theme to make it more interesting. We will be reserving our community clubhouse to host this event on a Saturday evening.


I'm trying to come up with as many ideas and tips as I can.

Here are some things I've already come up with:

All decorations will be B&W. Working in the Hollywood film items here and there as well (my son plans to be a film direction later in life). I need ideas for centerpieces.

B&W gift bags for the guests to take home. I need to know what to put in them.

I plan on setting up a display of some sort with B&W pictures of my son and his friends, near the entrance.

I'd like to make a B&W guest book for his friends to write things in as they come in.

We will have a DJ and I thought maybe of putting a basket of B&W flip flops in the girls bathroom for them to wear to dance in (to give their feet a rest if they are wearing heels).

Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate Table Fountains with things to dip into it. I need ideas for the dip.

I'd love to get some food ideas from the wonderful people on this site. I'm not sure if I should plan on a dinner to be served or just stick with snacks and finger foods. These kids do not seem to eat much and I'd hate to spend a lot on food that goes to waste. I know they will want to nibble and munch though!

I was thinking of a B&W cupcake "cake" on a silver tiered cake plate. White cake, chocolate frosting... chocolate cake, white frosting.

Do you have any other suggestions or ideas? I know it sounds like a lot but it's really not. I want it to be a fun, casual, relaxing night for him and his friends. A night to remember for all of them. Not too frilly because it is a boy's 16th party.

Thanks in advance!

ChristiansMom from Riverside, CA


Black & White Theme Party Ideas


Sounds like you have made a lot of progress already. For gifts in the bags, key chains (whatever you can find black & white) or have some made with with old film negatives or slides incased inbetween lab slides and soldered around. You could even use each guest's school photo from the school yearbook, if you wanted it to be individualized.


You could buy some cheap film at the dollar store and just remove it from the casing, it should already be curled, so add it to a centerpiece, with things used to splice film, a reel to reel movie projector, maybe some old film reels as the base of any number of things

Black and white filming was done so long ago, maybe you could use some of the old movie characters and have them put on the napkins. I do not know who does this, but I know it can be done.

The guest book should be easy to make. Use some old photos for the watermark behind the lines where the guests will be signing. Maybe create the cover from black fabric with white lettering (paint pen) or use white fabric and iron on black and white photos. You should be able to find the black and white art for the guest book on the internet. The pictures will be clearer in a 5.5x8.5 size book.

Food, that is a touch one. Finger foods are going to be your best bet. Most kids will not sit long enough to eat an actual meal at a party. Try to have finger foods that do not contain sugar, some kids just won't at it at all, my son being one. I don't know how this would work, but celery sticks will stay fresh in water, so I'm wondering if you mixed up some food color to be black (may be available during this seaseon) and but the end off the celery stalk, placed it in the food colored water, it might soak up the color, but I'm guessing here.

Black and white photos of cars would be good too, since it is age 16, the long awaited driving age. You could get their attention with the old cars like the edsil, the fairlane, the lincoln, cadilac and some sporty cars like the vette, the spitfire, porsche, etc.

Marilynn Monroe, James Dean, Audry Hepburn, Elvis, etc for poster art or table cloths.

Some links:

Search for vintage or classic black and white films

I can't think of anything else at the moment, but if I do, I'll let you know.

I hope something here helps,

Tina (10/02/2006)

By trbrown22

Black & White Theme Party Ideas

Hi, you have some terrific ideas already!

For the foods to dip into the chocolate fountains, you could use poundcake cut into cubes, strawberries, grapes, vanilla wafers, pretzels, potato chips (I've had choc covered chips...not bad!!!!), apple wedges, maraschino cherries, pretty much any kind of fruit or cookie.

Also, if you have a digital camera, I think most of them have an option to take either full color, sepia toned, or black and white photos. If you don't have one, see if someone you know that does will take pics before the party of your son in various poses, and pics of his friends, pets, etc. in black & white. Print them out or get prints made and get cheap frames (black & white) from the dollar store and set them around.

Finger foods are definitely your best bet, sitting down to a meal is not going to be important to teens!!!!

Check recipes for appetizers, those are usually finger food.

Lastly, check with your local freecycle ( to see if anyone has any old 8mm projectors, film reels, projection screens, old movie cameras,...anything having to do with filmaking that they no longer want.

Hope your son has a fantastic birthday party!!!!

God bless! (10/06/2006)

By mamajerry

Black & White Theme Party Ideas

Wow! Thanks everyone for the wonderful ideas! I've been adding some of your suggestions to my list and will for sure be using the ones that fit for the party. I'm getting excited just thinking about it. I know the kids are going to have so much fun!

Please keep the ideas coming. I love having lots of ideas to choose from.

Thanks again! (10/08/2006)

By ChristiansMom

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