Fifties Theme Party

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Hopelessly Devoted to a brilliant fifties party.

Have a blast dressed in your favorite fifties clothes being Sandy and Danny for a night full of fun at the Hop.

I have tried to give you lots of party ideas on fifties invitations, fifties food, fifties decorations, fifties photo ideas, fifties games and fifties favors which will be great for any venue. You may have a fifties Home Party or alternative venue in mind.

With lots of funenergy and enthusiasm your high school graduation party can be a brilliant success.

Fifties Theme Party - Invitations

There are lots of great images to use to give fifties high school graduation party invitations a Totally Devoted To You feel from the fifties.

  • The film Grease, Pink Ladies and T-Birds

  • Elvis, James Dean, Jackie Kennedy, Marylin Munro

  • Leather jackets

  • Poodle Skirts, Chiffon Scarfs, Cats Eye Glasses

  • Diner, Soda Fountain, Sock Hop

  • Caddilacs, Cruisin

  • Juke Box, Rock n Roll, Vinyl Records

  • Coca Cola

  • Hula Hoop

  • Yo Yo, Slinky

  • Juke Box

  • Bubble Gum

  • Vinyl records

  • Hamburger

  • Classic cars such as a fifties Cadillac

Here is a fifties invitation you can print off or get inspiration from:

fifties theme party

Click on the Fifties Free Graduation Invitation Templates page for full personalizing and printing instructions. Also great ideas on creating your own invites and lots more projects to help make your Fifties party fantastic.

Fifties Theme Party - Decorations

fifties theme party

You can make a complete fifties theme party venue. A good amount of decorations can make your graduation party ideas totally Fifties. Lots of teal, pink and black would be awesome.


Let guests be in no doubt the Fifties party is here!

  • Create a Fifties entrance with Grease sign, Soda Fountain Archway, Diner Arch, Drive in sign, Cadillac, Hot Rods or Rockin Guitar sign

  • Banners to announce the graduation and the fifties graduation party theme. The banners could say welcome to Big Als Graduation Diner, "Let's Go To The Hop", "Sock Hop", and "Shake Rattle And Roll". Whatever the fifties look you want to create, simple banners announce the fifties party

  • Party Greeters dressed in costume set the scene at your entrance.

Scene Setters

  • A soda shop will need a counter, ice cream, stools and pastel colors. Create billboards for the soda fountain with fake menus.

  • Fifties diner backdrop

  • For a drive in hang up murals of classic fifties cars. Even better if you can borrow a real fifties car for effect. Perhaps in your backyard create a real drive in movie, showing Grease.

  • Wall coverings with fifties scene setters, soda shop mural, Drive In Sign Peel N'Place

  • If you have an artist friend ask them to draw a giant mural which the guests can color in, add drawings and leave messages on it for the graduates. They can use classic fifties themes, idols such as James Dean or images such as a soda fountain

  • Pictures of James Dean, Elvis, Jackie Kennedy, Marylin Munro, Sandy and Danny, Pink Ladies and T-Birds. Also of Cadillacs, and Hot Rods

  • Juke Box, fantastic if you can find a working model

  • Make up signposts with the High School name

  • Fifties images like a classic coke bottle, fifties prices for burgers, hots dogs and coke.

  • Create a dance floor with black and white poly vinyl for the check board fifties look.

  • Reprinted 1950's magazine, or newspapers, front pages like Time showing the key events of the 1950's like Korea, Presidential elections, Oscar winners, Superbowl winners, World Series winners and other sporting triumphs.

Simple Decorations

  • Balloons in black, pink and other great bright colors. Also shaped as guitars, saxophones and classic Cadillacs. Hang lots of them to create a great look and feel of the fifties. The balloons can be on the floor too! You could create a balloon arch with white, black and pink balloons. Balloon are great when tied in bunches for visual effect. They can be on the back of chairs, tied to light fittings, and fixed to doors.

  • Streamers in teal, pink, black and bright fifties colors, hanging from light fittings, on doors, walls, on the back of chairs and on your fence.

  • Musical themed decorations with fake vinyl records made from black construction paper, guitars and pictures of musical notes

  • Hanging decorations such as Mirror balls and fifties swirls

  • Sunglasses, including cats eye ones

  • Find any fifties items your family may still have. Great stuff would be cameras, televisions, newspapers, pictures of the cars, even pictures of parents and grandparents at the time. A real bonus would be family home movies made in the fifties!

  • For a Home party you can decorate your fence with fake vinyl records, balloons and banners

Decorate your guests

This is a brilliant way to add to the fifties theme party and getting your guests in the graduation party mood! Have a box of guest decorations and hand them out when guests arrive.

  • Sunglasses
  • You might have someone who can help your guests with a fifties hair style

  • Elvis wigs

  • Bright colored socks and scarves

Table Decorations

  • Create a fifties centerpiece with vinyl records or a mini jukebox.

  • Table cover could be bright colored check cloth and bright skirting.

  • Decorate the table with classic soda glasses, catsup, mustard and relish. You could use sunglasses as napkin holders.

Fifties Theme Party - Costumes

Fantastic to make your own fifties party costumes. Beg and borrow fifties style clothes, perhaps from family who were there!

  • Sunglasses, leather jacket, white t-shirt, jeans, hair slicked back and you are James Dean

  • Poodle Skirt, Chiffon Scarf and you are in theme!

  • Marilyn Munro outfit with glamorous dress and blond wig

  • Peggy Sue wig

  • Cats Eye Glasses

  • Bowling shirt, bowling shoes and pants and you are a fifties bowler

  • Wing tip shoes

  • Pompadour wig

  • Pink Ladies jackets

  • Black 'Jackie' wig, become that famous style icon

  • Wear the brightest colored socks, scarves, shirts, pants and neck ties.

Of course there is also the Cuban Bandleader look with sharp suit, wing tip shoes and magnificent tie!

Fifties Theme Party - Confetti

One of the great fifties party ideas is to have personalized confetti.

The most amazing photo confetti maker can produce confetti using up to 10 fifties style photos and up to 3 accent colors. One color could be pink (for the Pink Ladies) and another black. They have packs to suit your occasion.

The fifties party photos could be of the graduate in various fifties poses. A Greaser, pink lady or rock n roll singer.

Fifties Theme Party - Food and Drink

The simplest way to cater for a fifties party is to emulate diner and drive in food.

  • Burgers

  • Hot Dogs

  • Onion Rings

  • Fries

  • Pizza

  • Tortilla Wraps

  • Onion Rings

  • Popcorn and movie candy

  • Put out lots of dry snacks, and fruit

  • Ice cream, all kinds of it! Haagen Dazs ice cream is a 1950's delight.

  • Ritz crackers

  • Cream of mushroom soup or onion soup

  • Pizza Hut (unbelievably from 1958)

  • Kentucky Fried Chicken (1955)

  • Ice Cream floats

  • Pretzels

  • Corn chips

  • Grilled cheese

  • Tuna fish sandwiches

  • Melon balls and sorbet

For the fifties party drinks, lots of sodas, malts, milk shakes and of course coca cola and lots of water to keep the party goers going. 

Fifties Theme Party - Cake

The fifties party cake is very easy to make as all the ingredients are mixed together in the same bowl.

The Graduation Cake page gives full details on the recipe, cooking tools, ingredients and cooking times for a great cake. Great ideas on cupcakes, cap cakes, decorating ideas, using fondant to create designs and lots more tips and techniques.

Graduation Cake Decorating Idea

1) Cover the sides of the cake with white frosting. 

2) Add some black food coloring to the frosting and spread it smoothly onto the top of the cake. 

3) Use a fork to trace circular marks - the idea is to make it look like a vinyl record. Like a record, make the label using a different colored frosting. Pipe a message on the top of the label – something like “Congrads (name of graduate).

You could decorate the cake in any of the Fifties images you love!

Fifties Theme Party - Games


  • As an icebreaker split guests into 2 teams and have each team sing a few lines from a great Fifties tune like Hound Dog or Rock Around The Clock.

  • Challenge guests to keep a Yo-Yo going the longest.

Dance Contest

  • Decide on the dances guests will perform such as The Twist, Mashed Potato or Bop.

  • Download the music you need to your MP3 player

  • Set an area aside for dancing

  • Choose a judging panel

  • Start the dancing.


Find the Fifties trivia you need on fifties movies, celebrities, TV shows, sports and news. You can play the game as individuals or in teams.

  • For an individual based game give everyone a pen and paper and read out the questions giving guests time to answer in between questions.

  • For a team game set up the teams and again read out the questions. Hopefully you can create some team rivalry and make it competitive.

  • Ask each individual or team to give their paper to another person to mark. Read out the answers.

  • Find the winner and give them a big announcement.


  • Create Charades cards with movie names, celebrity names, TV shows and other famous people.

  • Split guests into teams.

  • Appoint an MC for the games

  • Keep the scores on a flipchart for everyone to see.

Name That Fifties Tune 

  • Set up selected Fifties tunes on your MP3 player

  • Split guests into teams.

  • Play the first few bars of a tune and ask the team to guess the tune.

  • A good question master can make this fun and competitive.

  • Total the scores and give the winning team a prize.

Car Hop 

  • Prepare by parking cars in your driveway with room to walk to them.

  • Set up a table with plastic (or real) burgers, coca cola in plastic cups and a ice cream carton, for example.

  • Split guests into teams according to how many cars you have.

  • First team member is given a tray. They fill the tray with one of each item from the table.

  • They run from the table and deliver the contents of the tray to a driver in the car, then run back and handover the tray to the next team member.

  • The team which delivers the most items wins.

  • You might deduct points for spilling some of the drinks.

Guess The Celebrity 

  • First find say 10 photos of fifties celebrities and number them 1 to 10,

  • Cover the photos on paper except for a small number of distinguishing features.

  • Give guests a pen and paper to record their guesses

  • Collect the papers and total up the number correct for each guest. Give a prize to the winner.

  • A variation on the game would be to disguise a guest as a famous Fifties character. Video them acting out the part for 2 minutes prior to the graduation party. Show the video at the party. Guests must guess who they are and the character they are portraying. First to guess wins the prize.

Simple Fifties Party Games

  • Pinata

  • Karaoke - hire a Karaoke machine full of classic fifties tunes.

  • Pin the Elvis wig on a picture of Elvis or the graduate

  • Sing Along, all guests can sing a long to fifties classic songs

  • Hula Hoop contest, give guests a hula hoop and a few minutes to practice. Then have a competition to see who can keep it going the longest. Similarly you could do this for a Yo-Yo or Jump Rope contest.

  • Talent Competition, ask guests to perform a fifties themed talent spot either individually or in teams.

  • Observation test - discretely display 6 to 10 pictures of the graduate dressed in fifties costume and perhaps some vibrant fifties images like Elvis and Marilyn Munro around the venue. Near the end ask guests to complete a sheet on what they observed. Ask for the people in the pictures and location of the pictures. Have prizes for those getting all answers correct.

  • Guests gallery, set up a table with pens, crayons and paper. Guests are to draw the graduate as Elvis. Display the results on a board.

  • Play pass the guitar. Line up the guests into lines of say 10 people. Have a large balloon guitar. Pass the guitar over your head to the person behind you, once you have passed the balloon run to the back of the line. Complete 3 passes.

  • Ask for volunteers to be dressed as fifties characters by their team. Give each team, fifties clothing, wigs, jewelry and also photos of fifties characters to help them get started. Take before and after photos.

Fifties Theme Party - Favors

Fill Fifties party favor bags with lots of favors.

You can give a fake vinyl 45, balloons, musical balloons, streamers, sunglasses, scarfs, wigs, confetti, pictures of Elvis or other famous fifties celebrities, cake, toy 1950's cars, furry dice, clock, classic fifties car stickers, coke glasses, cats eye glasses, pom poms, yo, yos, slinky's, bubble gum, hula hoop and even a mini juke box.

Also you could give fifties music CDs with Elvis, Buddy Holly, and Bill Hayley.

You can also find black and white signed photos of the stars of the time from movies, music and TV. There are also great posters of these stars too.

If you took a photo of each guest at the entrance or perhaps posing beside a genuine 1950's car, the photo could be one of the favors.

Give fifties car accessories like flashes.

Send the graduation party goers home with a great bag of memories.

Fifties Theme Party - Music

Just find lots of fifties soundtrack music and play it! The soundtrack to Grease is a must!

Also lots of Elvis, Buddy Holly, and Bill Hayley.

The right music makes a party fantastic. Make sure the graduate gets a say in the choice of music. 

Fifties Theme Party - Ideas

More great party ideas:

  • Have a talent competition, giving the graduates 2 weeks to prepare a fifties song, dance or comedy piece

  • Have a Caricaturist draw the graduates and guests in fifties style

  • Take an entire group photograph

  • Set up a fashion catwalk and dress some guests in different 1950's fashions. Arrange great 1950's music and let them strut their stuff on the catwalk.

  • Have a 1950's dancing demonstration.

  • Rent a real 1950's jukebox.

  • The fifties party can be based on the stars of the era. The party can even be a tribute to the star’s work, including any movies they have made. The musical stars of the time include The Coasters, Elvis, Bill Hayley, Fats Domino, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and the Everley Brothers. The movie stars include John Wayne, Marylin Munro, Grace Kelly, James Stewart, Doris Day and Deborah Kerr. 

    This opens up a lot of possible areas for guests and you:

    Guests can dress as any of the fifties stars or even their famous movie roles.
    Guests can perform a routine as their favorite star. They could even form a band and sing as a fifties band at the high school graduation party.
    Have a Glee style performance of a fifties hit. Appoint a director who can work with a group of guests to produce a production of one or two fifties songs. Perhaps they could rehearse for a week or so before the party.
    Alternatively you could set the performance up as American Idol or Americas Got Talent. The latter one would be good as all the contestants could put their unique interpretation on the fifties hits.
    Create a fifties word search with a prize for the quickest solution.
    Play fifties themed charades using TV shows, famous fifties people and fifties movies.
    The decorations can include photos and posters of the famous stars, their best movie roles and their movies.

  • You might decide to make the fifties party a sleepover party.

  • Each guest must choose a fifties name like Fonz and use it during the party.

  • Put a fifties price tag on various items at the party. For example a bottle of coke could have a 10 cents tag.

  • There will be lots of high school graduation party gifts for the graduate. Thank You notes written by the graduate are the best!

  • Think about the fifties theme party venue and the likely weather. A tent, YMCA, local park or school gym can be great alternative locations.

Good luck with your fifties theme party. A fifties theme party will make a fantastic high school graduation party. 

Share Your Fifties Theme Party

If you would like to share your complete fifties theme party with us send us your party story and photos and we will create your own party page and photo gallery hosted on our site. (Family and friends will be able to find inspiration from your graduation party and comment on your ideas.) If you share your complete party details you will be automatically entered into our next contest. This year we are having a bumper $100 prize fund. There will be an overall winner and runners up prizes. The winner will be the best overall party story and photos.

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