Ever felt like you were born in the wrong era? Do you prefer vintage vinyl to Bluetooth speakers, or long for the days when feathered hair was the height of style? If so, you’re due for a totally groovin’ ’70s theme party.
Luckily, you don’t need a time machine to channel the flower power decade. We’ve got plenty of ’70s party ideas that are perfect for any event budget, and are sure to get you and your guests getting down like it’s 1977.
Now pull on your bell bottoms and throw up a peace sign: The perfect ’70s party is calling your name.
Image via The Sheen Resistance; Image via History in Pictures.
What to wear to a ’70s party
Without a doubt, a ’70s party is one of the most exciting 21st birthday party ideas or 60th birthday party ideas to plan. One of the most important things to decide on is your outfit. A tie-dye shirt, a flower chain, and maybe a peace sign necklace or two—the ’70s boasted plenty of colorful styles, but you don’t have to stick to the standards. By finding inspiration among the decade’s fashion icons, you can take your ’70s party style a step above the rest.
As a host, thinking out of the style box could be the thing that elevates your party from good to unforgettably groovy. Here are a few of our favorite ’70s style icons who didn’t need social media to influence the masses:
— Farrah Fawcett: To embody the Charlie’s Angel’s effortlessly cool style, keep it simple with some high-waisted flare jeans, a bold-colored blouse, sweater, or tee, and some groovy sneakers or wedge heels. Don’t forget to style your hair in Fawcett’s famously flicked-back style.
— Elton John: Pair some funky bedazzled sunglasses with a brightly-colored suit and a faux fur coat or feather boa, and you’ll be ready to groove Rocket Man-style.
— Diana Ross: You’ll want all the sequins to mimic this ’70s star’s disco style. Look for a jumpsuit or a fitted floor-length dress and finish off the look with some platform shoes.
— The Ramones: If disco isn’t your style, take a page out of this band’s fashion book with ripped jeans, leather jackets, and tight graphic tees. Throw on some dark sunglasses and high-top sneakers, and you’re ready to rock.
— Joni Mitchell: Let your hair down and let the maxi dresses flow. A long-sleeved floral or crochet dress can help you emulate this musician’s bohemian style. Pair with beaded jewelry, strappy sandals, and of course, an acoustic guitar.
— James Brown: To emulate this music legend’s signature funky style, look for bright, patterned suits and jumpsuits—the more flared legs and shoulder pads, the better.
“Feelin it” Flyer by Paperless Post.
Decorate the ’70s way
Now that you’re feeling inspired, let’s tackle the task of decorating. Adding authentic ’70s decor can turn your themed party into a fully immersive experience.
Change your living room into a hippie hangout or disco dancefloor with the addition of a few ’70s staples:
— Disco balls: You knew this one was coming, right? A disco ball signifies a fabulous time at any party. Light up the room with a spinning disco ball as you spin the night away, too. If there’s no disco ball in sight, you can fake the look with a disco ball party light.
— Shag rugs: Lean into the fabulous world of authentic ’70s party decoration with a funky shag carpet. Shag carpeting was all the rage back in the ’70s, and its plush texture will fit right in with the rest of your party theme—giving the room a luxe, cozy feel.
— Lava lamps: Release your inner hippie and vibe all night with the addition of a lava lamp. Colorful lava lamps can create a kaleidoscopic wonderland for your guests to stare at all night long, plus they add a nostalgic warmth to any space. Far out, man.
— Tapestries: Give your party a boost of bohemian chic by hanging tapestries along the walls and ceilings. With tons of different textiles, patterns, and sizes, you can cover the entire party space for a hyper-immersive ’70s experience.
— Beads: Add some texture and flair with beads. Use them instead of curtains for doorways and windows. It’s a small, easily removable detail that adds a ton of authenticity.
Image via Getty; “Disco Fever” by Paperless Post.
’70s themed party activities
You’ve got your costume planned, and the event space all mapped out for decoration. The question then becomes, how will you structure your guests’ time and make sure it’s really out of sight?
There are plenty of ’70s-themed activities that will have your guests saying, “Groovy, baby!” Try these ideas to inspire an awesome time:
— Skate it up at the roller rink: Create your own roller disco with a skate night party. With plenty of ’70s tunes and disco strobe lighting to set the scene, your partygoers will want to roll the night away.
— Dance at the disco: Who says disco’s dead? Put on your boogie shoes and take them to the dance floor with a disco party or dance party. This makes a perfect activity for those with solid disco roots or who simply like to let loose and have a good time.
— Make your own tie-dye: Grab some T-shirts, rubber bands, gloves, and clothing dye to turn your party into a DIY dreamworld. A fun, chill activity that results in personalized party favors for every guest feels like a win-win.
— Host your own game show: Among many other things, the ’70s popularized the modern day game show format with such classics as “Hollywood Squares,” “Jeopardy!”, and “The Price Is Right.” Feel free to borrow a few party games from the television, or plan your own new-classic game show with trivia, puzzle games, and group activities.
“The Rainbow Connection by Paperless Post”; Image via food 52.
Serve snacks with ’70s style
Make sure your guests don’t feel famished from all that dancing with some far out ’70s-inspired food. While you can always count on chips and ’70s candy to please a crowd, you can keep your party unique with authentic ’70s food to add some fun to the festivities and banish the munchies.
If we could use one word to describe the food and candy of the ’70s, we’d probably say eccentric. Jell-O salads were still around, people arranged their food platters to look like animals, and casseroles were everywhere. But there was also a ton of delicious, shareable foods that make perfect options for your ’70s party.
Try these ideas to give your guests a little bite-sized nostalgia:
— Barbeque meatballs
— Cheese fondue
— Ambrosia fruit salad
— A cheeseball and crackers
— Deviled eggs
— Pineapple skewers
— Cucumber sandwiches
Don’t leave your party guests feeling parched. Quench their thirst with some thoughtfully curated ’70s refreshments that will leave them wanting more.
A few excellent retro drink options include:
— Dr. Pepper: Popularized in the 1970s with the catchy “Be a Pepper” campaign, Dr. Pepper completes a ’70s refreshment table and remains a soda staple.
— Mello Yello: Released in 1979, Mello Yello soda provides a citrusy caffeinated kick for your guests. Drink it down and keep it mellow.
— Pina Colada: Take a note from Rupert Holmes The Pina Colada Song fame and escape with a sweet and creamy Pina Colada. This classic ’70s cocktail will have your guests envisioning themselves on a tropical shore.
“Bust a Move” Flyer by Paperless Post.
Make a groovy ’70s playlist
We can thank the ’70s music scene for an explosion of new sounds and styles. The decade revitalized rock and roll, and let soul music, reggae, and pop music reach new heights. No matter what ’70s theme you’re going for, you better believe there’s at least a handful of musicians perfect for all of your playlist needs.
Here are some classic ’70s artists that deserve a place on any retro dance party playlist:
— Bee Gees
— Led Zeppelin
– Donna Summer
— Stevie Wonder
— The Carpenters
— Elton John
— Bruce Springsteen
— Jackson 5
— The Who
— Joni Mitchell
— The Eagles
— Olivia Newton-John
— Earth, Wind, and Fire
— KC and the Sunshine Band
— Aretha Franklin
Choose your retro-inspired invitations
Now that you’ve planned the grooviest ’70s disco party for your friend or loved one’s milestone birthday, you’re just about ready to rock and roll. There’s only one thing left to do: invite your guests.
A party invitation is the perfect way to make a fabulous first impression. Let your invitees know the fun that awaits them with clever ’70s-inspired online invitations. Check out a few of our favorite invites for a ’70s theme party:
— Bust a Move: Invite your guests to boogie on the dance floor with this fun invitation—built-in dance routine included.
— Good Vibes: Let your party people know what groovy times await them and feel out those good vibrations with this gorgeous card.
— Feathered or Not: Go big, or go home. That’s Farrah’s way. Make it your way with this fun and feathered invitation.
— Boogie Down Birthday: It’s time to get down. Strut your stuff and raise the bar with this retro-inspired card.
— Hot Rollers: Skate the idea past your guests that you’re looking to rock AND roll—literally.
“Let’s Parrrty” Flyer by Paperless Post.
Paperless Post: the invitations you need for a far-out party
Whether you’re set on kickin it in the ’70s or looking to the future, your incredible party memories can last decades. The most crucial part is being surrounded by people you love who will dance and laugh the night away with you.
No matter what kind of ’70s shindig you’re throwing, Paperless Post can provide you with customizable online party invitations to make it all happen. A little bit retro and a conveniently modern, easy Paperless Post lets you put the focus back on planning your party and spreading peace and love.