The Girls' Guide to Throwing an Oscar Party

Get entertaining tips and recipes for hosting a red carpet-worthy gathering

The Academy Awards are a great excuse for a party; really, seeing George Clooney in a tux is reason enough to celebrate. Here, your guide to hosting a winning fete: how to decorate, what to serve and how to keep the party going all the way through Best Picture.

Set the Scene
There’s only one crucial element to an Oscar party: a television. Since everyone will be glued to it all night, you can keep the rest of the decor simple. Make sure you have enough comfortable seating for your guests; extra pillows and cushions can turn your floor into overflow seating. Pull pillows from the rest of your house, or invest in a few floor cushions, like ones from West Elm or Urban Outfitters, for this and future affairs. Stick with a palette of red and gold to match the red carpet and the awards themselves. Crimson cocktails napkins and a bouquet of red roses are easy choices; while a bunch of red paper lanterns not only adds some color but also references Grauman’s Chinese Theatre where the awards show takes place. To add some glitter, stick simple gold star stickers to clear plastic cups and use a star-shaped punch to cut stars out of gold paper and sprinkle them about.

Nosh like the Stars
For your Oscar night menu, look to nominated films for inspiration. If you’re sticking to snacks, for example, you could serve "Up In The Air" Popcorn with Brown Butter and Parmesan and dress up store-bought cookies by turning them into "Coco Before Chanel" Frosted Cookie Sandwiches. For a full meal, try a classic Boeuf Bourguignon inspired by Julie & Julia with a "Crazy Heart" of Palm Salad.

Keep It Action-Packed
While the red-carpet pre-show is always riveting, the ceremony itself can get, well, a little dull. (Sound Mixing awards, anyone?) To keep the night interesting, build a game into the awards show. Print ballots from the official Oscar website and have guests  guess the winners in various categories; offer a prize to whoever gets the most correct. Or play Oscar Bingo; the blog How About Orange has adorable, downloadable cards that turn the ceremony pageantry into bingo clues.

Get into Character
Want to kick the festivities up a notch? Ask guests to dress for the red carpet or better still, as their favorite characters from Oscar-winning films of the past; later, you can reminisce about the time you had Annie Hall and Rocky over for dinner!


Laura Fenton is a Brooklyn-based writer whose work has appeared in many publications, including Country Living, Family Circle and Good Housekeeping. She is also a regular contributor to ShelterPop and the author of The Little House In The City.





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