The Tropical Luau Party -  Decorations


Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageIsland Butterflies

Birthday banner made by another aunty (paint&glitter this was so beautiful), streamers, balloon bouquets(assorted colors hang on each pole w/ sparkly curling ribbon, butterfly strings which twisted around the 6 poles on the tent looked like the butterflies were flying on the poles, paper butterflies hang from the top the tent & poles, white xmas light strung on the top of tent, table cloths stamps w/ paint in yellow bees, pink & purple butterflies & green & blue flowers.

CENTERPIECES: looked like a mini garden, each costed about $3 to make. Florist foam(cheap from walmart) wrapped w/ pastel pink, purple, blue, green & yellow wrapping paper, stamp'd with a butterfly in front & top'd w/ fake flowers in front a wallet size frame & her picture in it & large toothpick & thank you w/ another little picture her to look like a stake in back w/ mini nylon butterfly glued on the frame & flowers & glitter for dirt. It was simple but perfect we made 60 of them.

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageRoyal Kaika Resort

On the day of the party, we redirected people from our front gate to our garden gate with a posted message, "The (our last name) have gone to Hawaii for vacation, to join them, please take the Garden gate and follow the Tiki path  to the Royal Kaika Resort."   

The Garden Gate had a poster size Magenta pink sign that said "Aloha – Welcome to the Royal Kaika Resort"  I purchased the Aloha cutout and then added the personal details using Microsoft Word's Monotype Corsiva font in a very large size.  I traced over the computer printout onto the sign and then filled in the impression with periwinkle ink.  On the adjoining fence we had a purchased large Tiki tower cardboard cutout that was over 6 ft high. 

Guests then followed the 30 feet of garden path lined with lots of foliage, some flowers, and Tiki torches to the covered patio.  We lined our covered patio with matchstick blinds and raffia and shell fringe around the roofline.  This made a great Tiki hut.  We had a Lei curtain over the patio door.  The walls had purchased cardboard cutouts of hula girls, palm trees, and informational posters for each station/table.   

Just off the covered patio we had an 8x12 foot wallpaper mural of a palm tree lined beach with ocean water lapping the sand.  I purchased this from American Blind and Wallpaper factory online.  I mounted the wallpaper mural to luann board and a 1x2" wood frame with glue and screws.  I made it into three panels that can be disassembled and stored.  I went to rent this item from a local rental agency and they wanted $500 for the rental.  I made it for around $150.  This mural was a terrific backdrop for the party and for pictures. 

Three large tables were decorated with light blue table covers, then lined with 29 inch long raffia, shells, and starfish table skirts, then dark blue fishnet covered each table and shells and tropical party favors were scattered over each table.  Lei and Greeting Table:  As guests arrived they were greeted with silk neck and ankle leis, grass skirts, beachcomber hats, and/or silk flowers for the hair.  Each guest was given a nametag made from card stock with a floral or shell sticker partially trimmed out.  Little Children got their nametags on their backs. 

The nametag was personalized with their Hawaiian name and their Island title.  English names can be translated into Hawaiian at  Many of the guests were helping with some aspect of the party, so their Island title reflected that.  For example:  Lolike -Ohana Lei girl (greeter), Elenola – Island Photographer, Mikala – Island Video Production Manger, Keiko – Goddess of Island Nectars (bartender), Keoni – Island Limbo King, Kalika – Island Witch Doctor, Kala – Island Grill Master, Wikolia – Tropical Temptress of Pineapple Bowling, and of course my 2 year old, Makaio – Little Volcano. 

Above the table was a large magenta poster with the title "Hawaiian Names and Phrases" this told people how to pronounce their Hawaiian name and gave them about 30 common Hawaiian phrases also found on the website  This poster was created using the same Monotype Corsiva font.  The poster was then decorated with silk flowers hot glued in place to give a 3-D appeal. 

There was also a hula girl cut out next to this poster.  At the greeting table we had a coffee table book with aerial pictures of Hawaii entitled "Above Hawaii".  We also had my son's photo albums since birth and his web site loaded on a laptop for people to view.  Guests had a mini beach ball labeled with their name for our "tidal wave" game later.  Then they each got three mini tropical colored clothespins to keep or lose based on their ability to only use people's Hawaiian names. 

Aloha Bar and Grill:  Guests next proceeded to the Bar where the drink menu was printed on a large Magenta poster again decorated with silk flowers like previously described.  There was also another tissue Aloha sign that decorated a large "Bar and Grill" sign.

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageBackground Sounds

Background Entertainment:  We had Ocean wave sounds playing behind the mural.  We had a mix of Hawaiian music and beach boys playing on the large portable CD player. 

We had a small area set up for the kids on the deck with Lilo and Stitch playing on a TV/DVD player on a small outdoor coffee table with 6 little kid chairs (rented). 

Photo Opportunity:  Each guest or family was encouraged to have a picture taken in front of the mural.  (these photos were used for thank you cards afterwards). 

After all the guests arrived, we had a panoramic group photo in front of the mural as well.

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageTiki Tables and Shells

Tiki style table covers, placemats.  Metal bins with a raffia hula skirt wrapped around filled with ice, Hawaiian punch and topped with uncut pineapples. Aprons painted with Hawaiian designs and "Alexis' Luau" for all involved in hosting/BBQ-ing for the party. Bowls filled with sand and shells act as centerpieces to hold table covers down or hold down balloon bouquets. 

Also you could do bowls filled with water and goldfish. A huge poster collage of Alexis through the years decorated Hawaiian style. (It is VERY cheap to have your photos colorcopied and enlarged at Kinko's) Tiki cups, Pineapple cups, Mai tai glasses, Tahitian Beachcomber Coconut & Straw Kona hats, Toy Ukuleles for kid giveaways.

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PagePineapples, Parrots & Fish

Decorations: Bright Balloons everywhere/Bright Streamers/Bright Paper Plates, Cups, Napkins/Luau Tissue Straws/Plastic Coconut or Pineapple Shaped Cups/Mini Umbrellas/Plastic Parrots or Fish/etc... Also, if the party is at night, use clear or colored Xmas lights covered with Bright Netting.

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageHula Bears

Concerning decorations, I decorated one of my daughter's white teddy bears with a hula skirt made out of green tissue paper cut into strips, a cheap lei and a silk flower on one of its ears. I placed the teddy bear under a palm tree centerpiece purchased from Oriental Trading. I also bought a hanging door garland made of different colored flowers that the children walked through when they entered the house. I had a large "Aloha" sign above my sliding glass doors leading out to the pool. On the computer with various tropical clip art, I made 8 1/2 x 11" signs and had them laminated.

They read: "The luau is here!" which was placed on my front door. I hung a "hula hall of fame" sign next to my big screen TV where the girls learned the hula (more on that later), a "lagoon" sign on my pool fence, and a "tiki bar" sign on my patio table w/umbrella. Because I have a pool fence around my pool, I was able to attach various things through the little holes and posts on the fence, such as six foot flower garlands in different colors, hanging suns and a monkey/palm tree wind chime. I bought inexpensive cardboard palm trees and flowers and taped them to the back wall of my house.

When the children arrived, my two daughters were already dressed in their bathing suits, hula skirts, leis and flower combs, and my husband and I wore Hawaiian shirts. We had luau music (bought from Oriental Trading) playing on our CD player, and we had a children's instructional hula video playing on our big screen TV (with muted sound initially). (The video was rented from the local library, and I located it by going online to our library's website and had it transferred to my local branch from a more distant branch).

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageYellow, Orange & Green

Hang up yellow, orange, and green streamers all over the place since you can get a huge roll for $0.75 and streamers always dress a place up.

Cover the buffet table with a multi-colored tablecloth and then a huge sheet of astro-turf for a Hawaiian feel. You should reserve one brightly lit and especially decorated area or room, cleared of rugs, lamps, breakables, and furniture, for dancing, snacking, and romping.

Here is where the girls can work out their energy and make a mess to their hearts content. In the bounce-around room is where the CD player should be so the guests can rock to Linkin Park as well as sway to the Hula! Hang up tropical looking curtains and posters. Make palm trees out of construction paper and stick them to the walls. String up colorful templates and patterns too.  

Also keep one off-to-the-side room for calm and quiet. In the middle of the room, make a huge pile of ultra soft pillows mixed in with teddy bears and other bedside companions. This can be the peace-room/snuggle heap for those who want to hit the sack early.

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PagePaper Lanterns

MINI DECORATIONS: Using construction paper, I made bright colored lanterns by placing the two pieces together, folding in half "hamburger" style, cutting them until I was about an inch away from the edge, unfolding them and then refolding them "hotdog" style and then stapling them at the edges. I made about 6 of these and hung them from the ceiling. I also made pineapples and coconuts using construction paper as well. We then took 2 false trees that we already have in our house (you can get those @ like Wal-Mart for about $20) and used brown balloons as coconuts. Over the door we wrote "ALOHA" on a piece of with poster board using bright colored markers and then attached leis to the poster board similar to beads that would hang over a door. We also put "ALOHA" in random places. 

MAIN DECORATION: On one of our walls, we used a blue tablecloth to be the sky. We then used cardboard to be the sand. On the "sand" we used 5 green poster boards cut into grass shapes on the bottom, and then made flamingos using 3 hot pink poster boards going along the bottom. We also put hibiscus flowers in between the 3 flamingos. On the sky we simply used large yellow construction paper for a sun, and 3 white poster boards for clouds. This decoration cost about 20 overall. (All things used in this decoration were from a dollar store) 

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PagePalm Trees and Hibiscus

We got two 8' metallic palm trees that were suspended from the ceiling, a dozen hibiscus-patterned lanterns, an "Aloha" sign, and tissue paper palm trees and hula girls for the table. 

I found a CD of traditional Hawaiian music at Best Buy.  I used our summer tablecloth which has tropical stripes on it and at dinner we had four pillar candles in a dish with candlescape stones and rocks as well as 12 tealights in votive holders all around.

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageAirport Room

We decorated our dining room (the first room the guest came in) to look like and airport with signs such as baggage area (where we put empty suitcases in a pile!!), and posters of desinations. 

When the guests arrived we gave them name tags with their names in Hawaiian (which we found earlier on the internet) and gave them pre-printed fish pattern bags (from Oriental trading) that they decorated, those we later used as goody bags.

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageKiwi Green & Hot Pink

The colors used for the party were turquoise, kiwi green and hot pink. I purchased several turquoise and also hot pink table skirts with Hawaiian flowers on them to put around the tables.  The tablecloths were all turquoise to symbolize blue water. 

For decorations, we purchased an inflatable palm tree, fresh pineapples, Hawaiian style maracas, paper pineapples, marbled balloon and a large Hula girl mylar balloon. 

For the kid's snacks, I used sand buckets w/ shovel and glued Hawaiian flowers on the outside of the buckets.  I also had purchased the year before through the Disney catalog a Hawaiian themed ceramic bowl, which I used for the Chicken cabbage salad. I also purchased a matching Hawaiian platter that I put a Cheese torte on.


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