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How to Throw a 1960s-Themed Party

One of Kitty's dream jobs is to be a party planner. She finds joy in planning parties for children and adults alike!

For your '60s-Themed Party, go "Mad Men" style!

For your '60s-Themed Party, go "Mad Men" style!

Throw Your Dream 60s Party

What's more fun than throwing a party? Throwing a 60s-themed party! This decade was a transitional period, full of changes and excitement. From hippies to modmen and everything in between, the '60s saw various bold styles of fashion and music emerge from the shadows of the '50s.

Check out these ideas for decorations, food, costumes, and more! Whether you're going for a hippie style or mod style, you'll find some great inspiration here.

1960s Decorations

If you're going for a hippie-style, finding decorations and supplies for your party is going to be a cinch. Think tie-dye, peace signs, and bright whacky colors, and you'll be in that groovy mindset! Did you live through this decade? Use your memories as inspiration for your décor. If you didn't live through it or can't quite remember (as is the case for many of you who lived through this decade), here are some quick and easy ideas to get you started.

For a Hippie Theme:

  • tie-dye wall decals and tablecloths
  • peace sign plates, cups, napkins, and utensils
  • photos or posters of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Beatles, and other famous '60s musicians/bands
  • lava lamps
  • big yellow smiley faces, peace signs, trippy-looking decorations
  • VW Econoline Hippie Van stand-up or centerpieces for the tables
  • replace your light bulbs with groovy colored bulbs
  • give love beads and flowers to all of your guests to wear

For a Mod Theme:

  • multicolored balloons (yellow, red, blue, and orange as in the picture above)
  • simple mod-style party decorations (you can even go vintage if you have the money to spend and the time to collect!)
  • crystal or sparkly chandeliers
  • champagne flutes (if you don't want to do champagne, don't forget the punch bowl and matching cups)
  • Pop Art posters on the walls
  • British flags
  • Chinese lanterns
  • you could even go Space Age with moons, rockets, and stars

If all else fails, watch Austin Powers and get inspired! Yeah, baby!

Potato Platters

Potato Platters

'60s Food and Drinks

Your choice of food and drinks can revolve around the specific '60s theme you're going with.

Hippie Theme

You could make brownies and call them "magical brownies." Various salads would also be perfect party food, and you could include a large fruit bowl and fruit punch. Get creative and put peace signs on cupcakes, smiley faces on potatoes, etc.

Mod Theme

If you're going with a more mod-themed party, food and drinks can be a little bit classier. Skim through recipes from the 60s online, or borrow some vintage cookbooks from your local library or from grandma! Create a beautifully mod buffet featuring the decade's finger foods and cocktails.

Finger Food Ideas:

  • cheese and fruit on toothpicks
  • nuts of various kinds
  • tomatoes
  • radishes
  • olives
  • lunch meats
  • cocktail sausages
  • shrimp cocktail
  • quiche lorraine

As for the cocktails, go with basic beer and wine, but you can also include cognac, martinis, etc.

Dessert Ideas:

  • strawberry parfait ring
  • marble cake
  • angel food cake
  • jello molds
  • fudge
  • peanut brittle
Strawberry parfait ring

Strawberry parfait ring

1960s Costumes

Everyone's favorite part of a party is the costumes!

For the Ladies:

  • Hippie costumes can be found online for reasonable prices, or you can put a costume together by gathering a pair of bell bottoms, a brightly colored shirt with a fringed vest over top, headbands, and crazy big sunglasses (check local thrift and consignment shops for vintage or retro-like pieces).
  • If you want to go for a classier feel, search for a '60s mod dress or go to Check out eBay, Rustyzipper, and Etsy for authentic vintage mod dresses.

For the Gentlemen:

  • Go for a "Mad Men" look complete with a suit and tie and hat by searching for vintage suits at thrift shops. You can also find "Mad Men" costumes online.
  • If you want to go for the hippie look, search nearby thrift and vintage shops for bell bottoms, old rock band T-shirts, fringed vests, headbands, and sunglasses (don't forget the platform shoes).

If all else fails, grab a long-haired wig from your local costume shop and slap on a ratty T-shirt and ripped jeans...INSTANT HIPPIE!

© 2013 Kitty Fields


Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on January 24, 2013:


Mackenzie Sage Wright on January 24, 2013:

This looks so fun. Cool ideas.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on January 21, 2013:


Jason from Vilonia , Arkansas on January 20, 2013:

I love it! now I feel like throwing "Animal House" in the dvd player.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on January 20, 2013:

Absolutely, Nell! Come on over, lady!

Nell Rose from England on January 20, 2013:

Love this idea! I always felt that I missed out on the 60s look, too young, then when it came back, too old! haha! can I come to your party? lol!

Claudia Porter on January 17, 2013:

What a great idea! Everyone loves a themed party. I think I'd go for the Mad Men look myself. Great hub. Up and Awesome.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on January 16, 2013:

Good idea! I'll have to throw that one in sometime. :)

Jason from Vilonia , Arkansas on January 15, 2013:

You need to write an article on how we can throw a "rocky horror picture show" party!

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on January 15, 2013:

eaglecreek - Peace!

Jason from Vilonia , Arkansas on January 15, 2013:


Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on January 15, 2013:

randomcreative - You're too sweet. Thanks for reading! I love your hubs too, ya know. :)

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 15, 2013:

I love your party planning ideas! Thanks for the great range of detailed suggestions.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on January 15, 2013:

Crystal - That is a good idea, too! Thanks for reading.

rebeccamealey - Yes, I've written a 1940s theme party hub too, along with every other decade from the 20s to the 60s. :) Thanks for reading.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on January 14, 2013:

What a great party theme! I'll be the 1940 's theme would be interesting. All those gangsters and glamour girls!

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on January 14, 2013:

This sounds like so much fun. I'd love to do this and show a movie from the 60s! Voted up and awesome and shared.