How to Throw an Oscars Party

You dont have to be on the red carpet in Los Angeles to enjoy the Oscars like a star! Whether youre looking to host a relaxed watch party or a glamorous black-tie event, planning decorations, dishes, and a few games can make your party one for the ages.


[Edit]Choosing a Theme and Guest List

  1. Invite 5-7 people for a more relaxed party. A smaller Oscars party, with just your close friends and family, can be just as much fun as a big bashsometimes even better! Keep the guest list to 5-7 people, or even fewer, for a smaller affair.[1]
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    • Dont worryjust because you have a smaller party, doesnt mean you have to ditch the fancy decorations and dress code, if you want them.
    • A smaller party lets you save money on food, and you wont have to worry about entertaining lots of people.
  2. Throw a large party by inviting 7-15 guests, or more. If you want to go all out, opt for a grander party with a big guest list, anywhere from 7-15 people. Invite people from different friend groups to encourage interesting conversations and connections.[2]
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    • A big, diverse group can make for a more lavish-feeling party, which goes perfectly with the Oscars theme.
    • Depending on how large your house or venue is, you can go even larger than 15 people. More guests will mean more work and expenses for you, but a fabulous party might be worth it!
  3. Choose a location based on the size and feel of your party. Your house is the perfect location for both a large and fancy party or something smaller and more relaxed. If you want an even fancier feel, you could choose to rent out a room.
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    • You might rent a space, like a ballroom or large meeting room, at a hotel or community center.
    • Using an outside venue will give the party a more formal and less personal feeling, but is great if youre looking to invite a big crowd of 50 or more guests.
    • Make sure to book your venue at least a few months ahead of time.
  4. Go with an elegant, classy theme for a fun and fancy party. The Oscars serve as their own party theme, but you can play off of them to create your own unique vibe. You can go for an old Hollywood feel, modern black tie, or relaxed and casual.[3]
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    • For a glam, red carpet affair, you can dress up your whole house and ask guests to come in elegant dresses and suits.
    • A more laid-back party can be just as fun. Invite your guests over in their pajamas and relax on the couch with champagne and popcorn.
  5. Design simple, elegant invitations to go with the Oscars theme. You can make invitations by hand with construction paper and colored pens, or design them online and send them as emails. Keep your invitations clear and simple. Specify the time, date, and location of the party and ask them to RSVP.[4]
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    • Show your theme through your invitations. If your party will be fancy, step it up with glitter and ribbons; if youre going for a more laid-back feel, stick to simple colors and fonts.
    • If youre short on time, you can just send out quick text message invites. To add a bit of class, whip up just one pretty invitation, take a picture of it, and send it out to your guests.
    • You can also use an e-vite website to easily design and send invitations virtually.
  6. Ask guests to arrive early if they want to watch the red carpet. Its up to you whether to invite guests to watch the Oscars pre-show or notyou might need the extra time to finish setting up the party! If you love seeing the glamorous suits and dresses, though, specify that guests can arrive early to join you.
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    • Look up the start time of the red carpet beforehand to make sure you specify the right time.
  7. Specify the dress code in your invites. Based on your theme, make sure to tell guests what they should wear. Put this important detail somewhere your guests will see, like in a colored box at the bottom of the invite.
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    • For a fancier party, you could ask guests to come in formal dresses and suits or flapper-style old Hollywood fashion.
    • For a fun, relaxed party, tell guests to wear their comfiest pajamas and sweatpants.
    • Look online for a few pictures of your desired style and include them in the invitation. This will give your guests an idea of exactly what youre looking for and how they can make it their own.
  8. Ask guests to bring a small dish if you want to throw a potluck. Think ahead and decide whether you want to make the party food yourself or enlist the help of your guests. Its totally appropriate to make your party a potluckjust tell your guests on the invitation, and specify what kinds of dishes they should bring.
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    • You might ask them to come with appetizers, desserts, or side dishes, and make any main dishes yourself. Good sides could include salads, potatoes, or light pasta dishes.
    • To make it easier on your guests, you can also compromise and ask them to bring their own drinks instead of food. Just add a simple BYOB note to your invitation.

[Edit]Decorating to Your Theme

  1. Decide on a simple color scheme with black, gold, and/or red. For a classic Oscars look, make black and gold the main colors of your party. If you want a pop of color, add another striking color, like red, and try to add in sparkles and glitter anywhere you can.
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    • Red and gold floral patterns can also make great accents at an Oscars party. You can use them for napkins or ribbons to pull together your table settings.
  2. Lay a long red tablecloth on the floor for a red carpet. No Oscars party is complete without a red carpet! Make your own budget version by buying a long red tablecloth or table runner. Lay it out in your entryway, hallway, or even on the steps coming into your house to give guests a glamorous entrance.[5]
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    • Sprinkle gold sparkles over the red carpet to give it some extra shimmer.
    • If youre putting the red carpet outside, make sure to hold it down with tape or rocks to keep it in place.
  3. Decorate tables with tablecloths, candles, and flowers. Set up your food and drink tables along the perimeter of your room. Throw a red or black tablecloth over the tables and scatter small votive candles around. A small vase of red roses, real or fake, can make a beautiful finishing touch.[6]
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    • Sprinkle some more gold glitter or sparkles over the tables before you cover them with plates or food.
  4. Hang sparkling streamers and balloons on the walls. Head to the party store and buy glittery gold streamers, long metallic foil fringes, and sparkly wall hangings to string around the room. You can also get black, gold, and red balloons to blow up and float around the room for a classic party feel.[7]
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    • If you have time to plan, you can also buy a few movie postersfrom old, classic films as well as this years nomineesto hang on your walls. Order them online and preview them before you buy to make sure theyll look good with your color scheme.
    • Less is often more when it comes to wall decorations. Stick to 1 or 2 areas of bright decorations, rather than covering the whole room, which can be overwhelming.
  5. Line up plastic statuettes along tables and mantles. Nothing sets off an Oscar party like a few fake Oscars! You can order cheap plastic statuettes online, buy them at a party store, or use old sports trophies as stand-ins. Line them up on a table for an official awards look, or scatter them around the room.[8]
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    • You can also use old dolls or actions figures to make your own Academy Awards. Remove the arms from a doll and glue it onto an old vase or block. Spray paint it gold for a DIY Oscars lookalike.
  6. Get plates and silverware to match your color scheme. Stock up on black, gold, and red paper plates, cups, and silverware at a party store. Mix and match the colors of your tablecloths and plates so that you dont have too much of just one color.
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    • For example, if your tablecloths are gold, go with black or red plates and silverware.
    • For a fancier look, use red and gold holiday china plates and silverware. Their colors will fit in perfectly, but make sure your guests dont drop any!
  7. Glam up clear cups with gold tape. Buy glittery gold Scotch or Washi tape at a party or general store. Wrap a piece around the rim of each cup to add a simple stripe of gold to quickly add an upscale flare.[9]
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    • Glittery tape edges look particularly great on clear plastic champagne glasses, but you can try it on any disposable cups or even plates that you want to use.
    • You can use this technique on glass flutes and plates as well. Remember to peel off the tape before you wash the dish.

[Edit]Choosing Food and Drinks

  1. Provide lots of snacks to last the whole ceremony. The Academy Awards ceremony can last for over 3 hours, so its a good idea to set out lots of appetizers for your guests to snack on throughout the show. Some Oscar-worthy snacks you can consider include:[10]
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    • Tortilla chips and fresh guacamole.
    • Classic deviled eggs.
    • Fruit or veggie salad.
    • A classier version of nachos. Make them by sauteeing chopped mushrooms with shallots and truffle oil. Spoon your mixture onto chips with some taleggio cheese and ricotta and bake at for about 5 minutes, until the cheese melts.[11]
  2. Set out plenty of popcorn. No matter what other foods youre serving, popcorn is a must at an Oscars party. You can go with easy microwave popcorn, or try fresh stove-popped popcorn. Mix in some salt and butter, or go for a sweeter variety, like kettle corn.
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    • Besides fitting in with your Oscars theme, popcorn is also an easy, popular side dish that your guests can snack on throughout the show.
  3. Make or order an easy entree ahead of time to fill everyone up early. Serving a more filling main dish will ensure that your guests dont get hungry later on. Prepare the dish beforehand and heat it up when all your guests have arrived. For less work, you could order food from a restaurant.[12]
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    • You could make a big Cobb salad, or whip up some pasta or lasagna.
    • If youre ordering food from a restaurant, pizza is always a good bet. If Ellen DeGeneres could do it while hosting the 2014 Oscars, then itll be good enough for your guests![13]
    • For a fancier party, you can have a local restaurant cater. Remember to call in your order a few days beforehand.
  4. Have simple chocolate-covered fruit and sweets for dessert. Melt some chocolate before the party and dip fruits and other small sweets in it. Let the treats dry on a tray covered in wax paper, then serve them sometime around the middle of the party, after your guests have eaten the main dish or most of the appetizers.
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    • You could dip strawberries, chopped bananas, marshmallows, and pretzels.
    • You could also rent a chocolate fountain and have guests do the dipping themselves! Look up rental places online and set it up on a separate table for guests to indulge themselves.
  5. Make Oscars cookies a few days beforehand, if you have time. Whip up a batch of sugar cookies a day before the party. Use an Oscar trophy-shaped cookie cutter to cut them into little statuettes, then frost them with yellow frosting and gold sprinkles. Your guests will love these festive treats![14]
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    • You can buy Oscars cookie cutters online.
  6. Pour out plenty of drinks, like champagne and sparkling cider. An Oscars party calls for lots of celebration, which means that champagne and sparkling apple cider are a must. Cover a counter or even a dresser with a tablecloth to make a bar, and set out bottles of champagne in a small bucket of ice.
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    • Offer beer and wine as well, and non-alcoholic drinks like juice, soda, and bottled water.
    • Try serving a classy cocktail too, like a gin and tonic, or a martini.[15]

[Edit]Setting up Games and Entertainment

  1. Play or stream the Oscars live. Look up the station the Oscars will be shown on ahead of time, and have it turned on while guests are arriving. If youll be streaming the Oscars online, make sure to test the stream ahead of time to make sure it works.
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    • ABC is the current provider of the Oscars, so you can stream the show on or on the ABC app if you sign in with a TV provider.
    • You can also watch on a subscription-based provider, like Sling TV, YouTube TV, or Hulu Live.[16]
    • Keep control of the remote so you can turn the volume up or down as needed. You may want to turn it up during major awards, or lower the volume during commercial breaks so your guests can chat.
  2. Challenge guests to predict what movie will win each category. Print out ballots that list all the nominees for each category and give one to each guest. Have them choose who they think will win in each category and mark each correct prediction as the ceremony goes on. Whoever guessed the most right is the winner![17]
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    • You can find ballots online by searching for Oscars ballots 2018, or whatever year youre printing them for.
  3. Play Oscars bingo during the show. Fill in bingo boards with things you might see or hear during the show. Make one unique board for each guest and give it to them as they walk in. As the show progresses, they can mark the boxes with an X when they see that item. The first guest to mark 5 boxes in a row is the winner![18]
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    • Fill the boxes with things like Forgot to thank mother during speech, Yellow dress, non-black tuxedo, and tripped while walking.
    • You can create your own bingo card on the computer by making a 5x5 square separated into 25 boxes. Once you fill in the boxes, rearrange them to create each new board.
  4. Play Oscars trivia before the show and during commercial breaks. Set up a poster board and fill it with pictures of your chosen trivia category, such as Best Picture Winners or Famous Oscar Dresses. Place a sticker over the name of each movie or the face of each actress, mark each photo with a number, and have guests guess the name of each film or actress.[19]
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    • Print out and post the title of the game as well. For a more creative name than Oscars trivia, write Name that Best Picture Winner or Name that Oscar Dress.
    • For a simpler version, write down 20-30 questions and answers that have to do with Oscars or film history. Shout them out at random throughout the night to see whos paying attention!
  5. Set out board games and cards if all else fails. If the ceremony gets dull and your guests are getting antsy, feel free to break out the board games or card decks. Dont worryeven the best party planner cant predict a boring show! Be flexible, follow the mood of the party, and keep having fun!
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    • Look for movie-related games, like Scene It? or Double Feature, and set out old favorites like Monopoly, Clue, or Scrabble.
    • Set up the games away from the TV, so guests who still want to watch arent too distracted.
  6. Hand out Oscars to the winners of your games. Make sure to offer small prizes to the winner of each game. If you dont have plastic Oscar statuettes, hand out a bottle of champagne or a sparkling cider, or even a special dessert.
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  • Label your foods with any common allergens they might contain, such as nuts. Label dairy and wheat-containing foods as well, in case any of your guests are dairy-free or gluten-free.

[Edit]Things Youll Need


  • Long red tablecloth
  • Gold glitter/sparkles
  • Small candles
  • Red roses (real or fake)
  • Small vase
  • Red or black tablecloths
  • Glittery gold streamers
  • Metallic foil fringes
  • Classic movie posters (optional)
  • Plastic Oscar statuettes
  • Colored paper plates, silverware, and napkins
  • Clear plastic or glass champagne flutes
  • Gold tape

[Edit]DIY Oscar Statuettes

  • Old dolls or action figures
  • Vase or wooden block
  • Glue
  • Gold spray paint

[Edit]Food and Drinks

  • Tortilla chips
  • Guacamole
  • Deviled eggs
  • Salad (fruit or veggie)
  • Popcorn
  • Lasagna or large Cobb salad (optional, as a main dish)
  • Melted chocolate (for dipping)
  • Strawberries
  • Chopped bananas
  • Marshmallows
  • Pretzels
  • Oscar statuette-shaped cookie cutter (optional, for Oscars cookies)
  • Batch of sugar cookie dough (optional, for Oscars cookies)
  • Yellow frosting and gold sprinkles (optional, for Oscars cookies)
  • Champagne
  • Sparkling cider
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Juice
  • Soda
  • Water


  • Chopped mushrooms
  • Butter (for sauteeing)
  • Olive oil (for sauteeing)
  • Minced shallots
  • Truffle oil
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Tortilla chips
  • Taleggio cheese
  • Ricotta cheese

[Edit]Games and Entertainment

  • TV or computer (to watch show)
  • Printed ballots with nominees for each category
  • Pen for each guest
  • Oscars bingo boards
  • Poster board (for trivia)
  • Pictures (for trivia)
  • Stickers (to cover parts of pictures)
  • Board games and cards (optional)
  • Plastic statuettes (optional, for winners)


[Edit]Quick Summary