Whether you’re going to be in New Orleans for the big day or not, planning a Mardi Gras party can be an absolute blast. By now, it’s the kind of internationally appreciated day that gets celebrated all over the world as yet another opportunity to see friends and be social, so we know lots of people who get dressed up and invite each other over or go out for a night on the town no matter where they live! While we’re almost always game for a fun night out with friends, sometimes we find that we actually have more fun staying in and hosting a party ourselves, especially when there’s a particular holiday or theme involved. What can we say? We just adore decorating and creating a whole party experience ourselves for friends and family that much!
Just in case you’re as interested as we usually are in hosting your own Mari Gras party, here are 15 awesome tips, tricks, tutorials, and ideas for making it extra fun by putting your DIY skills to good use!
1. Smart Mardi Gras planning in New Orleans
Are you actually planning on building your guests your very own Mardi Gras experience while you’re in New Orleans? Then you’re going to want to give everyone the true authentic experience, making sure to include a little bit of everything! There will likely be a lot going on around you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t organize your own part of the celebration as well. This guide from The Southern Thing to balancing all of the elements of a perfect New Orleans Mardi Gras will get you totally sorted!
2. Cute, simple printable centrepieces
Perhaps you’re having a simple party that you’d like to keep quite cheap and easy because it was a last minute idea, but you still want to pay enough attention to detail that your friends will be really impressed when they arrive? Then taking care of simple, classic party elements like centre pieces for the buffet table is a great way to lay down some decor basics! You can make that extra easy on yourself by using fun, colourful Mardi Gras printables, like these ones featured on Parties 2 Plan.
3. Fun options for masquerade parties
As everyone knows (whether they’re in New Orleans or not), Mardi Gras is a masquerade affair! We know people who go all out buying the fanciest masks they can find in stores, but we also know many people (like ourselves) who love to go all out making our own instead! Sometimes, however, we think it’s nice to make sure everyone at the party has a nice mask to wear, even if they don’t have the time or money to buy or make their own. That’s why we liked this awesome list of mask ideas from DIY Network! They show you how to start with simple, small store bought masks and embellish them quickly and affordably but in a way that makes them look absolutely great.
4. DIY sparkling Mardi Gras mask wreath
Perhaps you actually made yourself a few too many masks, or maybe you had some left over from last year’s party? In that case, we’d suggest using them as decor pieces around the house or venue instead! One of our favourite examples of this idea is this adorable DIY sparkling mask wreath outlined on Homesteading. They show you how to use baubles, metallic ribbon, and jumbo Mardi Gras beads to transform your spare mask into a very impressive door hanger indeed.
5. Mardi Gras mask themed cookies
Are you the kind of party host who adores making edible treats for your guests, especially when there’s a theme to follow? We’re actually huge fans of making fancy sugar cookies and getting very creative when we decorate them, so this tutorial for creating cookies that are iced to look like miniature Mardi Gras masks was right up our alley. Just in case you find the idea an interesting one as well, you can find all the details on Bargain Babe!
6. Homemade Mardi Gras headpieces
If you’re going to go to the trouble of making yourself a homemade mask (or even if you’re not, honestly), why not really take your look to the next level and add a head piece into the mix as well? Calendar Craze guides you through the process of making fantastic, flashy, colourful head pieces from bright, shiny fabrics, sequins and trims, Mardi Gras beads, and fantastic rhinestone pieces!
7. Mardi Gras king cake with a cream cheese filing
Did we really catch your eye when we started talking about the idea of making your party guests delicious Mardi Gras themed baked goods but you’ve never really been one for carefully decorating very detailed cookies? Well, particularly if you’re more of a cake and fillings kind of person, maybe you’d prefer this awesome cream cheese king cake featured on Mel Claire instead! We love the way they incorporated classic Mardi Gras colours by covering the top in sweet sprinkles.
8. Simple, embellished printable masks
Are you still thinking about how the cute the idea of making a bunch of DIY Mardi Gras masks for all of your guests to enjoy just in case they didn’t bring their own would be but you’re a little more pressed for time than you thought and you’re just not sure you’ll have time to make the slightly more high maintenance kind we showed you above? Then perhaps a quick, accessible printables template could help you out here! We love this easy outline from Mama Bee that you can print in all kinds of colours and designs. Simple add rhinestones and a handle made from a coloured straw or a painted kebab stick and you’re done!
9. Delicious Southern Mardi Gras snacks
If you’re going to make baked good to serve at your party, would you prefer to also make a complete meal or an array of snacks that will actually keep your guests bellies filled all night, rather than just giving them a sugar high for an hour or so? Then we have a feeling you’re going to be very pleased indeed when you see just how many classic southern dishes Mommy Savers has outlined for you! Your guests will feel just like they’re actually in New Orleans for the evening.
10. Louisiana stew as an entree
Snacks, appetizers, and desserts are all well and good and your guests will absolutely appreciate them, but what if you’re the kind of “hostess with the mostest” who would always rather serve a full on meal with a tangible entree? Well, never fear, because there are plenty of options for making a delicious main course! One of our particular favourites is this fantastic Louisiana stew outlined on Mr. Food. It’s got just enough kick to it to really get your guests feeling away and ready to have a good time!
11. Meatless Mardi Gras food options
If you’re going to host a party and cook for people, are you the kind of inclusive host who will absolutely make sure that there are dish options for everyone, regardless of their dietary restrictions? In that case, we have a feeling you’ll really be able to put this list of party food ideas to good use! Peta guides you through a whole array of ideas for meatless dishes that are just as delicious as anything else you might think of serving for Mardi Gras.
12. Festive Mardi Gras snack labels
While we’re discussing the helpful, creative idea of creating printable labels, are you the kind of organized party host who loves to label every single dish you serve, especially when you know that there might be some recipes that a lot of your guests are unfamiliar with or trying for the first time? We always find this a helpful trick for snacks and buffet meals because we know we’ll be too busy to answer the same food questions over and over when we’re trying to make sure the party runs smoothly. If you like that idea too, check out these adorable printable labels designed by Pizzazzerie!
13. Alcohol free Mardi Gras shots for kids
Now, we know that Mardi Gras is usually one of those holidays that adults really take as a reason to celebrate but also to let completely loose, even if they would normally enjoy cocktails at a regular gathering on any other night. At our parties, however, adults aren’t the only ones who are there to have fun, so we always try to make our menus and drink options pretty family friendly! Since we’ll probably be making adult Jello shots anyways, we usually set aside some Jello mix and shot glasses for the kids os we can make these non-alcoholic versions of super colourful, berry topped Mardi Gras Jello shots featured on Coupons.com.
14. Duct tape Mardi Gras beads
Perhaps you’re looking for even more ways to tie your kids into the party and make them feel included, so you thought that perhaps helping them craft some jewelry for the event beforehand would be a great way to do it? We’d have to agree, especially since our kids adore making jewelry, which is why we love this DIY paper Mardi Gras beads tutorial outlined on Crafthubs so much! Sure, there will be shiny plastic beads in abundance for everyone to wear, but sometimes it’s nice to wear something a little more unique when you’re all dressed up too.
15. DIY feather tree centrepiece
Did we really catch your attention when we started talking about centre pieces much earlier on our list but you’re not quite sure that the printables are the best option for you because, luckily, you actually do have some spare time to invest in making your own decor pieces this year? In that case, we’d suggest giving a much fancier centre piece like these awesome feahthered Mardi Gras trees a try! See how they’re made in more detail on Mardi Gras Outlet.
Do you have any crafty or DIY Mardi Gras decor, catering, and party tips that you’ve tried before and loved but that you don’t see here? Tell us all about what you made and how you did it in the comments section or link us to pictures of your finished product!