Themes can inject a little extra excitement into your parties. Guests build up anticipation by planning outfits or festive dishes to pass, while as the host you get to decorate, and come up with games, foods and specialty cocktails that fit your theme. No matter the reason for the celebration (if you need a reason at all), deciding to throw a theme party is the easy part. The hard part is deciding on a theme.
If you don't have a specific theme in mind, follow these tips to come up with a custom party your guests will love.
Think about the food
If you've been brainstorming this party for a while and you have dishes in mind, but no theme, build your party's concept around the food. Think about what the foods have in common and how you can relate them with one central theme that lends itself to fun decorations. For example, if you've been planning to tackle ambitious fruit-covered fusion nachos, consider turning the entire party into a Cinco de Mayo theme regardless of the date. Use the frozen concoction maker and your tropical decorations, serve tropical drinks and embrace the south-of-the-border vibe even if the calendar says October.
Consider the details
Some people decide on a theme and then go with it before thinking it all the through. Starting with a large, broad topic is a good beginning, but you want to break it down to small, actionable steps before you start setting up. It won't be fun, for example, to throw a party themed after a television show if you can't turn the show's details into specific decorations, food and drinks.
Focus on the guests
When you're inviting over a large group of friends, a theme party can be great, but it's best if it fits your guests' interests. Artist Eleatta Diver, who frequently throws paint parties, advised hosts to consider the guests and their interests before choosing a theme. For example, if your friends are a bunch of Parrotheads, try a full-on Hawaiian luau. It'll be familiar enough to be memorable, but different enough to be exciting.
Go all out
You can make almost anything a party theme with a bit of creativity and a lot of effort. Photographer and party aesthetic expert Kristen Duke once threw a mason jar themed party for her grandparents. You could use these seemingly innocuous storage containers for everything from DIY lighting sources to unique glasses. Duke also had a mason jar cake.
You can make a good-looking and fun party about just about anything - so don't be shy about getting creative.