How to Decorate for a Mexican-Themed Party

by Jennifer Mullett
Use labels to let guests know the spice level of each dish.

Use labels to let guests know the spice level of each dish.

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You can bring your Mexican theme party to life with a host of colorful decorations reminiscent of Mexico. Use the Mexican flag and its colors -- red, white and green -- as a starting point for your decorating scheme. Look to Mexico's abundant cuisine; varied desert, mountain and seaside climates; and colonial history for further inspiration. Take into account other cultural distinctions, such as the thriving indigenous groups, strong Catholic identity, and inclusive art traditions, when you plan your party setting.

Items you will need

  • Balloons
  • Tablecloth
  • Potted cacti
  • Sombreros
  • Maracas
  • Chili peppers
  • Ears of corn
  • Bell peppers
  • Chili pepper lights
Step 1

Hang Mexican photographs, posters and flags on the walls of the main area of the party. Hang strings of chili pepper lights around the buffet table. Use a black table cloth for the buffet table and decorate it with bowls of bright red, green and yellow bell peppers, over-sized colorful platters and decorative ears of corn.

Step 2

Tie groups of red, white and green balloons in the entryway, on the stairs and around the buffet table. Use red, white and green plates, cups and napkins.

Step 3

Place sombreros throughout the house. Offer one to each guest as they arrive or leave them laying about and see what happens. Hang one on the front door to set the tone for the party. Let children decorate their own sombreros with felt cutouts of peppers and sunflowers and lengths of raffia.

Step 4

Create a Mexican centerpiece with mini cacti in terracotta pots. Place red and green chili peppers, garlic, avocados and tomatoes in between the pots. Let guests take the cacti home as party favors.

Step 5

Organize the buffet table with Mexican food and decorations and make use of Mexican flags on toothpicks to hold tortillas together. Look for colored tortillas and tortilla chips in red, white and green.

Step 6

Fill a pinata with candy and hang it in a safe open area, preferably outside. After dinner, lead guests outside and let everyone take turns at the pinata.

Step 7

Build a vignette in a bare corner using a sombrero, a Mexican blanket or poncho, and a guitar. Leave a pair of maracas next to the guitar and a few ears of corn. The vignette will look like a sleeping Mexican guitar player.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make a playlist of Mexican music or look through your local newspaper to hire a Mariachi musician for the evening. Consider renting a margarita machine to make quick margaritas and blend margarita mocktails using your own blender for the kids. Have a Mexican potluck and have each guest bring her favorite Mexican dish.
  • Chili peppers can be dangerously hot for children. Limit your displays to areas where children cannot reach them. Label spicy food with pieces of card stock and rate the dishes with chili peppers: one for mild, two for medium and three or more for hot. Dress up the labels with a sun, sombrero or margarita rubber stamp.

About the Author

Jennifer Mullett started writing in 1998. She has published several short stories in Notebook Magazine, has ghostwritten news releases and articles for local companies and continues to write fiction. Mullett has a diploma in floral design from The Canadian Institute of Floral Design and a diploma in photographic studies from Lawrence College.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images