How to Decorate for a Swamp Bayou Party

by Camela Bryan

In the Southern United States, rivers get grassy and swampy as they head toward the Gulf of Mexico. These green, shady bodies of water are called bayous and they are numerous along the northern Gulf Coast. A swamp bayou party is more than just a good excuse to play zydeco music. It can celebrate your team's victory, your Louisiana heritage or a successful crawfish expedition. Boil up the crawfish, make some file gumbo and invite your friends. Decorate your space to look like a swamp, and create a party atmosphere as festive as the food and music.

Items you will need

  • Green crepe-paper streamers
  • Branches
  • Fishing line
  • Thumbtacks
  • Treated Spanish moss
  • Grassy potted plants
  • Burlap
  • Red-checked napkins
  • Speckled enamel serving pieces
  • Canning jars
  • Washtub
  • Stuffed possum or plastic alligator
  • Rowboat
  • Fishing nets
Step 1

Drape green tissue-paper streamers from the center of the ceiling to the center of the walls to create the effect of an overhanging canopy of trees.

Step 2

Hang a few branches from the ceiling with fishing line and thumbtacks. Drape them generously with Spanish moss. Allow the moss to hang down in long streamers.

Step 3

Arrange pots of tall grassy plants around the party area.

Step 4

Drape the tables with burlap and use red-checked napkins and speckled enamel serving pieces. Serve drinks in canning jars and use a washtub for a drink cooler. A stuffed possum or plastic alligator makes an amusing centerpiece.

Step 5

Put a small row boat in a corner and pile one end with fishing nets and oars.

Tips & Warnings

  • For an elaborate extra touch, build a low stage for the band that looks like a boat dock.
  • Only use treated Spanish moss from a craft store. Untreated Spanish moss harbors irritating parasites.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images