Easy Costume Party Ideas

by Tamiya King
Masks and wigs are an easy way to create a costume for the party.

Masks and wigs are an easy way to create a costume for the party.

John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images

A costume party can serve as a clever way to increase the social interaction at your event, and the colorful outfits your guests wear to the celebration will make for some memorable pictures. Quick and easy costume themes are ideal if you only have a short time to plan the party, or want to make costume choices for guests as simple as possible.

Decade Costume Party

Send invitations to your guests asking them to wear costumes from their favorite decade to the costume party. Or, assign each guest a decade for their costume, so that one or two guests will arrive at the celebration dressed in clothing from the same era. If your guests need some guidance coming up with easy costumes, recommend outfits like a plain white T-shirt, dark jeans rolled up at the bottom, and a faux leather jacket for a "bad boy" from the '50s, or a pair of ripped jeans and an oversize sweat shirt cut around the top to drape at the shoulder for an '80s look. Once the guests arrive, divide everyone up according to decade. Let one person from the group draw an activity from a hat, e.g. coming up with a decade-specific dance routine, or singing a popular song from the era, and give each group one minute to prepare for their "performance."

Casual Masquerade Party

Instead of asking guests to dress in extravagant ball gowns and tuxedos for the masquerade-themed party, instruct everyone to dress in all black and don a mask of their choice. You can keep the theme somewhat elegant by requesting that guests wear beautifully accented masks with feathers and pearls, or make the celebration silly and lively by giving guests the option of wearing animal masks, or masks of celebrities or presidents. As each guest enters the party, take a picture on your phone or digital camera. Then, write down fun activities such as coming up with an impromptu poem or doing a silly dance on strips of paper, and place the papers in a bowl. After the meal, show a picture of a guest, and draw an activity from the hat to give each party-goer his "assignment." For instance, the guests in the lion mask has to choose a partner in a purple mask to tango with.

Fairy Tale Costume Party

Invite guests to dress in all black or white, and purchase a "costume" for their faces and hair that resemble their favorite fairy tale character. For instance, one guest can purchase a black wig and a tiara, and don red lipstick to look like Snow White. Or, three guests can don pig noses and ears to arrive at the party as the Three Little Pigs. Group guests dressed as characters from the same fairy tale together, and draw strips of paper from a hat containing ways for them to re-enact the story at the party, e.g. in a British accent, as a rap song, or in the voice of a celebrity.

"Where's My Match?" Costume Party

Assign a costume to each guest invited to your pair-themed celebration. For instance, ask one female guest to dress as Raggedy Ann, and a male party-goer to don a Raggedy Andy costume. Or, request that one guest come to the party as Fred Flintstone, and ask one of your female friends to show up as Wilma. Set up a photo booth at the party, so each pair can take photos, and organize a few partner-specific activities like a three-legged race (if space permits) or karaoke duets.

Photo Credits

  • John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images