Island Luau Theme Party Decorating Ideas

by Annabeth Kaine
Coconut decorations add an island feel to a luau party.

Coconut decorations add an island feel to a luau party.

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Luau is the Hawaiian word for feast, making luaus a fitting backdrop for birthdays, wedding receptions and family reunions or any other party you can think of. Give your luau an island feel by incorporating fruits, flowers and shells into your party decor. Use food and games to fine tune your luau decorations, while offering a few "traditional" island-themed pieces.

Set the Mood

Give your guests a traditional welcome to your event by greeting them with a lei. Use either a flower or a shell lei, or incorporate both flowers and shells into the greeting. Give a shell lei, but keep several fresh or silk flowers for your guests. A single flower tucked strategically behind the ear dictates if the guest is single or taken. If it's behind your left ear, you are taken. If you tuck it behind your right ear, you are looking for love.

Food Decorations

Use hallowed-out coconuts as drink holders, and add festive island-themed umbrellas to decorate the beverages. Cut a watermelon in half horizontally, and scoop the fruit out, leaving only the rind. Place the watermelon "bowl" on the table, and refill it with a fruit salad or Hawaiian coleslaw. Make a "fruity" centerpiece by stacking chunks of pineapple, strawberries, kiwi fruit, melon and grapes for guests to enjoy. Keep colorful toothpicks nearby so your guests can easily pick up the fruit without getting sticky.

Game Decorations

Keep hula hoops, grass skirts and ukuleles in a simple wooden chest. Play games like Kimo Says. Let your guests slip grass skirts on and do hula moves when "Kimo" gives the instructions. Play Hot Potato using a coconut instead of the vegetable. Use a five-gallon bucket and a grass hula skirt to play Around the Islands. Dress up the bucket, and cut out seven circles to represent the Hawaiian islands. Give each player a turn to shoot the basketball from the "island" he is standing on. When a player makes a basket, he progresses to the next island.

Additional Touches

Add some tiki torches and candles to your island party to pull together the island luau theme. If you have the space, set up a tiki bar for your guests to enjoy. Serve fruit drinks from the bar by candlelight for an evening party. Use table coverings with bright floral patterns. Use a sand and glitter mixture sprinkled inside hurricane lamps as table decorations. Put the sand mixture at the bottom, and place votive candles on top of the sand for an illuminating effect.

Photo Credits

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