We enjoyed creating these dope, fly decorations for our test party for our Murder in the Naughty Nineties murder mystery game. The decorations feature different ideas made with bright neon card as well as posters of different 90s movies and pop stars.
As the murder mystery is set in a 90s manor house (Worthalot Manor), we also decided to include a few "manor house" ideas.
For the neon decorations, we bought a pack of 10 assorted colored A3 sheets from The Art Box and also two packs of 20 assorted colored neon A4 sheets from UK Card Crafts. Enjoy the ideas.
1:- Fly 1990s Dinner Table CenterPiece
Instead of the standard dinner table centerpiece of flowers, we created a bright colorful 90s vibe.
1 For the main part of the centerpiece, we created a large cardboard radio cassette player with the words "I Love 90s" over it and topped this with a large Rubik's Cube made out of card.
Note: to create the radio cassette player, we took an oblong cardboard box and covered it in black paper card from left to right and then covered it again in black paper from top to bottom so that the paper join was at the bottom. Then we measured the height and width of the covered box and drafted a life-size design onto a piece of paper. We then used a mix of bright pink, yellow, green and orange card to create the outline of the front of the radio cassette player. We created a similar design on the back so that those at the other end of the table also had a good view!
Note: to create the Rubik's Cube, we covered an empty square box (we used an empty box for coffee pods) with black paper from left to right and then covered it again in black paper from top to bottom so that the paper join was at the bottom. We measured the height and width of each side of the box and then we took five different colors of neon card (one for each of the sides and one for the top) and cut 9 equal-sized squares out of each. The squares were sized so that a small amount of black card (approximately half a centimeter) would be visible between the squares when they were in position. We then cut off a small corner off each square and glued them on to the top and sides in a random order.
2 We then placed the cassette player underneath the record mobile and placed the Rubik's Cube on top of the cassette player at an angle (to add visual interest). We finished off this part of the centerpiece with a few 90s decorations. (For copyright reasons, we are only able to show some of them.)
3 To extend this centerpiece upwards while still allowing guests to see and chat to each other while eating, we created a matching neon mobile. We bought a dozen single records from a charity shop and covered these with neon card, both front and back. We used a contrasting color of card for the record centers. We then used different lengths of white cotton to hang these from a ceiling lamp to create an eye-catching mobile over the casette and Rubik's Cube.
Tip: we had a ceiling light with three separate arms; by hanging different records from different arms of the lamp, we created a 3D effect. If you don't have a similar three-armed ceiling lamp, then simply put pins into different places in the ceiling to achieve a similar effect.
2:- 90s Party Table Decorations
As the mystery game is set in a 90s manor house, we opted for a classy black tablecloth and a lace table runner. We also used our best china and crystal wine glasses. Then we added a colorful Nineties vibe.
1 We cut the 90s slang words "Fly" and "Dope" out of different colors of neon card (one letter per A4 sheet of card) and overlaid these on top of the lace table runner.
2 For coasters, we got some single records (45s) from a charity shop and covered these with coloured neon card; then we created a circle of contrasting neon card for the center.
3 We used LPs instead of placemats and printed miniature menus on neon cards; we then tucked the bright menus into a contrasting black napkin folded into a pocket fold. The 90s place cards (part of the party game decoration kit) finished off each place setting.
Tip: if you have a wooden table and hot food, then you will need to have multiple LPs stacked on top of each other in order to heatproof each place setting. We cut circles of cardboard in between the LPs to provide additional insulation.
3:- Neon Letters as Decorations
To follow through the neon theme of the party, we used assorted colorful cards to cut out the letters of two 1990s slang words ("phat" and "da bomb"). We used one A4 card per letter. Then we used Blu Tack to attach the letters above the lounge entrance.
4 Scene-Setter and Neon Decorations
As guests walked into our dining room, they were greeted with a colorful scene setter covering the entire wall. (As we couldn't find a 90s scene setter we liked, we used a totally 80s scene setter from amscan.) On top of this, we hung (at a jaunty angle) an "I Love the 90s" sign.
Note: to make this sign, we covered a square piece of cardboard with black card to act as a frame. Then we cut out a smaller square of green card. Then we cut out the letter "I" from a sheet of yellow card, a heart shape from red card and "90s" from pink card and glued them in place.
We also created a radio cassette player (boombox) by cutting out the basic shape in thick cardboard and then covering it with a yellow card. We then used green, orange, and pink squares, rectangles, and circles to give the illusion of the boombox speakers and controls.
Tip: we drew an outline boombox on a large sheet of paper and then sketched out where the different components should go. We used a tape measure and ruler to ensure that the left and right shapes of card were the same size.
4 Decorating Our Main Party Space
For the party backdrop in our lounge, we bought a 7-foot by 5-foot 90s Hip Hop Party Background from Funnytree. As this did not reach from floor to ceiling, we put two bookcases in front of this and covered these with a funky purple sheet. Then we placed a groovy pink shawl over the top and added a Sparkly Sequin Table Runner from Hestya over the top of this. Then we created the word "PARTY" out of five sheets of neon cards and used pink thread to hang the letters from the top of the bookcase so that the thread blended into the pink shawl. Finally, we used the bookcase to store the party booklets, clues, and award certificates.
Around the edge of this, we placed posters of 90s films with well-known quotes from these films printed on neon card. This really extended the feature to create a stunning and large display. Unfortunately, for copyright reasons, we cannot show these.
Tip: in order to make small A4 posters of nineties films stand out when placed on our walls, we glued them onto neon card so that there was about an inch of colored card showing on each edge. We then took a short quote from this film and printed it in large letters on matching neon card. Then we glued the two sets of neon card at a jaunty angle onto a large (A2) sheet of black card. The result was visually stunning while keeping the neon feel of the party.
Tip: choose a short quote from the film and print this in large black letters to make the quote stand out.
Tip: to add a casual vibe to your party, print the quotes on neon card and then cut round these words with wavy lines to form abstract shapes.
5:- A Nod to the 90s Manor House Decor
As the murder mystery was set in Worthalot Manor, we turned our sideboard into a "manor house corner". We did this using a "Bookshelf Tapestry Library" wall scene from UHUSE and then framed different manor house printouts from the game's party pack: the Worthalot Worthy family crest, the picture of William Worthalot-Worthy and the Worthy Manor Servants' Rules. We also added a candelabra and some wooden candlesticks and a retro phone.
Guest Come to Our Dope Naughty Nineties Murder Mystery Party
And we also ran a second party a year later. (This was one of the first two games we wrote and so we revised the format slightly after seeing how the first party ran.)