It's a shame to have a 70s party without some funky boogie-woogie decorations. For the test murder mystery party of our Murder at the 70s Disco Party, we went all out for the disco decor.
Feel free to use our decoration ideas for your own boogie bash.
1 Disco Party Table Decorations
Nothing speaks of the 70s discoteque scene more than the dance floor with coloured squares, the large rotating disco ball and those discoteque lights. We decided to recreate all of these for our dining table. (Because of the layout of our house, guests enter the party space via the dining room and so this was the first thing our guests saw as they arrived.)
We created the disco floor look of the table using the following :
a flat, black sheet (ironed) for the backing
rolls of plain, shiny wrapping paper in bright colours (we used rolls of blue, gold, red, pink and silver paper from Hallmark)
wide black duct tape
One key to creating a cool look is to measure carefully. When our dining room table is fully extended, it measures 41 inches by 101 inches (approximately 105 cm 257 cm). We decided to have three squares across and 8 squares in length.
Allowing an inch between squares and an inch at the top and sides of the table gave us a total "wrapping paper surface area" of 37 inches by 92 inches. (41 inches - 4 inches = 37 inches; 101 inches - 9 inches = 92 inches.) We couldn't get exact squares without having a half square at the end of the table and so we therefore opted for "approximate squares" of 12.6 inches wide by 13.6 inches long.
Another key to creating a cool look is to order your colours. We followed the same order of colours (blue, pink, gold, silver, red) throughout the tablecloth design.
2 Disco Table Accessories: Place Mats and Coasters
Throughout the 1970s, most music was sold using records - although cassette tapes were starting to gain sales by the end of the 70s. Therefore we continued the musical theme by using old vinyl LPs as placemats. (We were lucky enough to buy a batch lot of discarded LPs at our local recyling centre.)
Note: if you have a wooden table and are planning to serve hot food, you need to provide good heatproofing. We cut the cardboard record sleeves into record-sized circles and created a seven-layer record/cardboard stack. (4 LPs and 3 circles of cardboard glued together.)
Tip: make the cardboard circles slightly smaller than the records so you don't end up with unsightly cardboard showing on the sides. If any small areas of cardboard are visible, use a black felt tip to blend them into the black vinyl records.
For the table coasters, we used Single records. We decided it would be groovy to cover these records in the same colours of wrapping paper that we had used to create the squares and then to use the record centres provided with the game to create colourful centres for the Singles.
We then topped each plate with a black napkin folded into a pocket. As this looked a bit severe, we added a second bright pink napkin inside and topped each napkin with a place setting card. (We used the discoteque version of the place setting cards supplied with the murder mystery) and a miniature disco ball. (We bought a pack of 12 1.6-inch mirror disco balls from Ahbreton.)
3 Disco Ball Table Centrepiece
For a hip, groovy table centrepiece, we used some sturdy cardboard to create a box approximately 7.7 inches square. We cut a hole in the top so that we could stand a black vase on the table. (The black vase was needed to take the weight of the disco ball and to give it a secure base. The top of the vase appeared just above the top of the box.) We then covered the box with red wrapping paper and used the four 70s record covers provided with the game for each of the four visible faces of the box. We then stood a largish (200mm) mirror disco ball (bought from Japonc) on top of the black vase and added some fake candles and the remaining miniature disco balls for a really funky 70s table centrepiece.
4 Record Feature Wall Decorations
We created a simple feature wall to greet guests as they entered the party space by hanging a flat red sheet from the picture rails. Then we used the same pink and blue wrapping paper we had used on the table to create the centrepieces for a mix of LPs and Singles. We suspended each record from the picture rails using thin red thread so that the records were at varying but roughly symmetrical heights and the red thread was (almost) hidden against the red sheet.
We then covered an old picture in the same pink wrapping paper and added the four 1970s record covers provided in the murder mystery decoration pack to create a focal point. A groovy glittery table runner topped off the mantlepiece.
5 Fab Disco "Floor" for Party Space Backdrop
For the backdrop for the main murder mystery party (and also for the backdrop for the initial group photos), we created a groovy floor-to-ceiling discoteque "floor" using a king-sized flat black sheet and larger squares of the same coloured wrapping paper that we had used on the dining table.
Rather than moving the bookcases, we covered them in a flat red sheet and topped that with the same glittery table runner that we had used on the fireplace. Finally, we covered another picture frame in pink wrapping paper and added the "DiscoLord Hotel" sign from the decoration pack.
Tip: by adding the pink wrapping paper onto the back of each frame, we created visual consistency between all of our visuals and also made them stand out more. (The DiscoLord Hotel sign was A4 size but, using the pink wrapping paper as a background, and then framing the whole creation, we created an effective centrepiece for the covered bookcase.)
6 General 70s Decorations
We gave a focal point to the wall above the sideboard by hanging a groovy fabric oddment (bought from a charity shop) from the picture rails.
Then we followed on from a hippie theme in the murder mystery game (2 characters are hippies) by using gold paint to spray some empty wine bottles. Once the paint was dry, we covered them in an assortment of "peace and love" decorations found in an image library. (Check out Pixabay and Unsplash for some fab free decorations.) We added candles to the bottles.
We framed a couple of posters found in the mystery decorations pack. We used gold wrapping paper and black card as the mount for these pictures so that we maintained visual consistency with the rest of the decor.
Finally, we added a homemade Rubik's Cube that we had originally created for our Naughty Nineties mystery as a colourful accessory. (Rubik's Cubes were first patented in the 1970s.)