Bringing it On: Mardi Gras-Style

A purple top hat with a decorative brooch along with three white paper bags, decorated and filled with an LED candle

A decadent holiday deserves decadent décor. You can pull it off without having to spend oodles of money or overmuch time and effort.

Combine as many of the following decorating ideas as you’d like, and be open to inspiration for your own ideas as well!

  • Mardi Gras season isn’t too many months beyond the Christmas holidays, so it should be easy enough to dig out the colored lights you have packed away. String the lights liberally around the party space, plug them in and let ‘em shine.
  • As beautiful as the “simple is best” mantra may be, Mardi Gras is not the time for modest décor. Streamers, ribbons, balloons (Bottom halves spray painted with gold craft paint? Even better!), paper lanterns, beads, feather boas, DIY banners, fresh-cut flowers – all in the Mardi Gras colors of gold, green and purple – can be thrown and scattered and hung everywhere. Glitz and glam are where it’s at!
  • If your guests have made party masks, provide pins and a large bulletin board so they can turn their creations into a Collage of Masks to display as party décor. You can also hang pre-made masks around the house or lay them out on tables and other surfaces. Attach masks to long wooden sticks and stand them in vases for mask bouquets.
  • Twist, wrap and braid colored beads and ribbons into wreaths and other intricate shapes, then hang on walls and doors or from light fixtures for more party flair.
  • To make a Bead “Chandelier”: Spray paint an inexpensive wire planter (found at dollar and discount stores), then loop colored bead necklaces around the wires, cutting beads to fit and attaching with hot glue or floral or other light-gauge wire as needed. Crazy it up with different colors and an abundance of beads or go classy by sticking to one color and lining beads up to hang straight. Hang your “chandelier” from the ceiling.
  • You can also glue colored bead necklaces in circular shapes on small cardboard rounds, cutting beads to fit, to make decked-out coasters for your party drinks.
  • Decorate small white or natural-colored paper bags with Mardi Gras themes using colored markers and gluing on sparkly sequins or beads. Decoratively poke a few small holes in bags with a pencil tip, then fill each bag with a small LED candle and a bit of sand for extra weight. Place bags around the room, especially in darker hallways or an entrance. Switch the candles on to illuminate your party space.