A friend asked for some inspiration for a black and white backyard party. Here are some tips on throwing a fabulous shindig on a budget.

The best place to incorporate the black and white theme is the table. Start with a great black and white patterned tablecloth and go from there. An inexpensive option for some really fun and unique patterns would be to visit a local fabric store and go to the remnants section. Often the last piece of fabric on the bolt isn’t a full yard and the shop can’t sell it for the original asking price so the discounts are deep. If you are in the Denver area, Denver Fabrics on Bellevue and Santa Fe in Littleton has a great section of the store with a huge selection of fabric for only $1 a yard. That’s a bargain!www.denverfabrics.com

Paper plates and plastic silverware and napkins are the most affordable route to go and easiest. Hit up the local party stores and look for the “Over the Hill” section. Most of the party supplies for the big 40th birthday party are black themed, seems a bit morbid doesn’t it? If you are up for investing a little more into the partyware, this flatware is fabulous. Certainly, kicks it up a notch in the “plastic silverware” category for sure. A simple way to hold flatware or flowers is to grab a can of spray paint and some old cans. You’ll have stylish containers in no time.


 |Flatware available here|

 Add some atmosphere to the party with hanging paper lanterns or large black and white balloons. Both are an inexpensive option and a few will go a long way in a back yard. Paper lanterns are available at numerous online sites. DIY tissue paper pom-flowers are another cheap way to bring in some décor. They can hang or be placed on tables as centerpieces.  

Food might be a little tough to keep within the theme especially since black and white foods are somewhat limited. Grocery Stores sell cocktail size bread, perfect for finger sandwiches. Use a dark rye bread and create tea inspired sandwiches. Rye or marbled rye would work great with a white spinach and cheese dip. Oreos are easy and the new cake-style Oreos can be stacked with whipped cream between for an inexpensive “macaroon” style treat. You can’t go wrong with chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. Alternate the frosting for a variety of looks. Or take the easy route, Hostess has the cutest black and white cupcakes and they taste great too. Look in the frozen food aisle for chocolate covered cheesecake, if you’re lucky you can even find Cheesecake Factory treats in the frozen food aisles. An interesting choice could even be chocolate and powdered sugar donuts, who doesn’t love those?


No party is complete with out drinks. Chocolate Martinis, White Russians and Mudslides are easy to make before the party begins. A keg of Guinness would be a great way to incorporate black drinks. Make sure to have plenty of Irish Crème and Bourbon on hand for car bombs though.

For some great photo opportunities set up a black and white backdrop for guests to take pictures in front of. Call it a “Smilebooth” and provide some fun black and white props: feather boas, retro white sunglasses. To really add some impact, set up a projector and show black and white movies, ok that may be above the top, but hey, you never know.

No black and white party is complete without the hostess in a fabulous frock. Here are a few of my favorites:

  Top row from the always fabulous | White House Black Market | Bottom Row |