How to Decorate a Table for a Dinner Party With a Forties Theme


The 1940s were all about the Hollywood glamour look, World War II and the swing music of the Big Bands. All of these lend themselves to creative dinner party decor. Decorate with one '40 theme or combine them to give your party decor flair and imagination.

Things You'll Need

  • Champagne glasses
  • Strings of fake pearls
  • Feather boa
  • Brandy snifter
  • Musical instrument
  • Toy musical instruments
  • Vintage car replicas
  • Movie posters
  • Movie star photos
  • Create a centerpiece. For a Hollywood theme, place a feather boa down the center of the table and add a white hat and pearls in the center. For a Big Band-era theme, fill an oversize brandy snifter with rose petals and drizzle strings of pearls around it, commemorating Glenn Miller's hit song "String of Pearls." Or use an actual musical instrument as a centerpiece with flowers placed in the opening and pearls swirled around it.

  • Select coordinating party favors to put at each place setting, such as champagne glasses in Art Deco style or miniature champagne snifters filled with mints. Toy musical instruments are clever party favors or place-card holders. Use replicas of World War II airplanes or cars from the '40s
    as party favors to follow a war or vintage car theme.

  • Set the table with your best gold-rimmed china, Art-Deco-style crystal and fine, simple white linens with no pattern.

Tips & Warnings

  • Another '40s decor idea is to pick one famous film from the era, such as "Casablanca," "Yankee Doodle Dandy" or "Mrs. Miniver," and decorate with ideas inspired by that movie. Use movie posters and old movie star photos as placemats, and even project the movie on a wall. And dress the part: Dark lipstick, shoulder pads, updos and chignons all exude a '40s look.
  • Dangling decorations must be placed strategically so they do not hit guests in the head or block their views at the table.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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