I did not want the night to end when we threw our Mad Men-themed birthday party a few weeks ago. There are more ideas in the first post about our Mad Men party and the retro menu can be found in another post as well. Here are some of the finishing details that pulled it all together – not the least of which were the fab costumes of our guests!
Lucky Strike cigarette boxes
Mad Men would simply not be Mad Men, without all the smoking, particularly the Lucky Strikes. At the same time, I’m not such a devoted fan of the show that I was about to start up a carcinogenic habit. As a compromise, I printed up some empty Lucky Strike cigarette boxes and filled them with Hershey’s Ovation Dark Chocolate Mint Sticks, which have that long thin cigarette shape.
There’s a great printable Lucky Strike box from Namida on Deviantart.com. It has a fun disclaimer on the side and otherwise looks quite authentic.
To save ink and paper, I printed two copies and then placed just the box images side by side, so I could make additional copies with two boxes per page. I printed mine on heavy Index Card Stock (110 lb paper) and then set them up in the front hall, under a vintage Lucky Strike ad, for guests to enjoy. I will say that this project was more time-consuming than I had anticipated, but they helped set the tone at the party and made a fun party favor, too!
Mad Men Photo Booth
I love photo booths. I still have favorite strips from my school days and when Steve and I were young and goofy (now we’re not-so-young and still goofy). With today’s technology, it’s so easy to make your own photo booth, and that giddy sensation of not knowing exactly when the flash will go off, of trying to squeeze all your friends into the frame, is easy to recreate in your own home.
To make the photo booth, I used
- large cardboard boxes spruced up with fabric panels around the outside
- a custom Mad Men photo booth sign
- iPad with Picibooth app, attached to the inside of the box with Command Picture-Hanging Strips
- three different backdrops
- city skyline graphic (mine is Spirella Skyline shower curtain purchased on eBay. Another good options is this Design Home Cityscape / Skyline Print Shower Curtain)
- Mod 60s print fabric
- Solid green (our own curtains – clever, huh?)
I hung all the curtains from our regular curtain rod, so it was easy to switch backdrops, just like the traditional photo booths!
I provided some props, like costume jewelry, a fedora, fake cigarettes, and Lucky Strike boxes, all arranged under Peggy’s breakthrough Belle Jolie ad. Our guests had plenty of their own themed accessories, too!
The photo booth got a lot of action that night. I loved going back later to see all the sassy poses, and I especially loved discovering that our seven-year-old had gone up several times to take pictures himself!
Guys and Dolls – Fab Costumes
I cannot take any credit for the following photos, but I just had to share all the great looks that crossed our threshold that night. Honestly, it was like opening a birthday present every time I opened the door! It was enormous fun for us to see how much fun our friends had creating their costumes. From crinolines to bouffant hairdos, bow ties to patent pumps, every one looked perfect!
More Mad Decor
I wanted to feel immersed in the Mad Men world everywhere I looked, starting with our front door, where I hung a large framed Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce logo:
Another logo was prominently displayed over the buffet table:
This vintage typewriter sparked a lot of conversation!
Leading up to the party, I became obsessed with collecting vintage barware in thrift stores and on eBay. I love the collection of Dorothy Thorpe silver-rimmed glasses displayed at our kitchen bar area and the classic California-themed tumblers gathered on a tray.
If you’re looking for some fabulous artwork to display, this book has fun illustrations Mad Men: The Illustrated World by Dyna Moe, including this one that I framed to put next to the dry bar area.
I said I didn’t want the evening to end, but it did end perfectly. After most of the guests left, some of our college buddies hung out with us in the living room to catch up some more, and one of them snapped this pic of me and Steve at the end of the night.