Award Night Party Theme

In my current job at a University, I lead the Ambassador volunteer program. Our volunteers primarily lead tours around the campus, but they do tons of other things for us to make visitor’s experiences great. So they DEFINITELY deserve a big Thank You party at the end of each semester. And I always have a great time throwing the party for them.

Last Spring we decided on an Award show theme for said party. I think the Grammys had just happened or the Oscars or maybe both, so we were inspired. Plus, it was fun to add the element of thinking of a different award for each Ambassador to make them feel special! We did “Gave the Most Tours,” “Helped with the Most Events,” as well as “The Ones We’ll Miss the Most” for those graduating. It was so bittersweet! Th awards were the perfect touch to their experience. 👌

However, don’t think that you have to fit into the same box and make your Award Night party also a Thank You party. Any celebration can use this theme, especially if you are going for a glitz and glam kind of feel. With that being said, the awards part as Thank you prizes DOES tie in very well, especially if you know your guests well. Make them feel special with awards like MVP or Most Inspirational, or make them laugh with awards such as “Best Manicure.” I would give this award just to recreate these adorable balloon awards. I mean, how much cuter can they get?

Source: Life with Mar

Whatever you decide to do, Award Night is always a blast to decorate. Oh and don’t let me forget the fact that the decorations are very inexpensive. So put on an evening gown and let’s get started!

Glitter Grammophone Decoration

You may or may not know this, but the Grammys are named after the old-school version of a record player, the Grammophone. (See, you can learn some stuff on this blog!) You can do many different variations on this decoration. If you want a sturdy piece of decor that can be used many times and provide a large aesthetic that pulls the whole room together, you can make it out of wood like the one shown in the first picture.
Personally if I had to make it myself, I would do a more small and simple version (mainly because I don’t know how to work with wood yet. Maybe one day!) using posterboard and glitter spray paint.

Use the following outline either as an example to free-hand on black posterboard, or print it out large enough to span four pieces of paper, place that over the black poster board and trace over the lines. You should be left with indented lines on the black poster board.

Cut the outline of your Grammophone. Next, spray paint the posterboard with metallic gold spray paint, then sprinkle as much loose gold glitter as you want. (I would not recommend doing gold glitter spray paint also as that will make the posterboard even more wet which doesn’t hold its shape very well. Be very careful with the Grammy while it is wet and keep it in a safe place with no wind to dry.

Once it is painted and dry, you need to support the back to make sure it keeps its shape and remains flat.  The recommended method would be to cut out the exact same shape onto a foam poster board and glue that to the back of the regular poster board AFTER you spray paint. The reason that I do not suggest using only foam posterboard and spray painting that directly is because it does not hold its shape well this way. For some reason, foam poster board shrinks down and starts to curve in on itself when painted on one side (don’t ask me why!).

You could also choose to support the back of the Grammy with long wood rulers, which would be the most sturdy and long-term solution. Glue them to each other overlapping, as long as you need them to cover the entire length and width of the shape. Just make sure that they won’t be longer than the shape itself to make sure they hide behind your Grammy. They should be a secret behind-the-scenes support.

Lastly, prop up your Grammy at the back of your table or a prominent place where it will be noticed and also have a wall to lean against. Or, you can make the wood ruler long to stick out of the bottom of the shape like a stem on a flower and then place it inside of a bouquet. Voila, your soirée is now Grammys style.


Source: Party City

This part is very simple of course. And cheap! Our favorites!

Make sure that you buy at least 4 Mylar star helium balloons from the Dollar Tree or a grocery store to add it to the stardom and shine of your event. I recommend sticking to a red, black and gold theme. Put them on either side of your main table or centerpiece, and if you have a bigger space you want to tie in, be sure to put them around doorways and walkways to make the aesthetic surround your guests like some overzealous popparazzi. This will definitely make it feel more exciting and special.

I also recommend spreading balloons across the ground. This may seem a little like “kid birthday party,” but I think it is a cheap and easy way to make any room feel and look as if something out of the ordinary and special is happening. So personally, I’m a fan! Plus, they are super fun to kick and punch around– just saying. I give you permission to tap into your inner child a little with this tip. Just buy balloons that go with your color theme, blow them up and toss them all around the room!

For this particular party, I thought that gold balloons would contrast much better against the red carpet than either of the other theme colors. Here’s a hint from someone that has hunted for gold balloons many times before: they are not at the Dollar Store anywhere and may be more pricey than you expected. If you want to shop for them in person to save money or time, I recommend checking the wedding part of the Celebration section at Walmart first. I was very surprised and delighted to find them there last spring! (Hopefully it wasn’t just a seasonal thing, but you never know with Walmart.) If you can’t find them there, you definitely will at Party City. The only bummer is that they are twice as much there.

If you want to shop for them in your PJs, you can find them on Amazon for only about $5 here.

Fun Express 11″ Gold Metallic Balloons (2 Dozen)


I have been creating the banners for these Thank You parties with a simple and adorable process that literally anyone could do. Normally I would pick up the glue and create a banner that takes a lot more old-school crafting, but the office is a much easier environment for creating them using only the computer.

What you’ll need is:

  • Computer
  • Printer that can handle 11×17 (or you can make a thinner and longer version of the banner if you only have access to a 8.5×11 printer)
  • 11×17 white paper

First, you need to figure out what you want your banner to say. In my case I wanted to make this an Award Night for the students that volunteer and work for our office. So, I named the event the SAS Awards! No it has nothing to do with sassy-ness, but if you thought that, you are sassy as well. It stands for the Student Ambassador and Student Staff Awards! Naturally, my banner welcomes party goers to the awards.

Once you decide what you want it to say, figure out how many pages you want the words to span. For example, if you have a short slogan like Happy Birthday, you likely want to place two letters on each page. If you have a saying such as Mega-spectacular-extra-fabulous Birthday Extravaganza, you will want to put each word on its own piece of paper.

If you want to add fancier details such as Stars or a banner around the letters, design each piece on an  11×17 design in Canva. Split it amongst the pieces based on how long your saying is.

Award Favors

I gave these adorable Thank You gifts to each Ambassador instead of a normal greeting card and filled them with candy. I was originally inspired by these pillow boxes and wanted to create something similar, but those boxes were actually out of my budget for creating 40 individual presents.


Instead, I found these little brown boxes at Walmart in packages of 8 for $1. They were affordable and I could customize them any way I want with the bare cardboard look.

First, you must decide what you will fill the box with. Are you feeling generous and want to fill it with a $5 bill? (Am I invited?) Do you want to create little strips of paper with a fun or heartfelt message and roll them up inside the boxes? Ooh or how about confetti or glitter? Or do you want to fill them to brim with candy like I did? The choice is yours.

What isn’t optional (jk everything here is customizable) is wrapping it with gold or black ribbon! What I love about the easy way I did it was by making sticker labels for the top.  I could stick one end of the ribbon underneath it, loop it under the box and stick it under the label once again. Just find cute ribbon that is about two centimeters thick and you’re set as far as the cute factor goes!

Now for the last step, which is the diy stickers. Below is the link to my free design to print on adhesive nametags. I definitely recommend using the Avery Adhesive Name Badges, which you can find easily here:

avery name badges

Print this free design image on the nametags papers from Avery, one image per rectangle.

the award goes to

Free download from MissKay DIY

Once printed, cut circles around the words to create a diy sticker! Stick them on top of the box with both ends of the ribbon sticking underneath the sticker, and voila! Your box is sealed and adorable.

Putting all of these ideas together creates an atmosphere of some glitz and glam red carpet fun without actually requiring the hassle of looking perfect and posing for the media– unless you want to! Use the theme for a kid’s birthday party, a family reunion or as a thank you for the people you love the most. Give them rewards for the special and funny ways they each influence your life and reward them with chocolate inside. And if you want to wear evening gowns and ginormous glittering jewelry, be my guest, and take tons of pictures!

Red Carpet

Last but not least, no award Night party is complete without some kind of red carpet.

If you are absolutely strapped for cash you can find plenty of red plastic tablecloths from the Dollar Store, fold them up to about 3 feet wide and lay them on the ground in a row to form a long carpet. To make sure that they stay put for guests to walk on them, you can also find red duct tape (that is one of the few things I do not recommend from a Dollar Store, btw) to tape the edges down to the ground. A cheap and adorable way to achieve that Hollywood look!

We were lucky enough to know someone at Jessup that had a real felt one and let us borrow it. If you just can’t live without the real thing, (which does look pretty amazing, I’m not going to lie) then you can find them here for about $20. Perhaps you can have several events that will incorporate it and it will pay for itself in the long run? Or you can let someone in need trying to pull off an Award Night party borrow it one day.

And if you want to be super extra, put stars for each guest’s name on the carpet and let them enjoy the lifestyles of the rich and the famous!

Putting all of these ideas together creates an atmosphere of some glitz and glam red carpet fun without actually requiring the hassle of looking perfect and posing for the media– unless you want to! Use the theme for a kid’s birthday party, a family reunion or as a thank you for the people you love the most. Give them rewards for the special and funny ways they each influence your life and reward them with chocolate inside. And if you want to wear evening gowns and ginormous glittering jewelry, be my guest, and take tons of pictures!

Have you ever done a theme like this? Have you ever tried one of the ideas in this article? Let me know in the comments below!

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