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Totally awesome upcycled 80s party decorations

Posted by Melissa Massello  June 20, 2013 01:09 PM

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Just as children of the 1980s we were making poodle skirts from felt and throwing 1950s "sock hop" themed parties, everything Gen X is all the rage right now with hipsters and event hosts. This week, we had the honor of helping to decorate (and create upcycled decor for) the window display at Goodwill in Davis Square, promoting tonight's "In the Air Tonight" 80s prom-themed fundraiser for Somerville Local First.

If you're hosting your own 80s-themed party this summer, here are three simple 5-minute DIY decor projects you can make to set the mood and make any space totally radical.

After a few hours looking for inspiration on Pinterest and a quick trip to the Goodwill Outlet, we threw these three projects together on the fly. Seriously, we made all three in an afternoon — and for less than $10!

Goodwill Davis 80s Prom
Untitled

M-A-S-H GARLAND

Materials:


  • Neon card stock or kraft paper

  • Scissors

  • Hole punch

  • Fishing line

Any girl who grew up in the 80s will squeal with nostalgic delight at the sight of these "fortune tellers," also known as M-A-S-H (Mansion, Apartment, Shack or House). Simply make a few dozen from neon cardstock, using these folding directions from the blog Shaken Together (if you don't remember how), then decorate with Sharpies if you like. Punch a hole in one corner and string up with fishing line, giving the illusion the fortune tellers are floating on your wall or photo booth backdrop. If you're hosting a more formal 80s party, make a few extra and customize them to use as table markers, or just toss a few strewn along the bar or buffet!

Goodwill Davis 80s Prom
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CASSETTE TAPE CENTERPIECE

Materials:


  • Square glass vase

  • 8 cassette tapes

  • Glue gun

  • Silk flowers

Perhaps the easiest DIY project I've ever made, this cassette tape-covered vase is also a hilarious conversation starter. Choose your cassettes wisely — and with color coding in mind — for the best impact. Follow the steps in the photo tutorial, below:

80s Party DIYs
80s Party DIYs

1. Glue the cassettes together in sets of two (2) to form each of the four sides. Run a string of hot glue along the top of one cassette, and press the second on top, making sure to keep them evenly squared. (The cassette ribbon from the top tape will fully fuse to the hot glue on the bottom cassette, making them super secure to stand on their own in just under a minute.)

80s Party DIYs
80s Party DIYs

2. Each cassette has a "bump" in the center of the bottom side, front and back. Take your sides (pairs of previously glued cassettes, from the step above) and run a string of hot glue along the two cassette bumps of the side you want facing in (most likely the B sides!), then press firmly against the vase with two fingers in a "peace sign" to firmly secure — making sure to center the side squarely with the bottom and sides of the vase.

80s Party DIYs 80s Party DIYs

3. Repeat step two on the three remaining sides, then fill with the silk flowers — cut down to size so the blooms just peek out over the lip of the vase for a modern arrangement.

80s Party DIYs
80s Party DIYs

VINYL RECORD BOWLS

Materials:


  • Vinyl record

  • Glass or stainless steel mixing bowl

  • Cookie sheet

  • Oven

  • Oven mitts

A staple at handmade markets since the 90s, vinyl record bowls are one of the simpler 5-minute DIYs you'll ever attempt — and one of the cheapest. I made four of these vinyl record bowls in about 20 minutes!

80s Party DIYs

First, preheat your oven. Depending on the age and style of your oven, you'll need to heat the oven to anywhere between 175 and 300 degrees. If your record melts in less than two minutes, or hasn't melted in five, then you know you need to adjust the temp. For my nearly new gas oven, I found the sweet spot to be around 225 degrees for my record to be melted enough to be pliable (after about four minutes).

80s Party DIYs

You want to place your record inside your oven on a form — I've used everything from an empty, cleaned, can of dog food to a stainless mixing bowl turned upside down. You're going to flip and mold your melty record into shape when it comes out of the oven, so the shape of the form doesn't really matter. Just make sure you place a cookie sheet underneath the form and record so you don't end up with vinyl coating the bottom of your oven if it melts too quickly when you're not watching.

80s Party DIYs

After about four minutes, remove your record from the oven and flip into a stainless steel or glass bowl (I used a medium sized Pyrex casserole dish above) then mold into your desired shape. The bowl will cool in a little less than two minutes and be ready for use, but if it becomes misshapen or you're not happy with the outcome, just start over! Fill with Munchos, cheese balls, boxes of Nerds or Lemonheads for a truly authentic 80s party!

For more ideas, check out my 80s Party Decor board on Pinterest!

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the Authors

Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out More »
Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »

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