The idea behind Kitsch is that is a style of purpose made gaudy artworks that have been mixed together with mass produced design work or popular cultural icons. It features all the aesthetics of 19th century iconic art of an exaggerated nature, mixed with the vintage over-coloured cartoon element of the 1950’s. It’s so ridiculously bright and colourful that the style makes for a fabulously fun party or event theme.
It’s such an adorable and popular style, that it makes the decorating, planning and attending a kitsch party a highlight for the year, and having once helped put a kitsch style party together for an engagement party, I thought I would introduce to you some elements that you can throw together and create your own. To pull off once of these colourful and surprisingly intricately designed party, you simply need these following 10 elements:
- Polka Dots
You can mix polka dots with a gingham style stripe as well, but just make sure to make it as colourful as possible and that the polka dot aspect is a stronger one. Use polka dots as a background element, where you would generally use one base colour depending on the party style. Utilise this polka dot element in the table covers, napkins and party plates and cups. The more different each polka dot item is, the better!
Flamingos are one of the most kitschiest things ever! This classic 1950’s lawn ornament that stood as a decoration for many a housewife now can set the scene for a super cute and kitschy party if used in the right setting. You can purchase Flamingo shaped fairy lights from cute stores like Typo, or you can utilize the actual lawn ornament that has been making a comeback into fashion these recent years. Adorable! I’d love to pick up one of these of my own, I just don’t have a lawn or pot plants to put it in!
- Babushka Dolls
These Russian dolls are a classic in the kitsch world and are reminiscent of a darker yet still whimsical time that a lot of Russian culture seems to emanate from. They’re introduction into the mainstream modern world has boomed so much so that they’re commercialism has sent the classic style of the Babushka doll into a kitschy classic. Set them up one after the other as a sizing centerpiece at the back of the dessert table. You can also purchase Babushka Doll fairy lights to hang next to your Flamingo ones.
Photo by Nine Photography
When I say dolls, I don’t generally mean Barbie and Ken. Use classic dolls from the 1950’s and 60’s as a next generation decorational piece by using their oversized heads as a cake topper for your polka dot styled birthday cake. You can also use doll shaped porcelain figures as decorations for tables and for centerpieces for a super kitsch style.
Is there anything else in the world that I love more than Bunting? Well, party decoration style speaking no. Bunting is a very versatile object that can be used for many different themed parties, depending on what the material is made out of. Hang a string of bunting made from cotton and linen material in floral fabrics and you will have a perfect kitsch set.
- DIY Pinwheels.
This is actually something that I have personally made for both a candyland themed party and for my friend’s kitsch engagement party. The first was the actual pinwheels that spin on sticks that you can find in the garden. The second was a cute little design that made an an accordion folded circle with a button attached. These pinwheels could be hung up from the ceiling on strings, tied to the back of chairs or used as another form of bunting. They were super cute and easy to make, so stay tuned for an installment on how to make your own kitsch-tastic pinwheels very soon!
Photo by Origami Creatives
Bunches of flowers always look beautiful, but using a variety of bright and colourful flowers (think stems of lavender, beautiful pink pansies etc) and placing them in an old school grandmother style vase gives the flowers a beautiful yet classic look. The more chipped and styled the vase the better for this kitsch party! Put the flowers as centerpieces on the tables or use an outdoor setting like a garden to mix this elegant element into the kitsch.
Vintage Tattoo by Angelique Houtkamp
- Vintage Tattoos
Tattoos can be any style and any design these days, but the ones that I am talking about arn’t delicate flowers or tribal patterns. These tattoos are colourful cartoons of birds, flowers or anchors that are reminiscent of pop art and simply drawn with a burst of brilliant colour. These vintage tattoo styles are popular nowadays due to the kitschy over-commercialisation of them, so use the design on the gift bags or the dessert table signs. You could even use them on the invitations if you mixed them with some cute polka dots in blue and white. Adorable!
- Religious Icons
These religious icons are reflective of the kitsch culture due to it stemming from 19th century artworks – a time in which Catholic style depictions of Jesus and his disciples are detailed yet cartoonish and symbolic in all of their natures. Even if you’re not religious, these icons are great pieces to use as decorations for a kitsch themed party because they give a surreal and underlying tone to where the kitsch culture stemmed from. Use a religious statue as a table center piece, or depict in the design of the dessert table signs.
- .Woodland Creatures
Nothing is more kitschy than woodland creatures! Disney became a booming success with many cultural classics, but none took to everyone’s hearts like Bambi did. The dark appeal of the movie (His mother was shot by the hunter! Oh no!) turned this cute happy-go-lucky deer into a symbolism for the kitsch and commercialized. Pay homage to Bambi and his friends at your own kitsch party by using porcelain deer’s as decorational pieces, fuzzy rabbit sculptures as centerpieces and classic lawn gnomes to greet your guests.
You can also use some of these other fantastic pages for inspiration for your own cute and kitsch themed party:
- Rock and Roll Bride’s super Quirky and Kitsch Retro Wedding Inspiration
- The Freelancer’s Fashion Blog hosted this Cute and Kitsch style image.
- BBB Virtual knows what’s Kitsch.
- NYC Burlesque dancer and fellow Blogcademy goddess Veronica Varlow knows what’s up in the Kitsch world.
So here you have it, some wonderful ideas on how you can have your own kitsch and cute themed party, and some great decorations to inspire you. If you do have your own kitsch style party and used any of these elements, let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org