Luau Party Decorations

Stephanie M. Kelley
luau photo op

With glowing tiki torches, waving grass skirts, and vibrant colored birds, luaus are full of exciting sights and sounds. Tropical theme parties are popular for a good reason. Luaus are a good theme for a summer soiree, but can also be a appropriate for year-round fun if you take your decorations indoors.

Set the Scene With Large Decorations

Whether you are having your party indoors or out, large decorations help set the mood for party. They also help create boundaries for the party space, keeping guests in the right spot.

Standees

Standees are large cardboard cutouts that can stand on their own and help develop the theme.

  • Hawaii wave standee - This large wave is around eight feet high and is the perfect way to decorate your event. This can be used indoors or outside, if there isn't a lot of wind. It can also be used without the stand to become a wall or fence decoration.
  • Palm trees standee - This standee features two palm trees and is over six feet tall. Prop a few stuffed parrots near the base for added decoration.
  • Tiki mask - If you are featuring a tiki bar, you may want to use this tiki mask standee. The mask is six feet tall. Tuck it into a corner if there isn't room next to your bar.

Photo Booths and Cutouts

A photo booth and cardboard cutouts provide decorations and an activity for guests. They can be placed in corners or near the entrance to get guests in the mood for fun.

  • Surfer couple cardboard cutout - This is the perfect way to combine a large decor item and a photo opportunity. At 75 inches high, the large cutout features two surfers, one male and one female, with their faces cutout so guests can put their own faces through them for a fun photo opportunity.
  • DIY photo area - Hang a piece of fabric on a wall for an inside party or against the side of a building for an outdoor event to create a photo booth. A blue fabric is a good choice, as it will give the feel of the ocean or choose a fabric with a tropical flower pattern. Provide props and costumes such as a grass skirt and luau photo stick props.
  • Life-size luau photo cutout - This 72 inch luau cutout features both a male and female dressed in tropical clothing. Provide a step-stool for kids who are too short to reach the face cutout.

Scene Setters and Props

Tape scene setters or backdrops against a wall and use props to decorate corners, tables and entrances.

  • Swimming shark prop - Hang this five foot long cardboard shark prop from the venue ceiling to give your venue a tropical feel. If you are having your party outside, you can attach this to a tree or fence post or hang it from a high tree branch.
  • Luau party scene - A large plastic wall scene to help set the mood for your party. This is best used indoors, but could be used against a wall of a house for an outdoor party. The scene set includes two large scenes that feature tiki heads and tropical birds. The scenes are over eight feet tall.
  • Inflatable palm tree - This inflatable tropical palm tree is six feet tall and is perfect for an indoor party. You may be able to use it for an outdoor event too if there is no wind.

Table Decorations

Use colorful paper or plastic tableware to decorate your table, but you can also deecorate buffet and guest tables with fun tropical props.

Tropical Flowers

Tropical flowers are a must for any luau and will create the right atmospohere whether you're inside in the middle of winter or outside in a non-tropical climate.

  • Tropical flower lei - Purchase leis that feature some beautiful silk flowers. Use the leis to decorate tables and as favors for guests.
  • Bird-of-paradise - These flowers are prevalent in tropical decorations. Use these colorful flowers in table arrangements to decorate your party venue. The flowers can be purchased at flower shops or buy artificial stems.
  • Tropical flower fringe - This grass table skirt features a tropical flower trim. The skirts will add a nice tropical feel to your venue tables.

Food and Drink Decorations

Choose tropical theme food to decorate your table.

  • coconut tiki drink
    Carved watermelon - Watermelon can be carved in many tropical themes including a tropical flower, shark, or just a decorative design.
  • Coconut shell glasses - Serving drinks in a coconut shell will make your guests feel like they are relaxing on the beach. If you do not want to serve drinks in real coconuts, consider buying these plastic coconut cups.
  • Drink umbrellas - Use tiny drink umbrellas in pineapple juice or other drinks or as toothpicks on a fruit plate.

Centerpieces

Centerpieces are perfect ways to decorate tables.

seashell candle centerpiece
  • DIY seashell grouping - Group tropical items such as shells and rocks into the center of the table for an attractive and inexpensive centerpiece. You can add small pieces of rope or a note in a bottle to your centerpiece or votive candles in larger shells with sand. You might choose to add some small, clear or blue glass river rocks to add color and sparkle.
  • Mini-palm tree centerpiece - These mini-palm tree centerpieces will give some height to tables as they are 17 inches high.
  • Tiki centerpiece - These tiki mask centerpieces feature vibrant mylar tops that will add color to your table.

Signs and Garland

Use signs and garlands to rely messages and greetings to guests.

  • chalk menu
    DIY tiki bar chalkboard - Give your guests the feel of a real tiki bar by creating a chalkboard menu displaying the guests' food options. Use a real chalkboard with white chalk to create the look or use a white chalk pen on black foam core to create the same look. Write the menu on the board and if you are artistic, you can add some images such as tiki masks, fish or palm trees to decorate the edges of the board. You can frame the chalkboard and hang it up on a wall or simply prop the sign up on your food table.
  • Aloha sign standee - Say "Aloha" at the party entrance. This wooden surf board will welcome guests at the door.
  • Colorful floral garland - Hang this colorful floral garland in doorways or around windows indoors or between trees for an outdoor party.
  • Starfish garland - Decorate with this garland that features star fish and sea shells. It works well if you are looking for more of a beachy luau rather than a tiki themed luau.

Other Decoration Ideas

Don't forget about lighting and remember you can add in buckets and balloons, too.

  • tiki torch
    Tiki torches - Use tiki torches to light an outdoor party area. Be careful using these torches, especially around children, as with any other fire related decoration.
  • Beach buckets - Use colorful beach buckets to hold snacks such as chips and use the shovels as spoons. You can also use the pails to hold sunglasses or flip flops for guests to use.
  • Balloons - Balloons help create a festive party atmosphere for any theme, including a luau. Use tropical theme balloons for an easy decorating option.

A Luau's Atmosphere Is More Than Décor

Parties are consist of more than just decorations. You can set a mood for a party by playing festive tropical music and teaching your guests to hula dance. Another good way to help make your guests feel more festive is to serve tropical foods. Simply adding colorful flowers and playing games such limbo will also help your guests to feel more like they are on vacation than at a party.

Luau Party Decorations