Hosting a Kentucky Derby bash is a win for every party guest. Hats, dresses, whiskey and sports, what isn’t there to love? The big race is quickly approaching (May 2!), and now is the perfect time to DIY your party decor and prep for the big event. We’re sharing our favorite derby DIYs below, so grab your fascinator and get crafting.
1. DIY Photo Backdrop: Photo backdrops are always a hit at parties. Create a colorful photo backdrop by stapling faux turf onto a large piece of plywood. Add hats, old-fashioned chairs and some pony toys for optimal fun. (via East Coast Creative blog)
2. Floral Arrangements: While your mint julep booze table might be the main attraction, flowers can liven up your party space. We love the combo of crisp white roses with gorgeous pink blooms. (via Kara’s Party Ideas)
3. Mason Jar Glasses: Mason jars are a southern staple. Create a takeaway party favor with these labeled mason jar drink holders. Guests will love the favor, and it’ll help them identify their drinks throughout the party. (via Hometalk)
4. Centerpiece: Bring a hint of the stable to your Derby Day affair with these DIY flower box centerpieces. The floral touches and quirky gold toys make for a beautiful and rustic centerpiece. (via HWTM blog)
5. Dessert Toppers: Pay a not-so-subtle homage to the theme of the day with these easy DIY dessert toppers. Hot-glue them onto white dowels or cake pop sticks so they can stand tall (and steady!) on your dessert table. Whoa, Nelly! (via Greg Blomberg/Style Me Pretty)
6. Paper Products: For those guests not imbibing in the standard mint julep or bourbon, attach these adorable labels to water bottles or old-fashioned soda bottles to tie every aspect of your event together. (via HWTM)
7. Party Games: Before the big race, set up games like horseshoe and corn hole to bring out everyone’s competitive side. Surprise the lucky winners afterward with a prize. (via Kentucky Derby)
8. Decor: The best part about playing sports as a kid was getting a trophy at the end of the season. These childhood throwbacks make for creative decor and could be a silly reward for horseshoe winners. (via Jennifer Rizzo)
9. DIY Ice Cubes: After the race is over, celebrate the lucky horse with a champagne cocktail toast, complete with red rose ice cubes. Take miniature English spray roses (fake ones will do just fine) and freeze in a large ice cube mold for an impressive cocktail add-in. (via Karissa Fanning)
10. Cocktails: And this wouldn’t be a Derby Day without a few drinks, now would it? No matter if you like your bourbon or your celebratory champagne, we’ve got you covered with not one, but two recipes appropriate for the big day: Whiskey Ginger With Lemon or a Pomegranate French 75. (via Brit + C0)
Are you ready for Derby Day? List your favorite Derby-related traditions in the comments below!