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By Lia Blanchard

So you have a few friends coming over Sunday evening to watch the Academy Awards. Maybe they’re coming early to enjoy (?) Kelly Rowland, Kristin Chenoweth, Lara Spencer, and Jess Cagle, managing editor of Entertainment Weekly, hosting the official Oscars pre show. (I think I’d rather watch Cojo – where is he this year?)

Want to make your evening standing-room-only fun, without a lot of hassle or money? Of course you do.

Set the scene

Staging: Need a theme? Choose your favorite nominee (person or movie) as inspiration, or just emulate the Academy Awards themselves, with a glitzy black-and-gold theme.

No need for special effects. If you have time and there’s an antique store near you, you may be able to find some old film reels for very little money. They make great centerpieces when arranged on boxes covered with a swatch of black and/or gold material (perhaps you have a scarf that fits this description?). If the reels come with film on them, even better – unravel several feet and dangle it around the reels in messy jumble. Fabulous.

film reels

Musical score: soundtracks, of course!


Again, you could choose to theme your food and drink around a specific nominee – for example, if your favorite Best Picture nominee is “Zero Dark Thirty” you could try serving MREs and Navy Grog. To stick with the more general theme of movies and Hollywood, try:

Popcorn: Print cute labels and stick them onto lunch-sized paper bags of popcorn, or head to the dollar store and pick up some of these – two for a buck.

Drink charms: These printable champagne/wine glass charms make it easy to know whose drink is whose… they say “Best Actor,” “Best Director,” “Best Makeup” and more.

Star power: A star-shaped basket or tower of star boxes – or one of those film reels turned onto its side – can hold treats, napkins, or utensils.

Casting call

Games are a great way to get everyone involved, even the rated-G set. This list of games includes links to printable supplies, and can be played by movie enthusiasts and novices alike. No prizes are needed, but if you have time you could print out silly certificates and put them into sealed envelopes. “And the award for the Hollywood Aficionado Know-it-all Quiz goes to…!”

Predictions: Everyone likes to predict the Oscar winners, and with these ballots as evidence, there will be no question as to who’s the best! Download a pre-filled ballot here: http://www.studiodiy.com/2013/02/13/free-printable-2013-oscar-ballot/ or another version here: http://catchmyparty.com/blog/free-oscar-party-printables-from-party-chic.

Red Carpet Bingo: Watching the red carpet pre show can be as entertaining – if not more so – than the award ceremonies themselves. From credit-card dresses to hideous fashion faux pas, there is always something to see. This link includes a bingo card template that is pre-filled in with categories like “feathers” and “not age appropriate”, and a template that is blank.

Quiz:  Think you know Hollywood? Prove it!

Mad Libs: The creators of Mad Libs are in the spirit with a new parts-of-speech game based on this year’s Awards – just print and enjoy!