Skip to content

Part 2 of…How to throw a fabulously RETRO lingerie party! (DECOR)


Following on from: How to throw a fabulously RETRO lingerie party! (INSPIRATION)

SO with my vision completely illustrated and the bridemaids and party guests fully appraised, I now had to put my ideas into practice.

This is where I quickly realised that the phrase that most accurately applied was… ‘easier PLANNED than DONE’. So… in true procrastinator’s  efficient organiser’s style, I broke the planning down into categories:

  • Decor
  • Food and Drink
  • Entertainment


My lovely co-bridesmaid popped over to a Biggie Best ‘Sale’ bin and picked up this fantastically retro pink and green polka dot fabric which my other equally lovely and talented bridesmaid turned into brilliantly retro looking table cloths.

I then printed out a collection of gorgeous and cheeky (and appropriately retro) ladies and mounted them on card using prit stick.

There were many truly great pin-up artists of the 1940’s and 1950’s – Joyce Ballantyne, Peter Driben, Harry Ekman, Pearl Frush, George Petty, Alberto Vargas… but my absolute favourite has got to be Gil Elvgren (see above). His work absolutely captured the beauty, glamour and coy playfulness that I was going for. His ladies are demure and sophisticated, and at the same time sexy as hell! Which summed up the bride (and her guests) perfectly!

I scattered the boards around the room, propped against vases and picture frames but my favourite idea was creating a sort of ‘washing line’ with pink ribbon and using wooden pegs to hang the pictures. It looked like a naughty photography studio! This also gave me another cute idea. What better to hang on a washing line… than underwear?! Whenever the bride opened a gift – instead of immediately hiding it away again – they were pinned to the line too and so the gifts themselves became part of the decor!!

When it comes to lighting I will admit I have a small obsession with fairy lights. Unfortunately I had a little problem here and was not able to get any. But this turned into a plus as I was forced to become more creative – and possibly a little more authentic. I decided to use candlelight instead but as I was using someone else’s house I wasn’t totally comfortable about putting candles in their surfaces and my budget wouldn’t allow lanterns. So I used a trick I had seen at a design fair once and used tealights in wine glasses with vellum lampshades.

This is such a great (and cheap) way of decorating a room – or even just a table for a dinner party. You can buy paper vellum at most stationary or scrapbooking stores. It is the same semi-translucent paper used in things like wedding invites. You can get in a whole range of colours and you can cut your own decorative designs into them. This is a great website that talks you through the process step by step.

Trust me – it really is simple though.

And finally….

My pièce de résistance: A life-size cut out of a pin-up girl!

This was the part of the party that gave me the most headaches but really was worth it in the end. I found the biggest and most high-definition picture I could (this is easier if you are making one of somebody you know – you can just take a good quality photo of them). I had it printed at my local post office but there are many places that do large-scale printing. As I was going to mount it anyway, I only had it printed on paper rather than card or cardboard.

Lovely talented bridesmaid (henceforth known as LTB) and myself then glued the poster to a sheet of polystyrene (with polystyrene glue) and trimmed it to the right size with a large craft knife.

Only then did we cut out the face. First though, we printed an oval onto a normal A4 sheet of paper, cut it out and then positioned it over our face and the pin-up’s face until we found the right size and angle. And then I squeezed my eyes shut and held my breath while LTB did the cutting! She came up with the clever idea of making a stand (like a normal picture frame) out of the excess polystyrene and, voila! We had our masterpiece!

Next time…. FOOD AND DRINK!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. michelle permalink
    21/05/2011 12:17

    Now this is the kind of party I would love to go too! I hope there were scrummy coctails of some discription!

  2. Trudy permalink
    21/05/2011 18:13

    well done clever bridesmaids – what a brilliant idea! Love the ‘washing line’ – genius!

  3. Christine permalink
    18/01/2012 20:28

    Hi there! Found your fab party while searching for ideas for a valentines day party theme for my husbands military unit. I think we are going to do a cut out poster from one of the war comics covers, but the pinup idea you. Have is SO delicious, it has to be included! Would you be willing to share with me your source for high def 1940s pinup art? (it’s for the boys!) Thanks for all the work! Your sister is lucky!

    • 25/01/2012 22:32

      Hi Christine! Thanks so much – pin up girls and the military go together so well! They’re all about ‘inspiring the troops’ so a Pinup Valentines party is perfect. Unfortunately it was REALLY hard to get high def 1940’s art… That picture wasn’t my first choice but in the end it was the only one I could find that was big enough. I have had another look though and this one is also pretty big:

      Hope it helps! Would love to see pictures of your party!


  1. Part 3 of… How to Throw a Fabulously Retro Lingerie Party! (FOOD and DRINK) «

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s