Throw a Sparkling Oscar’s Party — on a Budget!

women holding champagne
Photo: iStock

Tired of your usual Oscar's celebration--you know, the one that involves you, your friends, the couch and a carton of ice cream? Change things up this year with our fun ideas! From dressed-up cocktails to shimmering wall decor, we'll show you how to host an Academy Awards celebration with pizzazz. Check out our top picks, as seen on LIVE with Kelly and Michael:

Photo: The Nest

Walk the red carpet!

Have your guests feel like they are attending the Oscars by laying down red fabric for them to walk on when they come in. You can even make your own Walk of Fame with these personalized stars straight out of Hollywood Boulevard, and have guests pose for a quick minute in front of “paparazzi" by the VIP step and repeat!

Red Carpet, $7,

Hollywood Photo Door Banner, $9,

Photo: The Nest

Go Retro

Create the perfect retro ambiance by hanging black, silver and gold streamers around the walls, like this one.

Tassel Garland, $32,

Photo: The Nest, Flowers: Lindsay Landman Events

Add a Movie Magic

Include all the nominees in the décor by putting each movie poster on a bottle of wine or Chandon, and even have framed ones around the area for guests to get a feel of what movies to root for. Follow the instructions on to create your own. Sticking with the movie theme, try incorporating little film strips into nice flower displays in the living room (like the one above) to keep all things film-related.

Photo: The Nest

Create Couture Cocktails

It's only appropriate to dress up the guests' flutes of Chandon with little bowties--this is a red-carpet event, after all!

Photo: The Nest

Cinematic Dishes

Serve foods that represent the nominees--and satisfy your guests' every craving! For Silver Linings Playbook, serve mini Philly cheese steaks. Go back to the trippy 70's for Argo with cheese fondue. And for Beasts of the Southern Wild, offer mini bowls of gumbo.

Fondue Pot, $185,

Gumbo Making Kit, $14,

Photo: The Nest

Popcorn Party

Another option? Delight your guests with a popcorn and candy bar featuring classic movie snacks. Have them create their own snack mixes by filling up popcorn bags with different toppings like M&M's and caramel. Send the leftover candy bags home with your friends so that none of the treats go to waste.

Photo: The Nest

Game Time!

Start the night off right by letting everyone know that “it's in the bag" – they all have a chance of winning! Put out a bag (we like this one from with all the nominees names in it and have everyone choose one. If their nominee wins, they win a prize. Best of all, this game doesn't require any skills.

Oscar Bingo – We love this idea from, that incorporates Oscar predictions from this year's Academy Awards. Will Anne Hathaway win Best Supporting Actress? Will the winner of an award have a crazy accent? Use gold star stickers to keep track on your Oscar board.

Have your guests pick their own winners. Create a ballot book (like these from for each guest to check off a winner for each category. The person who guesses the most winners correctly can win a prize – maybe a bottle of bubbly or a mini statue to take home.

Don't let the stars be the only ones to walk away with fabulous “swag bags." Give your guests a to-go bag filled with treats like lip balm and chocolates so they can bring home some Oscar glam.