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Indiana Jones Theme Party Decorating Ideas

Fewer icons say “adventure” quite like Indiana Jones and his movies. His hat and whip are symbols of danger, narrow escapes and history coming alive. It’s exciting to plan a theme party based on the movies and all of Indy’s adventures, but sometimes difficult to pull off without feeling like you have to spend a lot of money. It’s not like balloons and streamers totally cut it with this type of theme. Indy traveled the whole world while on his adventures and trying to capture that world-wide space can be difficult. Here are some decorating ideas that we hope will as you plan…

See what kind of rope you might have in your garage (or friends’ garages…) – the dirtier and more worn, the better. These look great hanging in a ‘rigging’ fashion. HINT: When asking around for rope, be careful of what you ask for….a lot of people have that bright yellow, coarse rope…not exactly the right look. If you have posts around your front entrance, the rope looks great wrapped around these in an exotic dock type fashion.

These look REALLY great…but you’ll need someone who has a very simple computer graphics program and the basic knowledge to use it. Download your favorite exotic photos from the Internet (best if revolved around your themed location) and load them into the graphics program. Across the top (or in any other place, depending on how creative you want to get with it…) put the words of the location (i.e. France, Giza, etc.) Then, in one of the corners put a large number…essentially, you are making a large stamp. Once you have the image the way you want it, print it out and decorate cut the edges all around in the fashion of a large stamp. These look great just about anywhere. HINT: These can be done in assembly-line fashion and can be cranked out relatively fast once you get into the ‘groove’ of it. It’s a great way to give a worldwide feel without trying to collect decorations from every country (especially some of the smaller, more exotic and obscure locales.)

Sometimes all you need is one great prop as a centerpiece of sorts to impress your guests with the decorating. How about a gold coffin (or gold walls, if needed)? Spray paint the box structure with a standard HIGH GLOSS finish gold spray paint (not matte finish.) Using some art history books as guides, draw cartouche images on the sides using a fine tipped, black permanent marker. Now, the marker will not be dark enough atop the gold spray paint…you’ll need to go back over it with some black acrylic paint. Some color was used by the Egyptians, notably white, turquoise and an earthy brick red. Reflect these colors in touch up details on the sides of the coffins.  

Light-weight plastic bugs can be hung very successfully from the ceiling. Although how they are hung would depend entirely on your location, allow them to dangle right above your average guest (with varying heights above and below this level.) A thin black thread works great…especially if you’ve chosen minimal lighting for your party or event. Of course, you CAN go lower in one portion of your party space to have that ‘intrusive’ feel…I mean, these ARE the Indiana Jones movies, right?

Old research books look great as centerpieces. Go to your local library (college libraries are much better for this if you know a college student who is willing to check some out for you) and look for old, antique books. They always have them…and they look great for atmosphere. And the best part is, they’re free to check out!

In the same vein as above, set up a small research table vignette. Stack up some old books, strew around some loose papers with notes scribbled on them, some pencils, etc. Have a single candle burning to illuminate the vignette…simple, elegant and effective.

Create a small archeological dig site at the entrance to your party. Gather as many shovels and digging tools as you can find. By themselves they aren’t necessarily that effective, but next to a small dug hole, with a table full of old looking books (from libraries would work just fine) and journals they really look great (especially if it’s a real old shovel and such…)

Other Indiana Jones Party Resources Articles:

Indiana Jones Theme Party Food Ideas

Indiana Jones Theme Party Invitation Ideas

Indiana Jones Theme Party Games

Indiana Jones Theme Party Activities for Kids


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