Throw a Masquerade Party for Mardi Gras

masquerade masks for mardi gras

An assortment of masquerade masks for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is right around the corner on Tuesday, March 4, but you still have time to plan and execute the perfect masquerade party to celebrate.

This past weekend in Knoxville, Tenn., (hometown of HGTV and DIY Network) the most creative people in advertising came together to celebrate converting big ideas into incredible work in the industry at the American Advertising Federation’s ADDY® Awards ceremony. This year the AAF and ADDY committee members hosted a masquerade ball to recognize winners from all media types for their creative excellence.

It was a formal affair with professionals donning tuxedos and gowns beneath elaborate masks, but most of our masquerade party decorations were handmade and budget-friendly. We used a dramatic color palette of black with metallics and pops of warm reds, yellows and oranges. You can use our DIY décor ideas to class up your own Fat Tuesday or check out Kayla’s Mardi Gras mood board on HGTV for more inspiration.


Centerpieces took center stage at this event because hosting hundreds of people requires dressing up enough tables to seat them all. We went with several variations that were all simple DIY projects. Almost all materials were purchased at popular commercial craft stores.

masquerade party centerpieces

Dramatic centerpieces stole the show

1. This sleek centerpiece topped with feathers is both dramatic and easy to make. A Styrofoam ball (which could be found at any craft store) was secured to the top of a vase with a 12-inch dowel rod. A generous amount of all-purpose craft glue was applied to the ball and wrapped with two to three feather boas. Here we used two black and pieces of one red boa. You could use any color or mix of colors you desire.

2. Our second centerpiece used store-bought masquerade masks that ranged from $8 – 12 each.  Dowel rods were painted with gold glitter spray then secured with glue to the bottom of each mask. The other end of the dowel was inserted into a Styrofoam box wrapped in fashion fabric. A strip of fabric was cut from each panel then tied at the neck to hide all Styrofoam from showing. Black feathers and gold metallic curled sticks were included to add height.

3. We rented metallic candelabras from a local party supply store and dressed them with crystal beads and LED tapered flicker candles from The venue didn’t allow for open flame candles, but you can use the real thing for your event.

4. We bought glass votives in varying sizes from eBay for about $1 each and gave them the glitter treatment. We mixed 1 part Mod Podge with 1 part gold glitter flakes and painted the inside of almost 50 votives. The Mod Podge will go on white but will dry clear so don’t fret mid-project. We filled each votive with tea light flicker candles that we spray painted metallic gold to match the votive.

Directional Display

With many guests entering the venue at once, we needed a directional sign fitting our theme to guide them where they needed to go.

masquerade party directional display

A directional display ensures guests know where to go without help from the busy host.

A framed chalkboard (also from a major craft store) was fitted with a masquerade mask and directional arrows were hand lettered with white chalk.

Painted Balloons

Possibly our most inexpensive décor item, black helium balloons painted with gold metallic craft paint lined the entryways of the venue. We tested applying the paint with several different applicators but found that a paintbrush left the most appealing stroke. We layered on one brushy coat and then applied a second only half way up the first to create an ombre effect.

masquerade party balloons

When the light hit these balloons from a dark corner, they looked amazing.

Giant Mask

Our show-stopping décor piece was a giant masquerade mask that measured 7 feet wide by 2 feet tall.

giant masquerade mask

Gold glitter ribbon was later draped from the top corners of the mask.

Made of cardboard, we spruced it up with metallic paint, crystal gems, feathers and gold glitter. We displayed the mask on black pipe and drape and uplighted it in the room where the awards ceremony was held. The light caught the gems, glitter, and metallic spray paint base beautifully.

What do you think? Are you ready to host your own masquerade?

8 Responses

  1. Sylvia says:

    I'm turning 60 in January and need some ideas on how to have a hit and a grand show stopper on a bubget….. Help

  2. new year says:

    I really loved reading your blog. It was very easy to understand. new year 2016 happy new year 2016 ml

  3. yr # fan & colorist! says:

    Christine was this you?

  4. Lisa says:

    I love the giant mask! I am having a sweet 16 party with this theme for my daughter in Jan, can you give me instruction on how you made the mask if possible. Thanks Lisa

  5. Erin Madison says:

    the black and gold baloons are my school colors and we are having a valentines dance themed masquerade. could you help me with a cuople of decorations (that are simpl!!!) LOL, greatly appreciated. xoxo

  6. Kizzy says:

    This was awesome!!! Loved the big mask idea

  7. sharon says:

    Great job beautiful Jill. I love it! xo

  8. AlizPinz says:

    Great Mardi Gras project!


About Jill Werderitch 


I track design, gardening, and DIY trends for HGTV, DIY Network, and Great American Country, and believe that creating unique, one-of-a-kind pieces with your hands keeps you happy. There is ...

More About Jill Werderitch