Ideas For Throwing a Mardi Gras Masquerade Party

Planning a masquerade ball? Check out these clever ideas for decorations and centerpieces.

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 decor 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.

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 one part Mod Podge with one 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.

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 decor 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.

Giant Mask

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

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 beautifully.

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