Saddle up for some good, ol’ fashioned country western fun by styling your next shindig with decorations that channel rustic country charm and the spirit of the western wilderness. Whether you are planning a formal event or casual get together, the down-home warmth and friendly nature of a country-western theme decorating creates a relaxed mood that everyone can enjoy.
THEME: A country western theme includes a broad range of distinctive motifs & symbols that can be sub-divided into 3 general groups with some elements of overlap. You may want to choose one specific style as a guide or combine aspects of each throughout your party:
Country charm includes items related to rural life, such as barns, windmills, hay bales, moonshine jugs, barnstars, mason jars, hunting, etc.
Old West or Wild West embodies the American West of the 19th century with elements depicting ways of life during the period, including:
Prospecting: gold, picks, mining cars
Outlaw: 6-shooter, sheriff, money bags
Transportation: trains, stagecoach, wagons
Landscape: cactus, tumbleweeds, steer skulls
Saloon: cards, whiskey, showgirls
The cowboy can be included with other styles or stand-alone as your primary subject represented with cowboy hats, boots, spurs, saddles, lassos, cows, camping items, etc.
In addition, some symbols overlap all 3 styles, such as horses, barbed wire & fencing, bandanas, hurricane lanterns, rifles and anything rusty.
APPLICATION: Your theme may evolve as you plan, but choosing a specific direction will add consistency and interest to your event. Use your theme in planning:
Favors & Giveaways
When decorating, we like to choose locations most guests will eventually visit to place our decorations, arranging accents & "surprises" so guests discover them over the duration of the party.
Make a great first impression and set the mood for your arriving guests with a mini country-western scene outside your front entrance or just inside the foyer.
Here we have composed a scene with a hay bale as our foundation, then added a Moonshine Jug with wild flowers, a pair of black and red Hurricane Lanterns and a strand of Rusty Barbed-Wire Garland.
Introduce an element of intrigue and excitement with a pair of Money Bags surrounded by loose Plastic Gold Coins. In addition, you may also decorate your front door with a Hanging Chili Pepper Ristra, dreamcatcher, barnstar, horseshoe or twig wreath. The festive greeting placed in this very visible location will go a long way in creating a lasting memory of your event.
<== BAR & COCKTAILS
The watering hole or bar is an ideal location to showcase your detailed theme-related decorations, because all of your guests will visit or mingle nearby at some point. Use a variety of country-western icons in varying shapes and textures to add interest and festivity to your bar.
Arrange a mini country-western scene with a miniature hay bale (available at hobby stores), Rifle Lighter and Moonshine Jug Vase. Include an Oil Derrick, cowboy boots vase and Vintage Hurricane or Magnum Shotgun Shell Salt & Pepper shakers.
Edge the bar with one or more styles of string lights, such as Mason Jars, Shotgun Shells, Cowboy Boots, or Vintage Red Hurricane Lanterns. Rename your signature cowboy cocktail for the event or guest of honor and use Texas State Flag Toothpicks in your drink garnishes and hors d'oeuvres.
Serve cocktails in mason jars on red bandana, red gingham, cactus, chili pepper or country-western oriented beverage napkins to complement your decor. Hang a string of red bandana pennants behind the bar with a strand of Rusty Barbed Wire Garland across the top.
Liven up every bar scene with a light sprinkling of metallic confetti in western shapes of cowboy boots with spurs, cactus and sheriff badges. You may also want to announce your signature drink and/or extend birthday wishes to your guest of honor with a Fancy Cowboy Boots placecard /photo holder on the bar.
PARTY AREA ==>
Depending upon the occasion, you can create a celebratory mood by hanging swirls in the party area or over your dinner/serving table. Or take a more subtle approach with a mix of Round Paper Lanterns in your theme or country-western colors, such as red, black, and white.
You can easily convert home decor to look more country-western by adding colors and patterns. For example, switch out the throw pillows on your modern white sofa with a cowhide and/or bandana pattern.
Maintain an open space free of chairs and low furniture in the party area for guests to circulate and mingle. Country-western inspired rope coasters make a nice addition for guests to set drinks.
Check out this link for do-it-yourself anchor rope coasters, but it's just as easy for horseshoes or your favorite icon at www.makinghomebase.com.
Like the bar, virtually every guest will visit the bathroom at some point, making it an excellent showplace for your distinctive decorations.
Tastefully coordinate your bathroom decorations with a combination of country & western icons in a display of towels, soap,
and a mini country-western scene, which include:
Hem-stitched guest towels (2) featuring machine-embroidery of western landscapes of sun and saguaro cactus.
A pair of cowboy boots vase with wildflowers.
An artistic metal saguaro cactus votive candle holder.
Cowboy boot and saguaro cactus shaped soaps.
Sprinkle a few pieces of western confetti for continuity and a dash of shimmer and shine. Not only will you have a captive audience, but it keeps your party interesting as guests discover surprises throughout the evening.
From rustic to refined, a country western theme can easily be tailored to a casual event or formal occasion. Set the tone with background elements, such as weathered wood and gingham patterns to create a rustic, more casual event. Conversely, white linens and formal settings are an easy way to dress-up your affair.
For maximum visual impact, we use a bright white background to make decorations clearly visible and distinctive. Start with a white tablecloth and white dinner plates and build your centerpiece on a red bandana square.
Center your table around an oil derrick, outhouse, windmill, armadillo, moonshine jug or cowboy boot vase encircled by rusty barbed wire garland. Print place cards in an Old West sign style and use Fancy Boot Placecard/Photo holders at each setting.
Serve iced tea in mason jars on Jet Black Beverage Napkins. Use Cast Iron Dimensional Barn Star Napkin Rings with white dinner napkins across each plate, charger, or place setting.
Add an element of humor with a pair of Outhouse Salt & Pepper shakers. Alternatively, use Hurricane Lantern, Cactus in Pots, Pigs with Gingham Neckerchiefs, Shotgun Shells, Tractor with Hay Bales or Moonshine Jug salt and pepper shakers.
Metallic confetti is an easy way to add subtle details and lift spirits. Create a big impact by scattering confetti sparingly on the bar, in the bathroom, and on the dinner table.
Use red stars or western icon confetti of cowboy boots, cactus, sheriff badges and stars for a country western theme. If you are mailing invitations or thank you notes, add just a sprinkle of confetti fun and festivity in each envelope.
Color & Repetition
Choose colors, patterns, and country-western symbols for a consistent presentation of your theme throughout your party:
Primary Colors: Create a bold, forceful look with red & black or brown as your main colors.
Accent Colors: Optionally, use a third or accent color, such as blue.
Patterns and Fabrics: In addition, you may use patterns and/or fabrics in your theme colors, such as bandana paisley, gingham and denim.
Natural: Elements of nature also work well for a country western theme, such as wood, leather, cowhide and straw.
Select a primary motif, such as the cowboy boot. Then add easily
recognizable country western symbols as complements and accents, such as: