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THE ENTRANCE

  • Have a trumpet sound effect announce guests as they arrive.

  • Have a red runner up to door. You can order one here.

  • Create a balloon arch out of pink, white and silver balloons for your princesses to walk through.

  • Have castle guards and/or the evil queen greet your guests as they enter.

  • Park a fairytale stagecoach outside.

  • Hang your “Stagecoach Parking” sign (included in packet) to direct your guests where to park.

  • Hang a "Once Upon A Time" sign as your guests enter.


  • Make a castle façade with styrofoam (Pictured below. Instructions included in packet.)

  • Lay out wood planks to create a drawbridge leading up to your entrance. (Look in the discount bin at your local hardware store for inexpensive wood.)

  • Make a black construction paper chain to simulate large chains for your drawbridge or dungeon.

  • Create a dragon out of carboard boxes and spray paint to guard your castle.

  • Have stone signs around the venue. (Pictured below. Instructions included in packet.)

  • Create an “enchanted forest”outside the party space - Litter space with fairies, gnomes, elves, etc.


INSIDE THE PARTY SPACE

  • Use stone wall scene setters to easily and inexpensively give you castle walls.

  • Make an elaborate ballroom floor with plastic “marble” laminate tiles (found inexpensively at local hardware store). You can piece them together on an old sheet of plywood.

  • Make a chandelier out of hula hoops - CLICK HERE 

  • Find an old chandelier and “make it over”. DIRECTIONS HERE

  • Consider hanging paper lanterns from the ceiling to illuminate your space.

  • Have a gallery to honor some of the princesses in the kingdom. (Designs included in mystery, just print and hang.)


  • Hang as many white twinkle lights as you can find to give your party a magical, mystical feel.

  • Have the Queen’s riches on display.

  • Create a throne by spray painting a chair gold. Add a bit of regalness with a velvet cushion or accent.

  • For authenticity, print all of the materials for the game on parchment paper.

  • When the characters read the introduction, investigation report, evidence presentation & solution, have them presented on a scroll. (Follow directions on how to make a scroll invite—included with party packet.) OR have them sealed with a wax seal.

  • Have candles flickering about.

  • Make Fairy Dust lanterns and place throughout the party space. Find directions here.


  • Hang a large mirror with a sign above it that reads: “Who is the fairest of them all?”. (Designed sign included with packet – you just print it out and hang on/by mirror.) We printed ours on clear paper and hung it directly on the mirror.


  • If throwing party in daytime, use stained-glass window clings to transform your windows.

  • Tiny plastic fairies, dragons, gnomes and other fairy tale creatures may peek out from potted plants, behind curtains and from the tops of windows.

  • Consider garden gnomes in and around your party space.

  • Have a frog (stuffed or garden decoration) with a gold crown and a “Kiss me” sign by it. (Pictured below. Sign included with mystery purchase.)


  • A poster of a glass slipper or perhaps and ladies dress shoe decorated with the saying "Have You Seen this Slipper?"

  • Have a bowl full of red apples with a "POISON" sign on it.

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SETTING THE TABLE

  • Set table with fairytale stagecoach placecards for each guest. SEE HERE. OR HERE.
    Your guests can take them home as favors. (You can also set them out by their money, objectives, etc. at the beginning of the night.)


  • OR, create your own placecards (designs included in mystery).


  • Make a pink table skirt out of tulle. Directions here.


  • Construct one long table for dinner. Use a brightly colored or metallic piece of fabric for a runner.

  • Drape table with gossamer and put white twinkle brghts underneath to illuminate.

  • Decorate the table runner with gold fabric paint.

  • Include jewels glued to the edges of tablecloths and gold, pink or silver-toned paper plates, cups and silverware.

  • Purchase gold or pink colored plastic cups and hot glue fake jewels to the outside of the cups.

  • Use a centerpiece of white roses (fake or real) in a clear vase filled with sparkly gems or beads.

  • Finish off by tying a tulle fabric bow onto each chair.

  • Display your menu for everyone to see or have it at each place setting. (Template included with package.)

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PICK A COLOR SCHEME

Three popular color schemes for your party may be gold, silver and/or pink.

To pull the color scheme through to your whole space consider the following:

  • When decorating a large area or to make an area look more intimate and festive, consider draping pink, white, silver or gold gossamer across the ceiling, walls, and edges of the tablecloth. Combine two colors for a fabulous appearance.

  • A little spray paint can go a long, long way. Spray paint novelty items, vases, old wine bottles, etc. to help bring out the color theme and add inexpensive decoration to your party.

  • Have a tablecloth—whether plastic or fabric – the colors of your choice.

  • Accentuate your tablecloth with the alternative color by using paint pens or fabric paint to paint on decorative accents.

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USING FABRIC

There are many ways you could use "fancy" fabric – shimmering, metallic, sheer, etc. – to decorate in a number of ways:

  • Drape brightly colored fabric on the walls like banners.

  • Make a table runner.

  • Drape over furniture.

  • Create decorative pillows.

  • Tie to the back of a chair.

    Places to find fancy fabrics inexpensively:
    - Searching clearance bins at fabric stoes
    - Second hand shops
    - The fabric section at Walmart

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LIGHTING
When considering the lighting for your party, you will not want anything too harsh or bright.
Consider the following and what might work best within your space:

  • Fairy Dust Lanterns.

  • Twinkling Christmas lights

  • Candles

  • Electric candles set inside plastic lanterns and suspended from the ceiling or set on tables provide light.

  • Paper lanterns

  • Twinkle lights placed under fabric on tables

  • Twinkle lights strung throughout fake trees and foliage





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CREATE A BACKDROP
Give your guests an unforgettable souvenier by setting up a photo area where they can capture a picture of themselves in character.

A few suggestions:
• Pick a place where there will be good lighting.

• You can make it as elaborate or simple as you want.

• Accessories and decorations can make the difference. Have some extra props on hand that your guests can pose with.

• An easy way to create a background is to use a "scene setter". These affordable rolls of images transform your room instantly and make for a good backdrop to your picture.

• Make sure there is enough room to fit everyone in to the frame.

• For individual shots of guests, designate someone to be in charge of pictures as your guests arrive.
o Consider your character list and which character would fit the role of taking the picture. Ie, if you want mug shots, perhaps ask the investigator to be in charge of taking the pictures.

• For a group picture, take one just before the introduction is read or right after the solution is read (before people may start heading out).
o These are two times when you can count on everyone being around and attentive.

BACKDROP IDEAS for the fairytale theme
• Create a “castle wall” backdrop using scene setters or directions in mystery.

• Decorate a deep blue sheet with some stars for a magical night feel.

• Create a throne by spray painting a chair gold. Add a bit of regalness with a velvet cushion or accent.

• Make a large banner that says “Happily Never After”.

• Have additional props for posing in pictures (crowns, tiaras, wands, trumpets, big glasses, fairy wings, etc.)

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You can order decorations online to help create your castle!
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• ©2013 Night of Mystery, Inc. • Contact www.nightofmystery.com