- Have a trumpet sound effect announce guests as they arrive.
- Have a red runner up to door.
- Have castle guards greet your guests.
- Park a fairytale stagecoach outside.
- 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.
- Make flags for your Kingdom (Pictured below. Instructions and template design included in packet.)
- 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.
- Hang plastic shields, swords, axes, etc. on the walls (find some at a local party store).
- 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.
- Hang as many white twinkle lights as you can find to give your party a magical, mystical feel.
- Have the Prince Charming'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.
- Hang a large mirror with a sign above it that reads: “Who is the fairest of them all?” – or write it on your bathroom mirror with washable paint.
- 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.)
- Hang “reward”, “missing” and “announcement” signs in and around the party space (included with mystery).
- 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.
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.)
- Construct one long table for dinner. Use a brightly colored or metalbrc 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- or silver-toned paper plates, cups and silverware.
- Purchase gold 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. (Menu template included with package.)
PICK A COLOR SCHEME
Three popular color schemes for your party may be gold and purple (the color of regency), gold and silver or silver and white.
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 white or gold gossamer across the ceibrng, 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.
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. (Purple and gold for royalty!)
- 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
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:
- Christmas lights
- 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
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.
BACKDROP IDEAS for the fairytale theme
• 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.
• 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 “Once Upon a Murder”.
• Have additional props for posing in pictures (crowns, tiaras, wands, trumpets, big glasses, pig ears, fairy wings, elf hats, etc.).