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7 Oscars DIYs That Bring the Red Carpet to Your Living Room

Posted by Melissa Massello  February 28, 2014 05:54 PM

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7_DIY_oscars_party_ideas.jpg(L-R) Jeff Lahens, Amanda Maciel-Antunes & Joselin Mane at Shoestring's 2013 OscarUp Boston. Photo: Carly Gillis

Unless you're dolling up in your red carpet best for the annual Ellie Fund party this Sunday night, chances are you'll be watching the Oscars at home in front of the television with a few of your nearest and dearest. That doesn't mean that you can't still channel some of the glitz & glamour of Old Hollywood with these seven DIY projects we made for last year's #OscarUp party, which instantly transformed our South End co-working space into (well, nearly into) the Chinese Theatre. Add some thrifted black tie duds, et voila! Pure silver screen magic.

oscars_statue_ken_doll_shoestring.jpgPhoto: Melissa Massello/Shoestring

Improvising from a photo I'd seen in a vintage magazine, I created this "Oscar" statue using a Ken doll, some gold metallic spray paint, a wooden base painted black, and glue. Check out last year's DIY Boston post for the full step-by-step instructions. (You could also substitute a wooden figure model, like the ones sold at IKEA, for a Ken doll if you can't find one.)

oscars_DIY_marquee_letters_shoestring.jpgPhoto: Melissa Massello/Shoestring

Using this tutorial from Oh Happy Day, we created the OSCARUP letters for our Twitter party using cardstock, Scotch tape, and red spray paint, then cut holes for the white mini-globe string lights. The entire project was a lot more frustrating and labor intensive than it looks, don't get me wrong, but the end result is worth the effort — and will last you many Oscars parties to come.

DIY_directors_chair_covers_shoestring.jpgPhoto: Carly Gillis for Shoestring

Using upcycled black T-shirts from the Goodwill Outlet, a little iron-on hemming tape, and iron-on varsity letters, my fabulous assistant Josephine created these chair covers in a little over an hour, turning regular bar chairs (or dining chairs) into director-style chairs. We yelled "Cut!", "Action!", and "The kid stays in the picture!" all night long. It was awesome.

Simply measure the width & height of the chair back and cut the black tees to spec in squares, leaving a seam allowance of about 3" on all sides. Turn the T-shirts inside out and use the iron-on hemming tape to secure the front & back together on the top & both sides, right and left. Once cooled, flip inside out and iron on the varsity letters DIRECTOR to the back side, then slip over the chair backs. Bullhorn or DIY director's clapboard optional.

DIY_film_strip_centerpieces_carlygillis.jpgPhoto: Carly Gillis for Shoestring

Using glass vases from Goodwill, Scotch tape, and old negatives, we created these fun flickering centerpieces for every table. Place an LED tea light in the center and cover the vase 2/3 of the way up for some real silver screen ambiance.

oscars_inspired_drink_menu_carlygillis.jpgPhoto: Carly Gillis for Shoestring

Every year for my Oscars party I like to make a pun-filled drink menu based on the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture — last year it was "Across the Atlantic" for Life of Pi; in 2011 it was "The Rind Side" for The Blind Side and "Red Balloons" for Up. This year's films — Gravity, Her, Dallas Buyers Club, American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street, Nebraska — are all just begging for some punny recipe creativity behind the bar.

how_about_orange_oscars_printables_2014.jpgPhoto: How About Orange

It's always fun to keep people going through the looooong acceptance speeches with a little Oscars bingo. Download & print the free Oscars bingo cards from design blog How About Orange (shown above) or grab the official download & print ballots from

new_dress_day_wolf_wall_street.jpgPhoto: Marisa Lynch/New Dress a Day

Another fun idea for an Oscars party is to invite your guests to come dressed as their favorite character from one of the Oscar-nominated films. My friend Marisa at New Dress a Day has been creating looks based on her picks for best picture all week long, if you need for inspiration, or there's always the classic route using vintage black tie pieces from Goodwill, like evening gowns, tuxes, pearls, sequins, and gloves.

For more DIY Oscars party ideas, check out these 3 ways to enjoy an Oscars bash on a budget over at or my Oscars Party Ideas board on Pinterest.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the Authors

Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out More »
Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »

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