Although we had fun, we weren't really in Morocco! It was that time of year again when our church congregation "cruises" to some exotic place. We have been to the Caribbean, south of the border, Italy, the Orient, and even got shipwrecked on Gilligan's Island. Last year, we took a Mississippi riverboat cruise to New Orleans. This year we were fortunate to visit the beautiful country of Morocco. The food was wonderful...Moroccan chicken pie, couscous, green salad with feta and other wonderful flavors, figs, fruit, bread, and orange cake for dessert. The entertainment was first class! We enjoyed a snake charmer, belly dancer, and fortune teller. Of course, the snake was stuffed and came to life thanks to fishing line. He even carried on a funny conversation with his charmer. The fortune teller handed out fortunes that were actually scripture verses. And the brave (and modest) belly dancers were three of the leaders of our congregation...good sports! It was a fun evening filled with good food, good friends, and fun!
Now, on to the decorations which were fashioned from many secondhand treasures! If you are familiar with my past activities, then you will know how much I LOVE cast off sheets from hotels. For this party I was able to use "stone wall" stenciled sheets and plain-dyed sheets from previous activities. I did, however, do an ombre dye on nine sheets to create curtains for this party. I used yellow, orange, and wine to create a striped effect. You can visit this tutorial to see how I did the ombre effect.
I cut decorative tops from black foam core board purchased at the dollar store. Using my Cricut, I cut a stencil and used it to dress up the pieces with metallic paint. I used a strip of the foam core to thread it through the wide hem of the sheet. This allowed the curtain to be gathered at the top and then pinned to the walls (our textile covered walls act like big bulletin boards!) The foam core strip (which I used because it was leftover from cutting the tops, and cheap!) did have a tendency to break, so be careful, or use a dowel or wooden slat. I purchased gold curtain tie-backs at a thrift store for 50¢ a piece.
The food table was first covered in plain-dyed sheets, then layered with two burgandy table clothes purchased at a thrift store for $2 a piece. The turquoise fabric on the wall is a very long window scarf picked up for $4. A votive candle holder creates a focal point for the scarf to hang from. A roll of gold metallic mesh adds some sparkle under the wicker trays and place mats.
Lamps were added to provide some much needed light.
I usually like to hang icycle lights from the edge of the table (under the table skirting), but I didn't think they would show up much since the burgandy table clothes were so thick. So I just placed them on the floor under the table and they created a nice glow through the dyed sheets.
Originally, my mind envisioned the fortune teller corner as a tented area. But, time restraints dictated an alternate plan. I was happy with the end result, nonetheless. Thrifted curtain valances, fabric, velvet throws, and dyed sheets were used to create this scene. Throw rugs helped to cover the gym floor and the cord to the table lamp!
The table was covered in a beautiful vintage, hand painted velvet cloth. The light was thrifted for a couple of dollars.
A few years back, I helped to decorate for a homecoming dance at the local high school. They wanted an Arabian nights theme. I cut these columns from masonite, painted, and stenciled them with gold metallic spray paint. The bottom stencil was actually a "wrought iron" looking door mat. I just laid it over the column and sprayed it. Of course, not wanting to waste anything, when I was done stenciling, I sprayed the mat black again and still use it at my back door! This was our photo-op corner.
A while ago, our black stage curtains unfortunately "disappeared," so a backdrop was needed to dress up the stage. The columns and stenciled sheets came in handy to complete the job. Of course, there is only so much you can do when you're working around basketball hoops and accordion curtains!
My trusty gazebo made an appearance again. (You can see at my son's wedding here, and my daughter's wedding here.) I found some cute colored lights at a grocery outlet store that fit in with the moroccan theme. The light in the middle was re-wired by my husband to plug into an outlet. I painted the glass panels with transparent paint in moroccan colors, although it doesn't show up in the photos.
I picked up three long window scarves for $3 each and created a billowed ceiling in the gazebo. The rug is actually a vintage bedspread in a bright orange and yellow design with tassels.
One of my favorite projects for this party was the Moroccan lanterns I put together from various thrift store finds. Each lantern sat on top of a battery-operated LED light. I made seventeen lanterns for this party, all unique and different from each other. For a break down of the various parts I used for some of the lanterns, you can visit this tutorial.
I even thrifted some great costumes. My tunic and matching pants were only $2 for the set!! And, my husband's brightly colored tunic was just $3.
I'm not sure, this may have been more oriental than moroccan, but I couldn't pass it up for the price!
I like to link to these great parties!