D.I.Y. Kentucky Derby Party Ideas

May 6, 2011 | By | Comments (2)

If you can't head "off to the races," you might as well bring the races to your living room. Whether you plan to have friends over for an informal get-together or have a quiet afternoon enjoying the derby with your family, these festive D.I.Y. projects will make your derby experience even better.



If you admired the sea of beautiful hats at Royal Wedding, you're in luck because the Kentucky Derby continues that tradition. Big, bold sunhats are a Derby essential. Women's hats are typically wide-brimmed and embellished with flowers, bows and ribbon. While store-bought hats are lovely, they can be pricey! Luckily, DailyCandy has an easy tutorial to create your own less expensive headpiece. I love their simple hat, but I'd opt to hot glue a few flowers on to the ribbon as well.


Here's some inspiration for your hat making:


Hat-a-tude Kentucky Derby hat

$125 at hat-a-tude.com.



The Kentucky Derby is also known as the "Run for the Roses" because the winning horse and jockey are adorned with hundreds of red roses and given a bouquet of long-stemmed red roses. So its a great excuse to spruce up your counter space or table with some gorgeous roses. 


If you're hosting a small gathering, a centerpiece certainly isn't necessary but I couldn't resist sharing this beautiful (and easy) idea from Jennifer Sbranti of Hostess with the Mostess


Hostess with the Mostess centerpiece

(Check out the how-to for this Derby Party Centerpiece.)



While Derby Pie is typically the dessert of choice on derby day, I've fallen in love with Sweet Cheek's rose-shaped cake pops. These yummy desserts seem to be the new cupcake—even Starbuck's has them in their bakery case. At first glance these rose-shaped cake pops look incredibly intricate, but the steps don't seem too intimidating.


Sweet Cheeks rose cake pops




What would a derby party be without Mint Juleps? The classic Kentucky Derby drink is a blend of mint, sugar, and Bourbon. 


Fresh Home Ideas drink cozys


Mint Juleps were once served in silver or pewter cups, but not all of us have extra silver lying around the house. Personally, I prefer something more fun and festive like these D.I.Y. drink cozys by Fresh Home Ideas. With just a few inexpensive materials, you'll add a bit of personality to any glass and it makes a great favor for your guests to take home with them. 


What are your Kentucky Derby watching plans?