All great parties have a theme: horses. Television shows. Cartoon characters. Retirement. Mardi Gras. Over the hill. What about criminal justice students, officials, and graduates? People who love true crime? They deserve a party theme, too … a criminal justice party!
So how to decorate for a criminal justice party? Consider your guests. Have they just graduated from a program in law or law enforcement? Celebrating the end of a specialized class? Showing off those newly acquired badges? A group of true crime authors or enthusiasts getting together or meeting? Here are some ideas to help get this party started…
(All photos labeled “free to modify, share, & use”)
Take the cake
Here you can go as simple as you want or as elaborate as possible, depending on the budget and time. Cakes can become culinary masterpieces of art in the right hands, or lopsided, frightening hunks covered in that cheap gel purchased in the 24-hour grocery store.
Police tape – mark it off
What is a crime scene without police tape? Change up the color and language for variety. Look for different languages to add something different. Just be careful where you string it or you could be facing a real crime scene when someone falls and puts an eye out.
Tablecloth – lay it down
Tablecloths are other décor are easy enough to make, and easy on the budget, with a little imagination and a tube of “fake blood” available online or at any party supply store. Copy “spatter patterns” onto cloth. Just read directions on cleanups! You can also purchase pre-bloodied cloth. Have a bloody good time…
Drink – Punch ‘n’ the eye
Some ginger ale, rainbow sherbet, a handful of fake eyes, and a few gummy worms on the side make a delectable punch with a visual akin to a Body Farm pond. There are also candied eyes, and fake eyes that can be frozen and dropped into your individual drink to keep it cold. In this beverage, “the eyes have it.”
Cake toppers – top it off
The ideas are endless. Consider decorating with a fondant – created shoeprint, crime scene tape, or fingerprint. You can also purchase items like these skeletons; skeletons are numerous and usually found in the “Halloween” sections. Be careful not to get too “cutesy.” This is forensics, not a third grade “Fall celebration.”
The age-old question: what to wear?
Police uniforms from different jurisdictions, uniforms from different countries, judges, forensic crime scene teams, or a badge with dark suit and tie for those government employees are all possibilities. Just ensure you do not do one of two things: 1. “Sexy” outfits that scream “centerfold!” 2. Do not use the toy badge to try and get out of a traffic violation on your way home.
Play the Game
A fun game that is easy to learn and to make: “Pin the badge on a rookie.” Using online stencils (or artwork) enlarged onto a poster, create a cartoon “officer” and hang it on the wall. Give participants a cutout “badge” and, after blindfolding him or her and turning them around a few times, see who can get as close to “pin the badge on the cop” as possible. Yup, just like pinning the tail on the donkey, but there are no Asses (hopefully).
A donations jar
Have a jar designated for a crime victim’s fund. While those in criminal justice understand the need to laugh and to celebrate bringing the perpetrator to justice, victims of crime do not find spatter patterns, police tape, and crime scenes humorous. With a donation jar for the local victim’s assistance fund, you are helping those people with education, assistance, and support.