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Do-it-Yourself Prom or Pageant Decorations: Jungle Theme

Updated on May 6, 2010

Stressing over a theme and decorations for a school dance, prom, or beauty pageant stage? How about a jungle theme? “Bungle in the Jungle” or something similar is usually a big hit with young people. And if you do most of the work yourself, you can pull off an awesome setting with just a little money.

Below are some of the things I’ve used:

For your focal point or stage decorations, have a waterfall with animals gathered around it. To make a simple waterfall, stack blocks, boxes, amplifiers, or other square and rectangular-shaped items. I actually got the idea for this when I was setting up a room for a dance and had nowhere to store the large speakers. We placed them in a corner and draped them with a black plastic tarp. Down the center, from top to bottom, we draped sheets of plastic cling wrap in clear and light blue to make the “water.” On the various ledges, we placed real and silk ferns and flowers. To add to the realism, we placed a fan near the waterfall to make the “water” move. We also placed a sound machine under one of the speakers to provide the sound of a waterfall.

For the animals, I drew out large zebras, a rhinoceros, a mandrill, and giraffes on white butcher paper. Then I cut them out and traced them onto large sheets of cardboard from furniture and refrigerator boxes. I spray painted the shapes a base color then added details with permanent markers and paint pens. For example, I sprayed the zebras white, the giraffes gold, the rhino grey, and the mandrill brown. When the animals were completed, I placed them around the “watering hole.”

Near the waterfall, we placed numerous potted palms and silk or plastic palms, ranging in different heights. The tallest was probably about six feet in height.

For a prom or dance, you’ll need table decorations. You can find inexpensive ones at or at your local party store. We used regular tablecloths on the tables then used animal print bandanas to center over the tablecloths. They also have candles in wild animal designs to use on the tables, animal-print balloons, jungle animal figurines, safari pith hats, jungle tablecloths, and lots of plates, cups, and napkins with a jungle theme. You could blow up the balloons with helium and use different length strings to tie them to a weight. Set these “balloon trees” around the room or auditorium.

Another cute idea is to buy some of the little monkeys that Oriental Trading sells and place them in some of the taller palm trees.

If this is for a pageant, you can have your casual wear category with a jungle theme. I’ve seen some awesome outfits on some of the girls in this category! It’s a fun, creative idea that gives the contestants a chance to put together some really cool ensembles. My niece and granddaughter have been is several pageants with a jungle theme, and they had a blast!

To read more about pageants, click the article links below:


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