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Vegas Baby! | Sweet Sixteen Ideas

Updated on February 20, 2014

My Daughter Wanted Las Vegas for her Sweet Sixteen

My Daughter Wanted Las Vegas for her Sweet Sixteen... and that's what she got! Of course, I had to go all out. Every birthday is once in a lifetime but a sweet sixteen is special. At the time, I was in the event industry so we got the use of a banquet room for free. That meant saving money to me but meant inviting more people to her! We had a blast working on this party of all parties for her 16th birthday.

It's a theme that would work for virtually any birthday as well as a lot of other events and occasions -- very versatile. So, sit back and join me on the journey of hosting, planning and coming up with ideas for a sweet sixteen birthday party.

Image Credit: Haley by © Mandee Sears/DecoratingforEvents

Start Here:

Draw your floor plan and decide where decor would be best used. Remember to add things like:

Cake Table

Gift Table

Food & Drink Tables

Guest Tables

Guest Book Table

Floor Plan for the Sweet Sixteen Party - How Will the room be Set Up?

Haley's Sweet Sixteen Floor Plan
Haley's Sweet Sixteen Floor Plan

Image Credit: © Mandee Sears/DecoratingforEvents

This is the floor plan from our party. Haley wanted dancing as well as some fun Vegas style games for her guests. She invited a lot of people and we had a friend of her older brother's act as DJ. She wanted string lights to act as the lighting in the dancing area so those are depicted as the yellow swagging lines on the floor plan.

We drew the party set up within the floor plan so as not to forget anything she really wanted. From this drawing, we ordered our room decorations and decided on food, drink, centerpieces and game supplies.

As you can see, we propped open the 3 sets of doors in the dividing wall so there was only small sections of wall dividing the large room.

DIY Vegas Sign
DIY Vegas Sign

Sweet Sixteen -- Vegas Decorations

The Entrance

We wanted Haley's guests to feel like they were arriving in Las Vegas from the very beginning of the evening.

With a theme, it's fun to start with the invitation and follow through with the entrance and room decor. This helps carry out the illusion for your guests. They feel like they have been transported!

To do this, I designed and built a "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign that we placed in the foyer along with a few balloons. It was a lot of fun to build -- even added string lights to emulate the real thing!

For detailed instructions for building your own Welcome sign, Vegas style, visit my website here. You can use it as inspiration for your own design or make it as is -- it's up to you!

All I know is that the kids LOVED seeing the iconic sign as they entered the building. It set the tone and let them know this was gonna be a fun celebration!

Image Credit: © Mandee Sears/DecoratingforEvents

Vegas Party Ideas
Vegas Party Ideas

Entering the Room

Welcome to the Casino!

We decided to go with gold, red and black for the color scheme. Since the guests were entering with the welcome to Las Vegas sign, we decided the first, smaller half of the room would serve as the "casino" area.

Haley wanted a guest book for all her friends and family to sign since this was a pretty big party. We set it up right inside the door on a table with a gold table cloth and some miscellaneous Vegas style items.

I had borrowed potted and silk palm trees to set around the area to add to the desert feel. In addition, I got a slot machine prop along with oversized die to set in this area.

Directly on the right of the entrance was where we set up the first table game -- Blackjack. On the other side of it, we set up a roulette wheel table as well.

We set up a drink table in this area with bottled water, juice and assorted sodas. Kids could serve themselves this way and cups and ice for drinks weren't necessary.

Image Credit

Slot Machine Party Prop - Sweet Sixteen Ideas

Stumps 5 ft. 6 in. Hit the Jackpot Slot Machine
Stumps 5 ft. 6 in. Hit the Jackpot Slot Machine

This slot machine party prop was perfect for Haley's Vegas themed sweet sixteen. We set it up and laughed as the kids took their pictures standing by it. It's 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide so it definitely becomes a focal point in the room.

I broke it down afterwards and saved it. I have loaned it out a couple of times to church's Monte Carlo night and the local school.


Welcome to the Strip! - The 2nd Area of the Room

Haley's Vegas Sweet Sixteen
Haley's Vegas Sweet Sixteen

Image Credit: © Mandee Sears/DecoratingforEvents

As the guests pass through the openings of the propped doors, the first thing they noticed was the cake table. I had set up some of the lighted palm trees behind it and hung a Vegas style sign above it. We had two cakes decorated with poker chips and other casino type items. One chocolate, one white, per Haley's request.

On the right and left walls, I had made a silhouette of the Vegas skyline adding iconic building shapes like the pyramid for the Luxor and the tower of the Stratosphere. This was easy to make if a bit time consuming. I ordered black corrugated paper and drew the buildings on the back side. I cut them out with scissors and an craft knife. I wanted them to be noticed in the dim light so I taped white string lights to the back for the buildings with just the tip peeking out. This gave an awesome back light effect -- like the buildings were glowing!

The dance floor and DJ table were in this area as well.

25 feet of Corrugated Paper - for Party Decorating

Black Metallic Corrugated Paper
Black Metallic Corrugated Paper

This paper is 4 feet tall by 25 feet long -- plenty when making a city skyline. I love to use this, roll it up and use it again for another event or party.

Comes in different colors but the black is perfect for a silhouette.

royal flush
royal flush

Tables and Centerpieces for the Party

Gold, Red & Black Colors

I set up a few round guest tables as well. We covered them all in gold table clothes with a red napkin in the center. Haley and a few of her friends helped me make the centerpieces.

They were craft foam discs covered in black felt on top and black ribbon the width of the disc on the sides. We fanned out a royal flush in playing cards and glued them together. I glued a black painted skewer to the back of the cards and stuck it in the foam disc to hold them upright.

We added cheap poker chips in uneven stacks and balloons in our chosen color. On the table, we scattered more poker chips and die (dice). Pretty inexpensive but they made a great impression.

Image Credit

Vegas Party Supplies - Similar to Mine

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign Party Prop
Welcome to Las Vegas Sign Party Prop

This is a great sign to hang from the wall or ceiling like I did above the cake table. As part of a vignette, it's perfect!

Trademark Poker 16-Inch Deluxe Roulette Set with Accessories
Trademark Poker 16-Inch Deluxe Roulette Set with Accessories

I found a small round table I set the roulette wheel on and then a smaller rectangle table for the felt game board. Worked great!



-- Pick a few areas to create focal points for the party theme instead of trying to decorate every square inch. They will stand out and be remember more than a sea of decorations. The eye won't know where to rest!

-- Involve friends and family. I used friends and family members as the dealers for the game tables and to replenish the drink table and serve cake. They got a kick out of watching the kids dance and have a good time.

Finale - Sweet Sixteen
Finale - Sweet Sixteen

The Finale

Saving the Best for Last

At one point, the DJ called for attention and asked everyone to gather around the dance floor. Kids and adults alike were standing, sitting on the floor and a few had pulled a chair close. He had her in the middle of the floor and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to her.

A bit embarrassed but having a blast, she thought that was it. The DJ then went on to introduce her older brother. He came out, guitar in hand and proceeded to play and sing for her. She loves to listen to him and was touched he did it for her birthday.

I teared up, Haley teared up and Brendan did when he hugged her after his song. My husband, tough guy was seen turning and fast walking to the head. I assume he teared up too but didn't want any witnesses.

It was an awesome evening filled with memories I (and she) will treasure forever. My little girl turned sweet sixteen in style -- Vegas Style!

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Did You Like Haley's Vegas Theme for her Sweet Sixteen? - Love to hear from you!

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    • marley101 lm profile image

      marley101 lm 

      4 years ago

      What a amazing idea :D

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      A great idea going to Vegas !

    • seleen fouad profile image

      seleen fouad 

      4 years ago

      I love Vegas. good idea

    • VspaBotanicals profile image


      4 years ago

      Very nice!

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 

      4 years ago from Lakewood New York

      What a great job!! You've got to be the best mom ever!!!!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      love <3

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Love the cake table!

    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 

      4 years ago

      Great decorations, glad that you had a wonderful evening!

    • AnonymousC831 profile image


      4 years ago from Kentucky

      Fun birthday party theme. So sweet that her brother sang to her and dad walked away to hide his tears, priceless moment.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Looks like it was a really fun party! I enjoyed reading about it :)

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      What a fabulous theme party for Haley's Sweet Sixteen. Those memories will last forever.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Great decorations! This had to have been one fabulous party!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      What a fantastic sweet sixteen party for your daughter! a wonderful memory she'll have for her entire life

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Criminy, I just teared up too! What a fabulous sweet sixteen party for your daughter Haley! You are so right that the Vegas theme would be great for many unique parties or events.

    • DawnRae64 profile image


      4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      How fun!! Such a huge list of great ideas!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      4 years ago from United States

      What a fun and fabulous birthday party! Haley is so blessed to have such an awesome party planning mother. I am sure you have given her several very memorable and wonderful birthday parties, but the sweet 16 party is always special.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      4 years ago from New Zealand

      What a great idea, you sure did a wonderful job of explaining. It would have been a successful sixteen birthday party for sure. Thanks for sharing.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      4 years ago from Colorado

      Wish I had known you when I turned Sweet 16. This was such a fabulous party for Haley (and all). Love your style.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image


      4 years ago

      Oh, what a wonderful treat for Haley, you and your whole family. Way to go, Brendan, singing for his little sis! A Vegas theme does work for so many events, but that Sweet 16 birthday had to be a blast!


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