Black and White Party Ideas

Looking for inspiring black and white party ideas?

It's a classic combination and one of the best things about it is its versatility. Coming up with creative ideas is easier if you narrow your focus and choose a theme within the overall black and white concept. 

For example, a Paris theme lends itself well to black and white, as does a masquerade party, an elegant cocktail party or martini theme, a casino theme, and Old Hollywood and classic movies themes, to list just a few.  

Whichever direction you go, invite your guests to dress in black, white or a combination of the two.

Put bunches of black and white balloons everywhere, even in the powder room.

If this is a birthday party, decorate with large black and white photo posters of the guest of honor, their family, and friends (which will probably include most of the guests at your party). Try to span as many years as you can. 

Display the posters by adhering them (if possible) to the front of all existing pictures and paintings on the walls, to bare spaces on the walls and doors, and/or on easels. This setup does three things: it eliminates a lot of excess color, it creates a great party atmosphere, and it encourages mingling with all the oohing and ahhing that will be going on.

Use black and white for the tablecloth, napkins, serving pieces, and dishes. Let's get even more detailed than that, though.

For a chic and formal look, try a filigree, paisley, or pinstripe pattern.

For a more casual look, go for bolder prints such as large flower silhouettes, polka dots, geometric shapes, or a zebra print.

Tie the backs of your chairs with a wide strip of fabric in a complimentary print. You can even add a third print as throws over your furniture. You'll block out even more color this way.

For the table's centerpiece(s), arrange large, medium and small clear glass vases filled with black and white objects, such as:

  • twigs spray-painted white
  • balls of fabric or ribbon (try completely wrapping small styrofoam balls with ribbon)
  • large beads or marbles
  • black licorice 
  • large black and white swirly lollipops tied together with a wide ribbon
  • hard boiled eggs
  • marshmallows
  • black and white jellybeans
  • black and white gumballs
  • chocolate non-pareils
  • black and white mini jawbreakers
  • dice 

You can find all of the candies on our list and lots of others too at They have a huge selection of goodies and they're organized by color. (You may find some to give as party favors too.)

Adding large white pillar candles arranged in small groups will bring some warmth to the table.

Ahh, Dessert. So Many Possibilities for a Black and White Party Theme!

It's hard to settle on just one. Well, at least it is for us. Because we like dessert. We like it a lot.

Well, here goes. Our somewhat lengthy list of black and white party dessert ideas:

  • cake pops dipped in dark or white chocolate and decorated with icing, sprinkles, or chocolate shavings
  • dark chocolate cake with fluffy white frosting
  • white cake (not yellow!) with dark chocolate frosting
  • any kind of cake covered and decorated with white and/or black fondant
  • cheesecake topped with a layer of dark chocolate
  • chocolate chip cheesecake
  • cheesecake with a layer of dark chocolate mousse
  • cookies and cream cheesecake with a chocolate sandwich cookie crust
  • a checkerboard cake made with white and chocolate cake batters 
  • an arrangement of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes in black and white wrappers
  • chocolate covered strawberries (see our recipe for tuxedo strawberries, below)
  • petit fours in white icing with black icing accents

If you want to have a traditional layer cake to celebrate a birthday, keep it in the black and white theme by decorating it with black and/or white fondant cutouts. Consider echoing a pattern pulled from your table linens, or make flowers, paisley, or bold geometric shapes.

You could also use any of these as cake decorations:

  • a wide black or white ribbon wrapped around the base of the cake
  • black or white M &Ms
  • dark or white chocolate shavings 
  • sprinkles or sugar pearls
  • a stencil pattern (a doily works well for this) using confectioner's sugar or cocoa

Need a little something else to add panache to your dessert table?

Tuxedo strawberries make a beautiful presentation.

And, what's even better, they're easy to make. Seriously. Here's how:

You'll need:

  • fresh ripe strawberries, washed and thoroughly dried
  • white candy coating or white chocolate (candy coating is less tricky to melt than white chocolate but doesn't taste quite as good)
  • dark chocolate
  • toothpick 

Melt the white candy coating or white chocolate over low heat or in the microwave. Dip each strawberry in it so that the coating covers it almost to the stem. Set the strawberries on a sheet of wax paper and let the coating harden.

Next, melt the dark chocolate over low heat or in the microwave. Holding a strawberry by its stem, dip three sides of each berry into the chocolate in such a way that you end up with a white triangle showing in the middle of the chocolate coating. The point of the white triangle should be toward the narrow end of the strawberry. This is the tuxedo's white shirt. 

Finally, take your toothpick and dip it in the dark chocolate and add three dots for buttons and draw a little bow tie at the top. Let the chocolate harden completely, and you're done!