Karaoke Party Ideas

Invitations

Decorations

The most important karaoke party-planning ideas are all about the decorations. Karaoke party rental stores can provide you with the essential karaoke party supplies like a karaoke machine, a microphone and lots of karaoke CDs with your favorite songs, but you'll also want to create a stage and great lighting.

If you're crafty, build a sturdy stage out of wood and paint it silver. If that's too much effort or expense, use a silver throw rug to section off a part of your living room as the stage area. Position the stage in front of a door to a bedroom or a large closet, and let that serve as the dressing room. Hanging up a silver shower curtain in front of the door makes a sparkly curtain and lets your singers take the stage with style.

Hang party lights around the stage for extra razzle-dazzle, and use a bright lamp as the singer's spotlight. You can create a nightclub atmosphere in the room by hanging a disco ball from the ceiling and positioning card tables and folding chairs around the stage so your guests can sit and enjoy the show.

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Etiquette

As the host, it's your job to bring out your guests' inner divas while respecting their wishes if they'd rather just watch. You'll calm nerves by asking shy folks to sing back-up, so they can get used to being onstage.

If you're faced with a lot of tentative performers, turn them all into karaoke kings and queens by starting things off as a group sing-along party, where you play classics like "YMCA" and "Greased Lightning" and get everybody singing, dancing and playing tambourine together. Boas, hats, funky glasses and wigs help your guests get into character, and they'll appreciate a list of easy-to-sing hits (think Madonna, not Mariah).

Finally, during guitar solos and flubbed lyrics, every singer can use a hand, so give them one by clapping and cheering to fill that awkward space.

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Activities

Take a tip from karaoke bars by creating songbooks featuring all the available songs that guests can look through to find what they'd like to sing.

Put out notecards where guests can write down their names and their song choice, and play the selections in the order you receive them so no one has to wait too long to sing. If some guests start to hog the machine, switch to going around in a circle and letting every person have a turn.

Give out prizes for best song, best impersonation, biggest crowd pleaser, wackiest song choice and most enthusiastic.

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Food

Since karaoke is the main attraction, you can keep your food simple. Room-temperature buffet foods like hummus and pita, chips and dip, cheese and crackers, and crudités let your guests graze between numbers and keeps the focus on the performers.

Put out bowls of salted nuts, olives and fresh berries on each table for guests to enjoy while watching the show. Finish with bite-size desserts like brownies and assorted cookies.

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Drinks

Same Old Song (serves 4)

  • 4 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 4 oz. gin
  • 4 oz. orange juice
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 dashes orange bitters
  • 4 orange wedges

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes, and pour in vermouth, gin, juices and orange bitters. Shake well and strain into 4 cocktail glasses. Garnish each with an orange wedge.

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