Originally, people in Mardi Gras parades were said to wear masks to avoid class distinctions (or repercussions), yet the krewes of parade performers (by law!) still wear them today.
Many Mardi Gras masks have a Venetian flair, like these shown here. You can buy basic masks at crafting stores, and decorate them to fit your personality! Consider decorating your mask (and your entire party) with beads, puff paints, feathers, and more.
Photo credit: Sweet Soirees.
Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! Let the good times roll! "Mardi Gras" is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the feast day which traditionally precedes the Lenten fast, which begins on Ash Wednesday.
Click through for this free printable sign -- designed by Bird's Party -- and a handy Mardi Gras party guide!
Photo credit: Gig Masters.
"It's Mardi Gras Time!" And these free party printables are perfect for an all-ages celebration!
This free printables collection includes: cupcake toppers, straw flags, an "It's Mardi Gras Time" banner, cupcake wrappers, and patterned paper.
Photo credit: Catch My Party.
At your Mardi Gras celebration, be sure to favor the official Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold! They were the official colors of visiting Romanoff royalty to the Mardi Gras in 1872, and became tradition thereafter. Purple represents justice, green for faith, and gold stands for power.
Peacock feathers can include all three colors, and are a popular decorative choice, along with (inexpensive) bead necklaces.
Photo credit: Chrissy.
Combine paper masks and inexpensive beads (check your local dollar store) together to make this easy DIY Mardi Gras garland!
Isn't this ombre tri-color tablecloth lovely?!
To make your own ombre tablecloth, mix up a large amount of dye (per instructions) in a disposable wall paper tray (check your local hardware or home decorating store).
Dip the edges of a white table cloth into the dye, and allow it to soak up the color as high up -- and as vividly colored -- as you like.
If you want, you can even do three tablecloths in purple, green and gold, and layer them (as shown)! Wow!
Photo credit: Magnolia.
Make your own Mardi Gras beads this year using drinking straws and purple, green, and gold duct tape!
This would make a fun and easy Mardi Gras make-and-take party project!
Let your young guests make their own Venetian-style Mardi Gras masks with construction paper! The white turban, square shades, and large gold earrings mean this is "Mama Odie," the ancient fairy godmother from the bayou -- who appears in The Princess and the Frog!
These adorable "Little Children" Mardi Gras printables -- which would be great for childrens' party -- include: straw flags, cupcake toppers, napkin rings, a "Mardi Gras" banner, water bottle labels, tented cards, invitations, favor tags, labels, and mini cake bunting! Plus, they're free!
Photo credit: Catch My Party.
Muffulettas are a classic New Orleans sandwich, easily made with meats, cheese and olive salad. A perfect snack for your Mardi Gras party guests!
Shrimp is delicious, and so is long-smoked ham. How do you combine the flavors? Jambalaya! This jamabalaya (jahm-buh-LI-yah) is quick and flavorful party dish -- perfect for serving a crowd! -- with just the right kick!
There are lots of ways to make gumbo, which is a popular Louisiana soup, which differs at every household (sometimes it's more a stew than soup). At our house, we make it different ways, all the time -- and its always delicious! Here's a flavorful chicken version, which would be great for your Mardi Gras party!
Cajun and creole foods from Louisiana are memorably rich in flavor -- and yet, so healthy. How do they do it? By including what New Orleans chefs call the "holy trinity:" onion, celery, and bell pepper. Etouffée (eh-too-FAY) is often made with crawfish, but this shrimp version tastes just as delicious, and would make a great dish to serve over rice at your Mardi Gras party!
You don't have to visit New Orleans -- or the Disney park's New Orleans Square -- for this tasty pastry! This simplified recipe makes an airy, fluffy beignet (bayn-YAY). I like mine topped with cinnamon sugar -- yum!
These simple "Rex" crown cookies make every guest a king at your Mardi Gras celebration!
This New Orleans tradition is a rolled (or braided) ring, traditionally made with a sweet dough and a cinnamon-sugar filling, topped with purple, green and gold decorative sugars.
By dividing the dough into smaller rolls, you can offer different fillings, so there is something for every guest at your Mardi Gras party!
Mardi Gras is also known by "Three Kings Day," and this traditional cake represents a jeweled crown!
Inside each cake hides a tiny toy baby, and whoever finds the slice with the baby gets to host next year's Mardi Gras celebration!
Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler -- this year, and every year! Enjoy your Mardi Gras party!
Read more of Jillian's blog at Catch My Party!
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Mardi Gras Masks
Free Mardi Gras Printable Sign
Mardi Gras Free Printables Party Set
Mardi Gras Dessert Table
Tragedy and Comedy Garland
Mardi Gras Tablecloth
Duct Tape Mardi Gras Beads
Mama Odie's Masquerade Mask
Free Mardi Gras Party Printable Set
Mardi Gras Garland
Big Easy Shrimp Etouffée
Mardi Gras Mask Cookies
Big Daddy's Mardi Gras Crown Cookies
Mardi Gras Cupcakes
Mini King Cakes
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