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21 Adorable Kentucky Derby Party Ideas

If it’s the first Saturday in May, it must be Kentucky Derby Day! Whether you’re celebrating at home with friends or with family and kids, we’ve got 21 Creative Kentucky Derby Party ideas ready to share with you! Many of these projects feature free Derby printables as well.

Printable Kentucky Derby Party Decorations and Ideas- printables for kentucky derby party invitations and craft ideas #kentuckyderby #derby #derbyparty

With the weather as cold as it has been, it’s hard for me to believe that we are only a few short weeks away from the first Saturday in May and the running of the Kentucky Derby. Over the years, we’ve thrown quite a few Derby parties. Ours are always low-key and family-friendly.

I’m not sure if I’m throwing a Kentucky Derby Party this year, but I love the Derby. I designed TWO lines of fabric that were inspired by it! Whatever your plans are or whatever part of the world you are in, I hope you find these Kentucky Derby Party Ideas fun and helpful for you!

More than 21 Kentucky Derby Party Ideas

Derby Party Printable Invitations

Printable Kentucky Derby Party Invitations
  1. Start your party off right with these Derby Party Printable Invitations! Grab them HERE.

Derby Party Food Ideas

It’s all about the food. Here are some ideas for delicious desserts and appetizers to serve at your Derby Party.

Kentucky Derby Cupcake Recipe on polkadotchair.com

2. Bake your own Derby Pie Cupcakes with this Recipe. Inspired by the flavors of a Derby Pie, these brown sugar pecan chocolate chip cupcakes are sure to please! (Did you know that Derby Pie is a trademarked thing? There’s only one REAL Derby Pie!)

Derby Pie Recipe

3. Add a bit of extra fun to your Derby Inspired Pie with this fun idea from the Polo House. As I said, there’s only one TRUE Derby pie, but a few copycat recipes are floating around. This one is similar to the pie I make for my family.

Derby Pie Milkshake Recipe

4. For something a little different, serve this fun Derby Pie Milkshake

Hot Brown Bites Recipe

5. These Bite-Sized Hot Brown Bites are a Louisville tradition. This bite-sized version is the perfect size to serve at a party. I shared my favorite Hot Brown recipe on the site a few years ago if you want an actual Hot Brown. Hot Browns are called “Hot Browns” because the recipe was developed at the Brown Hotel in Downtown Louisville years ago.

DIY Derby Party Decorations

Dress up your home with Derby-inspired decor! These free printables and easy craft projects will make your Derby Party Sparkle!

Printable Kentucky Derby Party Decorations and Ideas- printables for kentucky derby party invitations and craft ideas #kentuckyderby #derby #derbyparty

6. Print & Hang out a Run for the Roses Banner. I designed this banner in black and white to go with many Derby party color schemes. So easy, grab the printable, cut it out with scissors and hang.

How to make Paper Prize Ribbons and Rosettes on polkadotchair.com

7. Create some Paper Prize Ribbon Rosettes for Derby Party Decorations. These paper prize ribbons are easier to create than you think.

DIY Kentucky Derby Party Decorations

8. Decorate your balloons with horseshoes for good luck! Get the full tutorial at Brit + Co.

Printable Kentucky Derby Party Decorations and Ideas- printables for kentucky derby party invitations and craft ideas #kentuckyderby #derby #derbyparty

9. Customize your Plates with these fun Derby Printables. Did you know you can glue paper to the wrong side of clear plastic plates? I figured this out by accident years ago. I designed paper plate backers in two sizes.

10. Add a fun DIY Paper Bow tie to your glasses -Whether you’re serving soda pop or something more “grown-up,” your glasses will be extra dapper with the addition of these bow ties. These paper bow ties can be easily cut out with a Cricut Machine.

DIY Kentucky Derby Drink Stirrers Tutorial

11. Then pop a fun Derby Hat Drink Stirrer into the glass! via Pizzazerie. These are so colorful and fun! It’d be great if you’re hosting a family-friendly Derby party; I think kids would love them.

plastic horses on table top

Derby Party Centerpieces. A few years ago, I had a crafternoon with a friend, and we created these cute Derby Table toppers using plastic horses and paper. It’s easy to do, and you can customize the project based on your party color scheme.

woman wearing derby fascinator

DIY Derby Home Decor Ideas

Even if you’re not holding a Derby Party, you can still dress up your home for the occasion. Here are some fun decorating ideas for your home.

two brightly colored pillows with jockey silk applique on gray chair

12. These DIY Jockey Silks pillows are easier to make than you think! I’ve even shared a “no sew” version if you don’t have a sewing machine. All you do is cut out the shapes from fabric and iron them onto a premade pillow.

How to use ribbon and burlap to make Pillow Wraps

13. Add a fun pop to your Home Decor with these Kentucky Derby DIY Burlap Pillow Wraps. The best part is they tie around your existing pillows, so after Derby, they go back to “regular pillows.”

DIY Kentucky Derby Wreath- cute decoration for Derby Day!

14. Create a Derby Wreath. All you need is a wreath form and some silk roses.

DIY Kentucky Derby Wreath

15. Simple Fabric Wrapped Wreath. This Derby wreath features black and white fabric and paper roses.

Sewing pattern for a jockey silks table runner

16. If you love to quilt, stitch up this fun Jockey Silks Table Topper. You’ll love pulling it out to display every year.

DIY Horse Shoe Run for the Roses Kentucky Derby Wreath

17. This Roses Horseshoe Wreath is Adorable. Simply glue several silk roses to a horseshoe form.

How to sew a horse applique pillow, a free sewing pattern using Derby Day fabrics. DIY horse pillow pattern, sewing projects for beginners

18. Stitch up some Pillows with this fun Derby Fabric! You can also do this technique with purchased pillowcases and iron-on.

Printable Kentucky Derby Party Decorations and Ideas- printables for kentucky derby party invitations and craft ideas #kentuckyderby #derby #derbyparty

19. Hang some fun Derby Subway Art with these Printables. There are both black and white and color versions to pick from.

Hold your Horses DIY Apron tutorial, a fun Kentucky Derby Craft idea - #derbycrafts #derbycraftideas #kentuckyderby #DIY #DIYApron #CricutMade #SVGFiles #HorseSVGFiles
Kentucky Derby Craft ideas and free svg file for a Lucky Pillow to make your own pillow cover #CricutMade #Derby #KentuckyDerbyCrafts #CraftIdeas #DIYPillowCover

20. If you like to craft and own a Cricut machine, we’ve got a fun set of Derby SVG files for you. Create a fun apron, pillow, or t-shirt!

Party Activity Ideas


21. Have a blast at your party with this Kentucky Derby Trivia Sheet. You can find it in our Derby printables pack.

22. Draw Horses from a hat and give out fun prizes to the winners! A cute idea, especially if you have kids at your Derby party. You can’t beat these Kentucky Fried Chicken-themed gift boxes. How fun would this be for prizes? Also, just an “FYI,” people in Kentucky don’t eat more KFC than anyone else. So if you meet someone from here, don’t ask them if they like fried chicken. It drives my kids crazy.

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas and FREE Printable Derby Party Items & Games

23. Create a Fun Photo Backdrop for your Party with paper roses! All you need is some butcher paper and giant paper flowers!

image of 5 stick horses made out of felt in front of barn fence

24. Have a stick horse race! Order custom racehorses in your party colors from this awesome Etsy shop.

What to wear to a Kentucky Derby Party?

girl in navy dress wearing navy fascinator with pink flowers

25. Create a Derby Fascinator with this free tutorial. I’ve created many Derby hats and fascinators over the years. I recently took the time to teach you how to make a Fascinator. You can find the tutorial on our site.

Big Bow Clutch; A DIY clutch purse pattern and free sewing tutorial. How to make an easy fabric clutch with a bow on the front. Fun sewing gift ideas.

26. Stitch up your own Derby Inspired Clutch.

DIY Horse Necklaces- so cute, great for party favors!

27. Create fun Party Favors for Kids by making these Horse Necklaces.

pink paper flower fascinator on white head on black background

29. This DIY Fascinator made from Tissue Paper is fun and easy on the budget- so perfect for a party where you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a hat!

How to make a hat for the Kentucky Derby- perfect for kids parties or school!

30. Let kids decorate their own Derby Hats with this fun Kids Derby Hat Tutorial

Sewn bow tie on green cutting mat with rotary cutter

31. Stitch up a Fancy New Bow Tie.

girl in white derby hat with pink flowers wearing a navy dress

32- If a Derby Hat is more your style, we’ve got a step-by-step tutorial for making a Derby Hat on our site.

Derby FAQs

If you’re visiting Louisville for the Derby, check out Lou What Wear for answers to many of your FAQs. Where to eat, how to get there, what to wear.

Printable Kentucky Derby Party Decorations and Ideas- printables for kentucky derby party invitations and craft ideas #kentuckyderby #derby #derbyparty

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  1. Hi Melissa, Thank you for sharing great ideas and printables. I’m born and raised in Louisville, KY. My family has raised horses and even raced at Churchill Downs……I moved from Crestwood over 30 years ago, my Mom and Dad had a small horse/day-lily farm on Ash Avenue. Small world….my daughter introduced me to you, she lives in Atlanta, GA…….. You are doing a great job!

    1. Oh I LOVE Ash Ave. We drive past there daily, I’d love to live on that street!!! Thanks for the kind words 🙂

  2. I read your blog. Having very use full information help me a lot. I will read more articles on your blog.

  3. Kentucky lady here! I love your blogs, patterns tutorials. I love your page. Thank you for all the great ideas!

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