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Kentucky Derby Party Ideas & Free Printables

Plan a fun and stylish Derby party with our unique Kentucky Derby party ideas and free printables!

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

It’s spring in Kentucky which means only one thing, it’s Derby Time!! I know that you’ve heard me say it before, but Derby time in Kentucky is one of my favorite times of the year. There are loads of great activities for families and the whole city puts on a great show to welcome everyone to town. This post is sponsored by Chinet & BlogHer.

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas and printables on polkadotchair.com

We have had a Kentucky Derby Party several times – it’s usually very kid-friendly and casual. This year, I was inspired to plan something a bit fancier and pinning Kentucky Derby Party ideas like crazy.

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas on polkadotchair.com

The Kentucky Derby is also known as the “Run for the Roses” because of the large and gorgeous blanket of roses that is draped over the winning horse at the end of the race.

I was so inspired by the red of the roses that I thought I’d plan a black, white, and red Derby Party this year.

Even though the stores are stocked with Derby partyware every year, I can never seem to find just what I’m looking for. So I designed a set of printables to perfectly coordinate with my Derby Party, and the good news is that I’m sharing these printables with you.

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas on polkadotchair.com

Kentucky Derby Party Printables

I’ve created a set of free Printables perfect for a Derby Party. Included in the printables are:

  • Subway Art
  • Prize Ribbon Centers
  • Cupcake Pics
  • Run for the Roses Banner
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas on polkadotchair.com
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas on polkadotchair.com

These DIY Prize ribbons are a very fun and unique Derby idea. You just make a rosette out of scrapbook paper and hot glue the ribbons to the back and the printable centers to the front.

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas on polkadotchair.com

How to Make Custom Party Plates

Since I worked so hard to design a set of perfectly coordinated party decorations, I also wanted to find a set of perfectly coordinated disposable tableware. I wanted it to be disposable but still nice. I ended up going with the Chinet® Cut Crystal® products.

They coordinate perfectly with each other (they all have the same swirl pattern) and they are clear so they go with everything I already had. No worrying about finding the perfect shade of red for the plates.

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas and printables on polkadotchair.com
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas on polkadotchair.com
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas on polkadotchair.com

My favorite thing about the Chinet® Cut Crystal® plates is that it has a center that is flat, so I could add my own image to the plate.

You can make totally custom disposable dinner plates! I simply printed the image out on my printer, then cut it out the size of the plate center (which is just under 7″).

To create the plates, use a tiny bit of spray mount and glue the image to the back of the plate. Since the image is on the back of the plate, you can still use the dinnerware… it’s disposable anyway, so why not add a pop of something to the plate?

I’ve also included printables (just the right size) of the two dinner plate images for you.

You can find ALL OF THE PRINTABLES information at the BOTTOM of this post. 

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas and printables on polkadotchair.com

No party is complete without a fun banner!! You can also download this fun “Run for the Roses” banner.

Derby Pie Cupcakes Recipe

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas on polkadotchair.com

Several years ago I got the idea to turn the flavors of a Derby Style Pie into a Cupcake. I’m happy to share the recipe with you.

Add a bit of fun to your party by creating our Derby Cupcakes and styling them with a cupcake pic.

To make the cupcake pics, simply print the image, cut it out with a circle or scallop punch, and tape it to a toothpick.

A Few other Derby Party Decor Ideas

Some other fun party ideas!

  • Prepackage and tie the silverware together with a ribbon that matches your party decor.
  • Serve fruit or other treats in individual clear cups.
  • Add paper bow ties (or real bow ties if you have a lot of extra ones) to your serving glasses.
  • Hang Derby-themed award rosettes around the room for a bit of extra decor
  • Use a paper table runner on a roll. It’s a great way to add some color to your party table, but it’s disposable. You can also use matte wrapping paper (like I did for our Graduation Cookie Party)
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas and printables on polkadotchair.com

Don’t you just love the paper bow ties on the glasses?  You can find loads of free bow tie templates online or cut them out with an e-cutting machine if you have one.

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas on polkadotchair.com
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas and printables on polkadotchair.com
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas on polkadotchair.com
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas on polkadotchair.com

If you’d like to see even more Kentucky Derby Party ideas, check out my Pinterest board, sponsored by the Chinet® brand – from practical ideas to “my absolute dream” party ideas, you’ll find loads of great ideas to make your Derby Party perfect…

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 6.21.14 PM

 Also, check out the Chinet® Pinterest Page – I found lots of great ideas there when I was planning out my party. Now tell me: How do you make your occasions perfectly coordinated?

How to Get the Printables

Fill out this form and we will email you the printables.

Include are:

  • Run for the Roses Banner
  • Rosette Centers
  • Black and White Subway Art
  • Cupcake Pics

You can also purchase the printables as a set in our store if you do not want to sign up for our Newsletter.

The Printable Bundle offered in our shop includes printables that are not available anywhere else, including a Derby Trivia sheet, perfect for a party!

Other Derby Ideas you may like:

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

How to make a Kids Derby Hat

DIY Gold Foil Artwork Tutorial (and free printable) on polkadotchair.com

My Old Kentucky Home Gold Foil Artwork

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

How to Make Paper Prize Ribbons


DIY Derby Party Favors

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas on polkadotchair.com

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  1. I actually do not strive for coordination when entertaining, when it comes to setting the table; I like mismatched napkins, bowls, plates, goblets, etc., if find it more interesting to look at. I do like coordination when trying to get the food on the table at the same time so everyone can eat at the same time at the table.

  2. Wow what a great looking party! The printables are too cute! Putting the picture behind the plate, genius!

  3. I try to make them perfectly coordinated with a lot of planning, referring to Pinterest, friends suggestions and a lot of shopping! Its often challenging but I like to think I pull it off. Disposable tableware makes things much easier because I can always co ordinate to achieve the look I want!

  4. I have to be honest and say I don’t coordinate everything. I’m so bad at things like that. But Pinterest is slowly but surely teaching me a few things 🙂

  5. I make my occasions perfectly coordinated by firstly choosing my dinnerware…I have several sets for different occasions. Then I choose the color scheme with placemats and napkins to match. Flowers are always a lovely touch. If it’s a special event, I will try to make my own napkin rings to match the flowers or season. An added piece is name place settings written in calligraphy that my guests can take home with them. For a final touch, I welcome my guests with a colorful, handmade wreath hung on the front door.

  6. I like to come up with some kind of theme, and find colors. etc. that go with that.


  7. The countdown is on.. Only a few more days and Derby Fever is running rampart. You have certainly planned the perfect decorations for that short run down the racetrack. With just a few changes this would also make a great “Thunder Over Louisville” decor as well. One of my favorite times of the year, It is our personal two week celebration! Bring on the Derby Hats and the Mint Juleps!

  8. When planning a party, I like to choose a theme first, then choose a color or group of colors to use. My mom loved purple, so her birthday parties were decorated with shades of purple. I use lots of STAMPIN’ UP inks because they come in so many shades of each color. I can even buy white tablecloths and stamp on them with stamps and colors that fit my theme. BTW I always use Chinet plates when I take cakes to funerals, family get-togethers, and potlucks. Bundt cakes fit on them very well and they fit in my carriers.

  9. I use a couple color schemes that match and use dishes and tablecloths and coordinate the colors around what I pick. I will use clear dishes and glasses as to not have too much color that is overpowering!

  10. i could not tell the small plate printable from the large plate printable and there were no printables for the cupcakes
    love t he idea just need the rest of it thanks

  11. I love when you can buy plates and napkins all those item in one line for a party. I have done so many theme parties. I didn’t have but went to was indeed a Kentucky Derby party, was fun but would have been even more so with you great ideas. Thanks for the chance to win.

  12. i would pick a beautiful centerpiece with fresh flowers, nice napkin holders, and lots of pastel colors. i really like how yours is set up!

  13. I love to use Pinterest for ideas, and then I try and implement them as cheaply as possible. I do some stuff myself on photoshop and try to color coordinate

  14. I like to first pick a theme. I have a few blogs I turn to for ideas. and then I go from there. I try to stick to a few colors or coordinate different patterns.

  15. I usually use accents of colors throughout the decor to reflect the party’s theme vs. using nothing but party colors.

  16. I’m not very good at coordinating or party planning. I usually just get cute plates and napkins and that’s it. Sad, I know! I’m getting ready to move to Louisville just in time for Derby so this would be a great idea to host a party! Thanks!

  17. I like using plane dishes and adding color with the other decor. The print behind a clear plate is brilliant!

  18. I use a mix of solid colors (balloons, plates, tablecloth) and then themed decorations mixed in.

  19. I choose a color scheme and use different shades of that color. I like to add fresh flowers to make a table special.

  20. I buy solid colored napkins and other party supplies so I can use them for any occasion. Birthdays, showers, easter parties. The trick is not to be too focused on a particular event. Then the leftover items can be used for another time.

  21. I can’t wait for derby. Thank you so much for creating the derby party supplies for us. I agree with you, the party supplies you find in the store for derby are never quite right. I like the idea of using chinet & printables to customize plates.

  22. Through the years I have accumulated the perfect decorations and accessories for the various holidays and seasons. I break them out every year and it’s enjoyed every year!

  23. I make your occasions perfectly coordinated by creating either a theme or matching things to the items that will be on the table. Either the center peice, the desserts, whatever the occasions.

  24. To help my occasions perfectly coordinated, I pick themes first, then use flowers, tableware and room decorations to prepare.

  25. I love having everything in a party coordinate! I start with a theme, do a little shopping on ETSY, a little DIY and finish off with custom cookies (it’s nice to actually work for my own party on occasion!) This year my 40th birthday falls on the 140th running of the derby so the party theme was a given! Looking forward to using your printables…thanks for sharing!!

  26. I try to go with a certain theme and color scheme to keep things cute and coordinated!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  27. I love the Kentucky Derby. I really like this inspired decor for a viewing party, and especially like the way you did the plates. What a great idea! Thanks!

  28. Pick a theme, then get into the spirit of it! The more fun I have making it look great, the more fun my guests will have.

  29. I have tubs and tubs of decorations for every occasion, and use those to create a perfect party theme.

  30. I like to stick to a theme and coordinate through that theme. It helps to save things that can be used again so I don’t have to go out and buy everything new all over again.

  31. My special occasions haven’t been perfectly coordinated. I can try to make festive events presentable by using some of my beloved Mother’s table-setting(s). I love your idea for the race–the plate looks perfect!

  32. THANK YOU for designing and sharing these KY Derby items……..we have had an annual Derby party since 2006 (a tradition my grandparents started with their friends) always lots a fun times, just wish they were still here to share with us. Plan on using several of these this year!!!

  33. I LOVE this plate idea! I am coordinating next time by doing this! Usually I just buy whatever goes together in the store. Thank you for the great ideas – I can’t wait to try it!

  34. I rely on the delicious food to distract my guests from the fact that I have no idea how to properly coordinate! haha!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  35. We are rarely coordinated unless it’s a special holiday dinner. Most of the time we go for casual back yard barbeques or pot luck.

  36. What a fun and attractive party theme! I love the way you’ve even included printables to pull it all together. I only get to watch the Kentucky Derby on television, but it would be fun to host a “watching” party, incorporating your ideas.

    I don’t do a lot to coordinate my table décor. One thing I do is always use white plates and serveware and accessorize with colorful linens and glassware to suit the occasion/season. Thank you!

  37. Wow! I was late to the party….I decided just a few hours ago to have a Kentucky Derby Party. I was browsing the net and came across your delightful site…I am going to do the Chinet plates and use my own vintage Kentucky Derby collectible glasses for my guests. For betting, I will enter the wagers on my Twin Spires account and let my guests go wild. Red and Black themed table cloth and horsey centerpiece. I just love the cool announcement page to prop up on my serving area….this is gonna be FUN, thanks for all the help.

  38. I love the colors aqua and green, so those are already used throughout my house so when planning events, I usually gravitate toward those colors as well, so I can make use of things I already have. I love that the Chinet options don’t clash!

  39. I try to stick with neutral colors so that I can mix and match for different occasions. I coordinate the plates to match the napkins and the flowers.

  40. I get ideas from the internet for themes and then coordinate everything to that theme or color scheme.

  41. I try to stick to a color theme and decorate the table with tablecloth, centerpiece and place settings in the same theme.

  42. I let one of the kids pick the color scheme each occasion = makes it fun!
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  43. I tend to buy everything in shades of green and blue with some violet to mix, they all tend to blend nicely and pull a look together

  44. I don’t! I like the look of mismatched things. I might aim to have things a similar color scheme (all bold colors, or bright colors, or purples/blues/greens) but I like having different styles and everything.

  45. It takes work and planning and maybe visits to multiple stores to find products that match.

  46. I like to pick out a printed plate and then I will buy the matching paper napkins in different solid colors

  47. I take the easy way out and let the Party Story lead the way. They always have coordinating decorations, plates, cups and more. Sometimes, I mix and match with similar designs, just to give it a little bit of a personal touch 🙂

  48. I usually choose a color theme and try to coordinate the table linens, dishes and centerpiece.

  49. I love prepping for parties… especially my daughter’s birthday parties. I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest. It takes me a long time to gather all of the items.

  50. Wow, stunning tables! However, for me, the perfect coordination is family and friends—an eclectic bunch!

  51. I rarely do coordinate! However, I prefer neutral colored dishes so that I can add pops of color with linens and flowers. (Yours is adorable!!)

  52. I focus on two colors depending what the season is.
    Now it’s yellow & green.
    To fill out my plan I check out thrift shops for a great deal!
    thank you

  53. Haha! In no way are my “occasions” coordinated! I have been known to use Halloween napkins for Easter because the Halloween napkins were on clearance! I have seen cute table settings using things from the dollar store to make cute placemats and table settings.

  54. I’m afraid my guests are forced to make do with what they get. I’m just not a very coordinated host.

  55. I choose a theme and make a special centerpiece to match and I try to find cute items at the craft store to make banners and
    items for our guests to take home, I also get matching plates,napkins and cups.

  56. I think it is the little details and my personal touch what makes my occasions perfectly coordinated

  57. most of the kitchen items, dishware and serving pieces that i own are the same colors, so it is easy for me to coordinate.

  58. I set my dining table with a themed matching set of linens and tableware, along with a beautiful centerpiece. I plan a themed menu and have a strategic guest list.

  59. I like to keep coordinated with matching color schemes. For Christmas, we use a combination of green and red tableware. We even incorporate green and red sprinkles in some of the desserts too.

  60. I choose a theme (i.e. nautical) and draw inspiration from blogs, magazines, and Pinterest. 🙂

  61. I coordinate everything by making use of the red theme I already have, I buy red flowers and red flowered napkins, add some ribbons as napkin holders and I have a lovely table.

  62. I usually use white plates and decorate the rest of the table with some form of color.

  63. I always try to match and in every event I try to add childrens to match as well. Most of the fun for a party or event is decorating, cooking and baking!

  64. I coordinate my events by setting up matching, classy decorations. I like wall and hanging decorations. I serve food on plates that match the theme and try to have to food go along with it too. The final touch is music, I try and download all the music that I think will fit perfectly with the theme and bring up peoples spirits

  65. Depending on the holiday, I have color coordinated napkins, plates, flowers, and knick knacks on the table.

  66. I use Pinterest, make lists, and plan like crazy. I love party planning and often design my own party decor and cupcake toppers to give everything that unique and personal touch.

  67. Well I learned from my mother that every table is theme coordinated, from the table cloth to napkins to the centerpieces, to the candles, even to the flatware and which plate setting to use. I even like to coordinate down to my desserts, for instance match my cupcake liners to the napkins etc. I love your post and you have such wonderful ideas! You have a new follower here!

  68. I always coordinate. Not usually a theme but two colors that look good together. Thanks for the chance.

  69. I match all my plates, napkins, and decorations to revolve around the theme I have come up with for that occasion!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  70. Your party looks amazing! I love to entertain and will have to check out these products and pinterest.

  71. I am a crappy hostess. I just start pulling out pieces from my very eclectic collection of china, linens, pottery and flea market treasures and layer, ad and subtract until I like how it feels.

  72. I like to use my girlfriend’s brain for stuff like this. Most of the time we pick a theme and stick to it by buying things in matching colors.

  73. I like color, so I pick one and go with thru the whole day, from flowers to setting’s and I try also to make the food color match as much as I can too.

  74. I love to go to the fabric store and get fabric for a tablecloth, and napkins. I also love to coordinate with fresh flowers and of course, matching plates, napkins, etc.!

  75. I love how you coordinated your “Derby” party. It’s been a couple years since I have hosted a party as I am in transition between residences. Your web inspires me to plan a party soon.

  76. I like to browse magazines like better home and garden for inspiration. I usually find a lot of cheap decorations and coordinates at our local dollar store,they have a great selection

  77. I make my special occasions perfectly coordinated by going with a simple clean look. I try not to over do it. it keeps things neat and orderly.

  78. I don’t think I’ve ever had a coordinated dinner party. I like white napkins and my white dinnerware. Other than that, I’m no Martha Stewart.
    Thanks for the contest.

  79. I usually don’t becaue of the number of kids in my immediate family but I try to have wine glasses available for those who drink wine

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  80. I actually like to decorate around the food that I am preparing it works out better for me.

  81. Pingback: 21 Ideas for a Great Kentucky Derby Party
  82. i tried to download the plate template for your derby party. I subscribed to your email and got the code and it said the link is no longer available. Is there anyway to get a download sent to my email?
    Heidi Brewer.

    1. Just click on the download button again. It’s an error that occurs in some browsers. If you need more help there are instructions at the top of the page. Enjoy!

  83. Pingback: Plan the Perfect Kentucky Derby Party - A Style Portrayed
  84. Pingback: Kick-Off Friday – Craftivity Designs

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