Detective Birthday Party Ideas – Nancy Drew Mystery Stories
January 17, 2024
Typewriter centerpiece for a Nancy Drew Detective birthday party

Detective Birthday Party Ideas from Nancy Drew Mystery Stories

Need detective birthday party ideas? If you've got a fan of Nancy Drew Mystery stories, it's time to host a birthday party for the budding detective in your life. There are SO MANY fun details you can pull from the books from decor, activites, and food. Let's check out the Nancy Drew party decoration ideas and how to set a beautiful themed backdrop and dining table.

Host an amazing Nancy Drew detective birthday party
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Nancy Drew Detective Party Invitation

You get to set the party stage with the invitation, so make it a great one! This Nancy Drew birthday invitation is part of a whole party printable collection that all coordinates in color, fonts, and design to help you create a totally cohesive event!

This design is showing the particular Nancy Drew Mystery Book we chose for the party theme – #9 The Sign of The Twisted Candles. If you don't have a specific book in mind, I've got other text options for you too! You can get the invitation and optional back pattern in the SHOP.

Detective Birthday Party Welcome

Front door with Nancy Drew wreath and caution tape for birthday party

Your next opportunity to wow guests is at the party entrance. In our case, it is the front door. Use a White tulip wreath with added Large cutout key and Nancy Drew silhouette to adorn the door. Then drape Crime scene tape around the opening.

Front door wreath birthday decor with Nancy Drew silhouette

Nancy is ready to solve a mystery, are you? Tuck a few springs of yellow flowers into the wreath to help tie in the iconic yellow of the Nancy Drew book covers.

Get the Look:

Nancy Drew Birthday Party Background

Nancy Drew detective party backdrop with banners and decorations

Your backdrop doesn't have to be complicated. I use this vintage window for just about everything! For Nancy Drew it required a yellow plaid fabric at the back. Then add the editable Nancy Drew Happy Birthday Banner layered over a book page banner.

Then sprinkle a few book themed details for good measure.

Vintage rotary phone for a Nancy Drew Detective birthday party

Our book theme is Nancy Drew Mystery #9 “The Sign of the Twisted Candles” so we had to have a copy {or two} around the event.

Look for vintage looking items that'll transport guests back to Nancy Drew days like this cool old rotary phone. Then add a few printable “Exhibit” tags around. And don't forget the Twisted Taper Candles!

Nancy Drew handbook and mystery stories as party decor

The The Official Nancy Drew Handbook is hilarious and is a great little tool for gleaning party planning details. It also doubled as a gift for the birthday girl.

Letter board with Nancy Drew Mystery stories quote

If you've got a Letter board this is a great time to use it. Grab your favorite quote and display it for guests. I love this one about diamonds. Add a Nancy Drew silhouette and you're good to go. Then place your board on a stack of Classic Nancy Drew books.

Nancy Drew detective party backdrop with banners and decorations

Get the Look:

Nancy Drew detective party backdrop with fingerprint kit

Printable Fingerprint Cards were a hit with the guests, and our first party activity as people arrived. You can learn all about how to do it in our Nancy Drew Detective Party Activities post.

Nancy Drew Detective Birthday Table

You want to have a fun table for guest to enjoy their meal, complete an activity, or just a place to have a snack. Themed party tables are my favorite thing to create and I'll break down how to make this one for your party:

Typewriter centerpiece for a Nancy Drew Detective birthday party

Runner: Start with a table runner. This one is Kraft paper layered with a Nancy Drew book page runner going across the long AND short sided of the table. A subtle play on “X” marks the spot!

Detective Birthday Party Centerpiece: Anchor the table with a fun centerpiece. We used a vintage typewriter atop an old suitcase to give it some height. Then flank your centerpiece with candlesticks and twisted candles. {Especially if you love book #9!}

Then add some fun vintage detective items, or read through your favorite Nancy Drew mystery story and pick out the best details to recreate.

Detective Birthday Party Details

Twisted candles and vintage camera for Nancy Drew birthday party decorations

“The Sign of the Twisted Candles” needed twisted candles of course! Use whatever candle holders you've got. We have a couple of mismatched pairs we used for the dining table.

The “vintage” camera is actually a resin piece of decor. Keep an eye out at thrift stores, Michaels items on clearance all throughout the year, and fun quirky items you can borrow from friends and family! Use your stacked Classic Nancy Drew books as a riser.

Blue convertible and yellow flowers for a Nancy Drew Detective birthday party

The white and yellow flowers mimic the welcome wreath on the front door and add a beautiful splash of yellow to tie in those classic Nancy Drew Mystery spines.

I was also able to find a cool light blue convertible like the one Nancy used to drive! It's not the exact model but it sure is cute.

Typewriter centerpiece for a Nancy Drew Detective birthday party

Keep an eye out at antique stores, flea markets, thrift stores, etc for a vintage typewriter. This one doesn't work, but I've never needed it to! It's just a fun piece of decor I use year round in my home.

Add a magnifying glass, a “Last Will and Testament”, a mysterious skeleton key, and a few printable “Exhibit” tags.

Mystery trunk with key as centerpiece for a Nancy Drew birthday party table

Then fill in the gaps with little things like mini traveling trunks, more skeleton keys, and Classic Nancy Drew books!

Nancy Drew birthday party dining table top view

Get the Look:

Nancy Drew Party Place Setting

Nancy Drew themed place setting for a Detective birthday party

I love layering plates for a beautifully designed table. Plus it's nice to have different plates for dinner and dessert anyway! Then accent your place setting with beautiful cutlery, napkins, place cards, and an optional favor box.

Printable Nancy Drew placemats on party table

As the base I love creating custom placemats for each party theme. These Printable Nancy Drew Detective Placemats are the perfect thing and super easy to print as many as you need.

How to Set a Great Place

Nancy Drew themed place setting for a Detective birthday party

LAYERED PLATES: When you layer plates you want to make sure the size and shapes differ for maximum impact. These 9″ Scalloped Bamboo Plates function as a charger as the Scalloped Black and Gold Paper Plates add some additional texture and contrast for the cutout White Rose Dessert Plates.

LAYERED NAPKINS: You usually don't need 2 napkins but doubling up can give you some fun options, like my shark bite napkins at our Surf Party. Here you can bring in a strip of light yellow napkin, just like the spine of a book peeking out from behind the black and white plaid.

CUTLERY: You don't need to do much with silverware, but this filigree gold plastic cutlery is so pretty and added just the right touch to the setting.

Nancy Drew themed place setting for a Detective birthday party

FAVORS: The mini luggage favor boxes might be my favorite thing! They are so dang cute. I filled them with Lemon Head candies and marked them with more “evidence” tags.

GLASS BOTTLES: The blue floral glass bottles are from IKEA and I don't see them available anymore, but these mini plain glass bottles are the same style, just without the floral print. They can be filled with water {or anything} ahead of time to chill before your event. And finally, the gold paper straws aren't necessary but are, of course, more fun.

Nancy Drew place card for a Detective birthday party

PLACE CARDS: When guests arrive at the table and find assigned place cards, it takes some of the awkward out of tween behavior! You can discuss with your child who would be best seated at the table together. You can find the Nancy Drew Printable Place Cards in the shop. They are part of the Nancy Drew Food Label collection.

Get the Look:

Nancy Drew Detective Birthday Party Decor

Typewriter centerpiece for a Nancy Drew Detective birthday party

I hope you enjoy this Nancy Drew Detective party as much as we did! And if you try out any of these party decor ideas, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. And if you share photos, I want to see it too! Please tag us @partieswithacause on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. We love celebrating all your hard work! 

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Until next time my friend! Signature and photo


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Gingerbread houses in a row as table runner centerpiece for a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party I’m Bri of Parties With A Cause. I’m a mother to three crazy awesome kids, interior designer, & party planning junky. I love reading, globe trotting, and frozen yogurt. And I’m elevating the party experience one cause at a time! Read More

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