The Homemade Halloween Decoration That Amazed My Neighborhood
Want to bring some Halloween magic inside the home?
- Adding Disney-like Halloween Magic to Your Home
Unfortunately, not all of us live close enough to a theme park to visit Disney during the Halloween season. Here are several steps though that can be used to invite that feeling home.
Last Halloween I had crowds of a dozen+ people simply standing outside my house. According to a reliable source, the decoration was “magic”. (That source was a 6 year old Spiderman) I am surprised that so many people were amazed by it.
The decoration I created was a combination of two main things: A white sheet hung in my front window + a low grade projector. I then had the projector (inside the house) shine toward the sheet, which bled through to the other side. This created a giant screen for the neighborhood. Next up, I found a pirate cartoon I could use (not very easy! Many pirate cartoons are still under copyright restrictions). I then found software that allowed me to loop the cartoon at certain points. The end effect was that I created a pirate TV show broadcast outside my home during Halloween (without having to worry about rain or someone breaking expensive equipment). The only thing I wish I would have done differently is to add sound outside via a blue tooth speaker.
One of the best parts of the evening? When a cute kid asked if he could eat candy and watch the pirate cartoon outside my house. Yes, you can eat the candy I just gave you and watch the cartoon. :)
Here is what the end result looked like
Above is what the end result looked like. I added more items to try to make the scene even more "pirate-y". The pirate flag, the skull and crossbones near the door, and fake rats were put in the space around the "screen". I wish I had a life size skeleton to put near there as well, as then I could have dressed it up in pirate garb. Alas, I did not have the funds to complete that portion of the project.
Still, I am very glad with how this experiment turned out!
Throwing an Adult Halloween Party (No Kids Allowed)
Before having an adult Halloween party with friends, there are a number of things that need to be considered. Some of these may be more obvious then others, but all are important to think about before sending invites.
As with any party, cost is key. Spending too much on decorations could mean fewer funds for food/beverages. On the other hand, spending too little on any particular area will leave the party feeling a bit more watered down. Here are my recommendations on cost:
- Buy more food then alcohol if your friends do not drink. If they do drink, switch this around. Don’t worry too much about “cutesy” food, such as specialty cupcakes or cookies, unless these can be bought fairly inexpensively.
- Decorations can be a way to quickly reduce Halloween funds. To minimize this expenditure, buy just one or two “higher cost” Halloween decorations, then make the rest or buy them from the $1 store. During a party, the cheaper decorations will be the ambiance, while the more expense decorations will be the talking points. Plus there are a lot of easy to make Halloween decorations online.
Each gathering has a different level of acceptance on cheesy decorations and games. Parents will probably be fine with higher levels of childish or plain decorations / games because they are used to those with their own children. Grownups without children may want a more graphic / bloody looking type of Halloween party.
This is the easiest thing to make a party special, but is also the most overlooked. Changing a few light bulbs to colors or adding a special lamp shade can change the feel of room very quickly. Furthermore, too little light will leave people stumbling around - while too much light will destroy the “Halloween” feeling. Furthermore, some people have neurological disorders with strobe lights, so if you have a friend with that kind of disorder - stay away from strobe lights.
Decorations need to be placed in such a way that movement around the house is not restricted. An interesting idea is to potentially use decorations to “restrict” parts of the house guests are not supposed to be in. For example, if guests are not supposed to be in a hallway, perhaps creating a giant spider web in that hallway. You also want to make sure movement to specific areas is enhanced. Guests will need to know how to get to the bathroom, so making it obvious and easy is a great way to keep them happy. If the party is large enough, make sure to have room for a line to the bathroom (or provide access to multiple bathrooms).
Give guests plenty of advance notice to a Halloween party. Many people need a lot of time to figure out and create their costumes. Guests may also be invited to several parties, so being the first to “book the date” may allow more people to come to your party. Finally, if there are any special diet restrictions or considerations that need to be made, make sure to have those completed in advance. Strobe lights may also need to be avoided if someone has epilepsy. Fog machines may not work well with those that have asthma problems. Take into consideration what makes the best possible experience for each guest.
Hopefully these five areas will help focus towards planning the perfect party. There is a sixth suggestion that every party host needs to take to heart: enjoy the party too! Often times hosts are so busy looking after their guests needs that they forget to enjoy the party too. One way to avoid rushing around during the party is to have everything setup in advance, so when the first guest shows up, the fun is ready to begin!
Any other suggestions for party creators? Feel free to comment below.
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