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Throwing a Killer Halloween Party
As I was writing this Hub, I realized how much I actually had to say about Halloween Parties. So I am dividing it up into segments. This article is about the decorations we have at our parties. Maybe you'll get some new ideas, or be inspired to create something for your yard.
Thanks for reading!
Planning the Boo Bash
For the past few years, we have hosted an absolutely fantastic Halloween party for our friends. Unfortunately, we've moved and the neighborhood we are currently in is not Trick or Treat friendly. A Halloween party does not necessarily have to be hosted on October 31, but that's always been my preference. It's the day when the excitement is as its peak.
When you are planning a party, first things first. Have a general idea in your head of what you want the party to be like. I love lots of food, lots of people, lots of laughter.
Next, I usually begin making Boo Bash lists. A list for everything. One for the guest list. One for the menu. One for miscellaneous stuff (decor, potential activities). I usually do this on my iPhone. That way it's always with me. Because I will inevitably be at a stop light on some random day three weeks out and think of something crucial. If the lists are on my phone, I can jot it down and move on.
The guest list for me is one of the hardest things. Sometimes I feel like we have to invite everyone I've ever come in contact with. Sometimes I think that's ridiculous. But I do love loud, crazy parties. It's my own Catch-22. Anyway, for the first Boo Bash we hosted, we invited a ton of people. Seriously, 95 on the guest list. My house was not that large... only a modest 1500 sq ft at the time. The 95 party was fun, but I was exhausted after. It took days for me to recover. So the next year, I chopped the guest list literally in half. That was still crazy, but it felt much more manageable.
The amount of people is totally what you are comfortable with. Don't feel bad cutting people from your invite list. My rule is, if we don't talk on the phone regularly. If our kids don't hang out (and mine don't ask for playdates), you probably aren't making the cut. Honestly, my hubs is pretty chill... as long as he doesn't have major beef with you, he'd invite you.
As for the menu, Pinterest is my best friend! I am serious. I have a holiday board that I publicly pin things to, and I have a secret (for my eyes only) board where I pin things I might use at the Boo Bash but don't want friends to see ahead of time. If you are not on Pinterest, join NOW! But I am warning you... IT IS OUTRAGEOUSLY ADDICTIVE.
What would a Halloween party be without decorations? I'll tell you. It'd be any other house party. The decor makes or breaks it. I'll show you some of my stuff below. I pretty much shop year-round, year-to-year for Halloween stuff. And again, Pinterest has come in handy.
The Halloween Decorations
As I said earlier, a Halloween party without Halloween decor is just a generic house party. Our family has been obsessed with this particular holiday. We've always gone a little overboard with the decorations. Never the trick or treating - for me, the food and ambiance is way more important and fun than collecting crappy candy from strangers. Anyway, I digress.
The decorations we have are a hodge podge of things made and things bought. If you are a crafty DIYer, there is plenty of things for you to make. I happen to be the daughter of an uber talented man. He can literally make anything we ask of him. So a lot of our decorations come straight out of my parents' garage.
- Halloween Floaties - Inflatables really, but my monsters call them floaties. We usually find great ones at our local Walgreens. Every once in a while we will get one from Walmart.
- The painted signs - you could easily DIY these. Ours are so old I honestly have no idea where they originated from. If you are not ready to test your painting skills, check your local Michaels store. They have really cool stuff there.
- Tombstones - Duh. What Halloween yard would be complete without some of these bad boys? You have lots of options for these things... they come in all sorts of materials. We've had the cheap Styrofoam kind before; in my opinion, they are NOT worth the money. One strong wind and half of ours were rendered useless. So our tombstones are homemade. They are made from scrap plywood and a wooden stake to shove in the ground. We chose some of our favorite sayings to paint on them. My sister has a set too, and her's mimic the Haunted Mansion graveyard at Disney. Have fun with them. That's the point. And I should point out that our homemade ones have lasted years.
- Black crows - We have a few realistic looking crows. It's fun to put them in different spots around the yard or party area. They don't have to be obviously out in the open, I put one of ours in a low tree... it freaked the kids out because they couldn't tell if it was real or not.
- Skull heads - These are so amazing. They are from Walgreens. If memory serves me, they weren't outrageously priced. They have little lightbulbs inside and pegs to stake in the ground. I love them because they look cool in both day and night. I have to say that some of our drug store decorations are not "built to last". We have gotten a few years out of these guys, but most of the heads are no longer attachable to the stakes (so they wobble and fall off if you have kids, pets or curious squirrels). I still love the way they look though, so I will find a place for them.
- The Bloody Candle - This was a Pinterest inspired DIY. I found this amazing bones candle holder at Target two years ago. Once I saw it, I knew what I had to do. But a white candle and a red candle. Light the red candle and drip the red wax all over the red candle. It actually takes a bit longer than I was anticipating, but the end result is AMAZING! Worth it!
- Life size coffin - This is my favorite thing. My dad made it about a decade ago for a Halloween party my parents hosted. It actually fits my father (who built it so he could lay in it and scare the poo out of the guests). Since that party we have gotten a ridiculous amount of use out of it. One year we lined it with plastic, filled it with ice and used it as an incredible cooler. Last year I had it on our dining room table and served food out of it (Dad also built an insert that is fit for our bowls and serving dishes).
- Pumpkin toss - I saw this on Pinterest late one night and thought "I have to have that at our party". So I sent a pic of it to my dad. And he created this awesome game - complete with homemade been bags. Easy Peasy.