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The Ultimate Nightmare Before Christmas Party Guide

Updated on December 31, 2016

How To Create Your Own Nightmare Before Christmas Celebration!

"The Nightmare Before Christmas" is not only one of my longtime favorite movies, but it's been incorporated into my annual holiday traditions more and more each year. But this party theme isn't just a seasonal hit; the film has amassed a growing fan base since its original 1993 release, which makes it the perfect year-round party solution.

So the ultimate Nightmare Before Christmas Party Guide was born! Bringing my own craft skills, movie buffness, and web-surfing enthusiasm to the table, I've compiled the ultimate guide to creating a memorable Nightmare Before Christmas party for any occasion. Look out for more Nightmare Before Christmas guides for gift exchanges, birthdays, and more.

Brace yourself! This party guide is BIG, so If you want to skip to a particular section, feel free to just pick a topic from the table of contents below.

I'd also like to acknowledge My sister-in-law as another important inspiration for this lens, as she's probably one of the most ardent collectors of Nightmare Before Christmas memorabilia that I know!

From The Disney Gallery - Flickr User (lorenjavier):
From The Disney Gallery - Flickr User (lorenjavier):

Getting Started

The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of the most visually groundbreaking movies in film history. Taking stop-motion animation to brand new heights, Tim Burton also presented fantastic art direction, characters, colors, textures, and many more artistic qualities.

This of course makes for AWESOME creative inspiration for the holidays, allowing everything from crowd-pleasing cupcakes to spooky and whimsical tree ornaments.

The picture to the right is a fantastic piece from the Disney gallery, and it's just one of the many images you can draw from to plan and create your own Christmas decorations. One of the best parts with this tradition is hunting for buried DIY treasure; I typically find great items and discount supplies at garage sales, thrift shops (particularly Goodwill), and online.

Don't forget to bookmark the following list of supplies and ideas; this will definitely come in handy while you shop!

Your DIY Supply List

Large and Mini Marshmallows

Mixed nuts or trail mix

Decorative frosting tubes

Tissue paper, gift wrap, tracing paper, drawing paper, construction paper

Glitter glue

Cotton balls or bags of polyfiber fill

Cake mix, frosting, food coloring, black and white sprinkles

paints and markers

Discarded Christmas decorations

Small discarded plastic bottles

White balloons

Black Sharpie pen

Felt, Fabric scraps, and yarn

Hostess or Mrs. Freshly's Snowballs

Gummy worms

Sewing supplies

"Jack Skellington" Marshmallow Pops by Crumbs and Corkscrews
"Jack Skellington" Marshmallow Pops by Crumbs and Corkscrews

Tasty DIY Treats

The above list is just a sampling of the wide variety of craft supplies and basic household items available. In fact, there's a good chance you already have some of these items at home. There's an endless supply of ideas for nightmare before christmas décor, so I'm just going to touch on a few quick and easy ideas you can produce in under a half an hour if you're running short on time.

For starters, these awesome marshmallow pops by Crumbs and Corkscrew are great inspiration for quick and easy marshmallow treats for your guests. Simply use a tube of black decorative frosting to paint on Jack's face, and either attach a lollipop stick to make your own marshmallow pops or use them as delicious cupcake toppers for devil's food cupcakes.

Mini marshmallows and coconut shavings are also handy for creating adorable snowy houses, especially if you're making an epic cake about Jack's first visit to Christmas Town Plus, throw any leftover marshmallows into a bowl with mixed nuts and gummy worms to make a tasty Oogie Boogie trail mix.

And If you're REALLY running short on time, you can purchase a couple cases of Hostess Snowballs (or Mrs. Freshly's version) and quickly draw on Jack Skellinton faces with black decorative frosting.

For more Nightmare Before Christmas dessert inspiration, check out these awesome examples. See photo captions for image credits (source, artist, owner, etc..) I also threw in pics of cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and other treats you can try out in the kitchen or suggest to a professional cake maker.

Eye Candy To Inspire You

Click thumbnail to view full-size
From http://aweddingcakeblog.com/From Flickr (cupcake138td)Lol this one was actually featured on cakewrecks.com (when professional cakes go horribly wrong) But I still think it's pretty cool :)From Top 10 Best Nightmare Before Christmas CakesLove the colors and simplicity with this one. From http://www.thetwistedsifter.com/Amazing Jack Skellington cookie from Kawaii Foods!Another great Nightmare Before Christmas Treat from Kawaii Foods.Simple Jack Skellington cake pops. Such a great idea!  From: http://www.sugarturntable.com
From http://aweddingcakeblog.com/
From http://aweddingcakeblog.com/
From Flickr (cupcake138td)
From Flickr (cupcake138td)
Lol this one was actually featured on cakewrecks.com (when professional cakes go horribly wrong) But I still think it's pretty cool :)
Lol this one was actually featured on cakewrecks.com (when professional cakes go horribly wrong) But I still think it's pretty cool :)
From Top 10 Best Nightmare Before Christmas Cakes
From Top 10 Best Nightmare Before Christmas Cakes
Love the colors and simplicity with this one. From http://www.thetwistedsifter.com/
Love the colors and simplicity with this one. From http://www.thetwistedsifter.com/
Amazing Jack Skellington cookie from Kawaii Foods!
Amazing Jack Skellington cookie from Kawaii Foods!
Another great Nightmare Before Christmas Treat from Kawaii Foods.
Another great Nightmare Before Christmas Treat from Kawaii Foods.
Simple Jack Skellington cake pops. Such a great idea!  From: http://www.sugarturntable.com
Simple Jack Skellington cake pops. Such a great idea! From: http://www.sugarturntable.com

Quick & Easy DIY Décor

Notice "discarded Christmas decorations" on the DIY supply list above? Those will definitely come in handy if you want to create quick yet memorable Nightmare Before Christmas décor without the added costs and stress.

The picture on the right is just a simple synthetic Christmas wreath with paper cut-out eyes and teeth attached; this captures that famous moment in the film where Jack decided to take on Santa's job and gives out scary Christmas gifts, one of which is a memorable carnivorous wreath!

You can do the same thing with wrapped gift boxes and synthetic tabletop trees.

Other quick and easy décor tips include:

  • Handfuls of cotton wrapped in white tissue paper, tied off with a black yarn (or ribbon bow tie), finished off with a Jack Skellington face drawn in black sharpie. You can hang these from trees around your yard or stick them in your potted plants.
  • You can create Sally's array of potion bottles by painting discarded bottles of nail polish remover with various shades of gray paint. Afterwards label them with "deadly night shade" or "Frog's breath" in black sharpie, or you can create small name plaques from cardstock and attach them to the surface with a glue gun. Mason jars work too! Just fill them up with vines, lawn grass, leaves, or even water dyed with food coloring
  • Last but not least, one of the easiest Nightmare Before Christmas decorations requires just bag of white balloons and a trusty sharpie! Simply take your balloon to a party store to use their helium tank. After filling up your balloons, turn them into floating Jack Skellington heads with your sharpie and tie them to your fence, door, or make smaller ones and add them to an epic tabletop centerpiece.

Special Décor Extras

Running short on DIY time or looking for some unique décor to add to your party? Try adding these special décor items to the mix! These are some real online gems. Happy holidays!

Jack and Sally Love Nightmare Before Christmas Light Weight Fleece Blanket Throw
Jack and Sally Love Nightmare Before Christmas Light Weight Fleece Blanket Throw

This would look fantastic draped over your couch. A great conversation piece too; your guests will definitely ask where you got this

 
Westland Giftware Ceramic Salt and Pepper Shaker Set, 4.25-Inch, Disney Jack and Sally Kiss, Set of 2
Westland Giftware Ceramic Salt and Pepper Shaker Set, 4.25-Inch, Disney Jack and Sally Kiss, Set of 2

Another great piece of decor for your guests to enjoy. These salt and pepper shakers come with a great price point and would look perfect with your snack table, table arrangement, or kitchen decor.

 
The Nightmare Before Christmas Beach Towel ~ Jack Skellington & Zero ~ Can Be Used for Bath
The Nightmare Before Christmas Beach Towel ~ Jack Skellington & Zero ~ Can Be Used for Bath

Don't forget about the bathroom! If you really want to pay attention to the detail, consider adding this Nightmare Before Christmas Beach towel to your bathroom. Plus, a stack of these would be a wonderful addition to a Jack Skellington-themed beach party too!

 
Westland Giftware Ceramic Cookie Jar, 8.5-Inch, Disney The Nightmare Before Christmas
Westland Giftware Ceramic Cookie Jar, 8.5-Inch, Disney The Nightmare Before Christmas

You can keep your party treats in this awesome Jack and Sally cookie jar! It also works great as a centerpiece for your Nightmare Before Christmas dinner party

 
It's Christmas Town!
It's Christmas Town!

It's Movie Night!

A Nightmare Before Christmas themed celebration isn't complete without movie night. If you happen to live in a warm and amazing location, then you should definitely consider having an outdoor screening of the film too.

And a movie night isn't complete without popcorn, tasty salty snacks, delicious soda, candy, and even costumes. Read on for more ideas on how to plan your own Nightmare before Christmas film screening!

Your Movie Night Menu

Along with the treats discussed earlier, you can make even more creative sweets and snacks for your Nightmare Before Christmas screening. To start, whip up a healthy snack like "Sally's Famous Worm's Wort Soup" - This can be a classic chicken noodle soup served up in specialty themed mugs.

You can also use these mugs to serve "Christmas Town" hot chocolate, Mr. Oogie Boogie's trail mix, green frog's breath pudding (vanilla pudding with food coloring), and Jack's pumpkin bread pudding.

Nightmare Before Christmas Ceramic Sally Mug 2001
Nightmare Before Christmas Ceramic Sally Mug 2001

This epic mug features a super unique sally-esque handle. Love this one :)

 

Party Favors & Other Gifts

Don't let your guests leave empty handed! Take the opportunity to whip up party favor bags and other fun take-home gifts. To start, you can always make extra party treats (like Jack Skellington pops) and bag them up with Reese's Pieces and gummy worms candy.

You can also take a completely different route and purchase one-of-a-kind ornaments for your guests too! There's also special Nightmare Before Christmas party favors, magnets, key chains, magnets, figurines, and more.

96 Vintage 1993 Nightmare Before Christmas Party Bags
96 Vintage 1993 Nightmare Before Christmas Party Bags

These unique party favor bags are perfect for die-hard Nightmare Before Christmas fans, especially those who've been watching and collecting memorabilia since the film's original release.

 
24 Vintage 1993 Nightmare Before Christmas Party Hats
24 Vintage 1993 Nightmare Before Christmas Party Hats

Yay party hats! When was the last time you busted out those silly party cones of shame? Excepts these hats are awesome! And features the memorable mayor of Halloween Town

 
Jack Head in Nightmare Before Christmas Movie Disney ~ Fridge Magnet ~ Refrigerator Magnet ~ Halloween
Jack Head in Nightmare Before Christmas Movie Disney ~ Fridge Magnet ~ Refrigerator Magnet ~ Halloween

Jack Skellington fridge magnets are a great party favor for guests of all ages. You can also purchase magnets featuring your other favorite characters, Jack's coffin, and more.

 
Hallmark 2013 "Jack's Sleigh o' Scares" Ornament
Hallmark 2013 "Jack's Sleigh o' Scares" Ornament

This classic hallmark ornament captures one of the film's most famous scenes. Hallmark ornaments are the best! So your collector friends and Christmas enthusiasts alike will love this one.

 
Disney Parks Nightmare Before Christmas Mayor Mickey Mouse Ears Hat Ornament
Disney Parks Nightmare Before Christmas Mayor Mickey Mouse Ears Hat Ornament

This special Disney ornament is really unique. A fantastic gifts for fans of Halloween Town's favorite mayor. This is a must-have for your party's Christmas tree

 

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    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

      Okay I'm going to have to watch this movie, I have put it off for way too long! I think its on Netflix right now too :) I absolutely LOVE the cakes you posted, so creative and awesome looking! This would be one awesome party for sure, great job!

    • Skaos3010 profile image

      Skaos3010 3 years ago

      Awesome lens. A film this great truly deserves articles like this. Good job!

    • unicornblogger profile image
      Author

      Elissa Capelle Vaughn 3 years ago from New York

      @Zeross4: Thanks so much! Have fun watching the movie too!

    • unicornblogger profile image
      Author

      Elissa Capelle Vaughn 3 years ago from New York

      @Skaos3010: Thank you so much! I could write about this movie for days. Have a lovely day :)

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