You might be a little too old for trick or treating... but you’re never too old for a Halloween bash! While you could go out and rack up your credit card on Halloween decorations, half the fun is in making them by hand. Here are some money-saving Halloween party ideas for décor and refreshments, guaranteed to make your Halloween party spooktacular!
Dreadful Decorations on a Dime
One of the best parts of Halloween (and a great way to save money) is the fun that comes with making your own decorations. Want to really creep the place up? Make your own fog machine for next to nothing. All you’ll need is a slow cooker, some dry ice and a bit of warm water. Half fill the slow cooker with warm water and then turn it up to the highest setting. Slowly add small pieces of dry ice. You can break the ice into pieces with a hammer, but remember to wear gloves. Dry ice can burn the hands. Place your makeshift fog machine in the corner of the room and voila! Fog!
Keep in mind that you’ll want to creep up the outside of your house as well. Using sidewalk chalk, trace the outline of a body – preferably someone else’s – and, if you have it, put police tape around the property. If you really want to horrify your guests, add more bodies, maybe a weapon, and some fake blood. That oughta do the trick.
To make fake blood you’ll need corn syrup, cornstarch, water and red food colouring. Add one cup of corn syrup to ½ cup of water and four drops of food colouring. If you want the blood to be thicker, just add a little cornstarch.
To make a dead body, take some of your own clothes and stuff them with garbage bags. Duct tape some boots to the legs of the dead body and find a way to hide the fact that there is no head – an old sack or pillow case will do. Finally, tie a noose around the neck of your dead man and hang him from a tree. Better, hang him somewhere unexpected in your house for added creepiness.
Don’t forget the cobwebs and spiders. You can get these at any dollar store for next to nothing. Add a few ghastly pumpkins, turn the lights down, and add some creepy music, and you’ll have the perfect party atmosphere in no time.
Melon brain: Take a watermelon and peel the outside, leaving only the white rind showing. Slice the bottom of the ‘brain’ off so that it can lie flat on the table. This makes it easier to work with as well. Using a knife or some sort of other carving tool, carve out channels to make it look like a human brain. At points, dig deep enough to reveal the red melon underneath. See Instructables.com for images.
Witches’ fingers: This simple recipe is not only easy, but also very effective. Simply roll up slices of ham to look like slender fingers and carefully place an almond slice on the end to look like a fingernail. For different money saving ideas, see netmums.com.
Devilled egg eyeballs: Put pimento-stuffed green olives in the centre of your devilled eggs and what have you got? Devilled egg eyeballs. For extra dramatic flair, add ketchup to make them look bloodshot.
Pumpkin puking guacamole: This might just be the coolest decoration/refreshment of them all. All you’ll need is a pumpkin, a platter, and some nachos and guacamole. Carve the pumpkin’s mouth so that it looks like it’s being sick. Place a platter of nachos covered in green guacamole in front of the pumpkin. It will look like the pumpkin just threw up the nachos. Don’t be surprised if no one eats the nachos. See blisstree.com for images.
For beverages, see Martha Stewart’s 27 Halloween cocktails and drink recipes. You’re bound to find something perfectly ghoulish.
While entertaining is partially about the décor, it’s mostly about the fun. Don’t be afraid to get into character and have a little fun. After all, Halloween only comes once a year.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!