DIY Halloween Party Decor! Halloween 2017!
How to Decorate for a Halloween Party
The most important part of a Halloween party is its ambience. Hosting a party tasks you with a lot of responsibility as it is, but decoration is even more important for a Halloween party; it’s the one time where only you, the host, can provide the necessarily spooky atmosphere. Get creative with your decorations and think about what your friends like, and you can make sure everyone has fun.
Focus on areas where people will be spending time.If you’re only inviting a handful of people, you’ll probably stick to the living room or dining room, so there’s no need to decorate lavishly elsewhere. If you have no idea how many people those rooms can accommodate, allow for 10 to 15 square feet per person, or less if you’re fine with things being a bit more cozy.
Hang up some faux cobwebs.You can buy pre-packaged decorative cobwebs, or you can make your own by teasing apart cotton balls and spraying them with hairspray. Stretch these out over places where they’ll be noticeable, like over windows or fireplaces, but not so low in doorways that they’ll get in anyone’s way.
- Scatter black plastic spiders throughout the cobwebs, if you have any. Cluster them up in one area to make them look like a swarm for added effect.
Cut silhouettes out of construction paper and apply them around the walls.Bat silhouettes are the simplest to make, but anything else that evokes Halloween works too (such as spiders, spider webs, or black cats).
- Cutting out a series of increasingly smaller bats will give the impression they’re flying into the distance. Bending their wings away from the wall will make the whole arrangement appear to have more depth.
Use dramatic lighting.Backlighting your decorations with a string of white Christmas lights is enough to draw attention to them and make them stand out. Decorating a paper lantern or a lampshade with cut-out silhouettes adds to the atmosphere, too.
- Add a spooky ambiance to your existing lighting with orange, green, or blue light filters (or a combination of those). Orange cellophane crinkled near—but not touching—a fake flickering candle light will accomplish the same. Just make sure it isn’t too close to the bulb.
Hang decorations from the ceiling or fixtures.Decorating from above is more immersive than just decorating the walls; cut-out construction paper silhouettes will work, but you can also make some crafty hanging ghosts with nothing except white cloth, string, and anything spherical (like foam, tennis balls, or balloons).
Liven up the table with a homemade ghost.Standalone Halloween decorations are a little more involved to make, but you still have options if you prefer to craft your own. You can make a table ghost with nothing more than starch and cheesecloth.
- Buy or make liquid starch, then cut some asymmetrical, vaguely circular shapes out of cheesecloth and dip them in the mixture. Wring them out, then let them dry while draped over something spherical (such as a glass with a ball on top) to form the ghost’s head.
- Make sure the bottom of the material gathers together on a surface as it’s drying, so the ghost will be able to stand once it’s rigid. Once it’s dry, in about 30-60 minutes, neaten up the bottom with scissors, draw on a face with black marker, and you’re done!
Put autumnal touches around the house.Fall decorations have a lot of carryover. Pumpkins evoke Halloween in particular, but other decorations like leaves and gourds evoke the fall season in general, and will stay relevant through Thanksgiving.
Setting the Mood Outside
Carve a Jack-o’-lantern.Jack-o'-lanterns are some of the most recognizable Halloween decorations, and carving one to adorn your porch is a Halloween mainstay. Wait until near the event to do this; unlike solid pumpkins, carved pumpkins only last a week or so.
Construct a porch scarecrow.If you have a porch swing, or even just enough space on the porch for a stuffed figure to sit or stand, gather some old clothes, including a long-sleeved shirt, and some stuffing material (straw, leaves, or newspapers will work).
- Stuff the torso with your stuffing material. Pack it around something rigid, like a PVC pipe, to help it stay upright. Attach gloves and shoes for its hands and feet; you can pin or glue these on.
- For its head, use an upside-down bucket, or a stuffed pillowcase or burlap sack. Add a straw hat to complete the ensemble, then affix the scarecrow to wherever you want it with some lengths of wire.
Decorate the door.Just as it’s wise to concentrate on the interior rooms in which people will actually spend most of their time, it’s helpful to pay attention to your door, since it’s the one place every guest will interact with.
- Cover the door with cotton cobwebs, wrap it in gauze (with added googly eyes) so it resembles a mummy, or apply a cut-out paper silhouette.
Make your own mist with dry ice.You can buy dry ice for as little as per pound, and some stores carry it only seasonally, just for use as a Halloween decoration. Add one pound of dry ice per half-gallon of hot water to keep a mist effect ongoing. (Two pounds will last about 20 minutes.)
Make sure your window decorations are visible at night.If you applied window decorations inside, they may already show up from the outside, silhouetted by the interior light. If you haven’t, or if they aren’t noticeable, consider adding some. Silhouettes in your windows will be some of the most strikingly obvious details to anyone approaching your house.
Construct some lawn gravestones.You can make sturdy headstones out of plywood if you have access to a jigsaw, but if not, making them out of cardboard works just fine. Come up with one-liners or puns for their epitaphs.
Use old clothes to make lawn zombies.Fill some sleeves and gloves with leaves or newspaper, then attach the gloves with safety pins. Pound stakes into the lawn and pack the sleeves around them at various angles to give the impression of arms reaching out of the ground.
Prepare Halloween food and drinks.Depending on the age group you’re planning for, this could mean looking up Halloween mixed drinks or just having enough Halloween-themed food on hand.
- In a pinch, any dessert drizzled with a red sauce can look sufficiently creepy. Doing this to Rice Krispy Treats makes them looks surprisingly like brains.
Prepare mystery boxes if you’re hosting kids.Mystery boxes, or feel boxes, are one of the most common Halloween kids’ activities. Decorate some tissue boxes, fill them with something mundane, and imply they contain something far more gross (like a box full of grapes labeled “monster eyes”).
Plan separate activities for adults.Games for adults are usually less reliant on props, but it’s still smart to have something planned. If you don’t have any Halloween-themed games on hand, just adapt an existing activity so it’s related to Halloween.
- Play some movie drinking games, but only use horror movies. Try Halloween-themed karaoke. Organize a game of charades that’s limited to horror movies or mythological monsters.
Stock up on party favors.For any party involving kids, party favors are essential to their experience. These can be store-bought, but you can also apply your decorative skills by making them yourself. Fill small jars with candy corn, for example, or wrap popcorn in cellophane and draw Halloween designs on the outside.
- Consider in advance how much you’re willing to clean up. Applying homemade cobwebs to every surface makes for great Halloween decoration, but you’re going to have to carefully pull these decorations down afterward.
- Set a budget and stick to it. Halloween parties are social events, so most of the fun will come from interacting with other people, not from how much you spent on the decor.
- Move furniture around if you’ve invited a lot of people. You don’t need to clear entire rooms; just try to make sure that your expected guests will have room to mill around.
- Make sure you keep the ages of your guests in mind when you’re planning your decorations. Grisly decorations involving blood and gore are fine for an adults-only party, but may scare children more than you intend to.
- Be sure to turn off anything that could be a fire hazard, after the party is over.
Video: DIY Halloween Party Decoration Ideas - Dry Ice Tutorial
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