How to Host a Horror-ble Party

Many parents throw their kids parties as an alternative to trick-or-treating. Others just make it an addition to the festivities. Make your party one in which crafts play an integral part.

Picking a specific theme, not just "Halloween," pulls everything together. Just one Halloween symbol can do it. Put bats in your belfry or spiders in your web. Whatever you and your child choose, take it to the hilt. Make decorations, costumes, favors, food — everything — follow your theme.

Here are three suggestions.

Pumpkin Party

Serve foods made with pumpkin and carve or otherwise decorate your Halloween pumpkins (if the party is held in advance of Halloween).

You can make lots of little decorative styrofoam pumpkins. Use them to decorate wreaths or even add a pin to the back of one and wear it.

Here are the directions:

  1. Take a styrofoam ball and cut it in half.

  2. Make grooves with a serrated knife that simulate the lines on a pumpkin.

  3. Brush with craft glue and cover with orange twist paper.

  4. Work the paper into the grooves.

  5. Glue on brown twist paper stems and green paper leaves.

Ghostly Gathering

For this party theme, everyone could come as a ghost. It would be interesting to see everyone's variations on such a simple idea.

There are lots of ways to make craft ghosts: Take a Styrofoam ball, dab it with white glue, and drape white fabric over it. Make two eyes with a black marker. Or take white wrapping tissue and drape it over a Tootsie-Roll pop, twist at the stick, add eyes, and it becomes a pint-sized spirit.

Project: Starchy Ghosts

Level: Easy

Age: 5 and up

Materials needed: A selection of different-sized plastic jugs and bottles, aluminum foil, white gauze or cheesecloth, laundry starch


  1. Take aluminum foil and crumple over the top of each jug and bottle until it forms a ball.

  2. Cut white gauze or cheesecloth into 18-inch squares, one for each ghost.

  3. Dip squares into a bowl filled with laundry starch.

  4. Take each square and squeeze out excess moisture. Drape one over each bottle.

  5. Use crumpled aluminum foil at different heights under each ghost to shape shoulders and arms, draping gauze appropriately.

  6. Spread out the lower edges of the gauze and let dry for several hours. Once dry, lift carefully and place on any flat surface.

Going Bats

Bats make another good theme. Make bats and suspend them from the ceiling with string. Kids could come to the party as bats (or Batman, for that matter) and could make and decorate bat cookies. Read a short story or book about real bats and discover their unique abilities. Make bat puppets.

More on: Halloween


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crafts with Kids © 1998 by Georgene Lockwood. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks