Halloween Costume Party

The classic Halloween Party, a costume party, encourages even the most boring adults to find their inner children, dressing up in costumes that range from silly to spectacular.
    You'll Need
  • Ingredients for each of the recipes and any serving tools you'll need
  • Orange and black construction paper
  • Orange or white 5"x7" envelopes
  • Glue
  • An assortment of Halloween stickers (spiders, cats, haunted houses, ghosts, witches, cauldrons, monsters, and so forth)—look in the scrapbooking or card-making sections of your craft store for cute, creative, or interesting flat, puffy, or three-dimensional stickers
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Glitter, paint pens, or other decorative writing instruments
  • Black felt-tip pen
  • Stamps
  • Décor
  • Favors
  • Prizes
  • Spooky Feel-It items
  • Costume
  • CDs
  • Extra CD players/boom boxes
  • Candy for trick-or-treaters
Date, Theme, Budget, and Venue
Halloween—The last day of October. If the date falls on a Friday or Saturday, have the party on Halloween. Otherwise, have the party the weekend before; if you wait until the weekend following Halloween, you run the risk of losing the spooky spirit because guests become reluctant to spend one more night in this year's getups. Begin your party at 8:00 or 9:00 p.m.

Halloween! theme—All things spooky, silly, black, and orange. Pull out all the stops for this party, decorating your home to the nines, playing spooky music, offering fun activities and delicious foods, and ending the night, of course, with a costume contest. Have fun with the theme—the only thing getting between you and the most fabulous Halloween party ever thrown is your budget.

Midrange to high budget—If you have the bucks, go all out and spend up to $25 per person. Heck, spend more if Halloween is your favorite holiday and you can afford to break the bank. You don't have to go nuts with the planning; it's quite possible to have a great party on a smaller budget. However, to throw a really great Halloween party, you'll probably need to spend at least $12 a person, so plan accordingly.

Your spooky house venue—Although some Halloween aficionados turn their entire homes into haunted houses, you might not have the budget to do so. At the very least, spiff up your main party area (living room, back yard), bathroom, and entryway, and add small, thematic touches to other, less-frequented areas, such as the kitchen, office, or bedroom.

Guest List and Invitations
Your guest list should include your entire address book. Halloween is one of those great holidays that almost everyone enjoys celebrating. Share the fun with your friends, neighbors, family, and co-workers—even your nanny or dog walker! After you set your budget, invite as many people as you can swing—also be prepared for any number of extra guests because Halloween parties usually attract posses.

Paper Halloween invitations can be a lot of fun to send out. If you have the inclination, make your own! Here's an easy idea:

  1. Cut construction paper into rectangles: 10"x7" black rectangles and 9"x6" orange rectangles.
  2. Glue the black rectangles to the orange rectangles, centering the orange paper on the black so that a ½" margin of black paper borders the orange page.
  3. Fold the card in half, with the black page on the outside. Make sure your card fits into the envelopes you'll be using. You might have to trim the edges a little.
  4. Decorate the front of the card with stickers or other trim; you can also draw simple sketch outlines of Halloween figures (spiders, cats, haunted houses, ghosts, witches, cauldrons, monsters, and so forth) in glitter or paint pen (silver or gold glitter looks great).
  5. On the inside of the card, use the black felt-tip pen to letter your party details: date, time, location, contact information, costume contest details, and so forth. You can also use your computer to print this information onto a white piece of paper, trim it to 4"x6", and glue it to the inside of the card.
  6. Put cards into envelopes, address with black felt-tip pen, stamp, and mail.
If you don't have the time or budget to make your own Halloween party invitations, either purchase paper invitations or use an Internet-based invitation system.

More on: Halloween


Reproduced from Plan a Fabulous Party In No Time, by Tamar Love, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing.

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