My friends and I love Halloween, but we’re not so keen on the gory, creepy side of the holiday. We are all in our 20s and 30s, mostly without kids, and we just like to get together, have fun, play games and eat food. And having an excuse to dress up as adults is pretty fun, too. So, for my party this year, I used Shindigz’s new Spooktacular collection as a springboard for my décor. The print is fun and the colors are different than the traditional orange and black. My party went off without a witch! Here’s how I pulled it off.
First, I decided to host a couple weeks before Halloween. I think it builds excitement for the holiday, and I figured whatever leftover candy and snacks I’d have could be used for the trick-or-treaters. I chose a Saturday night, leaving me plenty of time to get everything done Friday night and Saturday morning/afternoon.
Next, I started building my Wishlist on Shindigz.com. This was a huge help for me when planning all my decorations to coordinate. Essentially it’s a tool where you can compile a list of items you are interested in without putting them in your cart. The thumbnails enabled me to quickly see what all I had and if the items went together well. I purchased basically the whole Spooktacular tableware line, along with hanging décor, table centerpieces, and a Darth Vader candy bowl (my favorite)!
I didn’t have a lot of time to think of activities, so I decided to ask everyone to bring a board game to play. We had some hilarious rounds of Last Word™ and Awkward Family Photos®! Another idea I had was to set up a photo booth in the living room area—the space for my party. I made it with a simple tablecloth and hanging tissue décor. The best part about Halloween is that everyone is already in costume and ready to snap pics! I got some photo booth props, too, just in case. I also made a playlist of songs like "Monster Mash", "Thriller" and "Disturbia". We had so much fun singing and dancing!
The food for the evening was simple yet colorful. I made the party at 7 pm so I wouldn’t have to worry about providing dinner, only snacks. I bought basically everything at the grocery to save me time, and then I displayed them nicely on my treat table. I went with some staples like cupcakes, cookies, chips, fruits and vegetables. I dressed up the cupcakes with Halloween-colored sprinkles, spider rings and ghost marshmallows. The ghost marshmallows made nice toppers. I just bought the marshmallows, "painted on" eyes and a mouth using black icing and stuck a toothpick halfway up the base so I could place them on top of the cupcakes; they were a hit, and edible, too! I also made a sort of trail mix using popcorn, candy corn, candy pumpkins, chocolate chips, raisins, Reese’s® pieces and nuts. For drinks, I purchased lemonade and then made a punch with orange sherbet, frozen orange juice concentrate and ginger ale.
Now for the best part: the decorating! I greeted guests with a "BOO" made of small mylar letter balloons hung with clear string. I decorated the living room area with spider garland strung over my fireplace and tv stand, a black candelabra, decorative mini pumpkins and scraps of the Spooktacular table cover. I also added black and orange polka dot balloons—some filled with helium in clusters, and some scattered around the floor. I wanted to make the treat table really stand out. So, to start, I hung an orange plastic tablecloth as the backdrop, and then covered the snack table with a complementary Spooktacular table cover. Next, I hung a streamer, paper fans, tissue balls and paper lanterns at various heights over the table. I then added "BOO" in mylar balloons to give the table a pop. I used Spooktacular bowls, plates and a platter to display my store-bought goodies. For the eating tables, I used yellow and lime green plastic tablecloths, and cut the Spooktacular table cover in strips to act as table runners. Some old, plastic pumpkin buckets made nice centerpieces, as well as Shindigz’s black candelabra and black and white striped pumpkin. The final touch to the tables was to scatter a few Halloween cutouts of ghosts, bats and pumpkins.
Here are some final tips if you’re interested in throwing a similar boo bash:
- Set a budget and stick to it. It was easy to do this with Shindigz because they have so many affordable options for Halloween décor.
- If friends offer to help, take them up on it! It can be a challenge to do it all yourself. I needed help making last-minute runs to the store, and blowing up balloons!
- Wait to fill your balloons with helium until the day of the party so they aren’t deflated when it’s party time. I highly recommend getting a helium tank so you’re prepared.
- Don’t hesitate to buy the food at the store if you don’t have much spare time. Everything still tasted great for my party, and nobody knew I didn’t make the cookies or cupcakes!
- Encourage guests to help take photos to document the fun. It can be difficult to be the ghostess with the mostess and the photographer!
- Do as much set-up as you can the day before the party so you’re not rushed to get everything done. Write a checklist to help you stay on track for what still needs completed closer to time.
We all had a wicked good time, and hopefully your party guests will, too! These ideas and tips are sure to help you pull off a Spooktacular party of your own! Happy Halloween!