Posts Tagged ‘Halloween Decorations’

September 18th, 2013

Make a Creepy Haunted Staircase with Glowsticks

Creepy Haunted Staircase


Looking for some quick, easy and VERY effective Halloween decorating ideas? This is so easy to do and will really give the neighborhood trick-or-treaters a bit of a pause before approaching your haunted house.

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October 31st, 2012

Haunted Doll House

Haunted Doll House


Does your little girl have a doll house? If so, tonight being Halloween, this is the perfect opportunity to create a spooky look for her bedroom. And if you are having a children’s party tonight, it will be be a great hit with the kids! They can admire it and play with it at the same time.

All you need is some cotton webbing or a bag of spider webs from the Dollar Store, a small plastic skeleton, some small plastic spiders and a witch. You and your daughter can have a lot of fun together creating a special Halloween decoration.


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September 15th, 2011

How to Make Your Own Halloween Headstones

Halloween TombstonesThis is a very fun Halloween craft project for families or school classes. This is so much more fun than going to Target or the Dollar Store to buy something that will make your Halloween yard decorations look just like every other house on the block.

You can build your tombstones using plywood or Styrofoam. Both of these are great for this project because you can buy Styrofoam in larger thicknesses (2″ or more) at your local crafts store and it’s already textured so it looks more like a grave stone from the start. Sheets of styrofoam insulation from a building supply store can also be used.  Be careful though, because Styrofoam can be tricky to do the lettering on, is pretty fragile and thicker pieces get expensive. It is also difficult to store from year to year as you will need to place them in large sealed containers to keep them from begin damaged by other stored items or kicked around.

You can also elect to create your Halloween tombstones out of plywood. It is easy to work with, quite inexpensive and you or somebody you know may already have usuable scrap pieces laying around. A standard 4’x8′ sheet  of plywood will be enough for about 6-10 tombstones depending on their size and shape and should only cost around $10-$15 depending on where you live. Storage for these is easy, as all you have to do is lean them up against a wall. No special storage containers required.

How to Build Your Tombstone

  1. Determine the size of your tombstone. 18″w x 24-30″h is a good size for a basic stone. Make sure there is enough room to write the epitaph.
  2. Have your epitaphs ready to write. Here are a couple of websites that you can get some great ideas from: Funny Stones to Tickle Your Funny Bones and Eerie Epitaphs. Just have fun making up your own as well!
  3. Trace out the design of the tombstone on your plywood or styrofoam. A French curve or cans of various sizes are good tools to help with drawing curves if you are uncomfortable freelancing.
  4. Cut out the headstone. A jig saw works well for plywood. You can use a keyhole (drywall) saw or large utility knife for Styrofoam. Be sure to work with your Styrofoam outdoors as it can be very messy.
  5. Paint the headstone. For plywood, start with a base coat of grey or off-white. Next, apply a coat of stone texture spray paint to give it a weathered appearance. For Styrofoam, you can just use the stone texture paint. After the paint has dried, paint the epitaph and any other design elements (skull, scrollwork, etc) on to the stone with a small brush and black paint. For styrofoam stones, it helps to press the letters into the foam first before painting them.
  6. Secure your headstones. The last step is to attach mounting stakes to the back and place the stone in your yard. Use whatever you have available to keep your tombstones in place. For Styrofoam stones, plant stakes pushed into the bottom work well. For plywood stones, you can screw shelf brackets into the back then use tent stakes to secure them into the ground.

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October 18th, 2010

Choose A Halloween Party Theme

SpiritHalloween.comBefore you know it, it will be October 31st. Where will you be and what will you be doing on that date? If you are planning a Halloween party, here are some great ideas to keep your party eerie, frightening, and fun.

Start with Spooky 

Halloween is the one time of year when it is permitted to scare the ‘be-jeebers’ out of everybody. Nothing is off limits; the spookier, the better. Fine tune your scare tactics and bring your most ghoulish dreams to reality with a spooky Halloween party.

Pick a Theme 

You may want your party to revolve around something hideous and creepy, but there are so many variations on that idea. Here are some themes you can use for the different age groups:

Youth Theme Party Ideas 

  • Scary Monster Theme
  • Bad Guy Theme
  • Favorite Movie or Television Character
  • Jack-o-lantern Costume Theme
  • Princess Costume Theme

With kids, the possibilities are endless because they have so many interests, not the least of which is dressing up… for everything!

Teenage Theme Party Ideas 

  • Vampire Party
  • Favorite Undead Character
  • Favorite Ghoulish Mask
  • Twilight
  • Psychedelic

Using the same basic concept for teens as for younger children, you just think of popular television and movie characters and stories and pick a theme. For teenagers, just step it up a notch and give them more bizarre options. Throw out some ideas and let your teen run with it.

Adult Theme Party Ideas

  • So Sexy Monster Theme
  • Murder Mystery Night
  • Re-visit the 60s, 70s, 80s,or 90s
  • Nightie Night Pajama Party

If you are throwing an all-adult party, be sure to plan for a long night. Make it fun and worth the extra effort it takes to plan and execute a costume to fit the theme.  Find a babysitter whose willing to stay into the wee hours so you and your guests can howl at the moon. Couple parties as well as all-girl or guys night parties are especially fun for Halloween. Create some fun with this night away from the stress of work and family responsibilities.

The Planning 

As with any party, the first step is the planning. If Halloween falls on a weekend, great. Otherwise, choose a non-workday and non-school day that’s close to Halloween for the best result. If you pick a day too far before or after Halloween, you will lose the festive feeling. Unlike Christmas, the ‘season’ for Halloween is short.

Halloween falls on the same day every year, so we all know it’s coming, and when!  Sometimes the success of a party boils down to who gets their invitations out first. You will need to send out invitations before the social calendars fill up. Hash out the particulars of your party and let everyone know about the theme so they can get their costumes together.  Once the invitations are out, get the decorations and food planned and ready.  And, don’t forget your own costume!

Pick a theme for your Halloween party this year to make it even more spectacular.  Make the theme scary if you like, or just make it fun.  It doesn’t matter just as long as everyone’s having a good time!

Easy Halloween Costume Ideas 

Each year, people spend hundreds of dollars getting tricked out and trussed up for the spookiest night of the year. We’re talking about Halloween, of course. But, at what cost? You want to keep more money in your pocket, and we want to help you do just that.  Here are some easy Halloween costume ideas that are great for kids and adults alike, and that won’t put your budget at risk.

Kids and Teens Costumes 

When you think “easy” you think readily accessible materials, quick, and very little cost. Never fear, brave parents. You can create great costumes with materials you already have at home.  Very often these costumes are from ideas provided by your kids.

For the younger set, you may very likely need two costumes. Why two costumes? Kids like to dress up for their class Halloween party as well as trick-or-treating. Most kids like having a different costume for each party. After all, part of the fun of the Halloween costume is the surprise, or even shock. Those elements can be lost if the costume is worn twice.

To get started on a costume, look in the kids’ closets. If your kids are like most kids, they have a collection of play clothes including princess dresses, tiaras, cowboy hats, lassos, themed pajamas, and all sorts of accessories. The closets and dress-up bins are treasure troves.

Here’s an example for a young girl who wants to be a princess. If she has ever been to a Disney store or a Disney theme park, she may already have at least one princess dress. Start with that dress as the basis for your costume. Fancy it up with a tiara, a magic wand, and a pair of old shoes sprayed with glitter paint. What you don’t have can be found at the dollar store or in your closet. Try some simple face painting makeup to give her a resemblance of her favorite storybook royalty.

As an example for a teen who wants to be an old time rock and roll star, you may want to raid your own closet. Grab some old T-shirts and tear off the sleeves. Then find old jeans you can cut up and shred a bit. An old wig is fun, too, especially if the costume is more of a ‘heavy metal’ style rocker. Have your teen look through your old albums to get ideas, then go ahead and drag out that big box of old clothes and dig in.

Adult Costumes 

Here is where the process gets easier still. You don’t have to go to a costume shop to rent or buy a witch’s outfit or Dracula costume. It’s time to hit the closet again.

Let’s start with the guys. Do you like gumshoe detectives; Spade, Marlow, Columbo? If you have a long trench coat, all you need is a wrinkled shirt, slacks, a hat, and a fake cigarette. Is surfer dude more your speed? Grab the board, put on your wetsuit and slick that hair up. A pair of silky pajamas and a silky scarf tied around your neck and you are the world’s most famous playboy.

We haven’t left you out, girls. What about your favorite little black dress? Add some spider webbed gloves, stilettos, a long black wig, red lipstick and fangs, and you are the sexy vamp ready for a night of bloodletting. You can also raid his closet and work wonders with one of his old suits. Grab a martini glass and you are the perfect Madison Avenue advertising executive.

Looking your best on Halloween doesn’t have to mean a trip to the costume store to buy an expensive get up. Start with what you have right in your home and accessorize to the hilt. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a costume, you can shop at home and look like a million bucks.

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September 29th, 2010

Low Cost Ideas For A DIY Haunted House
Even adults like to venture into a haunted house at Halloween time. But, why would you want to pay $20, $30, or more to go out and see someone else’s haunted house when you can create one of your own?

It seems like everything has been done before right? Well, maybe not. Most haunted houses have the same goal – to scare the stuffing out of you. Your haunted house can have a different objective: creepy, disgusting, and fun. Halloween can be scary with a nice bit of gross factor, too.

Getting Started at Home

Look around your home. What do you already own that can be used?  Ask the whole family to come up with ideas.  Let’s take a look at a few:

  • Old sheets – Cut them up and wrap them around big styrofoam balls (you can buy them at any craft store). Hang them from the trees in your front yard. For a more dramatic effect, glue glow-in-the-dark eyes and mouths on them.
  • Silhouettes – You can buy these, but if you have old fabric or construction paper at home do them yourself. There are also online stencils you can use to create black cat, pumpkin, witch and monster silhouettes for your windows.
  • Yarn – White, black, and orange yarn can be used to create gigantic spider webs for the yard and the corners of your rooms. Stretch out a few cotton balls across the webs to resemble wrapped prey.
  • Fruit – Peel apples, pears, or even potatoes. Carve deep spooky faces into them. Place them onto a cookie sheet in the oven so that they can dry and shrink. Now, you have just created ghastly shrunken heads you can strategically place around the house.

Heading to the Store

After you have scavenged the house and the attic for items, it’s time to head to the store. Dollar stores and thrift shops usually have awesome accessories: skeletons, spiders, witches brooms and hats, decorative cups, and other appropriately spooky things.

Here are some more ideas for your DIY masterpiece:

  • Spooky lab – Fill mason jars with water and food coloring to make them dark. Float plastic eyeballs, skeletons, plastic animals, plastic severed hands, and other gross items in them and set them on a counter. To lend a spooky appearance, place a tub of dry ice in the room for a foggy atmosphere. Be sure to get plenty though because it doesn’t last long.
  • Strobe light – Use dark colors like red, black, and orange to give off a frightening aura to your rooms. How about creepy crawlies suspended from the ceiling with clear twine? When the strobe light hits, listen for the screams.
  • Ambiance – You’ll want all the feeling of Halloween, so you’ll need a few items to set the mood.  How about food coloring and corn syrup to create blood, glow-in-the-dark paint for mirrors and windows, and CDs of scary sounds and music.

With only a few dollars spent, you can outfit each room of your home to scare even the bravest guests.  Use your imagination and turn your home into an eerie haunted house.

Have a spooky great time!

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August 24th, 2010

26 Inexpensive and Fun Autumn Family Activities


Autumn ScarecrowCheck out these great, fun and cheap autumn activities for you and your family to enjoy:

  1. Apple cider is its best during autumn, and when heated it makes a wonderful hot beverage to warm little bellies up after they’ve been playing in crisp weather.
  2. Bundle up, as the weather is getting colder. Just to be silly, have a contest to see how many layers of clothes your kids can put on at a time. Prizes can also be given for how quickly they get their extra clothes on and off.
  3. Corn roasts can be particularly wonderful in early autumn when conducted with fresh sweet corn over a barbecue grill.
  4. Drive to a place where trees are plentiful, just to observe the turning of the leaves.
  5. Every autumn, some birds fly south for the winter. Notice what types of birds live near you and look up whether they migrate or stay put. See if you recognize any other kinds of birds in transit, like Canada geese.
  6. Figure out how many days there are in autumn by counting the days on the calendar between the first day of autumn and the first day of winter.
  7. Go on a nature hike at a state park, and bring along some popcorn and warm apple cider in a thermos.
  8. Hay-rides are often sponsored by nearby farms or community groups. Look for one and join in the fun.
  9. In the mornings during autumn, you can often see your breath when you walk outside. Help your kids look up why this happens and ask them to explain it to you.
  10. Jump in piles of raked leaves, but make sure the rake is somewhere else first.
  11. Kandy Korn is a favorite autumn candy. Fill a large jar with Kandy Korn and have your kids guess the number of pieces in the jar. You will have to count them beforehand and keep people from eating any.
  12. Leaf rubbings can be made with a crayon and a piece of paper placed over a leaf. The leaves you make can then be decorated and hung up as an autumn decoration as well as a teaching tool for helping your children learn the difference between different types of leaves.
  13. Make pumpkin loaves with your kids to give to grandparents, teachers or others as a wonderful autumn treat. Those of you who don’t bake well can fool everyone with boxed mix.
  14. Nobody likes a spoilsport. Many sports are active during autumn, so take your children to a local school’s sporting event, like a basketball or football game. Cheer for a team and explain the object and rules of the game.
  15. Oranges, reds and browns are prevalent during autumn. Call out one of the color names and have your kids make a list of everything they can think of which is that color. The child with the most things on their list wins.
  16. Potatoes are incredibly versatile. Make a list with your kids of every way you can think of to cook a potato, and then have them help you prepare potatoes in each way down the list.
  17. Quite appropriate also is to make lists together of sights, sounds and smells associated with autumn and help each child develop their list into a poem that can be read to their class at school or before Thanksgiving dinner.
  18. Read your kids a spooky story like “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” “The Telltale Heart” or a Goosebumps book. Then you can make puppets and act out the story for grandparents.
  19. Scarecrows can be silly or scary. Build a scarecrow with your kids out of household items and put it in the yard.
  20. Turn all your clocks back one hour on the appropriate day, and explain to your kids why we have daylight savings time. Ask them to figure out whether you get one hour more of sleep or one hour less of sleep during the autumn.
  21. Use strips of colored construction paper to weave interesting placemats for Thanksgiving dinner.
  22. Very soon it will be Halloween. Have your kids draw pictures of what costume they’d like to wear this year, or have them cut out pictures from magazines and make a collage of Halloween-themed things.
  23. Weathervanes are often depicted on the tops of farmhouses or barns. Find a weathervane near where you live, point it out to the kids and explain why it’s there. Then with tape, scissors, tin foil, cut up pizza boxes and cardboard rolls that come from paper towels, try to make one together.
  24. X-amine the animals around where you live and see how their behavior changes with the seasons. Make a list of the animals you see and how they prepare for and endure colder weather.
  25. You could make garlands for your outside trees by stringing together popcorn, cranberries or paper designs. You could also make birdfeeder ornaments by putting peanut butter on pinecones and hanging them up. This way, you’ll help the birds and squirrels prepare for winter as well as have fun decorating trees.
  26. Zzzzzzz. When the weather is cold outside, it is blissful and relaxing to hide under a big comforter and take an afternoon nap with your kids.

Visit us at Operation Letters to Santa for almost 1000 pages of Holiday Activities, Christmas Carols, Christmas Sheet Music, Holiday recipes, Free gifts and downloads and so much more!

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August 15th, 2010

Add Fun to Fall Functions with Photo Props & Stand-Ins

Source: ShindigzParty 

From the first of the harvest festivals to Oktoberfest and beyond, you can add both to décor and to event activities with a fun fall Photo Stand In from ShindigZ Party.

Here’s the scoop on our photo stand-ins. Colorful and theme-perfect, they have cutouts for attendees to place their faces for hilarious photo keepsakes. Some are right-sized for setting up on a table, counter or bar, while others are tall enough to sit on the floor near the entrance or other center of the party action. The tall stand-ins can be personalized with two lines of event information or seasonal message or greeting. All are free-standing cardboard pieces that are reusable if handled and stored with care.

Harvest Party Scarecrow Photo Prop

Harvest Party Scarecrow Photo Prop

  • For any sort of fall theme, pick out a fall harvest standup large or small. These photo ops feature scarecrows and harvest fruits and colors from down on the farm.
  • Greet Oktoberfest guests with a large, personalized Oktoberfest Photo Stand-In along with other pieces from our full line of Oktoberfest Party Decorations.
  • Looking for something a little more haunting? Our selection of Halloween photo cutouts gives you choices of classic Halloween characters and cut-out faces for one or two people at a time.
  • Photo props and stand-ins are sure to add an unexpected, extra punch of decorating flair as well as a favored activity to your fall events. Visit our Photo Stand In pages to match a photo prop to your event!

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