With Halloween just around the corner everyone is getting excited and shopping for costumes. I have to admit it is a pretty fun time of the year – everyone gets a chance to dress up, there are plenty of great parties and there is more than enough candy to be had. There are so many options to choose from in fact, that it becomes difficult to make a choice, especially if you want to coordinate with others and throw a great Halloween party. There are easy and fairly cheap ways to produce some excellent DIY Halloween decorations and with a little bit of know-how and imagination you can make some great horror-themed snacks as well. Setting a particular theme – vampires vs. zombies, horror movie villains only, black and white, etc – can also be a great way to spice things up.
Great DIY decorations
You don’t have to spend a fortune on Halloween decorations to make your home look spooky and cool – remember, most haunted houses are creepy because they are run down, with torn curtains, cracks, rickety old furniture, webs and the odd skeleton lying around. This is not a look that is too difficult to replicate. You need to use the right colors – black like the night, red like blood, pumpkin orange, zombie green, ghostly white, you get the picture – and focus on simple modifications. A bunch balloons in the aforementioned colors and a couple of magic markers to draw scary faces, bats or spiders on them are neat little decorations. Some thin see-through black and white fabric, with a few tears here and there, torn up canvas or medical gauze with red stains lying around, an ominous wreath of flowers, candles, some skulls or skeletons, a few cardboard bats, black cats or ghosts and a few chains will be enough to make a great Halloween party setting. Take your worn out old furniture and throw some paint on it for that abandoned house feel.
Costumes are a breeze to come by this time of year – tones of stores are selling them, you can buy them cheap online or even rent a more elaborate piece. You should try to enforce some type of dress code to avoid having seven Captain Americas and eight twerking Miley Cyrus impersonators showing up at your doorstep. I like to ban all pop culture items less than a couple of years old to avoid having a clone party. You can put a twist on classic imagery like vampires, ghosts – you and your friends can come as the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future - or zombies, which can be assimilated into pretty much any other costume, from schoolgirl to soldier. There are plenty of really creepy monsters in different nations’ folklore and you can always draw inspiration from mythology and come dressed as gods of the underworld or major demons from various mythologies. You can get a ready-made costume and do some modifications or simply go out and buy a few cheap trinkets and make your own from scratch if you have the time and skill to pull it off.
Horror-themed cookies, snacks and cocktails
It is pretty easy to find all sorts of candy during Halloween, but you can save quite a bit of money if you make your own. There are very few things in this world that taste as good as freshly baked cookies and you can find plenty of great recipes online. You don’t have to go overboard with it, just focus on the decoration. Just get a variety of cookie dough cutter shapes like ghosts or bats, use some dark chocolate and food coloration or just bake a simple cake and use the icing to create patterns like spider webs and pumpkin heads. Using a green food color for the outer layer and having cherry filling will give of a nice zombie wibe when the cake is cut. You can find plenty of recipes for cocktails that fit the occasion, and a particularly easy way of making a spooky cocktail is to just add some dry ice which will give off light smoke. Adding some Irish cream into a mixture of vodka and lime juice will result in the cream forming a brain like shape near the surface of the greenish liquid – zombie brains anyone? Other great ingredients include dark rum, grenadine and red wine.
With a bit of creative thinking and some help from your friends and family you can throw a great Halloween party without spending too much money and still manage to make everything seem authentic and really spooky.
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