Friday, July 29, 2011

Easy, Last-Minute Halloween Party Decoration Ideas

Creepy Cookies

Cookies as Halloween decorations? Why yes! Most grocery stores sell the batter tubes with Halloween-themed shapes in the centre. These are time-efficient and super easy to bake, so even hosts like me (who are not allowed in the kitchen because of previous fire-related incidents) would be hard-pressed to screw them up. Bake LOTS of these cookies. Place the finished cookies around your home on plates, in baskets or around pumpkin bases as a yummy Halloween d├ęcor accent! The next day, wrap the un-eaten cookies in cellophane and give them away at work or to those vendors you see that day (the guy at Starbucks who gets your chai latte just right every time!). While those cookies are baking...

Put out some pumpkins

Pumpkins are a great way to decorate, and are readily available at this time of year. Pick up full-sized pumpkins for your party area or the front steps of your house. Hollow out mini pumpkins for easy taper candle holders. Gut a large pumpkin and place a bowl inside for a festive punch holder. Draw faces on your large pumpkins for a comedic yet spooky effect.

Have a few extra minutes? Hollow out a large pumpkin, but don't chuck the innards. Carve a scowling face with a large, wide-open mouth. Grab those gooey insides and stream out of the mouth. Your pumpkin looks like he has eaten bad sushi, and is a hilarious conversation piece. Estimated time: Ten minutes.

Spike your punch - with food colouring

Use food colouring to turn your bunch black, blood-red, oozy green or any other combination you can create! Float Halloween-shaped ice cubes in the beverage to punch up your punch! Voila! A multi-functional decoration your guests will drink up!

Stage a gory accident

This week, you're not to feel bad about not visiting the recycling depot! Take a pair of pants (denim jeans work the best) and stuff them with plastic bags (or, if you're a dutiful recycler, clothes from your dirty laundry basket). Place the waistband area under a heavy piece of furniture (a couch, trunk or entertainment unit). Place shoes at the end and cover a bit of the shoe with the bottom leg of the pants. You now have a horrific accident that will give your guests a giggle. Ketchup blood is optional. You can take the plastic bags to the recycling depot tomorrow.

Light it up

Purchase coloured light bulbs for an eerie ambiance. Cut bats, ghosts and/or witches out of black construction paper and stick on the inside of lamp shades for creepy decorations that cast spooky shadows!

Ghosts that just hang around

Take a kitchen refuse bag and cut into squares, varying in size. In the middle of each square, place a wad of paper towel or a plastic bag (scrunched up tight). Pull the corners together and tie with an elastic band, ribbon or string. Use a Sharpie to add facial expressions. Instant ghost! Hang on doorknobs, from the ceiling (using string and a thumb tac), stairwell railings, etc.

These tips will ensure a quick and easy decoration fix. And the best part: minimal clean up the next day! Happy Halloween!

Mystery Maiden writes and facilitates murder mystery, general mystery, forensics and custom mystery games for Shot In The Dark Mystery Games. For more party host tips, quizzes and more, visit . The Mystery Maiden can also be reached via email at

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