Halloween is my second favorite holiday, mainly because it’s near my birthday! When I was young, my Mom would throw a Halloween themed birthday party for me every single year and I just loved it.
This year I wanted to throw my own Halloween bash (Boos and Booze) on my birthday weekend. As mommas we are always so busy planning parties for our kids that we don’t plan parties for ourselves! We got a sitter and had the best party we have ever thrown.
Unfortunately we had waited to take photos until the last second and it was already dark… so most of them did not turn out! Learned my lesson on that one. Always set up HOURS early and take your photos then.(If you want those photos course!) Also, we had people showing up over an hour early so we were running around last minute trying to get the food out. It was a little chaotic but everyone had such a good time! No regrets.
I bought most of my decorations and supplies from Target, but did find a couple things here and there at Cost Plus World Market, Joanns, Michaels, the Dollar Tree and Goodwill.
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We are kind of known to throw themed parties like this and I have people always asking me how I do it. Some people assume I spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on these soirees, and that is definitely not true.
We did spend a bit more on this one because we can re-use all the Halloween decorations for next year if we throw another Halloween party. But my advice is this… plan EARLY. I have been planning and gathering things for a few months now. I knew about how much roughly I wanted to spend and made it work. Always remember that you may be forgetting things so last minute trips to the store the week of should be budgeted in. If you don’t have months or weeks to plan a party, no worries! Good music and good food come first, then if you have time you can decorate! I have thrown some super last minute parties in my past that ended up turning out great!
If you are on a super tight budget- just head to thrift stores and get crafty. I got a few things from Goodwill that I turned into decor but I only took one trip there. If you know in advance that you are hosting a get together, taking several trips to the thrift stores is worth it, since the shelves are always changing and you never know what you can find.
I found this gem at my local Goodwill and knew it was a steal. It’s a cheese plate with a beautiful glass dome that I spray painted a matte black. (Head to Michaels and use a 40% off coupon for the spray paint). I added this skull from Cost Plus World Market under the glass and layered cheese and crackers around it.
TIP: making little conversation areas throughout the party will help break up the group a bit if you are tight on space. I had the living room with some snacks and playing cards, the table on the patio outside with some snacks, a couple small tables and chairs around the fire pit and then of course people were in the garage and mingling in the kitchen as well.
Another quick DIY was spray painting (that same matte black) these candle sticks. I got two for a buck! Can’t beat that. I was looking for a candelabra and maybe some interesting vases to spray paint as well but I honestly just didn’t have time to head back to Goodwill very often. I got these creepy dripping taper candles from Joann’s that worked perfectly for the kitchen table.
I also updated my hoop wall art to be festively spooky with some fabric from Joann’s. (Get the Joann’s app for a TON of coupons! You can use several coupons for one purchase! I got this fabric incredibly cheap!)
Getting a bag of spider webs is a super cheap way to “spookify” everything in your house. I draped it over everything. Picture frames, mirrors, lamps, shelves… it made everything that was not a Halloween decoration more festive. You can buy the webbing at Goodwill or the Dollar Tree. Black creepy cloth is also a cheap way to decorate. Goodwill and the Dollar Tree have it. We draped it over al the doorways and small tables outside.
Another fairly cheap way to turn your house into a sinister abode is getting colored or blacklight light bulbs. We replaced every single lightbulb in our bathroom, kitchen, living room and hallways and the glow was perfect. (NOT perfect for photos… lesson learned). We found them for $1.50 each at a local Halloween store.
A thrifty way to cover walls or large tables is to use black ground covering! We have this huge buffet table on the patio and we covered up all the tools in the garage with black ground covering we already had.
Something that is so simple and I always get compliments on is my bar cart. Which actually was an old rusty utility cart I found in the garbage. I took it all apart, spray painted it a matte white and I use it for all my gatherings. (It also functions as a plant holder when I am not entertaining!)
Styling a bar cart is so much fun and guests will love it. I like to stock mine with some basic liqueur and a few popular mixers. I will have some out on the cart and some in the fridge and as the party goes on, I will keep re-stocking the mixers on the cart. (TIP: I keep the mixers in the fridge just until the party starts and then I bring them out so they are chilled)
- Rum (dark and white)
- Cranberry juice
- Red Bull
- Tonic Water
- Pineapple Juice
I also served a Hocus Pocus punch but put that right on the kitchen table near the bar cart as there just wasn’t enough room to have it on the cart itself. I unfortunately did not get any photos of that either but it was delicious! I made two batches!
Here you can shop some of the decor that I bought for my party:
For the food I kept it fairly simple:
- Cheese puffs
- Potato Chips
- Halloween Popcorn ( see recipe below)
- Black Twizzlers
- Veggie Tray with dip
- Dishes of Halloween candy
- Caramel Apples
- Cookies from Target
- Sriracha Queso Dip with wheat thins
- Gummy worms
- Pumpkin spice cupcakes from Target
- Caramel apple brie crackers (see recipe below)
TIP: Try to keep it balanced with both sweet and salty snacks!
This is a very simple party snack I serve all the time. I melt a bit of white chocolate in the microwave and drizzle it over freshly popped salted popcorn. Then I add in festive sprinkles and voila! I use cookie sheets lined with waxed paper to make it easier to transfer into the bowl. Wait a couple of hours for the chocolate to harden before transferring it to your serving bowl.
Caramel Apple Brie Triscuits:
This is another very simple and fast snack or appetizer that I love to serve at Fall gatherings!
I thinly slice up an apple and layer it on top of a thin slice of brie on a Triscuit. I then take caramel syrup (I just use the kind you put on your ice cream) and drizzle it on top. SO easy and delicious!
We had the party in the living room, kitchen, garage and out on the patio. It was a perfect night for a bonfire. (I was going to serve marshmallows but dreaded the thought of the sticky mess getting tracked all over the house like it did for our 4th of July party!)
The garage was the beer pong table (You are never too old for beer pong, ok?) and so was the photo booth. I got the props from Target and added in a few random items I already had. The backdrop that came with the props was quite small so I hung a black table cloth from the dollar tree behind it.
Every party I throw has a photo booth and games. Why? Because I want to party like I’m a kid again and win prizes. Drinking and mingling is fine but nothing beats a group of friends belly laughing while they are looking ridiculous playing a silly game. As parents, sometimes I feel like life is just too serious. We are always “adulting” so hard we forget to laugh and play. That’s why I host these parties… to let loose and have a great time with friends!
We played the mummy wrap game, which was a game we played every single year at my birthday parties when I was a kid. Head to the dollar tree and get the cheap stuff, and buy more than what you think you will need! I did not get any photos of this one because I was the judge and having a grand ole time.
The Mummy Wrap Game:
Break up into groups of three. Two people wrapping and one person being mummified. The point is to be the first group to be finished wrapping your mummy friend from head to toe. You can also use a timer.
I wanted to make the prizes quirky and fun so I filled cellophane party bags (which I got from Target) with random goodies. Creepy finger bubbles, candy, a little shooter of Fireball whiskey with an apple cider packet, and scratch-off tickets.
The Costume Contest :
A Halloween party is not complete without a costume contest! We originally had planned to get some pretty big prizes this year but kept it simple and silly with ribbons from Target and little bags full of goodies for the prizes.
I made these voting ballots where you can print here.
- Scratch-off lottery tickets
- Bottles of liquor or wine
- Halloween movies
- Bottle openers
- Wine stoppers
- Giftcards to Starbucks, Redbox, Target etc
- Hot sauce gift set
- Baked goods (think cookies, brownies, cake pops…)
- Gourmet coffee or tea
- Playing cards
- Drink coasters
- Energy drinks
- A fun mug
- A good water bottle
- Champagne gummy bears
TP: We like to buy a case of water and pass them out to encourage everyone to stay hydrated! This time we were having such a good time that we left them out in the car and forgot to hand them out…oops!
We bought to hook up to our phone for music and it worked perfectly ! I recommend spending time making a great playlist on Spotify! We spent several hours building our playlist and it was worth it !
Though I was pretty bummed I didn’t get any photos of all the decor in the garage and on the patio, I was just too busy having a great time! And that is what it’s really all about anyways, right?
I already am planning next years’ Halloween party (even though I am STILL cleaning up the yard from this one. A toilet paper game with OUR crazy friends just didn’t end well!). I know, I am insane. I just love to throw parties and have a good time with friends for the holidays. Living out of state from family means making a kind of new family out here, and we sure do have one CRAZY family here in Colorado, but love them all.
I hope you got some inspiration and ideas to throw your own Boos and Booze party!
Thanks for stopping by!
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