Studio 5 Contributor Risa Baker shares her ideas for a successful Ghoul’s Night party.
5 Steps to a successful Halloween party for girlfriends:
1) Choose your theme and colors, and the mood you want to achieve.
2) Use a great invitation
3) Involve your guests
4) Make the decorations unexpected and memorable
5) Send a party favor home that can be used or displayed in the future
6) Offer awards for costume and food
THEME AND COLORS
I love my girlfriends, and thought it would be so fun to throw a party just for them. I wanted them to feel when they walked through the door that the party was not for kids or couples, just for girlfriends. When throwing a party just for girls of any age, you can‘t go wrong with pink! I decided my colors would be hot pink and black. I wanted my friends to embrace the little girl inside, and just have fun!
The invitation sets the mood for the party, and is kind of a preview of what to expect at the party. I wanted this to be sassy and sophisticated, and still girly, with a little bit of bling. I have a Silhouette by Quick Cutz, and found the silhouette of the girl for the front of the invitation there. I spent a fair amount of time working on these, but it was worth the work! I heard over and over again how cute they were, and I think it helped people really want to come. The invitation included asking the girls to dress up, and bring a food dish to share. I told them there would be a costume and food competition, with awards to follow.
DECORATIONS & PARTY FAVORS
I wanted everyone to have a clear view of each other on the table, so I pushed four long tables together, and covered them with black plastic table cloths from the dollar store, and decorated the center of the table. I used scrapbook paper for placemats, and went with paper plates, which is more economical when hosting a large crowd, but I did make fabric napkins in 8 different prints, from zebra to damask. I knew I would use them over again, and I have. I tied each with a pink organza ribbon, and placed an inexpensive spider ring in the middle.
I tried to take inspiration from everyday life, and put a Halloween twist on it! Tulle skirts are SO popular right now, as are big flowers. I was wondering how I could make a skeleton more whimsical and less creepy, and came up with the ballerina girl. I carried the theme throughout.
Idea #1: Ballerina Skeletons
These small ballerinas are what I gave for party favors. They are super inexpensive to make, and only take a little time.
1) Skeletons from Dollar Tree. 4 for $1.They also have them at Michael’s, but they are $4.99 for 4.
2) Black spray paint from the home improvement or craft store.
3) Jewels – any craft store. I used small silver ones I got at the dollar store that were originally for blinging out your cell phone. They had adhesive on the back.
4) Tulle and thread
5) Nail polish – bright pink
6) Flower beads from any craft store.
7) Glue – I prefer E-6000
Instructions for making the skeleton favors:
1) Spray paint the skeletons. It usually takes two coats.
2) Attach eyes by dabbing a small amount of glue on the back using a pin and tweezers, or using the kind that are sticky on the back.
3) Cut tulle into 26″ by 4″ or 5″ strips.
4) Baste stitch down the center of each strip.
5) Gather the strips to the desired length.
6) Tie around the back of the skeleton on the hip bones, not the waist. Remember these are stylish ladies, and we want the skirt to hit in the right place J Skirt will be two layers.
7) Place a small dab of glue on the back of the skirt for extra reinforcement.
8) Give your skeleton a pedicure. You can give her a mani/pedi if you let it dry before hooking the skirt on. It will take a few coats depending on the polish you choose.
9) Glue the bead in place
10) Tip: This is more fun with friends. I had three cute girlfriends that helped me do this, and it was so fun that way!
Idea #2: Girlfriend Mummies
What you’ll need:
1) Plastic Skeletons (Dollar Tree)
2) Pink spray paint (or any color you choose)
3) Small jewels for eyes (Any craft store)
4) Glue E-6000 (Craft store)
5) Muslin (Any fabric store or Wal-mart)
1) Remove skeletons from packaging, and spray paint
2) Hook jewels on eyes
3) Rip muslin in ½ inch strips. Cut or tear out a triangle for the bottom of the dress. Glue the bottom (underside) of the dress on.
4) Glue a muslin strip on, and start wrapping around the body of the skeleton. Glue the final piece in back, and cut off the excess. Tie a small strip around the head for the head wrap. Cut off the excess. Glue where necessary.
Idea #3: Black Crows
What you’ll need:
1) Black Crows (Dollar Tree)
2) Witch Hats (Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft store – $3.99 for 6, or use coupon!)
3) Optional – 2″ circle or scalloped punch (Michael’s), paper of your choice, including glitter paper. Any ribbon or embellishments you choose.
4) Cotton Balls
6) Twigs from the yard
7) Glue and glue gun
Instructions and Options:
Option 1) Stuff hat with cotton ball, and glue in top. Glue the other side of cotton ball to the crow’s head.
Option 2) Punch out a 2″ circle of paper. Stuff hat with cotton ball, and glue in top. Glue the other side of cotton ball and rim of hat to the circle of paper. Glue to crows head.
Option 3) Punch a 2″ circle out of paper. Use knife to cut two small slits 1/3 of an inch apart in the middle of the circle. Thread the ribbon through the circle. Stuff hat with cotton ball, and glue in top. Glue the other side of cotton ball and rim of hat to the circle of paper. Glue the hat to the crow’s head, and tie the ribbon around the neck in a bow. Glue the bow to the bird so the ribbon looks nice.
Note: If you like, you can attach the crow to a twig and place on the plate, or napkin. You could also attach a small note to the foot as an invitation to the party, or as a thank you for coming. You could attach them to a centerpiece, and give them away when the party is over.
I had two categories:
Daringly Dressed Devilish Diva. I was worried people wouldn’t want to dress up, but they totally did, and it made it more fun!
Most Dashingly Delish Halloween Dish. I knew my main concern for the party was the décor, and I wanted to focus most of my energy and money on that, so I asked the girls to help out with the food in four categories: appetizer, main dish, drink, and dessert. I asked them to call in advance and tell me what they wanted to bring so all the slots would be filled properly. I was worried about asking them to bring food at first, but they had so much fun with it! I have a collection of Halloween magazines I have collected over the years, and told them if they needed to, they could borrow them for ideas. They totally delivered, and it was SO fun to see all the creative things they brought!
They placed their votes in this dish I decorated by taping ribbon from Hobby Lobby around the perimeter. The award was this mummy that I made by spraying the skeleton pink, hooking in pink eyes, and wrapping her in torn muslin. I then glued her to this spray painted 2X4, and put an award label that I printed on the front. Again, this was super unexpected and so fun! I passed out little gifts with the trophies as well.
This Ghoul’s Night In Was The Best There’s Ever Been!
Check out Risa’s blog for more inspiration, tips, and party ideas!