Creating a table atmosphere that is inviting is something I try to do no matter if I’m hosting a kids birthday party or holiday family dinner or a dinner with friends. Like setting the mood with the proper type of invitation, the table setting can also set the mood to a lively one or an elegant one.
Here we used burlap that I had used for another function and created a spider overlay that you can see in another post. They were made out of a fuzzy yarn from the hobby shop. Actually now that the party is over, I use the spider webs by hanging them on windows and around when decorating for Halloween. My kids love them and I love them because they are home made and are unique.
After you’ve covered up the plastic kids tables, you can go ahead and set up plates and cups and such. You don’t have to get it all the same color. Mixing the colors and throwing in a themed napkin give it just the right amount of whimsy. I personally don’t like many of the kid themed plates but if you find one of those you like, that could be your bit of whimsy and then go solid with everything else. This setting would not look half as good if everything had a spider/spider web on them…..the plate, the cup and the napkin. Don’t go all mono on me…..mix it up. Then, when appropriate, add the party hat to the table setting. It gives the kids something to play with while they are waiting on their food!
There are so many ideas that come with having a Halloween party. Whether you are planning just a children’s Halloween Party or Birthday Party with a Halloween theme, it will be hard to narrow what you want to do! I had that problem at least with this party for my daughter’s birthday which happened to be in December! Instead of fighting it, I incorporated as many ideas as I could muster.
Halloween Party Crown Favors
Kids love to wear crowns. At least at the younger ages. It’s a simple form of dress up and all kids love to dress up. Many gown ups still like to dress up. I decided to offer two types of crowns for the kids to wear. Or actually a hat and a crown. I found this cool spooky scrapbook paper on sale and decided to make several simple style hats out of that paper. Then my son wanted a crown, so I took bulletin board border and cut it in half along a jagged line to make crowns. Here is how I made them.
Crown How To:
1. Cut from bulletin board border. (See below a template I created for my crowns.)
2. Spray inside with glow in the dark paint.
3. Wind up and paperclip them ready for the party.
4. At party have mom help with measuring kids heads and stapling them the proper size. (This is one of those hats that if you don’t get the right size, they won’t stay on very well.)
5. Have scissors ready to cut excess.
Halloween Birthday Party Hats
Hat How to:
1. Use my template provided below and cut out hats.
2. Tape, glue or staple them closed.
3. Notice there is a slight curve cut on the bottom edge on either side of the hat (template).
4. Slip light weight elastic through the slit and tie off. Repeat for the other end of the elastic.
What you’ll need:
Light Weight Elastic
Bulletin Board Border in festive motif
Heavy craft paper with theme colors or design
Krylon Glowz – Glow in the dark paint
Food for your child’s birthday party need not be elaborate! The kids don’t really care what the food is……as long as you feed them. Ha! I didn’t want anything like pizza in my house to get all over everything. So, I opted for sandwiches and fruit. You could have a couple of different kinds of sandwiches but really keeping it simple, makes it just simple. There is no time taken up by them making a decision. There are no hurt feelings if you run out of one type of sandwich. It’s just the way to go.
Easily Prepared Fruit for Parties
Halloween Birthday parties lend themselves to a great deal of creativity in all areas. I decided to spice up the sandwiches a little by cutting them into ghosts. These are PB&Js. You’ll want to insure there are no nut allergic kids coming to the party before going this route. Luckily, we didn’t have any! They were made and cut and laid out on the platter first thing in the morning. With a little plastic wrap, done! There was a bit of waste so insure you don’t slather your peanut butter and jelly all over the bread but get a feel for where the cutter will be and cover that area only. AND it’s best to put on the peanut butter and jelly before cutting rather than after which will cause a mess and the ghosts won’t look near as cool. Then with the fruit, go ahead and cut them apart and have it ready to pop right into their mouths. I wanted the least amount of time to be taken eating and I didn’t want a mess of food trash. But if you ware trying to eat up time at the party, then by all means, let them peal their own tangerines and you could even have the kids slather their own sandwiches. Provide a number of cutters for them to select from and let them create their own sandwiches. Just depends on what your plans are for the party. But that would be fun for the kids to do. Just more time and messier.
All and all, you don’t need to stress over the food at a party. It is the least of your worries. And if there is a kid that doesn’t like what you are serving…..because there will be…..just move on and tell them there are no other options.
One of the activities during my daughter’s birthday party was allowing the kids to create their own trick or treating bag to be used later in the party. The blank bags were left on the tables to decorate as they arrived and once they were finished with their artistic creation, I had tags ready for them to slap on their bags so that they could dry in the corner safely and not get torn apart during other events during the party.
Sure you could use regular tags and write everyone’s name on it to have ready but what is the fun in that? I would recommend for sure filling out the tags in advance if you don’t decide to create them. More often that not multiple kids are finished at the same time and you don’t want to have to stress over filling out their names at the last minute.
Halloween Trick or Treat Bags in Wait
I had seen Martha Stewart do something similar to this and then used them as necklaces. But I made up my own template and went with the tag idea instead. Having them all on the counter in my kitchen allowed kids and/or parents to easily find their kids tag and I didn’t even need to be involved. I would recommend having a few extras made that are blank for those show up guests that you weren’t expecting!!!
How to: Take a piece of wax paper and place it over either our template or your own ghost template. I used two different ones just to spice it up a bit. Really you don’t need a template. I just found it faster as I was making a large number of them. Next, apply a liberal amount of glue to the wax paper. Using a tooth pick guide the glue into the design you’d like. Mine created bubbles that I tried popping with the toothpick and was not always successful. I don’t think that matters too much. Set it aside to dry and after it’s completely dry, peal it off the wax paper. Write the kids names in sharpie. Cut 2 slits at the top and insert ribbon to tie one your favor.
I will give you one word of caution. I don’t know if it was the inexpensive nature of the glue I used or if I tried to dry them too fast, but some of mine got brittle. So, you might not want to do this too far in advance and you might want to put away from curious onlookers so that they don’t all fall apart before you need them. If you try this and use a great glue, share with us what you did so we can all benefit! Enjoy the project.
Resources:Ghost Template, School Glue, Ribbon, Wax Paper, straight edged blade.
Because I knew that we were going trick or treating during my daughter’s birthday party, I wanted to have some special treat bags for them to carry. I didn’t want just plastic or paper bags…..although now that I’m thinking about it…..it would be just as fun for the kids to decorate paper sacks to use as their treat bags. And less work for you. But who wants less work? Ha! I seem to make things more complicated that they can be…..says my husband. It’s simply that I like things to be just so.
So! We wanted treat bags for the party. After looking online, I couldn’t find at the time a plain treat bag that I liked or that was the right size. Thus, I made them. A bunch of them.
Halloween Trick or Treat Bag Supplies
Supplies you’ll need are shown here. The bag…..if you can find it, certainly purchase them. Or make them and I explain how I made mine below. Having a smattering of randomly size and shape pieces pre-cut was helpful as all the kids had to do was to apply the faces to the bags with a fabric glue that I had poured out in a plate for all to share.
I turned this into a project to give the kids something to do as all the kids were arriving. This party was in our home and our living room turned into party central. And we had a tent. First stop was the living room where the kids made their own party bags. I had 3 tables set out with chairs and disposable table cloths that could be whipped up and thrown away for phase two of the party.
Halloween Treat Bag Step 1
I’m sure there are 20 ways you could make this treat bag. This is only 1 way. I didn’t do a very good job of photographing each step. You’ll need to read the steps here and just use the images as overall reference. Felt was the easiest fabric to use as it holds it’s shape pretty well and you don’t have to sew under raw edges!!! For the handles I cut 2 strips 10″ long x 1″ wide for each bag. To give it a bit of a finished look, you can sew the two edges together longways leaving an 1″ or so on either end to connect to the bag. To me it make it look more like a “bag handle.”
Halloween Treat Bag Step 2
For the bag itself you’ll need (2) pieces of felt 10″ x 8″ wide and (2) pieces 10″ x 4″ wide. May I repeat that there are many ways of skinning this cat and this is just my own twisted way of making these. My biggest goal is that I wanted to be boxy and I wanted to top stitch the edges. OK. First step is to make a box of sorts. The two wider pieces of felt are the front and back. The two smaller pieces are the sides. Start seaming or top-stitching a front to the side and then that side to the back. Seam that back to the second side and then complete the box by seaming the other side to the front panel. Now you have made a “box that could stand up but has no bottom yet. I started using a fancy stitch but it was taking too long and ended up just doing a top stitching seam.
Making Halloween Trick or Treat Bags
Turn this “box” inside out and then fold the “box” flat matching the side seams. At this point the side panels will be folded in half and the front and back should be against each other. Seam across the bottom about 1/2″.
Now you’ll want to make your corners. With the “box” still inside out, pull the bottom corners out to seam. Look at the “step 1″ photo above to see how the corner should be pulled out and seam a triangle and cut off extra. If this is confusing to anyone, let me know and I’ll try and explain better.
Turn right side out, attach the handles either by hand or seaming on your sewing machine. And you are done! Well, until the party. At the party, let the kids use the cut black felt pieces to use their imagination in creating their own pumpkin face!
Use this template for anything. We used it to make eye ball shirt favors for my daughters Halloween birthday party. You don’t need to paint it perfectly. But I would leave more of a seam allowance around the edge than shown here!
Part of decorating for your party is the reveal or displaying of the party favors. If the favors are colorful and eye catching make them front and center. This will also help you remember to give them out at the end of the party. I don’t know about you but I get so busy with the party that it seems like a kid always slips out the door without me having said “good-bye” or given them their favor. Horror.
These shirts that I made were a great addition to the decorations for our prep table. I had a table dedicated to holding everything for the party. This party was at my house and my kitchen being a galley kitchen didn’t have a lot of room on the counters for the extras. So, on the prep table, I had all the cups, plates, favors, cake, cake cutter and anything that I needed easy access to for the party but didn’t want it front and center under my foot.
Displaying Halloween Favors
I carefully folded and rolled up the shirts for the kids and tied them off with some balloon ribbon. Then I had some left over pieces from making crowns and decided to give the eye balls crowns! It looked like little monsters. I have this old tray that I use to use in the garden that I displayed the shirts and moved them around on. You need something to contain your favors. I hardly ever just line them up unless I KNOW that I won’t want to move them later.
If you have a favor that doesn’t need a treat bag, don’t put them in one! Continue to use your creativity and display them proudly. And don’t forget to put the kids names on them somehow so that it will be easier to hand out quickly when the mass exodus is happening.
I don’t know about your kids but mine LOVE, LOVE to go trick or treating. They look forward to it all year long. I even think that neighbors love the evening almost as much as the kids. With all the decorations and the candy and treat bags that are prepared ahead of time, who wouldn’t get into the spirit?
Since this party was in December, I thought it would be such a fun treat to be able to go trick or treating again! I have to say that I didn’t come up with this idea on my own! A friend from church was telling me about a party that she had for her child years ago and they went trick or treating……and thought, what a fabulous idea.
Halloween Party Trick or Treat Favor Bags
Very important tip. Give your neighbors a heads up, ha! We went to two house and went all as a great….yes, about 20/30 kids at your door wanting treats all at once. This is not a job for the shy or reclusive neighbor. It’s for those kid friendly neighbors who love to party as well. Luckily, we had two right next door.
I offered to provide the treats for them to give out. One took me up on it as they had just had a baby. The other wouldn’t hear of it. She put together little bags with a treat and some pencils and goodies for the kids to have.
Halloween Trick or Treat Bags
The treat bags I provided for my new mother neighbor, were simple. So the kids wouldn’t be too sugared up for their parents, I bought a jumbo bag of yogurt covered pretzels. I found some clear cellophane bags at JoAnn’s or the like and put 5 or 6 pretzels in each. With a letter punch, I punched out words like “boo”, “ghost” and “spooky” and glued them to the bags. This was tricky to find a glue that would stick to the plastic and not allow the letters to pop off easily. Be aware of that! I think it was Michaels, but there are so many great scrap-booking stores now who have great Halloween papers, where I got this black paper that had spiderwebs all throughout. It worked perfect for the letters. If you do select a paper with a pattern, make sure that the pattern is small. Closed them off with a Halloween sticker of any kind and placed on a tray ready for them to be given away.
It really doesn’t matter what the kids get when they are like 9 and under. It’s the thrill of the hunt! It’s an activity that took up about 15/30 minutes of the party time and the kids were talking about how fun it was a year later at the next party!
Having a magician at ANY birthday party is great. They generally come to you house, set up their own equipment, take it all down and are out of there before the kids have even finished their cake! Magic right? These guys have it down.
Every town has great magicians and ones that specialize on coming to schools and performing at birthday parties. See if other friends have used one before or seen one at a party and go for it. Some are certainly better than others. And it totally depends on how they deal with cranky kids. All the kids at my daughter’s party were all in. They were all 5 and 6 years old. Didn’t question how he did the tricks……just went with it.
BUT, I went to another kids birthday party where the kids were making rude comments to the magician and saying they knew how he did certain tricks. I have to say that that guy may have been great under other circumstances, but he didn’t deal with the, I call them cranky, kids very well. But even though the parents noticed it. The kids still had a blast. There is nothing more endearing that listing to children laughing!
This guy was a good one and we were thrilled that we spent the money for him to come. He involved the birthday girl and had all the kids play a part. I thought this would be a fun thing to do for a Halloween birthday party, but I have seen magicians at Princess parties, magician parties and others. And they can easily take up 30 to 45 min of the time you need to entertain the kids. It is totally worth it. Consider a magician for your next birthday party……hey even an adult party could be spruced up by one of these guys!
By cutting out various shape and size eyes, noses and mouths, kids can make their own scary pumpkin that is fun for any age since there is no cutting involved.
We played this game for a Halloween party at our home. This could easily be done during a birthday party or just a regular Halloween party. And it can be adapted for anything. You could do a ghost, scary face, pin the wart on the witch….lots of things come to mind. We liked the pumpkin as we bought small pumpkins for each of the kids to take home.
Simply have an assortment of the eyes, noses and mouths cut out and ready to go. We use small stick pins that would easily go into the pumpkin but would hurt too much if the kids got stuck elsewhere..:( With an orange blind fold and a little dizzy turn for the older kids or just walking the younger ones close to the pumpkin, they are ready to go.
It’s always amazing to me how kids love to be blindfolded to play an activity. Even if it’s not pin the face on the pumpkin finding an activity that includes a blindfold will insure the game is successful!
I have to admit that this is NOT an original idea. I saw it on someone else’s blog and I can’t find it again. Please let me know if this is your idea and I will give you credit! OK. Now that that is out of the way. This was such a fun favor to give the kids for my daughter’s Halloween Birthday Party. I made girl shirts and then boy shirts. The girls were orange and the boys were black.
It was a very easy shirt to make. I used an old T-Shirt of my husband’s the paint the eyes. At first, I was going to put two eye balls for folks to think they had eyes on their backs. But then thought it would be funnier to just use one. The original idea that I saw, they had put eye balls all over the shirt but that would have been just way too much work since I was making quite a large number of these.
Eye Ball Shirt Supplies
Make sure you use an inexpensive acrylic paint to insure that it doesn’t wash out when you wash the shirt. Another mistake I made was to not leave enough room around the eye ball to have a “seam allowance”. So, make sure when you cut the eyes out, you allow 1/2″ to 1″ to sew around. Steps: Paint they eyes, let them dry and cut out. Sew them face down on the inside of the shirts. Then go and cut out the front to make the eye ball show. You can play with it and make it look like the eye has a lazy eye or be wide open.
These T-Shirts were such great favors. The kids loved them and it was fun to see them being worn to school for months after the party.
I bought girl specific and boy specific t-shirts from target. But, you can get them anywhere.
One of dad’s old undershirts
Fabric Paint – Blue, Green and/or brown for color in eyes; black for pupil; white for shine in eye – Found at any craft store
Red Permanent Marker with fine tip for bloodshot eyes – Found at any craft store
Wide bristle paint brush
Below is a template I used to make the eyes uniform.
Handwritten thank you notes are more important now than ever before. I remember XXX years ago when I would get a thank you note, handwritten, in the mail ALL the time. For volunteer activities, for gifts given or just someone thanking me for taking the time to do something special for them. Because of email folks have gotten lazy. And frankly our lives may be even busier. Regardless, I feel that it’s important that we teach our children the art of thanking people properly for gifts and special gestures.
To encourage my daughter to be excited about writing her thank you notes for her Halloween Themed birthday, I had a friend who creates stationery come up with these cards. Now, depending on the abilities and age of your child, they may or may not do the whole thing. You child may only be able to sign their name. Or they can write the note but you need to address the envelopes. Or maybe they can fill in the blank what they received. Whatever your child can do, I encourage you to have them do it. I know that after the planning and implementing of a party, we tend to be exhausted. Don’t forget to “tie the bow” on the package.
For my daughter’s Halloween Birthday Party, I had an idea to use our mantel during the party. Her party was in December and the mantel had holiday decorations all over it. I simply removed those and transformed it into a ghostly “Happy Birthday Anne” sign made out of individual lanterns.
Key ideas of note: I used felt pads under the candles to insure that they wouldn’t stain the mantel but in hindsight, I would use the candles that float in glass jars and place a glass jar with water inside each ghost lantern. To make it interesting, I used 3 different ghost templates and you can see a link to those below.
Cut 12″X12″ Heavy Scrapbooking Paper in two – Each lantern used a 6″X12″ piece. You’ll need one each of these per letter. Mine had 17 or 9 sheets of 12″X12″ Paper.
Cut heavy velum paper in 2 3/4″X5 1/2″ pieces. Again, 1 for each letter or lantern you will have. Ghost Templates
Tape (painters tape works best if the color works), Scissors, Glue, Black pen for letters.
Happy Birthday Lanterns
Cut lantern body in 6″X12″ pieces.
Fold lantern body into 4 parts. Start half-wise and crease in fold and then fold half-wise again.
Determine which pane of the lantern will have the ghost cut out and make that the same for each lantern.
Trace the ghosts from our template and cut the one/ones you want onto the same pane for each lantern.
Glue with a paper glue or glue stick the cut velum behind your cut out ghost.
Trace or free hand the letters you want to show through.
Gently tape from the inside of the lantern to create a rectangle shape.
Resources: Ghost Templates
Craft Stores or Scrapbooking stores will have the 12X12 Scrapbooking paper.
Some craft or scrapbooking stores as well as stationery shops will have sheets of velum.
Use a permanent black market for lettering.
Painters Tape found at home depot or local hardware stores and often in many colors.
Light your lanterns right before the party and you will love them. Be sure they aren’t in an area that can be bumped. Even using a candle inside a glass jar, it can get hot and the velum and paper is extremely flammable. Loved this Halloween Birthday Party idea!
Photos taken by Amy Hall of Amy Hall Photography, Portland, OR.
O.K. I know that the chicken costume has nothing to do with the scheduling of a Halloween Birthday Party but I could just not resist. This was a costume that I made for my daughter following the Martha Stewart Chicken Costume guidelines. It turned out sooooo cute. People were looking for us on the street to see the costume.
Anyway, back to what you need to know in scheduling a Halloween Birthday Party. I don’t like too much idle time. And with 26 Kindergarteners, I certainly didn’t want any idle time. I had a good idea of what could and would happen to my house! So, I put together a packed schedule to keep my sanity in check.
4:00 Upon Arrival: All Kids had a craft awaiting them.
4:30 Magic Show
5:10 Trick or Treating
5:30 Sandwiches, Cake & Ice Cream
6:00 Parent Pickup
I’ll be posting about each of these topics if I haven’t already. I’m all about the details.
Creating an atmosphere for a birthday party no matter what kind of birthday party, is very important. Do you remember being a kid and walking into a place that seemed magical? It may have only been that your parents moved the furniture around. Or it could have been balloons all over the place. But kids notice those details whether they say they do or not.
Here, the first thing that the kids were doing at my daughter’s Halloween birthday party was to decorate some treat bags that we were then going to use later. So, to create that atmosphere, I set the bags up on each table ready with supplies. Envision three tables full of these bags just waiting for the kids to arrive.
The other great thing was that when moms came in with their kids, there was no question as to what they were to do first and I had helping hands to get the bags created. Perfect.
Since we used the tables that we later were going to eat on, I simply put a piece of black plastic table cloth over the table cloth for eating time. This made clean up easy and glue spills NO big deal. When you are in the middle of a party transitioning quickly is something to think about.
Welcome to my living room. Well, my living room make shift Halloween Birthday Party. Yes, those are Christmas Decorations you see in the back. Yes, the furniture is replaced by kid size tables. And yes, we had 26 kids. I know. Everyone has told me how crazy I am, but it was super fun.
Because it was holiday time, I needed to mask the decorations we already had up for that occasion. I’ve used balloons in the past but have never just let them fly around and bounce where they may. It was perfect. The balloons drew your eye up making the first thing the kids saw very festive and colorful. Halloween Party Decorations don’t have to be complicated, although you will find other ideas from this party that are. Often the ideas that make the most impact are simple like this!
We rented a helium tank from a local party store and blew up 100 balloons. With two people, it really doesn’t take that long and if you aren’t tying strings onto the balloons, it is even faster. Be sure not to be too monochromatic with the colors. Here we used black and orange and then pulled in the green for a splash that worked.
Photo taken by Amy Hall of Amy Hall Photography, Portland, OR.
Having a Halloween Party or a Halloween Birthday Party? Make it more festive by encouraging everyone to dress up…..even moms and dads.
We had a kid Halloween Party and to encourage everyone to dress up, we gave prizes for the best or most creative costume. Funny enough both winners (mom and kid) were pirates!
For the moms we gave an orange spatula and I can’t even remember what we gave the child winner but just about anything works. It’s all about the fashion show and suspense of who wins!
Resources: We found the orange spatula at William Sonoma. During the holidays they have lots of fun items. If not, Halloween is just about the easiest time to find holiday items that would be fun prizes!
Hi! I'm Holly with my daughter Anne. We are pleased that you too like to organize creative birthday parties for your kids! Learn Why I started this Blog.
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