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 with 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!
Kids young and old…….and even moms and dads…..love cupcakes. And there’s nothing better than a cupcake with really good frosting.
These cupcakes were made from a box. Oops. Did I just admit that? The kids don’t want anything fancy and when you are planning a birthday party, in my mind, the cake part of this is just nothing to worry about.
The frosting is my cream cheese frosting colored orange and then bittersweet choc was melted to make the spiderwebs. If you don’t have a piping bag and plan to use a plastic bag like we suggest below, be carefully of putting hot chocolate in it. You might want to opt into using black colored icing instead.
Couple of tips. The Cream cheese frosting doesn’t set hard which is part of what makes it so good. But when you are piping the spiderweb just keep this in mind. Make sure you wait until the cupcakes are cool before icing or it will slide all down the side. Use a good coloring liquid for the icing. The inexpensive ones at the grocery just don’t go very far! And lastly, if you don’t have a piping bag, you can easily do these spiderwebs by putting the chocolate in a zippered plastic bag and cutting a very small hole in one of the bottom corners.
Whether you are having a Halloween Party, a Birthday Halloween Party or just a play date, these Halloween cupcakes are super cute to have set out. And they are yummy to eat.
Resources: Click here for our our Cream Cheese Icing Recipe. For the cake mix, I use Duncan Hines Mix. Bittersweet Chocolate can be found at higher end groceries. Or you can just using icing colored black.
These invitations we used for a kid Halloween Party but could easily be used for adult ones as well. We were encouraging the kids and moms to dress up and have a fun time. And they did!
The wording was as follows:
“The night is dark and the goblins are out
the witches and black cats are prowling about
Costumed creatures the strangest I’ve seen
are knocking on doors….
cause it’s Halloween!”
“Anne and Olivia will be ghoulishly dressed
so moms and kids come in your Halloween best”
Then at the party we had a prize for the best adult and kid costume. Take care when picking your invitation because no matter if it’s a sure to be fun party like a Halloween party or not, the invitation sets the tone and expectations for the party!
We threw a Halloween Party with another family for the kids and adults but only the kids received favors. The witch brooms were the perfect simple favor for them.
These are simple to make and double as some creative decorations. The idea came form an article I saw in a Martha Stewart somewhere but I can’t remember exactly where. I just remembered the concept.
Directions for the Favors: Take 2 small brown lunch sacks. Keep one whole that you put candy corn or suckers or anything you wish inside it. Take the second back and cut slits all the way down the sides leaving the bottom solid. Insert candy into first bag and cut a short stick from your yard to add for the handle. Wrap that bag with the cut one and wrap around the mouth to secure to the stick or broom stick. I used some macrame’ cord I had hanging around but you could use anything. Yarn, ribbon….really anything will do and many colors would work. Try red, orange, brown, grey, black or yellow for the cording on your Halloween favors. The brighter the color the more of a impact the brooms will make. The red made a nice punch.
Resources: Paper bags can be found at Michaels or at many grocery stores. Candy of your choice. Cording at any fabric or craft store or even hardware store for twine. Sticks from your yard or the side of the road in a wooded area.
Group your broomsticks to make an impact for your Halloween Party guests and they will ooh and aah over them.
I found this idea for a Halloween Cake and thought it would be perfect for my daughter’s Halloween Birthday Party. She was turning 6 but I think that this cake would be great for any age person that was having a Halloween theme party.
In actuality, the cake was not for the kids……it’s a cream cheese cake and I didn’t think that most of the kids would want any. So, I had the cake for the parents and then had ice cream for the kids. The parents loved it and it isn’t a very heavy cream cheese cake.
Party Girl with her Cake
What was interesting about this age is that it took my daughter forever to blow the candles out…….maybe it was the 30 pairs of eyes that were looking at her. Yet, my 4 year old just dug right into blowing the candles out.
Photos taken by Amy Hall Photography, Portland, OR.
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.
We Love Feedback
We want to hear from you! Did you like or are you able to use any of our ideas? Leave a Comment. This helps us know what ideas are working for our readers and what we should do more of! And thank you in advance!