Well, maybe instant isn’t the right word but these tips will help you throw together a cheap, fun Halloween party in 1 day. Though you may want to give your guests more notice than that. There aren’t that many components to a successful Halloween house party. Food, booze, music, decor, costume. We’ll go through them one by one and get you on your way to partying!
Any ‘big pot’ entree or casserole is a good choice for a party because it makes a ton. I made a creamy loaded potato soup adapted from FunnyLove’s recipe. I doubled the recipe and threw in some veggies I had on hand, some finely diced carrots and mushrooms, as well as half a block of cream cheese. I left it on the stove and created a fixings bar with bacon bits, shredded cheddar, sliced scallions, sour cream and crackers.
I focused most of my energy on my favorite meal, dessert! Stock up on theater box candy at a buck a piece. Empty into glass bowls, jars and even test tubes or beakers if you have them. Don’t be afraid to mix up complementary candies like Runts and SweeTarts or M+Ms and Reese’s Pieces.
If you have time to bake, I recommend going the chocolate or pumpkin spice route. Or both as in our Ultimate Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Brownies! If you have a spare hour, our PB Candy Corn Jack o’ Lanterns are another great option.
The mistake a lot of people make is trying to provide too much alcohol themselves even though they can’t afford it. Pick up a couple 6 packs of stuff you like and tell partygoers to BYOB. Afterall, you are providing the food, the venue and handling the other host responsibilities. They can do a little something.
If you aren’t a beer drinker, a punch bowl is a good option. It’s more affordable than stocking a bar for cocktails because it isn’t straight booze. I love our very own Double Bubble Witch’s Brew for Halloween. Foamy, green, with worms… it’s perfect! You can’t tell here but the ladle for the punch has feet and eyes to look like the Loch Ness monster! Truth serum glasses are recommended but if your kitchen isn’t prepped for Halloween year-round, any short glass is fine.
There are a number of free streaming music options available these days. Just make sure your laptop (or whatever) is hooked up to a charger and in a SAFE spot in the main room your party is taking place in. A bluetooth speaker is a good idea, if you have one.
If your party is not expected to get crazy (you know your friends), a laptop can be a more fun option because you can play music videos. If you have a smartTV, all the better! I like this YouTube list. It’s a mix of childhood classics (Nightmare Before Xmas, The Munsters), campy 80’s fare (Thriller, GhostBusters) and modern, creepy options (Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie).
Keep decorating subtle (aka cheap) and unobtrusive. You want the focus to be on food, booze and room to move. As you can see in these photos, I put some small decorations up on the serving bar. Some cute gel clings on the windows and a couple other small pumpkins were about it.
Pillows, ottomans and folding chairs are helpful early on while folks are eating. Later in the night, push furniture against the walls to make room for dancing.
Halloween is my favorite holiday so I have no shortage of decorations. If you find yourself short, you can buy some cheap ones at drug stores and WalMart. Or you can DIY with the following tutorials… Or just skip them. Everyone knows it’s Halloween.
You probably have the makings of a couple costumes in your closet as we speak. We did Little Red Riding Hood and the Woodcutter pretty easily. A white lace/peasant style dress with boots. The cape is the only out of the ordinary thing and it could be used for (or taken from) lots of different costumes. (witch, vampire, etc) For him, a flannel shirt and work pants.
Scratches can be made with school glue and everyday makeup. I used this tutorial. This type of fake wound could be used with any outfit and you can go as a werewolf victim.
Other simple costumes include zombie (torn up clothes and racoon eyes), vampire (old timey or leather rocker style clothing, pale foundation and bite marks) or 80s workout fiend (neon leggings, leg warmers, headband and big hair). Mean Girls got it right with their animal costume mantra. Any animals ears plus coordinating tee and leggings will do the trick.
Even easier options exist, of course. BuzzFeed has game plans for a bouncer, the Brawny man, Wednesday Addams and a human stick figure.
And I think that wraps it up! Enjoy your low cost, high sugar content Halloween party courtesy of SweetMeets.