Monday, 28 October 2013

Ideas for a Halloween House Party

I would like to share some ideas to make your Halloween Party a success. With a bit of imagination you can create your own mini Hogwarts. Retailers go all out these days, with novelties on sale well in advance. Look out for pumpkin candles, black and orange streamers, artificial cob webbing, skull paper chains and plastic bats and spiders, pose able skeletons and things that ‘glow in the dark’.

DECORATIONS  If you make the effort to make the decorations the result can be very satisfying :-
Jack-o-Lanterns are definitely the tops for decoration so carve a selection of pumpkins of various sizes
* Lighted Tea lights give a warm glow and should be sufficient, as larger candles can burn the lids. As well as placing these lanterns around the house, set them in windows, on the patio and on doorsteps too.
*adult supervision required

Spooky Mobile...
You will need:-

Paper and pencil
Crayons, felt pens or paints
Halloween Stencils or Templates (Optional)
2 lengths of thin dowelling (strong twigs or bamboo) approx 30cm long
Various Lengths of string and cotton

What to do:
Use stencils, or draw freehand: for example, a half moon; a witch on a
Broom stick; a pumpkin with a scary face; a ghost; a bat, a cat, monster face, severed hand, or the word BOO in doubled up lettering. (You will need five designs for the mobile).

Cut them out, and copy the design onto the back of each one. Colour or paint them on the two sides. Put a hole at the top of each one, to hang.

Crisscross the dowelling and secure in the centre by winding string around and around until it holds.

Using different lengths of cotton, thread up four of the designs through the holes and secure their opposite ends to each of the wooden crisscross.  Attach a longer length - with design, to the middle section.

It is best to stick the crisscross frame, with tac directly onto a ceiling or beam, which allows the mobile hang down. You can try to suspend the mobile on thread from somewhere high, but you may find the weight is not distributed equally to enable it to hang straight.

Instructions on how to make a Halloween Stained Glass Window on previous blog post here

October…the time for harvesting, and storing, fruit and vegetables in time for winter and root vegetables especially, are in abundance and cheap.

The food is the best bit. Make the most of these seasonal vegetables when preparing for the party. Apart from the two potato suggestions, and the recipe for Pumpkin Soup  etc on my previous post entitled Halloween and Harvest time here, let's have a go at making some freaky novelty food items! Note: images and some of the following food ideas and images taken from DK The Halloween Book by Jane Bull ISBN 0-7513-1190-1

Pizza Skulls: trim off the edges of a standard pizza to look like a skull,  add your favourite toppings and, most importantly,  add sliced black olives for the eyes and nose and a slice of red or green pepper for the mouth, then bake.

Halloween Iced buns: Decorate  pre-iced buns, using different coloured icing, (you can buy them in ready made tubes) pipe black icing to make a spider’s web or red icing around a glace cherry to resemble the veins of an eye.

Severed fingers:  Cook frankfurters and allow and to cool. With a knife make indentations in the middle of each frankfurter to resemble knuckles and add a slither of red pepper for finger nails.

Eye balls: These are pretty grotesque. Buy a can of lychees and drain, add a blueberry pupil to the opening of each lychee. Lay on a plate. To finish the ‘look’ you will need a pack of strawberry laces, remember those? Trim these and attach to the lychee. Not only does it look like an eyeball it feels like one too, great for use in the feely cauldron game (see below).

The darkness and the autumnal nip in the air, fills me with a good feelings and adds atmosphere to the fun and games.

Dangling Apples or Doughnuts
Here is a new slant to the old apple bobbing theme…String up a row of apples in a line, alternatively, do the same with some ringed doughnuts. They must be the stickiest you can find, preferably covered chocolate or with sugar strands. Allocate a doughnut to each party reveller. With hands behind their backs it’s a race to be the first one to demolish theirs.  NB Have a damp tea towel ready to clean some messy faces.

Halloween piñata
you will need:
Paper Mache (made from newspaper, flour and water, mixed into a thick paste)
A large balloon
Poster paints
Thick String (approx 50cm)
Masking tape
Green or black crepe/or tissue paper (for witches head only)
Assortment of Halloween chocolate and jelly sweets
What to do: (NB. This you will need to make in advance in order to build up the layers of paper Mache and for ‘drying out’ to take place). Blow up the balloon and tie the end. Cover the balloon with a layer of Paper Mache, and allow too dry. Repeat this process three or four times. Leave the model somewhere warm and dry to completely harden.

To paint and fill:-
Cut out a small circle from the thinner end that is big enough to enable you to pull out the old balloon. Paint the piñata; remember to paint the piece that was removed as well. NB: a small amount of paint will be required, for finishing touches, once the model is complete.
Design suggestions:-
  • White with black features to make a ghost.
  • Green and purple to make a witches head.

Leave the piñata to dry. Make a small hole in the top of the piñata just big enough to thread through one end of the string - leaving the long end of the string on the outside. Knot securely on the inside and stick some masking tape over the knot, also tape around the hole on the outside, to secure. Fill with sweets. Reattach the circle to the bottom of the piñata with masking tape. Paint the ends, covering the masking tape with paint too, and leave to dry.

For the witches hair: use glue or sticky tape and long strips of torn black or green crepe/or tissue paper.

On the night of the party hang from a ceiling hook. NB The piñata is now quite heavy and the hook has to be strong enough to hold fast - while it is constantly being bashed with a wooden spoon by those eager participants hoping to win some of the falling goodies.

Feely Cauldron Game:
You will need:
A bowl and a cover
Pencil and paper for everyone taking part
A piece of bread
An orange segment
A grape
A lychee
A boiled egg
A scouring pad
A rubber snake
A toy spider (preferably hairy)
An elastic band

What to do:
Place all of the items into the bowl (cauldron) and cover. Each takes it in turn to feel its grizzly contents under wraps. Allow intervals for each person to stop and record their findings, before moving on to the next. The winner(s) are those with the most correct.

MUSIC download some scary themed tunes such as ‘Ghost Town’, ‘The Monster Mash’,  The Addams Family or the Harry Potter movie tunes and have them playing throughout.
And finally, of course, it will be expected that the party will be attended by any mix of ghosts and ghouls, vampires, witches or their black cats; wizards, devils, zombies, skeletons, pumpkins, werewolves, even a dodgy looking caretaker man from a Scooby Doo movie…whichever.

Happy Halloween!

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