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Yes, yes, I know I have the reputation of being a Halloween Grinch, but over the years, I’ve slowly been coming around. Having kids has made me a little bit less Grinch-y, and this year, I’m determined to make it our best Halloween yet! First stop, a Halloween party! I mean, who doesn’t love to party? Ok, ok, parties generally come with a little stress for the host (ahem, me) but I’ve learned a few tricks over the years. Here are five tips to make it your best (and least stressful!) party yet!
1. Start Preparing Early
In my mind, it’s never too early to start prepping for a party! I tend to stock up on party goods throughout the year when they’re on sale. Brian thinks this might be too early to start. ;) At least start a week or two in advance. Planning your dates, food, décor, and activities early will help eliminate bumps in the road and give you time to change your game plan if necessary!
2. Pick a Theme
When it comes to Halloween, there’s SO many different directions you could go in terms of a theme. Spooky soiree, gremlins and ghosts, country fall themed, or super kid friendly. Try to pick one theme and stick to it. That includes a color palette! For this party idea, I wanted it to shout Trick-or-Treat and kid friendly. I liked sticking with the classic colors – orange, blacks, and whites. I tried to stay away from anything too spooky or scary.
3. It’s ok to have help!
When it comes to food, I always like to bake and make everything myself. It has taken me a long time to realize it’s ok to get help! I used store bought (gasp!) cupcakes and premade mini sugar cookies as part of the desserts. (They were delicious, by the way.) Ellie helped frost the sugar cookies and made them little orange pumpkins. Be sure to plan accordingly for treats! Everyone usually wants to have at least one of each treat, so I normally go mini sized (or appetizer sized) for food. That way everyone gets to try it all, without filling up on the first item and food going to waste. Another thing to keep in mind? Party sized treats! Buy in bulk, my friends! These large bags of Hershey's Candy are a must for the Halloween season and the perfect addition to your festivities! I purchased mine at Walmart and they were perfect for filling up my apothecary jars and doubling as treat bag favors.
4. Have something for guests to do
When guest walk in, avoid that awkward period and give guests something to start working on right away! These DIY trick or treat bags are the perfect craft to keep your guests busy. Kids can totally do participate (especially if you have everything prepared beforehand). Another fun game? Don’t Eat Pete! (I seriously loved this as a kid!) Tutorials and downloads for both activities below!
-Stencil (download bat stencil here)
Print out desired stencil and trace onto freezer paper. (Make sure the shiny side of the freezer paper is faced down.)
Using an exacto knife (and cutting board!), carefully cut pieces of your stencil. If you have a Cricut machine, you could totally have multiple stencils cut out in one go, and save yourself some hand cramps!
Iron freezer paper onto tote bag. Make sure it is ironed down well, anything that isn’t ironed down is at risk for getting painted. When doing this for a party, I recommend having all the steps up until this point ready to go! (Especially if they’re younger guests!)
Begin painting! I used regular acrylic paint. (With t-shirts I typically use fabric paint since its going through the wash a lot!) I’ve learned that dabbing the paint on works the best! Ellie absolutely loved this part.
Let the paint dry.
When paint is dry (or close to dry!) carefully peel off the freezer paper.
Tie desired ribbons and bows onto handles.
And now, fill with treats! This was such a fun and super simple project that’s perfect for a Halloween party! And, my favorite, Don’t Eat Pete! Download the free printable here.
5. Stop stressing!
Once you’ve prepared and organized and done all that you can do, take time to ENJOY your party! That’s where the memories are made. (Easier said than done ;)