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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! Hope you're all getting into the Halloween Spirit as our favorite holiday approaches :)

I am throwing my second annual Halloween party in my apartment. It's decent sized, 2 beds and 2 baths, with a balcony, located on the second story of my building. Last year I did a classic/vintage Halloween theme, still toying with this years theme.

What tips/ideas do you have for best utilizing a small space for a party?

Happy Haunting!! :cool:
 

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I'm in an apartment too and I have to say that my biggest problem with Halloween decorating is that we have little to no extra storage ability which means that we can't invest in big, high-impact pieces -- it doesn't make sense to invest money in pieces that we have nowhere to put during the off-season, and I'm reluctant to spend the time (or money) crafting big pieces for the very same reason.

So everything 'big' that I make has to be either something I don't mind pitching or something that folds up and away incredibly easy. I use lots of cheesecloth and lots of cobwebs. We have a very art-filled apartment with lots of old gilt and wood frames, so switching out all of the artwork goes a long way.

For the third year in a row we're doing a haunted garret theme, emphasizing atmosphere over props. Every year we buy or I make a few new things, and throw in some new twists on the theme so it's not quite the same as last year. This year my room will be the coat room again and I'm thinking of doing something like this in the far corner to freak the guests out -- http://www.pinterest.com/pin/286260120040194253/
This is something that's great for our needs, because I can totally rig something up using black fabric and either a cheap mask, or maybe just a deep hood, with some sort of LED eyes.

I think the best part about throwing a party in an apartment is that, not only do people mingle really easily, but you can really decorate the entire place without completely breaking the bank. You can buy those printed wall scene setters and really go wild with them (especially if you have an apartment in a more modern building with lots of right angles and no architectural details, and want to disguise this).

I like to identify spots in the apartment where an unexpected scary element can lurk, like the laundry nook, or the weird nook between our kitchen and the bathroom. Or outside the bathroom window, for example. (I don't have pics, but I suspended a mask outside the bathroom window with a glowstick taped inside so it was a disembodied floating head staring in at you. People had a really love-hate relationship with that, haha)

We don't have a huge amount of space for food so going vertical however you can is really helpful (not that I took my own advice last year). Our teeny-tiny kitchen was crammed with the punch bowl and coolers, and I'd love to hear how other people include their tiny pass-through kitchen into their party decor, because so far I've mostly just ignored it, put up cobwebs, turned off the lights, and scattered as many candles around as I could.

I'm on the 2nd floor as well so we made sure to invite our downstairs neighbors, mostly as a head's up that it was going to happen, since it's two apartments in one building kind of deal. They didn't come but we also didn't get any noise complaints either!

...

This got really long, sorry!
 

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You can never have too long a response to Halloween questions ;) Such brilliant ideas! I love that pin you linked to, I might have to steal it... :)

I do the same thing using cheesecloths and lots of dollar store, cheapie goodies. We have a patio closet but not much other storage. I have 3 huge tubs of Halloween stuff, which is twice what we have for Christmas (hehe). I used a scene setter last year which worked really well. I made this last year, it had a big impact on my food table and is not too big to store: http://www.marthastewart.com/267891/head-waiter-tray?czone=holiday/halloween-center/halloween-center-decor&gallery=274730&slide=267891&center=1006804

Last year I hung witches hats (I love these because they're easy to store and are very affordable) from the ceiling using ordinary thread, that had a really neat effect. Using vertical space does make a difference!

I'm thinking about doing a haunted graveyard or haunted house theme, very basic ideas but with lots of potential.

I live in a rural/foresty area so I'm thinking of taking branches and corn stalks inside and on the patio to decorate...I hate to think of the cleanup from that but that's for post-Halloween me to think about!
 

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I love the idea of bringing in branches, and making it look like the outdoors is encroaching in to an abandoned haunted home. I've thought about that ever since seeing this pic on Brooklyn Limestone's blog - http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2538/4067800986_99914358d7.jpg
(full post here - http://www.brooklynlimestone.com/2010/10/inspired-halloween-spreads-studys-mad.html) I'm sure you can easily make it more creepy and less magical if you want. Maybe pair it with the broken windows tutorial here for a haunted house -- http://www.pinterest.com/pin/286260120038283806/

Then again, If you used the stone scene setters you could make the apartment a haunted crypt, channeling the graveryards and crypts Repo! The Genetic Opera. That pin would look killer with a cemetery theme!

I love the head server btw. ^_^
 

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Hey skellie! I had a freaky moment when I was reading your post at first because your apartment sounds exactly like mine, and I thought to myself "Did I start a new thread and forget about it?" Because I too have an apartment, 2BR, 2bath, balcony, second story. However, this will be my third annual Halloween party and my first time with an actual theme. Years past I would just do general Halloween decor and decorate as much as possible with what I had.

Similar to chocolatemice infact! Lots of that Dollar Store stuff! The mesh, spider-webs (although I think I'm going to take it easy on those this year), scene-setters (I bought my clown one at the end of the season from Spirit last year and it set the theme for this year). This year I have a vaulted ceiling and will probably just let loose some balloons and I love having things hanging from the ceiling in general. I usually use streamers and have just accumulated so many things over the years that are easily compacted and flat.

I myself usually stay in the kitchen because I love hostessing and have my famous jello-shots to prepare and make various drinks for everyone. Plus, I'm also a little controlling and don't want people mucking up my kitchen, LOL. I caddy-corner my dining table for food and put chairs against the wall, and people don't seem to move them around much if at all. I push my coffee table up to the wall for extra roaming space as well. I have carpet and find people like to sit comfortably on the floor! Haha. It helps if your carpet is nice and new and squishy.

Anywho, I would say not over-doing it with too much dark wall decor helps to keep the room looking larger, and I usually leave overhead lights on since the darkness can make people feel claustrophobic and weird.

I hope some of that helps, I know a lot of it is probably repeat info from chocolatemice, but I feel ya when it comes to entertaining in an apartment! I've always had such great success though. And I completely agree that it can actually be a lot easier on your wallet since it feels like there isn't AS much to decorate!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Vaulted ceilings would be so cool to have! I do need to work on seating, I don't have that much.

I am excited for this year because DH and I finally bought a large dining room table, which will be perfect for the food and drinks. Up until now we were poor newlyweds who used a card table, lol :rolleyes:

This is my first year with a theme as well! As of now I'm leaning towards making it a haunted graveyard, Dr. Frankenstein's lab, or a witch's coven....

I always say that even if only myself and DH showed up to the party, I have so much fun planning and decorating for Halloween that we'd still have a good time.

Thank you for the tips!! I will definitely be hitting up the dollar stores again this year :)
 

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I just thought of this---last year I really didn't use the guest bedroom for much and I think I could make that a "feature" of sorts. I know a lot will depend on my theme but I want to make that room something either interactive or a spot for photo ops, etc. I'd love your suggestions on this...
 

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photo 3.jpg

Here is one picture from my apartment 2 years ago, I hadn't quite figured out the caddy-corner table thing yet. That's me in the French maid outfit and my friends hanging out on the couch, zombie banana and 2 German girls. There weren't as many people at this party.

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My party last year with a different placement of the food table was much better, and created more space. This is the only picture I have of that, I'm always way too busy to take pictures. But those are my friends as Black Swan and Paula Deen.

20131019_221035.jpg

My TINY kitchen which I spent the majority of the time in unless is was accosted by my friends here, pool boy and Otter (I'm still not entirely sure what he meant by that).

But like I said, I moved and have a much better place for entertaining. I'lll post pictures later since I actually start decorating fairly early!
 

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Oh yes, and the other thing that helped about this smaller apartment was that one of my walls was just a floor to ceiling window and it made it look more spacious. I can't seem to find a good picture but I'm sure you get the idea.

Okay, just kidding, this is the best one I have from last year. GIANT window behind us, I'm the pirate, my friend is zombie.

20131019_192325.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Now I'm leaning towards turning my apartment into a haunted pumpkin patch/cemetery. I think it would be fairly easy to pull off with affordable stuff. I only wish I had a yard so I could use a fog machine.
 
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