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This is my first Halloween party and I am doing a joint party with my neighbor. My neighbor's house will be Heaven and my house will be Hell. We are looking to do a more "sophisticated" version of the two locations, so Hell would be less likely to be just skulls and webs and blood and stuff, but more of lots of red and black colors, candles, and just plain ambience. So far these are the ideas I have:

1) For outdoors, I would like to line my walkway with pumpkins, but I am going to spray paint them with Chalkboard paint. Then to distress them I'm going to wipe chalk all over them---makes it look more dingy and old. (I saw this in a magazine and it's really cool.) Then, I'm going to carve something into them so that you can see a candle...but instead of cutting all the way, I'm going to just scrape and make it look thinner so it just barely glows through.

2) In my guest bathroom, I'm wanting to put something on my mirror to make it red, but am not sure how to do this. Also, I bought two ceramic skull tealight holders. I'd like to put dark red dragon tears or something like that around them too to add colors. I'd also do other ideas if anyone has any.

3) We are going to make a candy bag for each guest to take home. I saw this on Martha stewart. She used a black bag and cut the top to look like a gravestone, then I'm going to write each guest's name on a bag. I'm going to scatter them on a table covered with black sand to make it look like a graveyard and display them in my entryway.

4) I have an upstairs but it will be off limits because the cats will be locked up there. To block off the stairwell, I bought some doorway curtains that are black, glittery strips of fabric so no one will even try to go up the stairs.

5) My living room, kitchen and dining room are all open so any decorations will go together there. I have no ideas there so please help me! :)

6) Finally is the food. I have very few ideas here, but I am set on it being more appetizers. The centerpiece I saw on Martha Stewart is really neat. She took various bones and covered them in glitter. Then arranged the bones under a glass cake dome. As for the food, here is what I've got so far.
-Mini Caramel Apples (they used a melon baller to cut out smaller bite-sized "apples" and made caramel apples this way)
-Spinach Artichoke Dip (I'm calling it "Moldy brain dip with Dried skin chips")
-Rice Krispie treats (I'm not set on this, but if I do it, I plan to dye them grey and call them "Bat Brains")
-Meathead (Again I'm not set on this)
-Deviled Eggs (to look like eyeballs)
-Red Velvet Cupcakes (with black icing)

7)Drinks! I am going to have alcoholic drinks. I'm looking for the black vodka to use in screwdrivers and a cool coffee drink using vanilla ice cream that makes a cool effect. Anyone know where I can get that vodka? I also will probably have a variety of beer. And, I will want a non-alcoholic punch, but don't have one yet. I like the look of using the dry ice too, but it makes me nervous. Isn't it toxic? How does that work?

Anyways, that's the idea and any help would be much appreciated.
 

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For decoration, how about a wall or a bookcase full of jars that have an eerie light coming from them (maybe a low watt bulb inside a frosted jar) and you can label it "Lost Souls" and even give each jar a name. Also, lots of candles (fake if probably best) and a fire in the fireplace, maybe a bonfire outside to keep things nice andtoasty. :D
For food, I like the idea of an angel's food cake verses a devil's food cake. How about making some pretzels in the shape of pitchforks? Martha's got a good recipe. When in doubt add red sprinkls to everything!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I really love the lost soul jar idea! It's genius! I like the pitchfork idea. I did find a recipe that I really like using cinnamon roll dough (like from the store in a can) and unrolling the dough to reshape it into bones. I might do that too. I think my house might be too hot with all those people and the fire going, but I do plan on doing at least candles in the fireplace. I want tons of candles everywhere. Thanks for the input!
 

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Shadow Crosser
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I made a wall of eyes one year that might work with this theme. I took 2 large sheets of cardboard and string lights and clear craft marbles. I punched eye wholes in one of the cardboard sheets and pushed the marbles into them. Then I lined up a single white string light behind each marble and duct taped them in place. The I covered the string light side with the uncut/unpunched sheet of cardboard and duct taped all the edges so the only light that escapes is through the marbles. Hung it on the wall, covered the cardboard in black plastic and cut holes where each marble was located. Looks pretty cool in a dark corner. You can do all kinds of things to decorate the side of the cardboard that shows. For example you could use stone paper and make it look like a tunnel or pit of eyes. If you use orange lights and made it a pit, it would look more "hellish".

Just an idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow, great idea---thanks for the tip! I can't wait to get it all decorated and post the pictures on here. In researching ideas, there really are very few Heaven/Hell parties around so I found nothing. Defenitely excited to get the party going!
 

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Going bump in the night..
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An idea for the mirror (haven't tried it myself, so can't say it works or not):
Red shrink-wrap plastic (the kind that shrinks when hit with a hot blow-dryer) - stretch it tight across the mirror, pulling out as many wrinkles as possible, and then shrinking it. The corners should wrap tightly on the mirror, and hopefully any remaining wrinkles in the middle will be pulled taught.

(I suppose this won't work if the mirror is larger than the width of the wrap)
 

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For decoration, how about a wall or a bookcase full of jars that have an eerie light coming from them (maybe a low watt bulb inside a frosted jar) and you can label it "Lost Souls" and even give each jar a name. Also, lots of candles (fake if probably best) and a fire in the fireplace, maybe a bonfire outside to keep things nice andtoasty. :D
For food, I like the idea of an angel's food cake verses a devil's food cake. How about making some pretzels in the shape of pitchforks? Martha's got a good recipe. When in doubt add red sprinkls to everything!
I'd like to add something to your idea about the jars with lights. Something else that could work for this is if you fill the jars, depending on the size of the jars, with the contents of one or several freshly cracked glowsticks. The effect is that you will have glowing liquid inside the jars. My sister did this last year for an apocathary table display. She had little "potion" bottles, maybe four inches tall, that she filled with the liquid from inside of cracked glowsticks, using different colors for the different potions. OMG did it look awesome!!

I'm not entirely sure, but you may be able to mix the glowstick liquid with water to conserve your glowstick usage. I would test it out first to make sure there isn't a reaction causing the glowstick to stop glowing, but I really don't see why it wouldn't work.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ugly Joe---thanks for the shrink wrap idea. I hadn't thought of that. I'll defenitely look into it and give it a try.

I also like the glowstick idea in the jars. I bought a couple of battery-operated tealights thinking i'd put those in there, but I'd like to try the glowstick thing and see how it works.

Thanks for all the great ideas everyone...they are new perspectives!
 

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What I great idea for a party.

I haven't done it personally, but I know alot have....add ink from highlighter pens to your water inside the jars. Also fabric softener is supposed to glow with a black light. Another thing I haven't tried...sorry.

LOVE the jar of lost souls...very clever!

Try decorating using all the senses.....burn insense to give a nice spicy scent, dim all the lights or better yet change all your bulbs to red ones. Background music nice and dark.

Dry ice is safe as long as no small pieces come in contact with anybody. Several people have suggested having your actual punch in a smaller bowl inside a bigger bowl that has the water & dry ice. Cool effect having the "smoke" coming out just around the edges.

Do you have a door that will remain closed that you could have really bright orange & red lights shining thru from the bottom of the door....like Hell's entrance is just behind the door? Maybe have a cd playing a tape with screams behind that door as well. Something the guests might not be sure they even heard??
 
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