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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! i found this website while trying to get ideas for my first halloween party, and i saw some great things! some things weren't as clear as i would like. but in general, i would like advice and tips for my party! it's going to be friends of mine, probably a ground from 5 to 12 or so. or maybe i'll get lucky and have 13 guests. XD i plan on having it on Halloween night, yes thursday. just because there are no longer kids in my neighborhood, and i hate sitting around bored gnawing on the candy for the TOTs in the bowl! and there will be no alcohol

my menu is as follows below. what i have so far!

Human Ears with Clotted Blood= Shrimp and cocktail sauce
French Man's Brain and chips= French onion dip shaped like a brain and chips
Bat wings= Barbeque chicken wings
Demon wings with Ghost blood= Spicy buffalo chicken wings with ranch dipping sauce
Roasted Snails= rolled up baked pastries with marinara, cheese and pepperoni. from Pillsbury!
Tooth Decay Fodder= candy assortment
Vampire Repellant= Garlic bread
Graveyard Cake= Cake decorated like a graveyard!

Witches Brew= Pineapple juice, ginger ale and sherbert.
Soda's with halloween labels

i really want one or two main dishes, i'm just not sure what. i plan on going to a bulk store called GFS and buying somethings there, because it's cheap to feed a crowd with. so i think foodwise, i've got a good handle on it. if i don't, please let me know!

i also plan on having a nice assortment of games. Tempt Your Fate of course, Horror Trivia, and Guess the Candy in the jar. where you fill a jar and people try to guess how many candies are in the jar. and the pool will be available to people who might want to swim! i will also be playing scary movies on the tv and have music in the back patio area by the pool.

i also wanted to decorate the bathroom. i had heard someone talking about coloring water to make it seem like blood? i have a plastic bathtub and wall set, so i have to BE SURE it will not stain the plastic! which my dad insists is pourous. anyone have advice on what to use? and if i replace the bulbs in the bathroom with black lights, is it still feasibly light enough for people to see and do their business?

also for the pool area, which is an enclosed patio so no mosquitos, i really really wanted led paper laterns. but i seem to have trouble finding good ones that arn't too kiddy themed, like the ones from Dollar Tree. i tried ebay, amazon, google...should i try just black lanterns?

that's all i can really think to add right now...but if anyone has any advice, i'd be more than glad to accept it! or if anyone has questions, i'll be glad to gush about my first Halloween party.<3
 

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I bought some paper lanterns from Target one year. They were black and orange with designs and stuff on them. Not kiddy at all. I was under the impression that they would light up on their own when I bought them but they didn't .

As for the black light thing... if you use enough then people will be able to see but as someone always brings up on here... any bodily fluid anywhere in your bathroom will show up so just.. be aware of that. Test it out before hand. No drunk people = better aim so you might be ok if you just look beforehand.

Novice advice from a still novice but on my 7th party = Spiderweb, different colored lighting (orange gives off plenty of light and always feels halloweeny), and creepy cloth are your friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
well i definitely would like lanterns that light up! the pool has a light, and i'm hoping i'll figure out how to keep it on a red color. but i would like some mood lighting. my dad has soft lights strung up, but that's by no stretch Halloweeny. i figured led lanterns would be something good to use to shed a little light on the party. XD

and i guess if i use the black lights, i'll have to clean the bathroom REALLY good...XD

and thank you Stochey! i am rather proud of my menu.^^ especially the cake..it should be a good mix!
 

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I'm definitely still a novice as well, but I have some advice for you too.

-Your menu looks awesome, but don't overdo it. I ALWAYS overdo and end up spending most of the day prepping food and always am left with like half of it afterwards. If your party is late evening and you're not doing a sit-down dinner, don't feel obligated to feed people a full meal. You'll end up throwing away most of it.

-Don't be overwhelmed by all of the awesome people on this forum. It takes YEARS to accumulate all of the decorations that some of these people have, and a lot of the lovely people on this forum dedicate a ton of time and money to building props and setting up scenes. So don't feel bad if your decorations do not live up to some of the amazing pictures here.

-That being said, I definitely agree with Stochey in that creepy clothe and spiderwebs are your friends. They create an awesome creepy atmosphere all over and they are cheapo! Add some candles (fake if your worried about fire), pumpkins, bones, bugs, etc and you're good to go! You can find cheap and creepy candlestick holders from places like Savers and Goodwill. I love to peruse those stores around the Holidays for great finds.

-I always find that the most fun part about Halloween is the set up. While I LOVE partying, I always remember the preparations and anticipation the most. Enjoy yourself and good luck!
 

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Hi CemeteryGirl, it sounds like you have the makings of a great party! You should be able to get the lanterns at party city or target when they put their halloween stuff out. I agree with the others about the spider webbing and creepy cloth - get both at the dollar store, they can creep out anything. The more prepared you are in advance the more you will be able to relax and have a good time at the party. I decorate the inside of the house two weeks in advance so I have time to make adjustments and I don't have to do it the day of. Make as much of the food as you can the day before and make sure you leave yourself time to get ready before your guests arrive.
 

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Hey CemetaryGirl!

Everyone has given you some great tips, I only have one thing to add; I think your dad is right. It's better safe than sorry on the bathtub front. What I would do (and I in no way guarantee this will protect your bathtub, this is just what I would do...) is get two large sheets of clear, thick plastic - the kind you can buy from most hardware stores to lay down on concrete to catch oil etc...). Paint the middle one side of the first sheet with red paint, then place the other sheet over it, like a sandwich.

When it's all dry, put the sheet in your bathtub and use clear packing tape (or something similar) to tape the edges of the clear plastic to the edge of your bathtub. Camouflage the taped area with other decorations if you like. Then, fill the tub with water. Already this, in theory, should make your water look red-ish. Then, use something organic and non-permanent in your water. Something like that (with 2 sheets of plastic) SHOULD protect your bathtub.

Keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i'm just going to respond to everyone's posts in order....XD

psox- i'm actually ok with having extra food!leftovers can be soooo good XD and i'm not overwhelmed....i hope. I just want the party to look nice. I'm so glad dollar tree has some of their decorations already i really want a cool lil raven somewhere.a buck each! And i do plan on getting some creepy cloth to decorate with,so no worries there.

runer- i'll have keep an eye on those places for lanterns!i really want a handful of them for the patio area....just no silly kid ones.

and mystery maiden that is an awesome idea!!!!i love it, there is no chance to stain the tub! not sure how to hide the plastic edge on the side people can see, but it's still fabulous! thank you so much!!

i also plan on getting a nice low fog machine for the patio area. hope i can get a good coupon from spirit in my email and go to the store to get one. not sure i wanna order one online from what i''ve read on this site about them...
 

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Remember to take pictures! You will forget what exactly you did this year and next year you will want to remember what worked and what didn't.
Also take pics of all the people who come (and make sure to get someone to take your picture!).
 

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It sounds like you have a solid plan for your party. The most important piece of advice I can give you is that only you know everything you want to accomplish. If everything does not get done, no one will know but you. Your guests will have fun no matter what. They will appreciate the effort you make. I learned this the hard way over the 16 years we have been doing the Boo Bash. :eek:

Other bits of advice are:

1.) Pay attention to lighting. Keep it on the darker side, with brighter lights near the food and areas you want people to focus on only.
2.) Ask guests to bring an appetizer. We do this every year and always have plenty of food, without killing ourselves on food preparation. We focus on the decor.
3.) Enjoy the party too. I used to get so caught up in final tweaks as the guests were gathering, I often missed half of the party. Take time and mingle.

Please share your progress with us and especially the photos afterward!

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #11
i'm really going to have to try to remember that...that's usually my biggest thing when i can't do something, i always feel so upset that i wasn't able to do something! so i need to remember that advice...XD but thanks for the advice on the lighting! i never would have thought of that..so i will try to keep most of the house a bit dim, with slightly brighter lights where the food, the patio and the tv is.

i have been debating on asking guests to bring food...just telling them to be sure it has a good halloween name! i should probably do that so it takes some of the stress off me... and knowing me, i don't have to worry about mingling. i'll have my boyfriend helping, and probably start all the prep the day before. including decorating!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
quite thrilled right now because i just ordered my invitations that i'm going to hand out! they are quite nice.^^ here's a image of pretty much what it'll look like!

invites.jpg
 

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party city.jpg
Party City has lots of paper lanterns for Halloween, as well as, solid colored ones- like Black & Orange, or whatever color scheme you prefer. They also have alot of other fun decor that is affordable & easy to put together.

Everyone has made very good suggestions so far. I agree with what others have said, don't try to take on too many things your first time. It can be overwhelming & stressful trying to pull it all together. :eek:

Make it as easy as possible on yourself and pre-prep of food & decorate a day or two before as much as you can. It takes the work load off and it also helps relieve the pressure if something is not working out as planned.....and remember to have fun.
:)



halloween paper lanterns1.jpg
http://www.partycity.com/product/oriental+assorted+halloween+paper+lanterns+6ct.do




hanging-decorations.jpg



http://www.partycity.com/product/halloween+fluffy+decorations+3ct.do?sortby=ourPick s&size=all&carousel=true&navSet=170556


v920tc_timer.jpg
P.S. I noticed you mentioned getting a Fog Machine, buy a timer for it. It allows you to set your fog machine on auto-pilot & it will control burst duration and frequency of your fog.


Party city1.jpg

party city2.jpg

party city3.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
oh wow those halloween soaps are cool! i didn't think about that...but those are tempting, especially if they're cheap! and party city has lanterns? i may have to check out those links you so kindly provided, thank you.^^ since they don't light up, i guess i'll have to buy some cheap little led lights to pop in them.

and if i get the fog machine, i will definitely get a timer. goodness knows it would make my life easy. XD i do definitely wanna enjoy my first party...i'm just really glad i'll have a helper! my boyfriend may not be a halloween nut, but if i ask him to do something, he'll do it. i can trust him..and some of this stuff is hard to mess up.^^


......jeez what color lights do i get?o.o i found a place on ebay...and i dunno if i should get white or red....
 

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Thanks so much CemeteryGirl! I ordered my invitations this morning. I got the Midnight Dreary design, along the same lines as yours but a little different.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
you are so welcome runer!^^ glad i could help. i didn't know party city did custom invites...but it's awesome. not too bad a price, customizable and good designs. what could be better? the Midnight Dreary is okay..the cross bones just scream pirate to me. XD
 

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I so love Halloween party virgins :) I remember my first one.... It is so much fun and will probably keep growing every year. I have a book for you to try out
Eerie Elegance/ How to host a haunt and other fabulous frights by Britta Peterson. Its a party how to book and it has a lot of good tips in it.

As for my tips for you, do not over plan your food, it costs so much money and I always go way overboard. I always pick out 20 things to make and buy all of the ingredients then I run out of time to make it all. You would think that I would learn my lesson but I have not and I have been doing this for 15 years! If your party is going to be at dinner time you will need the whole menu but if it is going to be after dinner most people will have eaten something so they will want to snack. It is so easy to get excited and just keep adding to your list. I think your menu is fantastic, I don't think you will need much more than that. I would say don't choose foods that will take a lot of time that way you can get everything done. There are tons of recipes that look great and don't take a lot of time. If you can make it the day before you should do so. I am always cooking and dressing up the party and never have time to get ready myself. Decorate the party the day before as well, you think it wont take that much time but when you are making food, decorating, on the phone and you are still not ready, your party isn't much fun for you anymore. I guess i mean time management, do everything you can before the day of the party

My other huge ***important tip for you*** since this is your first year your party will be fantastic and you will get the bug to want to do it again next year even better so go to the after holiday clearance sales at Target, TJ Maxx, Ross, Dollar General, Michaels, Jo Ann fabrics etc... The week after Halloween is when I buy most of my Halloween things for the next year. You can get great things at great prices and don't have to spend so much the next year. I may spend $100 but it would have been $400 if I got it during the season. You will thank me for this next year when you open a tote and have all of these useful things that you didn't pay that much for! Good things to get on clearance are, creepy cloth, spider webs, serving dishes, utensils, dish towels, anything to cover furniture, table cloths table runners etc...Jack o lanterns and string lights. These are things that you can use every year no matter what your party theme is.

Im really excited for you.....and so happy you found the forum, cant wait to hear more about your party
 
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