Our $25 Halloween Party – How To Have A Cheap But Fun Halloween Party
Halloween is one of our favorite holidays. One year we decided to have a Halloween party for my brother’s family, my mom and my family, which included 10 people (five adults, four kids and a baby). We were able to put it together for less than $25 for the decorations, food, party treats and costumes for my family.
Keep in mind when reading about what we did that we save a lot of money by using items we already have, adapting them if necessary and buying only the minimum necessary from discount or dollar stores. A little creativity goes a long way for any holiday preparation and the kids always seem to look back the most fondly on the things that cost the least but required a little more thought. Usually, if you pay more for decorations, you are buying someone else’s creativity and it will be less memorable.
Here is what we did including a breakdown of the prices at the bottom of the page. Click on any of the pictures for a larger view.
We either purchased most of the decorations on clearance or already had them.
We draped spider webs from the ceiling fan to each wall and hung streamers all over the room. We turned the pictures so they were crooked or falling down. I didn’t dust for a month. We had a large black yarn spider web that we hung on the wall over the couch.
We put red tissue paper over the top of the globes of some lights for an eerie lighting effect. We then placed as many candles as we could find all over the room. Used tiny tea lights and placed on plates with a larger candle in the middle.
We draped Christmas lights around the punch bowl which was sitting on the baby’s changing table that was draped with a black sheet. We hung a Happy Halloween banner that we had from years past.
We draped a black sheet over the couch. We reused a sheet that we had purchased for $2.00 at a discount store and previously used for a craft show.
We set the table with a table cloth and cups, plates and napkins purchased new at a garage sale. We laid vinyl gloves next to each plate. (I already had a huge package from another project.) We didn’t allow anyone to use any utensils to eat. They could only eat with their hands.
We drew pumpkin faces with permanent marker on the orange plates.
We really did eat only with gloves!
For the table we put a pumpkin tablecloth that we had received as a gift. A black sheet could also be used. We put more candles on the table. We put a ghost in a tree trunk that we had from years past. He moves up and down and goes boo. We placed spider rings all over the table.
Using any candles we can find…
We laid out tags to identify the food that I made using clip art and a spooky font. Then we tore out the tags and spread a wet tea bag all over them to make them look old. Some of the names were Witches Brew, Slime, Vomit, Monster Toes, Deviled Eyeballs, Floating Eyeballs, Octopus etc.
Here are some of the foods we made:
Slimy Hands (on the tray)- Green Jell-O poured into vinyl gloves. Chill until set. Peel off gloves and lay on tray. You may have to piece a finger or two back on. This adds to the effect ;-). Also pictured are Deviled Eyeballs, Floating Eyeballs (a bowl of grapes in water), and vomit (salsa).
We put the food either on silver platters ( we already had but purchased at a garage sale for .10 each) or in clear bowls so that everyone could see the full effect of the food.
Octopus– Cut the hot dogs about 2/3 of the way up into 8 sections. Boil until they curl and then use cloves for the eyes.
We served the Octopus with chili and cheese. Be creative with whatever your family likes!
Monster Toes- Hot dogs with a small hole cut in the end wrapped in biscuit dough and then baked. Fill hole with catsup.
Graveyard pudding – chocolate pudding topped with crushed chocolate cookies. We wrote names with frosting on a few of the cookies for tombstones. We put a few gummie worms around the edges.
Witches Brew and Caramel Apples. Witches Brew was Hawaiian Punch.
Spider Cupcakes – Cupcakes topped with two blobs of frosting for the spider body. Then we used licorice and made the legs. We couldn’t find the string licorice so we cut up regular licorice with scissors. Try and find the string licorice if possible. Trust me on this! It’s really hard to cut licorice into that many little pieces.
Ghost Suckers – We wrapped suckers with a tissue and tied them at the bottom. Draw on the faces with a marker.
We also had yummy Orange Popcorn Balls. (not pictured)
We were able to make costumes for our family of 5 for around $2.00.
I was a witch. I have used this costume for years. I wear a black dress, a wig that I purchased on clearance one year for around $1.00, a hat that I have had as long as I can remember. I also smear black mascara on my face to look dirty, black out a tooth with mascara, stretch spider web on the hat and hook a spider ring on my glasses so that it looks like a spider is crawling on them.
Tawra with the octopus. (Is that really a costume she’s wearing?)
BJ and David were both Superman. ($0) They wore some Superman pajama’s that they received as a present from their uncle Dave who thinks he is Superman. We then put red hair gel in their hair and spiked it. The gel was free from a rebate.
Mike was Kryptonite Man. (You know like Kryptonite that makes Superman lose his power.) This was an original costume he made as a tongue in cheek gag for all of the Supermen that were coming to our party. He wore a green shirt, put a green blanket around him and made a Superman like logo on the computer to wear on his chest. Then we colored his hair and face green with face paint. The .20 was for the face paint.
He put a giant green and black spider that he named Rex on his shoulder. (As you might imagine, there was not much cost in this costume. Our total out of pocket was $0.20 worth of face paint. We already had the spider which we have had for years and originally got for something like .10 at a garage sale).
Nan (Jill) was the kissing monster.
Elly (on the right) was a princess Barbie. We made the costume using a head piece and jewelry we purchased at the dollar store, a regular pair of her dress shoes and a dress we purchased for $0.25 from a garage sale.
We didn’t plan too many games. The kids were in school all day and trick or treating started about 6:30 so we only planned enough games to last from when the kids got out of school until we went trick or treating. If you’re not sure, plan for extra games and then drop some of them if you run out of time. Don’t feel like you have to do it just because you planned it.
Elly and Alex painting their pumpkins
Pumpkin carving and painting. $1.00 for the paints and carving supplies.
Halloween treasure hunt. Click this link for what the clues said. ($5.00 for the small toys and treats. This was for the 4 kids.)
David getting ready for the glow in the dark chalk drawing. (David does all the illustrations for our books.)
Sidewalk chalk – drawing on the driveway with glow in the dark sidewalk chalk. (Grandmother “Nan” gave it as a gift to the kids.)
Pin the nose on the pumpkin – We had a pumpkin cutout from years past and we cut out triangles from black construction paper for the noses
Then we went Trick or Treating.
We had a blast for under $25.00! You can have great parties for very little money. Just try to think of different uses for things you already have. Try shopping you local dollar store. Many of them have lots of great stuff for very little money. Be sure and purchase items for next year’s party on clearance. One of the ways we save a bundle is planning at clearance time for the next year. You can also buy extra face paint, hair gels etc. for birthday parties or school carnivals! Just because you’re frugal doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!
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Spider webs- 3 large $0.60, 10 small $1.00 10 Spider rings- $0.20 Large black spider web- $0.50 Streamers- $1.00 Happy Halloween banner- Reused from a previous year Pumpkin table cloth- Reused from a previous year. You could just as easily use a black sheet. 15-20 Candles – we already had Black sheet for the couch – We used one we purchased previously for a craft show Cups, plates and napkins- $0.50 for all items new in packages at a garage sale Vinyl gloves – We used some we already had that we had purchased for another project.
Octopus- Hot dogs, chili and cheese – $2.50 Monster toes $0.25 (We used a full package of hot dogs between the monster toes and octopus.) Slime Hands – Lime Jell-o – $0.30 Graveyard pudding $1.50 Vomit-Salsa – $0.25 Tortilla Chips – $2.00 Spider cupcakes $1.50 – Cupcake liners were $0.10 on clearance (included) Ghost Suckers – $0.40 Caramel apples $1.50 for caramels and apples Punch – $1.00 Deviled eyeballs – $0.50 Floating eyeballs – Green grapes – $0.50 Orange Popcorn Balls – $0.75
(family of 5) – Total $2.05 Tawra – Witch – Reused a costume I’ve had for years Boys – Superman costumes: Received sleepers as gifts from their uncle, hair gel for boys was free with rebate Mike – Kryptonite Man – $0.20 for face paint, no cost for old shirt, blanket and giant spider we’ve had for years Elly – Princess Barbie – head piece and jewelry – $1.00 at dollar store, dress – $0.25 at garage sale, dress shoes she already had Trick or treat bags – 2 @ $0.30 each
Pumpkin carving and painting – $1.00 for paints and carving supplies Halloween treasure hunt -$5.00 for small toys and treats for the four older kids Pin the nose on the pumpkin – Free Sidewalk chalk – gift to the kids from Nan (Jill, their grandmother) Trick or Treating – No cost!
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