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Ahhhhhhh…the good old Halloween Party. Halloween parties are but some of the festivities that can lead up to the big night of trick-or-treating for kids. Throwing a Halloween party for your kids doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.
In fact, here is the ultimate guide on DIY Halloween party ideas for kids ranging from decorations + food to games + activities.
DIY Halloween Party Ideas for Decorations
Turn items you probably already have in the house into cute but inexpensive Halloween party decorations. Not only are these ideas inexpensive but they don’t take all that much time.
Egg Carton Bats
- Spray paint cardboard egg cartons black – inside + out.
- Cut a section that has three egg depressions.
- Turn upside down. The middle hump (was an egg depression when right-side up is the head of the bat.
- Glue two googly eyes in the middle of the hump. The humps on each side are the bat wings.
- Hot glue fishing wire, ribbon or pipe cleaners to the back of the head for hanging.
- Use landscaping logs from the gardening department for small jack-o-lanterns + larger round logs you find in the forest for bigger jack-o-lanterns.
- The smaller logs should be cut into sections from 4 to 6 inches tall.
- The larger logs from 12 to 15 inches tall.
- Spray paint orange.
- Find branches that are stem shaped — wider at the bottom + narrower at the top.
- Spray paint the stems black.
- Glue to the top of the log.
- Paint faces on the logs in black.
- Cut sheets of cheesecloth into 8 inch strips. You can also use old white sheets for this.
- Wrap the door crisscrossing some of the strips. This works best with two people one on either side of the door.
- Before the last wrapping, add two large white circles with black centers as the eyes of the mummy.
These are so easy + cheap you could hand them out as treats on Halloween.
- Use round ball-shaped lollypops.
- Cut two squares of white paper or cloth about 4 inches square.
- Place the squares on top of the lollypop.
- Tie with black ribbon right under the lollypop.
- Draw a ghost face with a black marker.
Balloon Spider Web
- Blow up the balloons.
- Spray with adhesive or paint with white glue.
- Wrap the balloons in white string crisscrossing but leaving lots of space between the string to resemble a spider web.
- Spray or paint again with glue.
- Let thoroughly dry.
- Pop the balloon.
- The string web should remain in place.
- Glue several spiders to the outside of the web.
A little tricky but worth the effort. And they’re cheap to make.
- Place a baby doll in a sitting position with its arms straight out. A vinyl or plastic doll with no hair works best for this.
- Soak cheesecloth in a heavy starch solution.
- Wring out.
- Drape the cheesecloth around the doll, molding it the head + around the arms + legs.
- Let dry.
- When you remove the doll the cheesecloth retains the doll’s shape for an eerie looking ghost.
Plastic Spiders in Ice Cubes
- Wash plastic spiders in soapy water.
- Place one spider in each ice cube section of an ice cube tray.
- Add water.
- Place the ice cubes in glasses or the large ice cube in a punch bowl.
Muddy Ice Cubes
- Mix red, yellow, orange, green + purple food coloring in orange juice to make a mud brown color.
- Freeze in ice cube trays.
- For an added touch, add plastic worms to each cube.
Easy peasy + cheap as in almost free.
- Remove the labels from empty gallon containers of milk or water.
- Draw ghost faces on the containers in black using paint or markers.
- Fill with a layer of clear or white pebbles to weight the containers down so they won’t blow away.
- Stop there or add a touch of lights. Wrap small flashlights that only cost about a dollar with beige or white masking tape.
- Widen the neck of the gallon container so the flashlight barely fits in with the light shining down +the switch at the top.
- Use a bit more masking tape to fasten the flashlight securely.
- Or fill the containers with Christmas mini-lights on a white cord (a green cord shows through the container + ruins the effect).
Spooky Mini Garden
- Paint a terracotta plant saucer black.
- Fill with moss + rocks.
- Add in artificial crows, a skeleton, skulls, mini pumpkins, mini witch hats, mini gravestones or any other miniature symbols of Halloween to create a tiny Halloween scene.
Bloody Napkins + Tablecloth
This is messy + can stain so do this somewhere clean up is easy, like the backyard.
- Cut napkin-size squares from an old white sheet.
- Fill a spray bottle with double strength red Kool Aid. Don’t add sugar you just want the color.
- Spray + drip the “blood” on the napkins + white sheet.
Here are a few creative ideas for outdoor decorations.
- Cut ghost shapes out of quarter inch plywood with a jigsaw.
- Then screw in a painted stake to the back of the cut out, be sure your screws are screwed in from the front of ghost.
- Paint the ghost shapes white + then use black paint to make eyes + mouth push the stake into the ground.
- Using the same idea cut out shapes of a tombstone + use spray paint with a faux stone finish in grey.
- Let dry.
- Paint RIP with black paint. Foam board can be used instead of plywood but it won’t last more than one season. The plywood will last for several years + since it’s flat it doesn’t take up much storage space.
- Place a skeleton hand on each side of the tombstone on the “grave” as if the dead person was coming out.
- Make a headless man using an old pair of jeans, shoes, gloves, shirt + jacket.
- Stuff jeans with rolled towels, newspaper or plastic grocery bags.
- Arrange jean “legs” on a chair that has back support or on a bench up against a wall.
- Then stuff the T-shirt + stuff the arms.
- Place the shoes + gloves where they should be. To arrange the limbs sometimes takes some finessing.
- Use fake blood around the neck.
- Have your headless man hold a jack-o-lantern as his head. On Halloween night or party time, spread raw hamburger where the neck should be + use ketchup for more blood.
- Trim your trees + save branches from 5 to 7 feet long. You could also use dead tree branches as well.
- Spray paint black.
- When dry place upright along the sidewalk up to your door to create an eerie forest. These could also be used inside. For an added touch hang cobwebs from branch to branch.
Pumpkins aren’t the only source for jack-o-lanterns. These alternative jack-o-lanterns have to be carved no more than a day ahead since they won’t last. Watermelons look menacing with their outside green skin + bright red flesh inside.
- Scoop out the flesh of a watermelon but leave at least a couple of inches of red. Try small nearly rindless watermelons as well as larger melons.
- Another option is to carve eggplants into small demon faces. Buy the largest you can find to make carving easier. The weird shape of the eggplant adds to the fun.
DIY Halloween Party Room Decorations
Pull out your Halloween decorations. Any and all skeletons, bats, spiders, snakes, pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, witches hat, spider webs, black cats, etc. will do. But don’t stop there.
Black tulle draped over furniture gives an eerie effect. White sheets draped gives a ghostly effect.
- Stuff the tulle to form a ghostly shape.
- Hang up several ghosts + hide a rotating fan out of sight to blow on them.
- Use helium balloons for the ghost head. (Helium will only last for the evening so do this right before party time.)
- Drape one layer of tulle over the balloon, gather it then tie it closed.
- Tie the balloon strings to the back of furniture so the helium balloon ghost won’t float away.
- Hang it up where the breeze can make it flutter.
Eerie Room Atmosphere
Fog machine, strobe lights + black lights can create eerie effects. When using black lights try to have them in an area that has no other light source. If possible designate a room where the door can be shut so it highlights the effect.
- Splatter butcher paper or brown wrapping paper with glow-in-the-dark paint.
- Tack the paper up on the walls.
- Buy dry ice only an hour or two before the party. Keep in your freezer.
- Put dry ice in containers or hollowed out pumpkins.
- Add water + watch the fog start rolling in. Kids are amazed by it. Keep it where the kids can’t touch it because the ice itself can give you a bad burn if touched with bare hands. The ice is so cold it freezes skin.
Create a Creepy Wedding Altar
- Tack large black garbage bags on a wall.
- Drape the bags over an arch.
- Ask your grocer’s floral department to save you red roses that they were going to throw out.
- Dry the roses. Red roses turn an ugly black.
- Place the black roses in spray painted black vases on either side of the arch.
- For your bride use any long white dress, preferably with long sleeves. Drape the dress from the ceiling with fishing wire so it looks like a ghost. Add a skeleton head + a veil made from tulle. Blow up white latex gloves + place in the long sleeves.
Don’t forget to play spooky music. Music or spooky sounds can only add to your party atmosphere. If you don’t have a Halloween CD then play a regular CD on a much slower speed. It’s also possible to download scary sounds from the Internet.
DIY Halloween Party Ideas for Food
One of the most enjoyable aspects of a Halloween party is the food. There are hundreds of recipes that have been specifically created for this spooky holiday.
Keep the food simple + familiar but with a twist. Rename favorites in the Halloween theme. Use food coloring in blues, greens + browns to alter the way a dish looks.
Or use familiar food in unfamiliar ways. For example blanch a cauliflower head, break apart + then reassemble (this makes the cauliflower easier to serve). Cover the cauliflower with ranch dressing then using ketchup in a squeeze bottle outline each floret with the ketchup so it looks like a brain.
Use some of these other ideas to help you plan the yummiest menu possible.
Human Finger Chicken Fingers
Serve chicken fingers with blood (any red dipping sauce). Add a sliced almond for the finger nail to create a realistic look.
Snakes in the Swamp
Another dish to try is to add equal parts red, blue + yellow food color to spaghetti after it’s been cooked so it turns an ugly brownish color. Serve with a green pesto sauce + call it snakes in the swamp.
Make goofy eyeballs out of meatballs.
- Shape seasoned ground meat into an oval with a flat top + bottom.
- Bake until done.
- Cut a round circle out of mozzarella cheese about the size of a half dollar or one inch in diameter to create the white part of the eye.
- Cut grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes into three slices.
- Cut black olives in half.
- Assemble the goofy eyeballs by placing a slice of cheese on the meatball, then a slice of tomato on the cheese + top with a black olive half.
- Vary the placement of the toppings so the eyeballs are looking in different directions.
- Make your favorite punch + add a few ghoul hands.
- To make these hands, fill non-powdered rubber gloves with cranberry or other red juice. (Don’t overfill, the fingers of the glove should still move easily.)
- Close gloves tightly with rubber bands + freeze flat on cookie sheets, which have been lined with paper towels.
- When ready to serve, open gloves with scissors + add to punch. You may want to break off one or two fingers + add them separately so they float in the punch bowl.
- A fun punch can be with one quart of lime drink, one quart of lemon lime soda + one cup of lime sherbet. The sherbet should be added right before serving. Stir so the sherbet foams up a bit with the soda. Dust the foam lightly with cocoa powder to resemble dirt.
- It’s not a good idea to use dry ice in your punch to make it smoke. Curious hands may try to touch the dry ice resulting in freezer burn. Instead place the dry ice in containers out of reach, such as the back of a table + you can still have the atmosphere of the smoky fog without the worry of accidents.
- Spread peanut butter or cheese spread onto round butter crackers.
- Place four chow mien noodles or small pretzel sticks on each side of the cracker making eight spider legs.
- Stack a cracker on top making a sandwich.
- Dip raisins into peanut butter or cheese spread + place on top as spider eyes.
- Prepare ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce.
- Arrange ribs to resemble a human rib cage.
- Place a half of a red pepper or tomato in the middle as the heart + put a real knife or fake knife into the heart.
- Place a candy corn into each finger of a plastic deli glove.
- Fill the glove with popcorn until plump.
- Tie off at the wrist of the glove.
- Slice carrots, cucumbers or radishes in bite size circles.
- Put a dab of cream cheese on top.
- Put 1/2 of a black or green olive on top.
Fingers + Dip
- Peel + slice carrots length wise into finger size pieces.
- Attach almond slices or plain potato chips pieces onto one end of the carrots with cream cheese, dip, or hummus as the fingernail.
- Use the same idea using pretzel rods.
- Supply your favorite dip.
- Core + slice an apple.
- Spread peanut butter to one side of the apple slice.
- Put three or four tiny marshmallows for teeth on top of the peanut butter toward the bottom of the apple slice.
- Top with another apple slice, peanut butter side down.
- Use a cooked hot dog or breaded chicken strips or nuggets.
- Place in tortilla with ketchup.
- Roll up burrito style leaving one end open.
- Use ketchup to dot on eyes of mummy.
- Create scary, silly, or jack-o-lantern faces using meat, cheese + vegetables pieces on round foods such as pizzas, cheese crisps, quesadilla or tostadas. You can use homemade pizzas or frozen cheese pizzas.
- Use pepperoni + black olives as eyes, red pepper pieces to form a nose or diced onions to create teeth.
- For cheese crisps use black olives for eyes, shredded lettuce for a mouth, salsa or sour cream for noses or mouths.
- Slice bagel in half.
- Spread on cream cheese.
- Fill with meat.
- Use a piece of ham to make a tongue coming out of center of the bagel hole.
- Attach black olive or pepperoni eyes with cream cheese.
- Use lettuce leaves as hair.
- Add a carrot as a nose.
DIY Halloween Party Ideas for Games + Activities
Trick or treating is the time-honored activity but that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own traditions. Use these ideas to keep kids occupied during a Halloween party.
Bat or Spider Hands or Feet
- Paint your child’s palm black + stamp them on paper.
- To create a bat place, hands together with thumbs touching, keeping fingers close together.
- For a spider, keep wrists touching spread thumbs + fingers apart.
- Add eyes in color paint or using googly eyes.
- Using this same idea paint the bottom of your child’s feet or foot white.
- Stamp onto black paper.
- Let dry.
- Turn paper upside down + paint black eyes + ghost mouth on the “heel” head of ghost.
Copy off Disney or any cute characters + let children make them into scary characters.
- Make skeletons using Q-tips as bones + glue onto black paper.
- On black paper use white chalk to create a spider web or glue Q-tips to create a spider web.
Make a bat by stuffing a black sock with batting, glue eyes on it + cut out bat wings from black craft foam + attach with hot glue or a stapler.
Make pumpkin pots by painting the outside of a terra cotta pot orange. Turn upside down + paint a jack-o-lantern face with black paint. Then glue a piece of wood or stick in the drain hole as the stem.
- Paint a walnut completely orange.
- Let dry.
- Use a black sharpie to draw a jack-o-lantern face on the walnut with the pointed side as the top.
- Cut a piece of black ribbon big enough to fit over the child’s head.
- Hot glue each end to the top of the pumpkin making a necklace.
- Cut out three leaf shapes from green felt.
- Hot glue to the leaves to the top of the “pumpkin” covering up where the two ribbon ends meet.
String hollow macaroni onto a shoelace (the plastic tip of the shoe lace makes stringing easier) to make “bone” necklaces.
Draw Scary Monsters
- Give each child a sheet of paper that has four lines drawn horizontally across it.
- Have everyone draws a head with the neck just showing beyond the first line.
- Fold the paper so the head is hidden + only the neck shows on the remaining ¾ of the sheet.
- The child passes her sheet to the child sitting to next to her.
- Each child draws the body including arms/wings/tentacles to the waist of the monster. Again the waist appears just a bit beyond the second line.
- Fold the paper to hide the body.
- Pass the sheet again.
- Each child draws the legs down to the third line on the paper.
- Fold the sheet again so that only 1/4 of the page is showing.
- Pass the paper again.
- Each child draws feet between the third and fourth lines on the paper
- Unfold the paper to reveal the monsters.
The monster might turn out to have a dragon head, a bear body, octopus legs + lizard feet.
Hold a costume contest. Make up different categories. Award prizes.
Pin the Tail on the Black Cat
Play pin the tail on the black cat or face onto the pumpkin. Use the idea of pin the tail on the Donkey.
Guess the Number of Candy Corns
Fill a jar full of candy corn. Have the kid’s guess how many candy corns are in the jar. The one that comes the closest wins a prize.
Play flashlight tag in the house or around the neighborhood.
Make Witch’s Brew
- Give the children a selection of ingredients, such as fruit + vegetable juices, milk, nut milks, tea, soda, chocolate syrup + a few odd ingredients such as coffee, lemon juice, ketchup, soy sauce, etc.
- Each child selects one of the ingredients to add to the brew.
- Have the first child add the ingredient.
- Have each child taste the brew.
- Continue until all of the ingredients are in the brew.
Feel/Taste + Guess Game
- Blind fold the child or without the child looking have the child touch or taste each item.
- You can either have them guess what they think it feels like or guess what the item actually is. If you have peeled grapes to eat tell them it is eyeballs + they have to guess that it is actually grapes. If they are feeling the grapes ask them to guess what the item is.
Here are some items you can use:
- Peeked or frozen grapes: eyeballs or frog eggs
- Spaghetti or spiral pasta: Brains
- Yogurt: Slime
- Potato chips or almond slices: finger nails
- V-8 juice: Blood
- Gummy worm: earth worms
- Sun Flower Seeds: Witch’s Teeth
- Fruit roll ups cut in strips: old band aids
- Ham Cubes: cut off fingertips
- Bell peppers cut in strips: witches skinny fingers
- Raisins: shriveled spiders or boogers
- Smashed mini wheat: eyelashes
- Pretzel rods or sticks: bones
- Halved tomatoes or bell pepper: Heart
- Sausage links or hot dogs: intestines
- Cooked chicken breast: liver
- Thin round cheese slices: pieces of skin
- Peeled grapes: eyeballs
- Pepperoni slices: scabs
Use some or all of these DIY Halloween party ideas for kids to host your Halloween party. It can create a fun + festive atmosphere for all ages without spending a ton of time or money in the process.