If you’re hosting a Halloween Party for the over 21 crowd, a bar is a must, and with a few tweeks to your regular drinks cart, you can be Halloween ready before the first cork is popped.
While spooky, creepy and downright frightening cocktails are always fun to concoct, basic bar essentials can also have that Halloween vibe. Try these quick ideas to make your bar spooktactular this year!
Spiderweb Wine Glasses
Add some temporary spook to your every day wine glasses by making your own glass clings. Draw spider webs with glossy puff paint onto plastic page separators and allow them to dry completely. Once dry, these webs will easily peel off and cling to both plastic and glass wine glasses, high balls and shot glasses. After the party, simply peel off and toss, or store back on a page protector for next year.
Eye Ball Ice Cubes
The perfect addition to your Halloween martinis, these ice cubes can be made by popping pimento stuffed olives into your regular ice cube tray, covering with water and freezing. Pile your eyeball ice into a bowl on the bar – part drink ingredient, part decoration!
Blood Rimmed Glasses
This looks especially bloodcurdling on martini glasses but can be used for any style of glass. Mix a few drops of red food coloring into light corn syrup and pour onto a plate. Twist the rim of an inverted glass slowly on the plate before pulling up and letting most of the excess drip off. Flip the glasses right side up and let the “blood” dribble slightly down the side of the glass.
Halloween Wine Bottle Labels
This subtle but fun addition to your bar will have your guests doing a double take. Type up a few ghoulish labels on your computer and print to size on antiqued or good quality paper. Use a glue stick to adhere right over the existing wine bottle label and line them up on your bar.
Decorating your house for Halloween doesn’t have to mean rushing out to buy styrofoam tombstones and plastic skeletons, although those can make fun additions to your home as well! Almost anything can be made into a Halloween decoration with a little time, spray paint and sense of fun.
Look around the house for tchotchkes, ornaments and knickknacks you don’t really care about anymore. Or if your house is knickknack free, hit up your local charity store and bring home a bag of candle-holders, porcelain statues and small vases.
Give everything a good scrub in hot, soapy water, or run through your dishwasher to remove any dust or sticky labels.
Once dry, set your pieces 5-6 inches apart on cardboard and spray with black, glossy spray paint in short, thin bursts. You’ll end up with a cleaner finished product using several thin coats rather than a single thick coat that is likely to drip.
Continue painting, turning the objects as needed, until they are completely covered in paint. Allow the paint to cure overnight before scattering your Halloween Knickknacks thought out the house.
The following is a guest submission that’s eerily beautiful. Create your own spooky silhouettes with the instructions below.
Silhouettes have the uncanny ability to be classic and elegant or creepy and dark, depending on the subject matter and the skill of the artist.
What’s so cool about Halloween silhouettes is that they can be both creepy and classic at the same time. This makes them the perfect centerpiece for an elegant Halloween invitation!
While silhouette clipart is can be purchased on disk or for download, creating your own silhouettes is surprisingly easy. All you need is a digital camera and photo editing software.
For an invitation, tall and narrow silhouettes work best, but don’t stop short at faces in profile. Look around your house and yard for images that would suit a silhouette. A leafless tree or a side shot of your porch, a witches hat hanging on a coat hook.
Import your photo into your photo editing software and use the magnetic lasso tool to select only the parts of the photo you want to remove from your silhouette.
Be sure to keep in as much detail as possible, crooked little branches and curvy doorknobs add interest and depth to your finished image. Delete the background from your photo and use your paint bucket tool to turn the remaining parts black.
Once you have a basic silhouette, it’s time to add it to your invitation. Decide on the finished size of your card and size the silhouette to fit. Most silhouettes will look best if the bottom of the image extends to the very edge of the card.
Add your party information using the text tool, centering it in the remaining space on your card.
Done! Wait for that flood of RSVPs, and you have a party waiting to happen!
Many thanks to guest contributor Jillian Grimm (don’t you just love that name?) for this easy, awesome tutorial.
Felt makes an excellent, virtually no-sew choice for simple Halloween costumes.
Because it doesn’t fray, felt does not require hemming. It is also easily glued and hand sewn, making it perfect for the non-sewing crowd. And with a variety of colors available at your local fabric store or a fabric store online, the possibilities are endless.
Here are just a few simple and easily customizable Halloween costumes that can be made from felt in almost no time at all.
Mustache-on-a-Stick and Masquerade Masks
These quick mini costumes are perfect for a last minute party and are also great to hand out to non-costumed guests at your own Halloween bash.
Cut two mustacheor mask shapes from a small piece of felt (sheets of felt are available at most craft stores or online). Thread an embroidery needle with a two-foot piece of coordinating or contrasting (depending on the look you want) embroidery thread and sew a simple running stitch around all the edges.
When you have an inch or so to go, pause and stuff your mask or moustache with small pieces of felt scraps to give it a little poof and stability and finish stitching closed. Insert a dowel between the stitches on one side and secure with a few drops of craft glue.
Have a little Batman in your house? They’ll love to swoop and swirl in this easy batcape. The weight of the fabric give the perfect drape for a cape and the wide width of felt sold in most fabric stores means you can avoid cutting and sewing panels of fabric to create the cape shape.
Fold one yard of 45-inch width black felt in half with the folded edge to one side. On the side opposite the fold, cut a triangle that starts a third of the way up from the bottom and finishes along the top edge, about 5 inches from the fold.
Make a second cut from the starting point of the triangle along the bottom, rounding it toward the fold. This creates a basic cape shape. Round the neck slightly and cut scallops along the bottom edge and stitch or glue ribbon (if you suspect this will become a long term addition to the costume box, stitching is best) to each side of the collar.
Measure the circumference of your head and add an inch. Cut a triangle from black felt with all sides at that measure.
Roll the triangle into a cone and glue the seam with craft glue. Once dry, trim the bottom to be straight before setting out for some Harry Potter trick-or-treating!
Red Riding Hood
Following the same proportions as the bat cape but leaving off the scallops and using red felt, you can create a simple cloak for your Little Red Riding Hood. In addition to the cape and ribbon ties, you will need to create a hood.
Cut a 16-inch by 12-inch rectangle from the felt.
Fold the rectangle along the long side to get a smaller 8 by 12-inch piece.
Stitch or glue (again, stitching will hold longer) the top edge of this new rectangle.
Open the bottom edge back up and center along the neck of the cloak. You’ll need to fold or gather the bottom edge to fit within the neckline.
Pin into place and stitch the hood to the cape with general-purpose thread.
A few years back for Halloween, I wanted to make my own costume that was both original and cost effective. By cost effective, I mean cheap. I was a little low on cash, yet bent on creating the most unique Harley Quinn costume imaginable (a super villainess from Batman).
Mind you, I am not a seamstress. In fact, if I have to sew anything at all, I either pay a tailor or beg my boyfriend to sew the item for me as he is much better at it than me. He also has much more patience. With that in mind, how did I end up creating my Harley Quinn costume?
Look for Old Clothes that can Resemble your Halloween character
Looking through my closet, I found a pair of old black spandex pants and a spaghetti top that could fit the style of Harley Quinn in the comic, as well as the hybrid Harley Quinn ideas I had swirling around in my head. Since these clothing items were already available to me, I decided to merely paint over them to get the color scheme I wanted for my costume and then only pay for or make my accessories.
Keep in mind that painting a costume over clothes you already own can be time consuming, so I would start early. This means you need to start painting 2-3 weeks ahead of time, depending on the paint needed to create the costume effects on the clothing items.
Designing Your Costume with Fabric Paint
The fabric paint I used was Jacquard fabric paint in the colors of Red, Black, Silver and White. If you are planning on creating a horror type costume, I recommend you mix water into the paint to get that bloody, messy look. I used it on my costume to get a look that didn’t seem deliberate for character purposes and it came out quite well.
If you plan on mixing water to the paint, you definitely need to use a sealant as the paint will bleed even more after water is added to it. The consistency becomes very watery. Remember NOT to add water if you want a solid color look.
Although I used pretty basic solid colors, Jacquard also offers shimmer, glossy and glittery fabric colors for those who want a more ethereal or otherworldly look.
Also, make sure they are clothes you won’t miss once you have changed them because although fabric dye can sometimes bleed, it is quite permanent for the most part.
To prevent fabric paint bleed, you may want to invest in a fabric paint sealant. I used Crafty Crafty Chica Glossy Gloss Varnish, which I found online at Amazon. You can easily find this sealant online at Amazon, Ebay, and online craft stores. It may be difficult to find in store so I recommend online.
Another Option: Second Hand Clothing Stores or Modify an Old Costume
If you prefer not to alter any clothing you own already, a good option is to get secondhand clothing or re-use and alter an old costume you may have from previous years. This is simple enough if you decide to take a costume from previous years and simply create an evil or twisted version of that costume, which can be fun.
If not, secondhand clothing is the way to go. The clothing prices vary, but you should be able to find your entire costume for under $20.
For accessories, you can find wands, weapons, etc. at your local costume store and if you are going for a comic book character, you may be able to get away with purchasing a cheap kid version of the item.
Also, if something is for decoration and it is possible to make it, it is almost always cheaper to do so.
Here is a picture of me on Halloween with friends in my Harley Quinn costume:
As you can see, the pants and shirt were both painted ½ red, ½ black and the colors were alternated to create a checkered look when the costume is worn.
I created my own accessories by cutting white felt into the shape of a jester’s choker, but exaggerated the size and length of it. I also made my own bracelets and anklets out of elastic band and attached small little sleigh bells. I wore ankle boots with the outfit, which I also would have painted, but I did not have time. It turns out even painting your clothing takes time!
On the left is another photo of just my make-up for the costume the day after, which I had altered for a different Halloween party to get a more twisted look, whereas the look above is more classic and true to the comic.
Good luck, and remember, have fun and be creative; it will definitely pay off when that yearly Halloween party comes around!
Get your Halloween on. All year long.