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Some people in this world can make a gorgeous Halloween decoration for any occasion out of a bowl of grits and twist tie. Well, ok, not grits, but you get the point. Me? Nope, I’m not one of them. Notice the title of this section? I have to think about what I want to do and plan well in advance . . . unlessssssss I decide to throw together a last minute gig!
I hope to make a few suggestions about how you can plan decorations and what to grab if you need to throw something together at the last minute. That is where D.A.M.N. comes in! How to come up with decorations at a moment’s notice (D.A.M.N.)
Getting Your Halloween Party Set Up . . . Quickly!
Decide if you are going to use a porch, family room, or a basement and then do two things:
1. Decide how you’re going to make the area dark
Just tape black table cloths over the windows in only a few minutes. I can’t tell you how many Halloween parties I’ve gone to where the hosts keep the lights on! Nay! This is a party filled with make up, mystery, and costumes.
2.Turn off the lights and do some eerie lighting
Take all the lamps you normally have in the room out and put either low wattage or colored bulbs in them. Place them on the floor in each of the corners of the room.
You’d be surprised how just doing those two things will change the atmosphere of your room for little or nothing. And let me tell you, having all your lights pointing up is a great eerie effect and will make great shadows for your party. Oh, and for the guest that keeps saying, “Oh it’s too dark in here.” Send him or her to the store for more chips. DO NOT TURN ON THE LIGHTS!
Oh, many other D.A.M.N. decorations exist that you can pull out what you might not even have thought about. For instance, look up. The ceiling is a perfectly blank canvas for your decorating skills because it’s the perfect showcase for a huge decoration. What, you say? Yes, get one of your large and light yard ghouls that’s just a head and arms and with a long gown or cape and get ready to wow your guests.
Get four 3M temporary hooks and some fishing line that will blend in with the color of your ceiling. Put your ghoul in the center of the room where everyone has to walk under it. Securely tie the arms and body to the hooks.
Add a fifth hook over in a hidden corner and run a separate line from the head of the dummy back to that corner. The head should be bent so it looks like it is peering down at your guests. If it looks too saggy, very slightly raise it. Finally, tie the end of the fishing line off on a table leg or some other heavy item so it can’t fall.
Now to play a trick on your guests. Stand in the corner of the room during the party and wait until everyone is used to seeing the ghoul there. When no one is looking, suddenly pull the string, raising it’s head (or hands if you so desire) and giving your guests quite a scare!
A Murder of Crows
Don’t you just love that group name? Well, it works for this occasion because if you need fast, effective and relatively inexpensive decorations, get a bunch of crows. Put white sheets all over your party room and attach those little birds in groups of three to five everywhere. You can’t go wrong with black and white, no matter what you do, and it’s easy to add to your collection at the end of the season. I’ve purchased them at four for a dollar, so every year I add to my birds. Now I can do a whole house in the style of the movie The Birds if I want.
Collections of Webs and Spiders
Another D.A.M.N. fast decoration is cheep webs and tons of plastic spiders! I bet you have loads of them in your Halloween items already or can make a trip down to your local dollar store to stock up on the little buggers and packages of webs. Get white or green webs because it really doesn’t matter about color, especially if you have a nice sized black light to add to the room.
Pull the webs into really thin, long sections and stretch them as far as you can so that they look real. Then put the spiders, hundreds of them, all over your party room, kitchen, and bathroom so that it looks like your house is working alive with the little devils. Add a black light and watch the webs glow like crazy, and your room will look spookily inviting to any guest in a short amount of time
Sophisticated Party Room
Not every Halloween party room has to be scary, because some really like the more sophisticated look like that of a Martha Stewart display. Great! Get enough inexpensive black material to replace your current drapes and add two or three crows to the ends of your curtain rods for a touch of whimsy. Cover lamp shades in scrap booking paper and tape in place for a temporary Halloween lampshade and use Halloween material to make fast runners for your tables. Add baskets of pumpkins, fall corn, and gourds around the room with branches of multi-colored fall leaves. Place your good Halloween collectables on your book shelves and on many of the surfaces around the room.
But be sure to leave room for drinks and hors ‘d vours your guests will need to set down during your soiree. Add any textile decorations where your normal art goes on the walls and lay past and present Halloween issues of your favorite magazines around your room. Go to you local Farmers’ Market and buy some carved apple dolls or walnut-headed dolls that are commonly made around this time of the year. Those dolls will add a homespun air to add to your room.
These styles of decorations just goes to show you that you don’t have to spend much money or look beyond your own stash for great Decorations At a Moment’s Notice. All you ever need to do is to look at what you have or have access to, and you can make your party and party space something special in just a few short hours. Enjoy your party!