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Planning a Halloween party on a budget

Carene Chong

Wed Oct 23 2013


IT’S that time of the year again when Jack O’Lanterns, ghouls and monsters come out to play. Get the scoop from Carene Chong on how to throw a great Halloween party without breaking the bank.

Whether or not you celebrate Halloween, you have to admit the event is a great excuse to gather some friends around for a night of fun, laughs and horror.

Instead of forking out wads of cash for entry fees and expensive drinks at the club, why not DIY your own spooktastic Halloween party at home and keep everyone and their wallets happy?

Spooky Munchies

Prepare simple nibbles at home or get everyone to bring a dish. Instead of the usual sausage rolls and cheese platter, why not give your party munchies a spooky spin with mummified sausage dippers or Halloween-themed cupcakes complete with spiders and eyeballs?

If you’re not too much of a kitchen king or queen, take a leaf out of my book and grab a cupcake mix from the supermarket. Make the cakes according to the instructions on the box, make some simple icing and decorate to your heart’s content. Add some biscuits for tombstones and chocolate/black icing for spiders. Simple!

For drinks, you can’t go past a good Bloody Mary cocktail. With a name like that and the kick from the Tabasco sauce and vodka, your Halloween party is as good as in the bag. For a non-alcoholic version, just lose the vodka and you’ll still have a delicious and scare-licious treat!

Scary Deco

You can grab some great Halloween decorations for almost nothing at thrift shops or $2 shops. But why spend when you can DIY with simple knick knacks at home?

Pumpkins are the staple decor item, but carving them can be a pain and dangerous if you don’t know what to do. So ditch the knife, grab some paint and get creative. Paint them silly or grab some markers and doodle on them, just be sure to add your own touch! You could even cut out some paper face features and glue them onto the pumpkins for a funny, easy and quirky twist.

Still stuck for deco ideas? Follow these step-by-step instructions to create cute, spooky ghouls. All you need are some paper cups, balloons, cheese cloth and strings and you’re good to go. You can get cheese cloth for any supermarket.

If you have any cheese cloth leftover, cut, chop or tear it apart  (a good stress reliever) and hang around the house for a creepy cobweb effect.

Hair-raising activities

Take on a game of spine-chilling seek-and-find in the dark, if you dare. Image: jon_a_ross via Flickr

Take on a game of spine-chilling seek-and-find in the dark, if you dare. Image: jon_a_ross via Flickr

Snacks? Check! Drinks? Check! Decorations? Check! All that’s left are some activities to keep your guests entertained throughout the night.

For easy, no-fuss entertainment, grab some popcorn and watch a horror flick because nothing beats a good shriek with good company in the comfort of your own home.

The scariest movie this year is, hands down, The Conjuring. If you haven’t watched it, put it on your to-do list and you’re guaranteed an unforgettable Halloween experience.

If your guests are the type that can’t sit still and need more than just a shriek flick to stay entertained, throw in some games to get everyone talking and laughing.

A mystery box would be perfect for the occasion. Put something slimy like raw squid or cooked spaghetti, or something furry like a fur hat or slippers in the box and get the guests to feel inside and guess what it is. Winners who get it right, get party prizes or specially prepared candy packs.

What about a good game of Halloween seek-n-find? All you have to do is hide spooky items like skulls, spiders and severed fingers around the house for your guests to find…in the dark… with only a flashlight. Expect bumps, screams and shrieks as guests stumble on the frightening items or into each other.

By the end of the night, why not give out a prize, a DIY trophy or a plaque to the best dressed at the party? For easy and creative, yet cheap dress up ideas, check out our DIY Halloween costume guide.

Do you have a tip or two of your own on how to throw a killer Halloween party? (Pun intended) Let us know in the comments box below.