“When witches go riding, & black cats are seen, the moon laughs & whispers… it’s near Halloween”
GAH – this past weekend, I celebrated my second annual Halloween Dinner Party up North & I could NOT be happier with how it all turned out – like I am one million percent over the moon ecstatic with the end result. This years’ theme was “Creepy Carnival“, & I wanted to share just how easy it can be to throw a totally inexpensive, themed Halloween bash utilizing primarily recyclable materials & [somewhat] healthy treats!! Side Note: talk about bad timing with the grotesque overabundance of creepy clown sightings… whoops… but I promise I planned this theme & décor a YEAR in advance!!!!
Budget & Eco-Friendly Halloween Bash
Contrary to popular opinion held by various family members & my boyfriend, I am actually really opposed to spending money… especially when it’s just meant for one night!!! This year, I budgeted $50.00 on decorations for my “Creepy Carnival” bash, & am super happy to report that I stayed on budget & it looked utterly fabulous. Here’s how I did it:
1. Choose a couple of spaces in your house to decorate & go ALL OUT
Instead of attempting to decorate your whole house entirely to theme, select two or three high-traffic spaces of your home & go to TOWN on the decorations! I find that when you try to decorate the entire house, you have to spend a small fortune in order for it to look half decent, & because this is completely unrealistic, your party will end up looking like it has a few, haphazard decorations here & there. However when you only have a couple of confined areas to decorate, you’ll get a much more complete look. We’re going for quality over quantity here.
I chose to decorate the front door, the dining room table & the coffee table in the family room… that’s it – but because I only selected those three areas, I could really invest in some spook-tacular pieces to really pull the whole thing together!!
2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Use what you already have!!
Everyone already has Halloween decorations… USE THEM! Don’t spend an obscene amount of money on purchasing brand new decorations simply because it doesn’t fit exactly to your party theme. I re-used a TON of decorations from last years’ “Edgar Allan Poe” themed party: crows & rats in the concession stand, skulls on the dining room table, severed fingers in the concession stand popcorn, black lace table runner etc. Get creative with Halloween pieces you already have & then purchase or DIY a couple of key pieces that DO fit your theme – it will add so much depth & detail to your party!
I re-used the black, spider lace table runner above & below, as well as the skulls & crows from last year’s party! The candles, lanterns & picture frames used below were items I already had around the house! Side Note: I filled the picture frames with black & white vintage carnival photos!
ALSO – take a look around your home! Could any of the pieces in your home work for your bash? For example, we have a ton of really great black & “antique looking” lanterns that work for any Halloween theme & Christmas lights to represent the bright lights of the Big Top! – NOTE – candles are also your very best friend & add an instant, gothic or creepy vibe to your décor.
I also tried to utilize as many recyclable pieces as possible – poisonous wine bottles, cardboard boxes for the concession stand, an old skid for the ticket booth. Want to take a guess at how much THESE items cost me?! A big fat ZERO… not to mention, entirely eco-friendly to boot!
I am OBSESSED with this ticket stand made from a skid!! SO PERFECT for the theme – gave it a real, broken down vintage vibe! The lanterns here were also items from around the cottage!
1. Have your guests dress to theme
Having your guests wear costumes according to theme is another really great way to enhance the ambience… they essentially become an instant decoration themselves!! At our party, we had a:
- Ventriloquist Dummy & Puppet Master
- Fortune Teller
- Circus Animal
- Bearded Lady
- Carnival Candy Girl
2. Use what’s already in your closet
To save money on your costume, take a peek inside of your closet before deciding what you want to be! I knew that I had this really great, black tuxedo-esque blazer, black leggings & black tank top, & that my dad had a red bow-tie… ventriloquist dummy it was! All I had to do was purchase a top hat at the Dollarstore which literally cost me $1.50. Work with your wardrobe guys… super cost-effective & SO fun to pull something together!
3. Go “natural” in the makeup department
Okay so this point has nothing to do with being cost-effective & everything to do with being healthy & mindful of what you’re putting onto your body!!! You’re skin is your body’s biggest organ & your first line of defense against foreign pathogens, so you want to make sure that what you apply to it is natural & chemical free!
For this years’ look, I tried to use as many non-toxic products as I possibly could – for certain areas, like the whites under my eyes and the black “mouth”, it simply wasn’t feasible… however everything else was au naturale!!! Here’s what I used below:
- Lips – Get Sexy Red Lip Pencil by Saint Cosmetics
- Cheeks – Get Me To The Altar by Saint Cosmetics
- Freckles, Eyeliner – Zuzu Luxe Black Liquid Liner – purchased from Ambrosia Natural Foods
- Mascara – Black Mascara Gabriel Cosmetics – purchased from Ambrosia Natural Foods
- Mouth & White Eyes: Basic costume makeup from the dollar store!
PS. Looking for more costume ideas??? Check out my DIY scarecrow makeup, using non-toxic makeup HERE!
Food & Beverage
1. Keep food sensitivities in mind!
I tried my VERY best to be as accommodating as possible when it came to Halloween treats for party guests!! You want everyone to be able to enjoy your delectable delicacies… it is Halloween after all! A majority of the food/drinks served at the “Creepy Carnival” concession stand were plant-based & gluten-free!
2. My Creepy Carnival Menu:
*** Ps. Stay tuned this Thursday, because I’m posting Vampire Blood Cocktails on the blog!
Are YOU hosting a Halloween themed bash this year?!