If you're trying to plan a Halloween party but the thought of entertaining is just too, well, scary — fear not!
Entertaining and lifestyle expert JJ Keras stops by TODAY to showcase some of her favorite fun decorations, spooky sips and spreads and even a couple ghoulish party games for a great monster mash bash.
Get in the spirit by creating your own flying witch door. Trace a witch figure onto an extra-large roll of black construction paper and cut her out. For the hat, try using black faux leather or velvet fabric from any craft store and add sparkly silver paper to create the hat buckle.
Using spray paint, create a straw broom metallic using gold and add gold ribbon around the handle. Create the cape from any gold fabric and attach to your door with mounting tape.
Drinks and cocktails
Create a hands-on experience for your guests with this mystery punch. Fill a latex glove with water and lay it flat in your freezer. Once frozen, cut off the glove and you'll be left with frozen mystery hand. Fill a punch bowl with your favorite cranberry-based beverage. Simply put the ice hand in the punch bowl and watch guests howl with delight.
Mummy wine bottle
If you're heading out for a frightfully fun evening, don’t show up empty-handed! Choose your favorite wine bottle and peel or soak off the label. Starting at the top, wrap white gauze tape all the way down the bottle. Leave a space below the neck of the bottle for the mummy eyes to peep out. Stick on large googly eyes for fun. If your host or hostess really loves wine, make sure to include a tag with the vineyard, varietal and year.
Pick up stick-on eyeballs in various sizes at your local craft store and just apply them to your cheap party plasticware with glue. It's a great activity for the little ones, also.
"Day of the Dead" hummus dip
Fill an oval dish or sugar skull with hummus. For toppings, use sliced red pepper and orange pepper for the top of head; cucumber topped with sliced tomato halves will form the eyes; place asparagus tips in the dip for the nose; corn kernels will form rows of teeth with one green bean in the middle and accent the whole dish with parsley tips and purple cauliflower.
Place blue chips all around your masterpiece and enjoy!
This can also be turned into a fun, kid-friendly activity with mini plates of dip. Let children mix and match their own veggies to create unique skulls and other designs.
Pick up a dozen glazed doughnuts and simply insert plastic vampire teeth in the hole. Add blood and hair with red and brown colored frostings, then attach candy eyes. These sweets make great late-night treats, too!
Halloween Party Games
Cover a large cardboard box with black paper. Use orange construction paper to cut out three pumpkin heads (small, medium and large). Cut a hole for the mouth where the ball should be thrown. For the pumpkin eyes, use glittery paper. To begin the game, start tossing your ball at the large, bottom pumpkin mouth. If you score, work your way up to the top opening.
Prepare for a real Halloween scare! Create a mystery box and let guests describe what they are feeling. This is fun for kids and adults! Let guests put their hand in hole No. 1 and guess which body part they're feeling. Below are suggested foods for each body part:
- Dried apricots – Ears
- Peeled grapes – Eyeballs
- Steamed cauliflower – Bumpy brains
- Cooked noodles – Slimy guts
- Peeled tomato – Squishy heart
- Baby carrots – Little toes
Buy latex or plastic gloves and let kids — and candy-lovers of all ages — fill with their favorite treats. Tootsie Rolls, Kit Kats, Twix and Smarties work well for the long fingers. Tie up the hand bag (get it?) with a black silk or grosgrain ribbon. You can also glue on fake spiders for an extra sneaky spook. These really are the perfect hand out.