Until we had our October baby, Charlie, I wasn’t over the moon about Halloween. We celebrated it, for sure, but it wasn’t my favorite, especially in the decorating department. I had a hard time getting behind an orange and black color scheme and didn’t like the idea of spooky decor.
Fast forward several years and here we are celebrating said October “baby’s” 6th birthday! Prepping for his Halloween-inspired party made me realize how much I’ve grown to love this fun holiday, especially the decorating (maybe because this year I actually gave it a heartfelt go)! Add to that candy, costumes and carving pumpkins… and what’s not to love? I don’t know why it’s taken me so long!
My daughter Juliette and I had so much fun making ghosts and cutting out bats to hang around the house. My mom and I spent part of a “Girl Power” project day pulling out the handful of decorations I had on hand and just getting into the spirit of the fall season.
For Charlie’s bat-themed party, my oldest daughter, Isabella, baked the cake and planned all the party games, and we just had a great time with it. As my kids get older, I can’t help but recognize how numbered these little parties are. It’s so worth the effort to see their excitement, and it’s extra fun these days because my girls love getting in on the party planning and are so helpful!
Below are some details about how prepped for the party—nothing too novel, but I’m sharing nonetheless!
For the bats, we just used this template and black construction paper and card stock. For the ghosts, we cut up a white bed sheet and wrapped it around some felt snowballs the kids got for Christmas last year, and then tied twine around the ghost’s necks.
For our fireplace mantle, my mom gave an old outdoor lantern a face lift by taking out the broken glass and spray painting it a chalky charcoal color. While we were visiting one of our flower shops, I noticed another broken black lantern that had been taken off the shop floor and took it home and fixed it for our mantle, too. I stacked some books with fall colors in their spines and topped them with a pumpkin; I took apart an old wreath I was ready to toss out and used some of the wheat foliage to fill a vase; I genuinely just put to use little things I already had for the mantle.
For Charlie’s party, we bought some balloons and turned the black ones into bats by taping these wings onto them. We filled Dollar-store ghost balloons with helium, but if I were to do it again, I would’ve just taken a sharpie to plain white balloons myself because the Dollar Store ones had a distracting logo on them that almost made the ghosts look like they had a mustache–ha! We also raided the dollar section of Target for party games like Pin the Spider on the Web and Bingo.
For another activity, the kids decorated homemade haunted graham cracker houses. There’s an excellent tutorial from Mel’s Kitchen Café about how to use melted white sugar to put the graham cracker houses together—life changing! If I were to do it again, I’d make the houses less uniform and more asymmetrical and funky (aka HAUNTED), but we were running out of graham crackers. I’d also get some more festive candy for the decorating. Our houses really didn’t look too much different than a gingerbread house you’d make at Christmas, but oh well! That’s what we get for throwing that idea together at the last minute. This was easily the kids’ favorite activity and kept them busy for a good half hour!
And that’s about it! We had so much fun with this and already can’t wait to celebrate Halloween–and especially Charlie–next year!