I recently hosted my annual Halloween party, and this year’s theme was “The Circus.” When it comes to parties, I tend to get really detailed and, according to my husband, maybe even go a little overboard. This Is Me (The Greatest Showman reference).
Getting people together is a special thing, and it doesn’t matter whether you like to obsess about the details or keep it casual. But it is something that creates memories and relationships that really enhance your life.
Entertaining is personal and it might look very different for you. But I wanted to share some of the details from our most recent party.
I LOVE Halloween! Why? It’s a low expectation holiday. Nobody gets all bent out of shape over it. It’s just fun! At our house, Halloween parties are a family affair.
One of my favorite memories from childhood was watching my parents get dressed up to go to an adult-only Halloween party. As farmers, a night on the town wasn’t something they did very often. My siblings and I even got to sleepover at our Aunt’s house.
This was before the internet, so my parents used their imagination and elbow grease to craft elaborate costumes. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! Today we are bringing that family tradition to our children.
The Gift Of An Invite
For the past 6 years, we have hosted an adult-only Halloween party. It started off as a housewarming party the first year we lived in our neighborhood. It was a way for us to get to know our neighbors. It has evolved every year and is now a “Come One, Come All” sort of event.
In a culture where our every move is documented, people tend to feel more alone than ever. Our door is always open and everyone is welcome. I know not everyone will want to come, but I love giving people the option. Honestly, is anyone ever offended by an invite?
Decorating On A Budget
I keep and recycle the same decorations over and over again. This keeps the cost down and saves trips to the store. I re-purpose so many things in our house. I use an old curtain as a tablecloth. I rearrange the furniture to give the room a different feel.
I wanted red fabric, and I scored some pink synthetic fabric for $2 a yard. So what did I do? I dyed it with Rit DyeMor. (It’s very important to know the type of material you are using otherwise your dye won’t set. With the synthetic fabric I had to use the stove top method. Which involved stirring the fabric in the pot for approximately 30 minutes at 200 degrees. You need the high temps consistent to ensure even dying and setting. There are detailed directions at www.ritdye.com)
Here’s what I used for our decorations:
- 4 rolls of plastic tablecloth – Hobby Lobby $15 per roll (use 40% off coupon)
- Disco ball – hang where ceiling fan is
- Downloaded Vintage Circus posters from Etsy for $3.95 per poster
- Printed Vintage prints at Office Max $20 per poster (24×36)
- Red & White striped wrapping paper – heavy duty from Hobby Lobby $3 per roll
- Recycled a chalkboard frame
- Banners from Target $3 per banner
- Velvet fabric clearance at Jo-Ann Fabrics $9
- Pink Fabric $2 per yard plus dye $4 per bottle Hobby Lobby & Walmart
- Old curtain as tablecloth
- Drink bucket doubles as a stand for the lion
My mother in law, Laurie, is a part of the tradition, too. She helps create costumes. She is passing down her love of sewing to our daughter, Addison. It’s so fun to watch her in action.
Here are some of the fun costumes we created this year…
Ringmaster/Lion tamer costume
Red Blazer – got 2 at Goodwill for $10 a piece
Sewing machine or Stitch Witchery
Gold ornamentals for trim
Lion Dog costume – order from Amazon. Got a hula hoop for $1 at Walmart and put crepe paper on the top to look like flames.
Trapeze, Ann Wheeler Costume – this is where Grandma Laurie really shines. She selected material and made the leotard. You can of course buy one. Shop early as these aren’t that easy to find. Check Ebay, Amazon, and dance websites.
Glue the gold embellishments to the front in a V-formation. For the ruffles on the side you can buy premade ruffles at Jo-Ann fabrics or Hobby Lobby. You can sew or glue them on.
Cape optional – another amazing Grandma Laurie skill. You can get white or black gloves to finish it off.
Strong Man – this was the easiest. Thank you, Amazon. Purchased a red & white striped shirt, wrestling singlet, and had a pair of wrestling shoes. To make the weights we used 2 balls purchased from Walmart $2.88, black duct tape $3, heavy duty cardboard tube (leftover from wrapping paper), and white permanent Sharpie marker. We wrapped the balls in duct tape, secured the stick in the middle, continued to wrap till it feel solid. Wrote 500 on each end of the weights.
Find Your Inner Hostess
When is your next party? What could you do to make it memorable? Who would you want to invite?
Pick a date and commit to being someone who makes things happen. You and your guests will be glad you did!
Need some help, ideas, or support? Come party with the Dare To Dream Facebook Group!