Story and Photos by Amanda Causey Baity
Halloween is a great time to treat your family and friends to homemade goodies and just have fun. Bring all these
elements together for a Halloween party that’s as fun for the kids to enjoy as it is for you to put together. I am an avid
crafter which makes party planning fun for me. But for anyone who is craft-challenged, I have selected a few ideas that are easily changed to match any age or crafting skill level. To see more ideas you can visit my Pinterest pinboard at http://pinterest.com/greenowlcrafts/prince-william-living-family-fun-ideas.
Costume Award Trophies
No bones about it, these are great little prizes to hand out at your party. If you happen to know everyone’s costume ahead of time, you could even customize them.
- Plastic Skeletons
- Wooden dowels
- 2×4 wood
- Epoxy glue
- Hot glue
- Metallic spray paint
- Fabric trimmings, foam pieces, pom poms, jewels, etc. (for the costumes)
Depending on the size of your skeleton, you need to cut a wooden base for it to stand from. My skeletons were about 14 inches tall, so I cut my 2×4’s into 6-inch-long pieces. Then, I cut the dowel long enough to go down into the hole of
the base plus high enough to glue to the back rib cage of the skeleton.
Drill a hole into the base so that it is centered from left to right but is closer to the back than the front. The skeleton
can sit right in the center. (Hold your skeleton over the base to get a good idea of where to drill your hole.) Drill
the hole just big enough to fit your dowel through. Place a little epoxy glue around one end of your dowel and then
slide it down into the base, until it reaches the very bottom of the base.
Once the base is dry, attach the skeleton to the other end of the dowel with hot glue. Make sure that you attach it so that the skeleton’s legs can reach the base. For added security, wrap a bit of wire around the spine and dowel.
Next, coat the entire thing with metallic spray paint. Allow the paint to dry and then label each trophy on the base. You could take it a step further and decorate the skeletons with costumes that are similar to the corresponding award categories.
- Extra-large apples (I ended up using 3, to make 20 mini caramel apples).
- Caramels + 2 Tbsp milk
- Lollipop sticks
- A metal Tbsp coffee scoop
- Wax paper & plates or a cookie sheet
First, prepare a cookie sheet or some plates with wax paper on top. Peel the apples, and then scoop balls out of them
with the metal coffee scoop. Push a lollipop stick into the middle of each ball. Pat them dry with a paper towel and put them in the fridge or freezer while you make the caramel.
Unwrap the caramels and melt them in a pot over medium-low heat, with 2 Tbsp of milk. You can buy bags of caramel bits too if you don’t want to go through the trouble of unwrapping them. Once the caramel is smooth and melted, remove it from heat and dip the apple pops one by one, letting the excess caramel drip back off them into the pot. Place the dipped apples back onto the cookie sheet, and repeat.
Warning: Peeled apples are slicker and more wet than apple skin. You may want to pat the apple pops dry with a paper towel one more time before you start dipping them. You should put them back in the freezer right after dipping to let the caramel set. Otherwise, it will just slide off. Leave them in the freezer for about 15 minutes, and then transfer to the fridge for another 30 minutes or until the caramel hardens.
Once the caramel is hard, take the apple pops out of the fridge and peel them off the wax paper. If the caramel has pooled around the bottom, you can cut it away with a knife. You could also dip these in nuts, chocolate bits, crushed pretzels, or salt for fun variations.
Three Event Planning Tips
Regardless of the party theme you choose, here are some basic tips to help things
- For maximum fun and minimal chaos, let the age of your child determine the number of guests to be invited. For example, if your goblin is seven, invite seven of his closest ghostly chums. If you have several children, let them each invite a few friends, but make sure you have plenty of adult and teenage helpers. You want to enjoy the party also.
- Send out invitations two weeks in advance, and request RSVPs within the week. Like costumes, Halloween parties are far less painful when they are sized to fit: think menu, craft and game supplies.
- Nighttime isn’t the only time for a Halloween party. Afternoon parties offer the outdoor advantage: less pre- and post-party cleanup, more activity options, and a lot of room for the kids to scream, giggle and get silly. Be sure to specify warm clothes and play clothes in the invitation if the kids will be spending any time outside.
Amanda Causey Baity (firstname.lastname@example.org), Prince William Living’s marketing director and photo
editor, also blogs about thrifty family activities on her blog GreenOwlCrafts.com.