Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Spooktacular Halloween party ideas, themes, and decorating ideas


Published by Manning on June 21st, 2015

Here are some Halloween theme party ideas that my friends and I have done over the years, with great success. I always establish a theme before my invitation goes out so people can get in the spirit and design a costume that goes with the theme if they want to. I’m listing the decorations we made/used for each party, but of course these are just suggestions! Consider them a starting point…

Sunken ship party — Paper fish decorations hanging from the ceiling, blue and green light bulbs, shimmering water light effect on the ceiling, seaweed (crushed crepe paper ribbon) hanging everywhere, old-timey wallpaper, fishing net hanging in bathroom with fake fish inside, etc. You can add some small variations to make the whole thing swing more pirate ship or more Titanic.

Haunted forest party — fallen branches hanging everywhere with fishing line, fake birds hanging from the ceiling with fishing line, red lighting everywhere, smoke machine, paper tree silhouettes on walls, old-timey lanterns with battery-powered candles inside, a skeleton hanging from a noose on a branch, etc.

Cabaret de L’Enfer party — giant devil mouth entrance, craft paper on walls painted to look like stone/lava/stalactites, paper bats hanging on fishing line from the ceiling, red and orange light bulbs, serve up some absinthe, etc.

Nightmare party — giant spider on the ceiling, ping pong ball eyeballs hanging on fishing line, purple and green lighting, boarded up windows, etc.

Voodoo Bayou party — Voodoo dolls, alligator in the bathtub, fake crawfish in a pot, fake wooden signs and plastic vines everywhere, Mardi Gras beads strewn around as decorations, etc!

Haunted asylum party — padded walls, bloody syringes and pill bottles, morgue drawers on the wall, baby parts in jars, etc!

Ancient Egypt party — gold paper decorations, yellow lighting, craft paper on the walls printed with heiroglyphs, mummie props (and mummified cats!), scarabs and ankhs, etc.

Cemetery party — cemetery gates made with pvc tubing, giant grim reaper hanging from ceiling, black paper silhouettes of tombstones and spooky trees on walls, dozens of battery powered candles, fake coffins and shovels, mausoleum drawers on the wall, etc.

Zombie Prom — I did this one way back in 2004! Helium-filled balloons floating on the ceiling, crepe paper ribbons and other prom decor everywhere, fake basketball hoops at the ends of the main room, disco ball, portrait-taking backdrop set up, etc. Having all the guests come as zombies in formal wear really helps this one!

Evil circus party — This was my party theme way back in 2003! Spooky circus posters everywhere featuring evil clowns and stuff, hang a roll of paper covering the walls and paint vertical stripes on it like a big-top tent, rent a popcorn machine, etc. This is another one that is really made by having guests show up in circus/freakshow-themed costumes!

Here are some other Halloween party ideas that I hope to do someday!

Mad scientist party — test tubes and wires and other science-y props, brains and other parts in jars, smoke machine, green lighting, big electrical switch on the wall, Frankenstein prop on a slab (aka the snacks table), etc.

Classic horror movies party — black and white decorations to make the whole look like a movie set of an old castle or mansion, dim white lighting only, a loop of classic spooky black and white horror movie scenes playing on a big screen, black paper decorations on the walls of spooky trees, tombstones, one room with classic monster movie posters or photos, etc! You could even do theme rooms: Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, the Mummy, etc!

Zombie apocalypse party — windows and doors boarded up, canned food everywhere, improvised weapons lying around, fake propaganda and biohazard posters telling guests to check each other for bites, etc.

Old-timey seance/mysticism/occult party — Glowing crystal ball centerpiece, tarot cards and old photos strewn about, a giant ouija board wall decoration, floating books and other objects hanging from the ceiling, old-timey wallpaper, spooky old occult books everywhere, old posters of famous mentalists and illusionists, ghostly faces in the bathroom mirror, etc.

Monster Hunter party — I always wanted to do a party that takes place at the swanky clubhouse of the Society of Monster Hunters or some such. Decorations would include tons of monster-hunting trophies! Monster heads mounted on wooden plaques, various relics with labels explaining what monster-hunting mission they’re from, a vampire-hunting kit on display, framed photos on famous monster hunters, etc!

Haunted dollhouse! — I’m not even sure what this would be! But it’s an excuse to make a slightly oversized old-timey tea set, and it’d be fun to add a giant mouse or a giant spider somewhere. I’m also thinking it would be great to build a giant eye or pair of eyes looking in the windows.

I’ll add more ideas as I think of ’em!

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