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

Posts tagged "halloween party":

2019 Halloween theme revealed: SUMMER CAMP SLASHER!

This year my Halloween party theme is 1970’s summer camp slasher movie! I’m super excited about it! Check out the invitation video, with art and animation by me and music and sound by Robbie Davis:

Halloween 2019: SUMMER CAMP SLASHER

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Published by Manning on October 3rd, 2019 | No Comments

Ancient Egypt Halloween party

My Halloween party theme for 2017 was ancient Egypt! This is one I’ve been wanting to do for about 20 years! The theme is so rich with built-in imagery, colors, mythology, monsters, etc; it was insanely fun to explore. Here are some of the projects and costumes that went into our ancient Egypt Halloween party…

I started off by sending out our annual animated invitation; I make these every year, and my friend Robbie Davis always supplies music, and in this case, lots of cool sound effects. Read more…

Published by Manning on November 8th, 2017 | 2 Comments

Egyptian hieroglyphs wall decorations

I made these craft foam wall coverings with hieroglyphics stenciled on them to create the look of ancient Egyptian tomb walls for my 2017 Halloween party. They were fun and pretty easy!

Egyptian hieroglyphs wall decoration - day time view of apartment

I’ve experimented with making big wall coverings for previous Halloween parties, using different materials that all come with different pros and cons… I’ve tried hanging big rolls of craft paper and applying a pattern with a giant stamp and tempera paint; the paper didn’t want to hang straight and the paint made it get all warped and wrinkled. Read more…

Published by Manning on October 30th, 2017 | 7 Comments

Halloween 2017 theme revealed: TOMB

Check out our ancient Egypt Halloween party invitation! You (probably) ain’t invited but feel free to check out the video.

Coming soon: tons of paper maché and mummies and other spooky decorating projects!

Published by Manning on October 5th, 2017 | 2 Comments

Voodoo Bayou Halloween party

Our Halloween party theme for 2015 was Voodoo Bayou! Here’s the animated invitation I made for the party.

Here are some pics our decorations, with links to how I made a lot of this stuff!

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Published by Manning on November 1st, 2015 | 1 Comment

Making a light-up VOODOO sign with Christmas lights

How to make a light-up sign using Christmas lights and aluminum cookie sheets

Check out my new VOODOO sign! This is for this year’s Voodoo Bayou Halloween party. This sign was easy to make and doesn’t involve any power tools or wood. The letters are made from disposable aluminum cookie trays with Christmas lights poking through, and the base is just foam board and paper. We hung the sign on our front balcony, sticking out so people could see it when they’re walking up our street. Here’s how I made the sign:

I decided to reuse the box shape that I’d made for last year’s sign. Last year I made a last-minute “ASYLUM” sign for our haunted asylum party. The letters were just plain white paper, and I set up a clip lamp with a red bulb in front of it to illuminate the sign a bit. Here’s what that looked like:

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Published by Manning on October 30th, 2015 | No Comments

Cabaret de L’Enfer Halloween party

The theme for my Halloween party in 2012 was the Cabaret de L’Enfer — a real Hell-themed café in the red light district of Paris in the 19th century. You can read all about it and see some amazing pics of it on my Paris website, Cool Stuff in Paris. Of course our color scheme was red/orange/yellow, and the centerpiece for the party would be the iconic devil mouth doorway that graced the entrance of the Cabaret. But first, here’s the animated invitation I made for the party. (It has audio, and it’s made with Flash so it won’t work on your iPhone/iPad.)
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Published by Manning on July 15th, 2015 | No Comments

Sunken ship Halloween party aboard the RMS Albatross!

This was my Halloween party theme in 2011! Halloween in a sunken cruise ship! Basically an underwater Titanic-type thing. Our color scheme for this party was blue and green, and we made tons of decorations to go with the theme of a formal ball underwater. Here’s the animated invitation I made. (It has audio, and it’s made with Flash, so it won’t work on an iPhone/iPad.)
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Published by Manning on July 14th, 2015 | No Comments

My nightmare-themed Halloween party

The theme for my Halloween party in 2013 was: nightmares! The name of the event was Night Terrors, and I chose purple and green as my main color scheme for the party. Here’s some info about the decorations we made, our costumes, the animated invitation, etc.

Invitation — I create a short animated invitation for my Halloween party ever year; it really helps set the mood and establish the color scheme and give people some inspiration for their costumes. Here’s the invitation I sent out for Night Terrors. Note: there is audio. Also, it’s made in Flash, so it won’t work on an iPhone/iPad.
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Published by Manning on July 13th, 2015 | No Comments

Haunted asylum Halloween party theme

The theme for my Halloween party in 2014 was: haunted insane asylum! I made up a name for our old-timey asylum: Tranquility Meadows Lunatic Asylum, and I chose red as my main color for the ambiance of the party. Here’s some info about all of the decorations we made, our costumes, and the animated invitation we sent out, all with the goal of fleshing out the theme and establishing a great spooky mood for the event.

Invitation — I make an animated invitation for each of my Halloween parties; it really helps set the mood and establish the color scheme and give people some inspiration for their costumes. Here’s the invitation for the haunted asylum party! Read more…

Published by Manning on July 11th, 2015 | No Comments

Halloween portraits for my sunken ship party

Every year I design graphics in Photoshop to print out and put in the picture frames on our living room wall. For my sunken ship party (which basically Titanic-themed) I put together pictures of some of the party guests, and the hosts, and our pet rabbits, and mixed them up with old-timey nautical photos and drawings. I printed them out and cut them to size and stuck ’em in the frames. It’s a totally cheap and easy decorating project that makes for a great effect, and people really got a kick out of it. Here are closeups of all of the portraits!
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Published by Manning on July 4th, 2015 | 1 Comment

Cabaret de L’Enfer Halloween party — cave walls in Hell

For my Cabaret de L’Enfer-themed Halloween party in 2012, I wanted to totally transform my apartment; a goal I have with the decor of each of my Halloween parties is to make it feel like you’re not in a modern apartment in Brooklyn, but somewhere else entirely; somewhere scary! This was the first time I completely covered all the walls of my living room and dining room; I wanted to turn them into the cave-like walls of the real Cabaret de L’Enfer.
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Published by Manning on June 30th, 2015 | 1 Comment

Paper maché alligator — work in progress

I’m currently working on a 4-foot paper maché alligator to go in my bathtub for this year’s voodoo swamp-themed Halloween party. I’m excited about the progress I’m making on it, so here are some work in progress pics!
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Published by Manning on June 29th, 2015 | 16 Comments

Cabaret de L’Enfer Halloween party — light-up sign

How to make a light-up sign for Halloween using Christmas lights

For my Cabaret de L’Enfer-themed Halloween party in 2012, I made this fun light-up sign that I hung sticking out from my front balcony so that guests could see it as they approached my apartment. This was an easy project that made for a really impressive effect! Here’s how I did it…

I made the box shape out of foam board; of course you can just use a cardboard box if you can find one that’s the right size. I cut the pieces of foam board to size with an X-acto knife, and assembled the whole box shape, minus the front panel, with heavy duty Scotch packing tape.
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Published by Manning on June 26th, 2015 | 2 Comments

Cabaret de L’Enfer Halloween party — devil mouth doorway

How to make a Cabaret de L'Enfer devil mouth doorway for your Halloween party

The theme for my Halloween party in 2012 was the Cabaret de L’Enfer — a Hell-themed café in the red light district of Paris in the 19th century. You can read all about it and see some amazing pics of it on my Paris website, Cool Stuff in Paris, and I have a whole post about the party decor here. Of course, the main decorating project I wanted to tackle was the iconic devil mouth doorway of the cabaret.
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Published by Manning on June 26th, 2015 | No Comments

Super-easy Halloween decoration: jars full of doll parts and bugs

How to make an easy Halloween prop; jars of baby heads and spiders

This was a fun and easy decorating project for my insane asylum Halloween party in 2014. I filled up two wide kitchen cabinets with these things, and propped the doors open.

These were just about the easiest decorations I’ve ever made. I asked my mom if she had any old mason jars or other kinds of jars lying around in the garage, and she ended up bringing me a few dozens, in all sizes! Then I shopped around for baby dolls, but it turns out they’re not cheap, even at dollar-store type stores. So I asked around, and a friend who lives out in the country got me a bunch from a thrift store for practically nothing. I encouraged her to chop them up for easier shipping! And she sure did.
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Published by Manning on June 24th, 2015 | No Comments

Skeleton in a bloody bathtub Halloween party decoration

How to make an easy skeleton in a bloody bathtub decoration for your Halloween party

This project is so easy and creates such an amazing effect! All you need is a bathtub, a skeleton, and some tempera paint! I like this one so much I do it almost every Halloween, even though my party has a different theme every year. Skeletons in bathtubs go with everything!
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Published by Manning on June 23rd, 2015 | No Comments

10-foot grim reaper Halloween decoration!

Giant grim reaper Halloween prop

This giant grim reaper prop I made for a Halloween party in 2010 was the first paper maché project I ever tackled! (Well, not counting art class back in grade school.) I seriously had no idea what I was doing but it turned out okay, and my success with this project really inspired me to keep trying to make bigger and more complicated Halloween decorations every year.
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Published by Manning on June 23rd, 2015 | No Comments

Simple paper maché animal masks

Paper maché animal masks; easy Halloween decorations

For one of my Halloween parties I had the idea of creating tons of simple, spooky paper maché animal masks and hanging them up all over the walls. So my challenge was: how to make lots of masks quickly and cheaply? I came up with a plan that worked out great. Here are the materials I used:
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Published by Manning on June 22nd, 2015 | No Comments

Spooktacular Halloween party ideas, themes, and decorating ideas

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…
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Published by Manning on June 21st, 2015 | No Comments