Happy October! You have just a few short weeks until Halloween. If you are planning to host a Halloween party in your apartment this year, you might want some fun (cheap!) decorating ideas. These crafts will help you turn your apartment into a bat-ridden cave, a medieval dungeon, a puzzling crime scene, or an enchanted forest.
Your crafts will depend on whether you want your apartment to become a spooky place or a funny one. Some people delight in Halloween simply because it is the one time of year they can completely freak their friends out and get away with it. (I once had a friend who decided to strategically place fake roaches and spiders all over her apartment for her Halloween party … she went especially overboard in the bathroom, where very realistic-looking bugs of all sizes and shapes were everywhere – even on the walls!)
If you choose to have a murder-mystery party for Halloween, find some magnifying glasses (try looking at thrift stores and antique stores). Search for photos of eyeballs and print some out (enlarged to the size of the glass) on vellum paper. Cut the eye out to fit the lens on the magnifying glass and attach it with a thin piece of invisible tape. It will look as though the magnifying glass is looking back at your guests.
Cover your apartment in bats – get some black felt from the local craft store. Trace a bat shape onto the felt and cut it out. Tape these bats around your apartment. Make hanging bats out of black balloons – partially inflate two, one slightly larger than the other. Attach the smaller balloon to the larger (end-to-end with black duct tape) and cut wings from black construction paper. Make eyes using white and black felt. Another great way to make bats is with crushed soda cans – spray-paint them black and add felt wings. Use the round bottom of the can as the bat's "face" and add a mouth with fangs and some eyes.
If you have a pool noodle left over from your summer of fun in the sun, don't throw it out –bend it into a circle instead. Now, tape the two ends together using duct tape. (If you want a smaller circle, cut the pool noodle down using a mini hacksaw.) Cover it in black fabric, then go to the party section of your local discount store and buy a bag of bugs, some eyeball bouncy balls (ones that glow in the dark would work great), and anything else you can find that could be considered "Halloween" worthy. Use hot glue and cover your wreath with these items, then add a black satin ribbon and hang it on your door or on your wall.
Welcome guests to your home with a spooky window display. Using only black construction paper and poster board, a pair of scissors, and some tape, cut some tree shapes from the paper. If you want, you can cut bats, a cat, some birds, a witch, monsters, etc. Tape them to your windows from the inside. During the day, it will be a cute Halloween scene. At night, the light from your apartment will turn them into creepy silhouettes.
Of course, pumpkins are a Halloween staple – carve a few jack-o'-lanterns, but use pumpkins in other ways, as well: spray-paint some black and put them in a glass vase for a dining room table centerpiece. Cover some in black lace and paint the stem black. Spray-paint some gold and silver for a more elegant Halloween party. Try stenciling a few pumpkins. Or use decals to create everything from monogrammed pumpkins for seating arrangements to pumpkins covered in ravens or bats. Try using a drill to create a lacy pattern on some pumpkins.
Finally, don't forget apartment party-throwing etiquette – keep the noise levels down, make sure your guests know where to park, and follow your apartment community's rules concerning renting the clubhouse or utilizing other common areas. If there will be drinking at your party, make sure there are enough designated drivers and cabs to get everyone home safely.