Thursday, October 17, 2013

Halloween Dress Rehearsal | Chalkboards, bats and ghosts, oh my!

Subtitle: There is nothing safe in this house from me and some chalkboard paint. 

I came up with this theme when I was walking through Target last November and hit the 90% holiday clearance jackpot.  Avinash has an early October birthday and we love dressing them up at all whenever possible.  Also, there is nothing that other parents love more than getting their kids costumes ready three weeks early and goodie bags filled with candy to take home in the car.

DIY Crafts| 

We got a bunch of Kid Made Modern craft kits (a fantastic bargain on sale, since there is no prep work for me required) and made one every few days leading up to the party.  We made a glittered bat wreath, painted wooden haunted house and felt door hangers.  I also had a foam haunted house but that didn't get done in time. 

Avinash was also able to help me with a few other crafts for the party.  I bought a big pack of orange napkins and we created these pumpkins stuffed with candy.  Don't hate me but the triangles were cut from some leftover Hanukkah stickers.   I used one napkin to make a candy bundle and one to twist around the bundle in a pumpkin shape.  I used dark washi for the stems and to hold it all together of course. 

We also bought paper towels and made ghost pops.  The kids were truly confused by these, but I like how they each come with a handy napkin already attached.

The Food|

 I let Avinash look at pictures from pinterest and this is the cake he choose.  It was between this and meringue ghosts. 

I think I did a pretty good job coming close (with only some foam stickers and wooden skewers).  I decorated the cake with pieces from another Target craft kit.

Witches fingers - just carrot sticks, cream cheese and a tiny sliver of red pepper.  These were finished off pretty quickly.  Avinash loooved telling everyone to try a witch's finger.

A candy bar because I just like the way they look.  I try to get different colors, shapes and heights for the candy and containers.  The rock candy was by far the most popular thing there. 

I also covered the water bottles with some JBS printables.  I wanted to make some more spooky food that was easy to do so I quartered a cauliflower, spread some butter on it and roasted it for 45 minutes in the oven.  A surprisingly popular dish.  My mom also made Indian chickpeas and rice with fresh chutney.  Yum.


I made this banner for Nandini's party in the spring.  I used the chipboard sheets that come in my Studio Calico kit packaging (hoarding for the win!) and cut them into 6inch squares.  After painting, I scalloped the bottoms for a more finished look and strung them together with twine.  Because it really is chalkboard I just switched out the names for his party.  It looked really cute in the spring but it also blends in perfectly with the Halloween theme.  Score!  [I make a lot of party banners in my Etsy shop, if you are interested in a chalkboard one, just request a custom order and I will hook you up!]

The party sign is something I recently painted.  Turns out we are not super great at doing things like hanging mirrors.  This poor mirror shattered in the middle of the night.  After sweeping up the damage I decided to recycle the base into another lovely chalkboard.  I think I like it better this way. 

  I also made the chalkboard signs for the food myself by painting from chipboard sheets. You can read more of my chalkboard painting tips and ideas for furniture here.

Party Activities|

Facepainting.  I did this myself.  I used to paint faces professionally, oh, about ten years ago in New York City.  Ryan refused to get painted so he just went as himself.  Avinash choose a rainbow bird, Nandini did her own self portrait and my Dad was an awesome sport for choosing to be a lion.

Pumpkin Scavenger hunt.  This would have worked out a bit better if Austin wasn't having the worst rains and floods in years.  The backyard was soaked so we hid all of the pumpkins on our little concrete patio (mostly in plain sight).  The kids still had a blast 'finding' a pumpkin.  I pictured the kids calmly taking them home and opening them there.  They all tore right into them and picked out their favorite pieces and left the rest.  My plan to sneak in some boxes of raisins was quickly foiled.

Decorate your own pumpkin.  I bought bags of mini pumpkins and set them out in the playroom with black markers, googly eyes, stickers and glitter glue.  More glue ended up on the table and very few pumpkins were actually decorated.  I tried to make sure everyone at least got to take one home. I guess five is still too young for craft time at a party?  The number one favorite activity was chasing each other and screaming while holding on to a stick of rock candy. 

Are you tired yet?  The key for me was doing it piecemeal and making the crafts a part of our regular activities.  Crafting with a purpose is much more fun for me anyway.  My mom helped a lot with the food so that was easy (for me anyway).  The hardest part was getting our house clean and ready to go.  We only moved in like six months ago, so it is still a work in progress, ha!

linked up with Paper Issues' Halloween Issue.


  1. Best kids party ever! Glad the kids had fun.

  2. AWESOME, how creative, love all the details!

  3. PS: love the owl costume. Gil and my Chicago friends are very impressed with your craftiness.

  4. It looks like a lovely party, thanks for sharing !

  5. Looks like an amazing party! We've done a Halloween theme the last couple years for my eldest and it's always so much fun. Last year we had foam pumpkins with stickers that the kids had a lot of fun decorating.
    Your facepainting is AMAZING. How cool that you used to be a professional. That really is a good skill to have with kiddos. :o)

  6. This party looks AWESOME! I bet it was super fun. I have pinned this for halloween ideas! I used to be a professional facepainter too, very useful for party times! Kids craft at parties can be chaotic - but for my daughter's 5th bday we bought some plain giftbags and just had them out with a bunch of pens and stickers, we told the kids they had to decorate one to fill with their goodies so they knew which bag to take home at the end. It worked great! x

  7. Oh my goodness!! What an amazing birthday party!! Wish I could have crashed it! Great job painting everyone's the cake, decorations, and the super adorable goody bags. I was planning to make some halloween goody bags with my cricut cartridge but I will def have to make some of those pumpkins! Thanks for sharing your lovely family celebrations..hope you are all doing well take care xoxo hugs :)

  8. Looks like an amazing party! Love the idea for the banner!! I think I will be stealing it as I have some chalkboard paint leftover from my last project!! xx

  9. You have a ton of great ideas here! What an awesome party, I bet the kids had a blast.. Love the bats hanging over the cake and how you re-purposed the mirror frame! Very creative.. :-)

  10. OMG you have been one busy woman!

    Popped by from SITS Girls Throwback Thursday.

  11. Everything is so pretty! You are very creative.


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