Idea No.


Skeleton Party -11yr- Foam Headstones



November 2009


Jennifer in Gettysburg, PA USA

Runner Up

Halloween Party

My 11-year old daughter chose a Halloween party over a birthday party this year. I've been collecting Halloween material for a few years in anticipation!

We purchased a Martha Stewart spider web hole punch for the invitations. It created a cut out web effect on black cardstock around the invitation. On the front we used embossing dust to print a gothic skull or bat stamp on smoky-patterned paper. On the reverse it read: Something Wicked This Way Comes, with all of the party information listed.

Decorations, in addition to my normal Halloween setup of Styrofoam headstones and scary window clings, included room themes. The bathroom had a bug theme. We replaced regular lights with blacklights and placed glow-in-the-dark bugs, centipedes and mice everywhere. An insect wallpaper cling ran across the top and a cockroach floor cling was cut up and dispersed between the floor, toilet lit and sink disgusting! We had an elegant gothic theme throughout the rest of the house: spider candlestick holders, skeleton table runners, headstones and busts, apothecary jars and candle holders with the battery powered candles. Michael's and Dollar stores (oddly enough) always seem to carry the classiest Halloween d├ęcor. My daughter made giant Skeleanimal posters from foam posterboard and we hung a few in each room. I had quite a few Scene Setter designs which went on every available wall, door and window.

The favorite decoration was a changing portrait of a young girl who became a zombie if you moved from left to right. Plastic spiders, scorpions and rats of all sizes were set everywhere on the floor. Tweens don't seem to be very interested in costumes and being a Friday night we didn't want to put parents out, so we had everyone do zombie makeovers. We purchased black t-shirts from a craft store and cut out of rib stencil in foam poster board. Using white fabric spray paint with the stencil we make skeletal zombie shirts, then splattered red paint across the ribs. We also had makeup for those who wanted their faces painted. We decided to have an Amazing Race relay incorporating most of the activities for the evening. We started with an outdoor rotten egg toss. Prior to the event we used a Dremel to drill small holes on either side of the eggs in order to remove the yolks, replacing them with gummi worms and (at the last minute) fishing lure sized glow sticks, taping them closed with surgical tape. Tossing them in the dark outside kids couldn't tell how they glowed, and were shocked to find worms in them when they broke!

The favorite game by far was the kitty litter treasure hunt. An idea taken from the original kitty litter cake ideas, we bought a small kiddie pool, lined the edges with pillows and covered the whole thing with black garbage bags and black duct tape. We then poured 80 pounds of birdseed into the center (we chose birdseed because we could reuse it to feed the birds this winter). We then melted Tootsie rolls in the microwave for ten seconds and mashed a few pieces each together to form pieces of cat poop. These were added to the birdseed along with plastic treasure pieces we had from a pool diving set. The kids were handed cat scoops (newly purchased) and told to find the treasure and avoid the poop. The next relay game we inserted packets of maggots from Oriental Trading (actually packets of mints) into balloons. Each team got 15 balloons to bust open to collect the maggots.

We also had the mummy wrap game, using toilet paper to cover contestants. In the kitchen we had eyeball painting (with wooden balls purchased at a craft store mounted onto dowel rods inserted into floral foam blocks). We also had kids do a ghost poop relay using a straw to move mini marshmallows from one plate to the next. Outside we had another glow game: glow bowling. We emptied ten water bottles and filled them with a little water for balance and a glow stick in each. We made a bowling ball out of a 9-inch diameter foam ball painted with glow paint and used chalk to create a bowling lane in the driveway. The final game was a candy hunt. We created a glow stick perimeter for safety around the house and put candy everywhere outside, giving each kid a bag and a flashlight for the hunt. While they were outside we set up the grave cake. I made two flat chocolate cakes in cookie pans. The cakes were placed next to each other along the shorter side to resemble a fresh grave.

The table was actually made from a plywood board and thick dowel rods and had a hole cut into the center. We set up a foam headstone on one end and actually iced the first cake to the table so it covered the hole and wouldn't come up off the table. We then covered both sheet cakes with chocolate cool whip and blended Oreos to resembled dirt. When the kids came back in we had them gather around the table for a group shot, asking them to get in close like they were a bunch of zombies hovering over a fresh grave. When they all yelled BRAINS someone under the table brought their hand up through the cake it was a great effect, the kids loved the scare!

Afterward we also had red velvet brain cupcakes with pink colored icing piped through a wide tube in squiggles to resemble a brain. They were given brain food (cupcake sprinkles) to decorate their cupcakes.  The other favorite snack food was Snailpo a favorite Chex recipe around our house called School Fuel mix on Chex's website.  We had 2-liter bottles of soda with special stickers purchased at a dollar store with titles like Embalming Fluid and Rat Poison. After each game was completed, the kids received a little toy. We had bubbles in little ghost bottles from Oriental Trading, scar tattoos and spider web rub-ons, Halloween pencils, bone-shaped erasers and light-up skeleton bouncing balls. The team that had the best times / scores for the events each received a golden headstone, from dollar store headstones painted with antiqued gold paint. As a final activity while waiting for parents to arrive we had white ducks from Oriental Trading and permanent markers for making creepy duck characters. The kids had a blast with the activities and the parents got a kick out of the elaborate decor!

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