How to have a kick-ass Spooky Halloween-ish party for the un-crafty penny pinchers

Not that there are really any secrets in my world of over-sharing and self deprecating nature, but I suppose one could say that there are some things I opt out of talking about in such a public forum. The fact that I cannot, do not, and hate to craft is not one of them. I mean REALLY hate it. Martha Stewart would be ashamed, but I’d still tell her to take her perfectly folded fitted sheet and shove it up her ass if she asked me to make macrame pine cones or some other ridiculous project. It makes my skin crawl. I suppose it also doesn’t help that I am TERRIBLE at every single thing I have tried. Which isn’t much… but still! Terrible!  Some people say that I can write, I can play just about any instrument you hand to me, and about a bajillion years ago in a past life, I was once a singer- but when it comes to using my hands for anything other than picking my nose and wielding a pencil, I fail.
Oh well! We can’t all be good at everything!

Thing is, once you have kids, whether you like it or not, the day will come when you HAVE to craft. You have to. There’s no getting around it. Personally, I think I did a pretty good job of avoiding glue, scissors and construction paper- and then along came birthdays. Damn those things! There’s REALLY no getting around that crap!
Due to me deep-seeded loathing of booger and poo filled cesspools like Chuck-e-Cheese and warehouses full of bouncy castles that DON’T LET PARENTS PARTICIPATE- THE FUCK?? we have parties at home. This means that all of the work to make the place party-ish is on me. Derp. Dumb ass move on my part.

Birthdays unleash my inner crafting demon. I go INSANE. I put pregnant women nesting to shame (and you know how insane nesting can get.) If people are going to come to my house for a party, I want it to be the BEST PARTY EVER!!! Yes, in all caps and with three exclamation points. I’m that kinda serious about this party business. Not only that, but I want them leaving a solid 2 pounds heavier than when they arrived. Maybe it’s because I have one party for both kids (their birthdays are a mere 2 weeks and 2 days apart) and feel like it has to be EXTRA awesome since they don’t get their own, or maybe it’s my inner-crafter bursting free from the chains I keep it locked up with for one singular day before I wrangle it in again. Who knows! All I know is I go ALL OUT. I have hand made a pirate tshirt and bandanas. I have made cupcakes that look like Mater. I have made bandanas for every party goer. I have even combined two different themes into one perfectly (cowboys and Mickey Mouse.)  Everyone always asks how to do the things I do, and for recipes for the things I bake- and so this year, the “Ghosts, Ghouls, & Zombies Birthday Bash” I’m telling y’all my secrets! (If you followed me on Instagram (@holdinholden) you’d have gotten to see a lot of this already! wink wink!)
These things could work for a Halloween party, costume party, any party where you need a delicious baked good. Bake and craft away, peoples- ’cause I’m DONE for the next year!

In order to deck out your house in all kinds of creepies, crawlies, and spookies- head to your nearest Dollar General! Seriously! You would not BELIEVE the goodies they have there for a buck in the months before during and even a bit after Halloween season. Nearly all of our decorations came from Dollar General- which saves a load of cash, because some party decorations don’t come cheap.


For the rest? Check your local thrift stores. We scored two motion activated Halloween decorations- a zombie that pops out of a casket and a snack bowl that has a hand that pops out at anyone trying to grab some yummies- for under $10 total!









Baking is where I am strongest, though. I like to keep people talking for the entire next year and to look forward to what I’ll be whipping up! This year I made:

Chocolate chip bones:
They are shaped into bones by a cookie pan I got from Target, and the mix is just my favorite choc. chip cookie recipe, but I’m sure you could use pre-made and have just as good of a result! The label I drew myself- I cut the cardboard from a brownie mix box!

Peanut Butter Oreo Brownie “cupcakes”:
129(Click here for recipe!)
A lot of people asked me if I piped the skulls and tombstones myself. PSH, NO!
They are actually lollipops! Another Dollar General score. All I did was cut the stick short enough to be used as an anchor and stuck them right on top.
Super EASY and super cute!

And of course, the BIG mama jamma! The cake!
I went with a white chocolate bundt cake which we made to look like a grave
004(Click here for recipe!)
This was a slightly more difficult recipe to pull off- but SO worth it. It was delicious!
For the topping, it’s just melted semi-sweet morsels, and melted white chocolate morsels
dyed with food coloring to look like blood.
The grave came from (of course) Dollar General!

I couldn’t JUST feed people sweets, so I made some hors d’oeuvres and gave them new spooky names for added effect!
043 045The severed fingers didn’t stop people from inhaling cheese sticks and pizza rolls!

I can’t forget to mention the jello shaped like brains!
046These were done with molds I snagged from Target- and they were cheap!
The wrapped brain is from Dollar General (are we sensing a theme, here?)
We also had dips that we dyed to look disgusting- one was zombie snot (spinach and artichoke) and the other was festering puss (french onion)- it was fabulously disturbing.

One thing we REALLY had fun with was a graveyard backdrop we snagged from Spirit Halloween store for people to pose in front of, especially the zombie children
025 036

We weren’t satisfied with a picture of a graveyard, we had to make our own- with super
cheapo headstones from Dollar General and hanging ghosts from Party City (both of which I failed to get a decent picture of. Grr.)
And here are some more decorations picked up for a buck, just because!
This includes the severed foot you’ll see in the background of one.
028 033 034 115

And then, of course… there was me.
167You don’t tell me that the only way I can dress up as Belle is if I’m a zombie.
I will accept that challenge, and I will own it.

More seriously- Anyone can throw a spooky party for SUPER cheap! We lucked out in that the boys both have September birthdays, right when Halloween stuff is just coming out so nothing is out of stock- so stock up now for the future!

Posted on September 23, 2013 by Holdin' Holden 3 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • Love it!

    I may steal some of these ideas!

  • We have “Dollar Tree” here and EVERYTHING is $1.00… EVERYTHING!
    I go broke saving money they’re! (hahahaha yep, in honour of ur latest blog)

    Side Note: I thought the fish went in the glass, not the juice… Maybe I should read the directions next time!

  • Awesome ideas Jenny!!! Thank you so much for sharing your them. My hubby and I go crazy with Halloween decorating and we go shopping every year and pick out awesome goodies for our home. And the costume finding is so much fun, and we take our kids up with the whole family decked out.