Decorating Your Halloween Party on a Budget

Halloween is about being scared. But what makes something scary? Gore is not the answer, mystery and hinting are.

I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat, said Edgar Allan Poe, and in this article I will give you some ideas to decorate your Halloween house as mysterious as the proverbial witch?s cat.

Now, I?m not saying there isn?t a place for over decorating with pumpkins, broomsticks, witch hats, skeletons and skulls, coffins, tombstones, blood, black cats, ghosts, knives and power-tools, and whatnot. There is, and houses decorated like that can look amazing.

But what if your budget doesn?t allow you to go all out? It is possible to create a great Halloween party decor with very little money by using mystery.

The secret is choosing a sub-theme, picking one or two centerpieces for your decoration and then use little hints spread all over the house. Lets go through each step.

First, choosing a sub-theme. A sub-theme is a theme within a theme. The theme of Halloween is horror and ghost stories. Within that theme there are many sub-themes, here are some to give you ideas: witches, zombies, ghosts, wacky Halloween, magical Halloween (think Harry Potter), beasts and monsters, mummies, haunted mansion, bat cave, mad scientist, movie classics...

The reason you should pick a sub-theme when you are on a budget is that there are only two looks that work: a mixed Halloween theme with lots of decoration, or focusing on a particular sub-theme and using little decoration. If you choose more than one sub-theme and then only have three or four decoration pieces it will look like crap, pardon the honesty.

Now that you have a smaller theme, you also have fewer decorations to pick from. Choose one or two major decoration centerpieces. For example, if you picked a witches? theme, good pieces would be a witch, a big broomstick, or a cauldron; for the magical Halloween theme a glowing crystal ball, rotating disco or star lights, or a large quartz would be excellent.

Center pieces should be big and three dimensional (no posters please), or, alternatively, create an ambiance, like in the example of lights.

Now its time to spend the remaining budget on small details that fit the theme. The key here is sticking to your sub-theme - although eye-ball treats look great for the wacky Halloween or mad scientist themes they will clash with the magical Halloween or ghosts themes. You will be able to find details to suit any theme, from spoons shaped like fingers to cauldrons to use as salad or dip bowls.

Another inexpensive tip that really adds a punch is a soundtrack. Get some music that suits your theme (it may not be spooky!) and play it on the background. The key here is not to set it too loud, so people can talk normally.

Remember that you don?t need a big budget to create a great Halloween party. All you need is your imagination and, as Edgar Allan Poe puts it, the mystery of a cat.

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