I've really got to hand it to S. He came up with an awesome theme for his 4th birthday party this year.
It all started around Halloween of last year. We were planning G's birthday party at the time, and S kept referring to his "Halloween birthday." I kept reminding him that his birthday was in April, therefore nowhere near Halloween. Well, he kept referring to his Halloween birthday for months until I realized that he was not confused... rather, he wanted to celebrate Halloween for his birthday!
It's actually a pretty awesome idea when you think about it. First of all, everyone loves Halloween, and the excuse to dress up for a costume party randomly in April is bound to be fun. Second of all, things like favors don't require that much creativity (think spider rings, vampire teeth, and of course, candy). Third, there is no shortage of inspiration for Halloween party food ideas. Fourth, you get to make extra use of your Halloween decorations! I got lucky because my sister does Halloween big, so I got the benefit of borrowing a ton of decorations from her to make the party even more festive.
Since the party was for four-year-olds, we decided to keep the blood and gore to a minimum. Sawyer wanted "spooky" but not "scary" or "gross" decorations. He decided on very traditional Halloween themes like skeletons, ghosts, bats, and jack-o-lanterns (and no severed limbs or anything like that). But enough with the descriptions, I'll let you see the details for yourself. You can also find more inspiration on my Halloween pinboard on Pinterest.
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What's a Halloween party without costumes? The frightening (but still fab, of course) fam.
Sawyer chose costumes for each of us. I was a "mummy mommy" (I found my surprisingly chic mummy costume on Amazon), Grayson was a skeleton, the hubs was a vampire, and Sawyer was a ghost.
My little ghost had such a fun time!
Pinterest is full of Halloween food inspiration. Per Sawyer's request, we kept the theme "spooky" but not too scary.
We sliced cheese into Halloween shapes with mini Halloween cookie cutters, and made an easy "bone" dip by molding cream cheese into shape and drizzling it with pre-made sweet and spicy chili sauce. Get the two-step tutorial for the bone dip at Creative Juice.
An easy kid favorite were these mummy dogs (pigs in a blanket with the crescent rolls cut into strips before wrapping them around the hot dogs).
A simple five-layer dip becomes a jack-o-lantern when topped with black olives and served with blue corn tortilla chips. Inspired by Bored Fast Food.
Mini cheese and black olive pizzas (with the olives shaped like bugs) were another easy kid favorite. Inspired by Recipe Runner, I made mine with canned biscuit dough.
Rice Krispie treats shaped like candy corns (tutorial at Pint-Sized Treasures) and strawberries dipped in white candy coating were spooky sweets.
Whoppers, candy eyeballs, and cake decorating frosting made little spiders to sit on top of peanut butter cookies (I used pre-made cookie dough to make it easier). Inspired by Life is Poppin'.
Halloween puppy chow (recipe from Lil' Luna) made with dark chocolate and peanut butter.
Cupcakes with simple, yet festive toppers added to the décor without the stress of complicated cake decoration.
The most involved cupcake topper was still relatively easy to accomplish. I piped melted white candy melts onto wax paper in the shape of spider webs. I did them by hand, but if you'd like to make them more uniform and precise, here's an easy tutorial on Mom.me.
Candy corns made for a simple, but cute topper for chocolate cupcakes.
Inspired by the cupcakes on Olivia's Cuisine, candy eyeballs can turn plain white frosting into simple ghosts.
Pretzel rods dipped in color candy melts and decorated like ghosts and Frankenstein's monsters were a salty and sweet treat. Inspiration from CatchMyParty.
Green fruit punch as "swamp juice," and grape juice as "witch's brew."
An easy party décor trick that I have gotten lots of mileage out of over the years is to remove water bottle labels and wrap them with decorative duct tape. I found this glow-in-the-dark ghost pattern tape on Amazon.
Of course, a candy buffet with classic Halloween treats was a necessity. Thank goodness for Amazon, so I could buy Halloween-sized candy in bulk in the spring. Trick or treat!
Décor was a snap for this birthday party. Not much to DIY, and we saved money by using our old Halloween decorations and borrowing from friends and family. They didn't need their decorations until October, so borrowing worked perfectly!
The neighbors were quite curious as we were setting up gravestones in our front yard.
A simple door sign using the free Nightmare 5 font, and a lipstick-smeared handprint set a spooky tone for the party. G did a good job as my hand model.
Speaking of G, here's my little skeleton anxiously awaiting his brother's party guests.
We strung ghosts and garlands from every surface.
My sister's Halloween village was expertly set by my neighbor (who has quite the impressive Christmas village herself).
Skulls and spider webs added to the ambiance on the sunny, spring day.
This easy mummy mason jar luminary DIY provided candlelight for the bathroom.
Being in costumes was enough fun for the kiddos, but we wanted to make sure they had a few other fun things to do.
Extra costumes for some dress-up fun.
The hit activity of the day was the little, kid-friendly haunted house we set up in a blacked-out bedroom. It was too dark to take photos, but the kids loved the black lights, spooky mirrors, specimen jars, and fog machine. It was just spooky enough to give them a thrill without giving them nightmares.
Since pumpkins aren't plentiful in April, we got creative by decorating Cuties with markers to make springtime jack-o-lanterns. Inspired by this blog post.
I had to make G stop and save some of the mandarin "pumpkins" for the other kids... he could have drawn faces and designs on all of them, and had them acting out a four act play if we let him! Give this kid a palette and could go all day long.
The last activity was a make-your-own lollipop ghost inspired by this craft on OneLittleProject, though I used squares of tissue paper for mine.
Don't forget to pin these ideas for later (for Halloween, or for your own off-season Halloween party), and follow Fab Everyday on Pinterest for more inspiration.
Edited to add: All printables for the party are available in this post here. These printables are free, but I would appreciate a follow for @fabeverydayblog on social media (you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Snapchat with that username) in return. If you post pictures of your parties, tag @fabeverydayblog in them so we can see what you do! Finally, if you blog about your party, please link back to www.fabeveryday.com in your blog posts to credit the printables and inspiration.