Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I've mentioned Mr. B's Halloween themed birthday party--mostly homemade, Old School Scariness. The party? Was a HUGE success. Flush with our Family Fun/Martha Stewart/Ladies Home Journal/Good Housekeeping DIY achievement, we're packing up the handmade bats, spiders and rats for future Halloween Parties. Everything turned out that well.

Our report begins with the cake, for which I can take no credit. A local restaurant totally understood the theme and the resulting (delicious!) cake matched the "Spooky Graveyard" theme perfectly.

The trip to the basement was creepy with spiders, cobwebs, rats and a little gravestone on the landing.

One hallway was hung with crepe paper and bats. Lots of black balloons on the floor provided the boys with something to do while everyone arrived.
Forbidden closets were totally closed off with lots of cobwebs and spiders. Those big spiders are egg carton cups painted black and threaded through with black pipecleaners.

The cobwebs were from my free range herd of sheep--their pasture-fed wool hand spun on my antique spinning wheel into slender silken threads. Nah, I'm kidding. I'm Green Girl, but that's your run-of-the-mill cobwebs sold by the bag at any store between here and China. Cheap and atmospheric.
The Spooky Graveyard was constructed out of cardboard boxes, spray paint and Sharpie Markers. One tombstone read "R.I.P. 6," the header on the invitations. Battery operated candles flickered through the mist created by a fog machine and the lights in our basement are on a dimmer switch...very scary scene!
The long view...ghosts hang from the ceiling between bats, cobwebs, spiderwebs and crepe paper.
We served a punch bowl full of "Swamp Juice" and party favors made by Sarah.

We hung 3 dozen bats--egg cartons cut, spray painted black and decorated with googley eyes. All the things dropping from the ceiling made it feel like we were outside, not in a basement.

Here's one of three homemade pinatas. They turned out perfectly. Each boy had lots of chances to whack them since I split them into 3 teams. They also played Candy Corn Catch, Rat Race, Musical Scares,
Skeleton Scramble,
and Mummy Wrap--here's Mr. B next to his mummy. Mr. D and I have two huge bags full of unwound toilet paper in our bathroom. Enough to last us for 5 months.
What really put our party over the top was the fog machine. Aside from setting off every smoke detector in our house--shrill beeping that lasted until Mr. D unplugged and dismantled each one, the fog machine filled the basement with a chilling mist. The mist thickened into fog. The fog thickened into such a heavy haze that visibility was reduced to three feet. The kids thought that was really cool. They played a dangerous game of indoor tag, blindly knocking heads and crashing into walls.

After games and pizza, cake and presents, horsing around and kicking balloons, we kicked the Power Rangers, football player, 2 ghouls, 2 skeletons, biker dude, vampire, and superheroes outside to play until rides arrived. The sun peered out, the rain stopped, the ground was dry (enough) for running through the woods and playing in the backyard for an hour.

Team Testosterone agreed it was the best birthday party ever. Can we save everything and do it again? You betcha.


  1. Swamp juice. Love that.

    You did an awesome job. Wow.

  2. sure went way out for the party. Sarah liked helping to get the party ready, but she doesn't like the actual party with all the kids. They will remember the party forever!

  3. You had me going there...on the "hand-spun organic silk" spiderwebs... *heh*
    What a fun-looking party..!

  4. Must tell you this story: my uncle, music and theater teacher, was teaching another teacher how to use the fog machine. The auditorium was busy, so he did it in his choir room - and it set off the smoke alarms and forced an evacuation of the school building.

  5. Like Hope, you had me at the sheep thing. ;-)

    I bet the boys were thrilled.

  6. Oh that kicks serious butt! I love it. Now I want to have a Halloween party! I doubt I could pull it off in time.

    I especially love the litte rats on the staircase. Nice touch!

  7. What a total blast!!!! He'll remember it always!!! The cake is sooooo cool!

  8. Terrific.

    And you can recreate it again with an nth of the work? Genius to boot.

  9. 2 cute!!!!

    I absolutely love it.

    Everything is boo-tiful!

  10. Wow, what a great party! I loved the Skeleton Scramble. My boys would love something like that.

  11. I want a party like that! It looks like it was SO MUCH FUN! You rock!

  12. Those rats look scary-real. And I love your pinata! So much cooler than the grocery-store kind! It looks like a fabulous party.


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