Step away from the party store, y’all. These Halloween party ideas will save you money and reduce the amount of trash you generate without sacrificing any of the spooky goodness. I’ve broken out the Halloween party ideas below into the key components for any Halloween party: costumes, food and treats, and decorations. We’ve got ten ideas for each for a grand total of 30 awesome Halloween party ideas.
What I love most about these Halloween party ideas isn’t the money-saving and waste-reducing bit. I mean, let’s be honest. Those things are awesome. But the best part is that you end up with totally unique decorations and costumes that just wouldn’t get if you hit the big box store. And the homemade treats linked below are so much more fun than so-called “fun sized” candy.
10 No-Sew (or sewing light) Halloween Costume Ideas
Unless you’re dead set on dressing up as sexy corn this year (no, really, that’s a thing), making your costume can be pretty simple. If you’ve got mad sewing skills, go forth! Sew something awesome! But you don’t need to sew to have a cute handmade costume for your Halloween party. Here are some Halloween costume ideas that you either only need beginner skills to sew or require no sewing at all:
1. Swap It! Admit it. You’ve got a few old costumes stashed in the back of your closet somewhere. I bet that your friends do, too. Why not raid each other’s stashes? Here’s how to host a costume swap of your own.
2. Newspaper Witch Hat – The hat is really the key to a witch costume. With the right hat, you can just wear something black, and you’re good.
3. Chalkboard Mask – Need a few Halloween party ideas? This chalkboard mask is perfect if you have a few shindigs to hit. Just draw, erase, repeat.
4. Yarn Clown Wig – Save an old mesh produce bag and turn it into a cute wig. You can vary the yarn color depending on what you’re planning to be. Multicolored or bright red for a clown. Green for a witch. And so on in that fashion.
5. Despicable Me Minion – After Halloween is over, you or your kid can totally still wear the overalls and hoodie from this costume.
6. Pop Art – This is another costume that you can wear all year round. The secret is in the details and the makeup. Just make sure you choose makeup that doesn’t contain cancer-causing ingredients. Because that takes the spookiness to the too-real place.
7. Rosie the Riveter – Hit the thrift for any parts of this costume that you don’t already have in your closet. You might already have everything you need!
8. Book Fairy – I love that this costume is made from old books! Make sure you choose books that are in bad shape. You don’t want to accidentally cut up a still-readable classic!
9. Strawberry – Turn a red dress from your closet into a strawberry costume. She even includes an option for removable seeds, so you can have your dress back on November 1st.
10. Operation – The original version of this costume uses cut vinyl, but you could also make painted parts on even more scrap cardboard instead.
10 Upcycled Halloween Decorations
Decorations strike me as even more wasteful than costumes. If you don’t keep a crappy, store-bought costume, at least you can donate it. But those paper Halloween decorations are just trash at the end of the night. Here are some Halloween party ideas that you’ll actually keep.
11. Glass Mummies – Turn old pasta sauce jars into spooky mummy votives. These glass decorations will stand up to years and years of use.
12. Simple Jack-O-Lantern Carving Tutorials – Obviously, you need at least one Jack-O-Lantern this Halloween. Maybe two. Or five? Use what you have to make some cute spins on the ol’ carved pumpkin.
13. Cardboard Box Spiders – I am in love with these cute upcycled spider decorations!
14. Halloween Wine Bottles – Save a few empties and turn them into cool decorations.
15. Recycled Christmas Lights – Need to add some glowing features to your decorations that don’t involve a candle? Grab an old strand of Christmas lights that have some downed bulbs and harvest it for light.
16. Upcycled Apothecary Jars – This is such a cool way to turn old glass or even plastic bottles into gorgeous Halloween party decorations!
17. Floating Witch Hats – Use that newspaper witch hat (#2 on the costume list above) to make this cool Halloween party decoration!
18. Glowing Eyes – I can think of so many fun ways to use these cute paper tube decorations!
19. Spiderweb – Raid your yarn stash to make this cute Halloween party decoration. If you don’t have enough gray yarn on a single skein, you can combine lots of scraps by knotting them together.
20. Bat Lamp – I will tell you a secret: junk mail painted black will work just as well as new paper for this DIY Halloween decoration.
10 Halloween Party Snack + Drink Ideas
I know, you may not be able to give out homemade treats on Halloween. It’s such a bummer! But you can get your DIY on with Halloween party food for sure. Here are some ideas!
21. Bloody Brains – I created this recipe for the Walking Dead premiere, but you don’t need to tell your guests that.
22. DIY Candy Holders – If you do decide to go with store-bought candy, I hope that you’ll use some of the money you’re saving with all of these Halloween party ideas to spring for fair trade (here’s why). Whatever you do, though, you can package that candy in cute, upcycled candy holders.
23. Zombie Dip – Your guests will never know that cashews – not cheese – are the secret ingredient in this deliciously creepy dip.
24. Pumpkin Bread – Not every Halloween treat has to be spooky, right? I bet your friends won’t complain about this rich, delicious pumpkin bread.
25. Raw Cookies – Dates give these healthier Halloween treats plenty of sweetness without the refined sugar. And no plastic packaging! Also, no baking.
26. Coconut Macaroons – Add mini chocolate chip eyes and mouths to make these cookies into little ghosts!
27. Spider Cookies – You can easily veganize this (if you’re so inclined) with your favorite vegan cookie recipe and dairy free chocolate chips.
28. Chocolate Egg Cream Soda – If you need a non-boozy drink for your Halloween party, this is the answer.
29. Spooky Black Bean Hummus – Spooky? Hummus? It can be done!
30. Ghostly Mini Pizzas – These dairy free mini pizzas are so cute!