How to Throw a Halloween Party Without Breaking the Bank

By Laura Johnson

So the spookiest holiday of the year is inching its way closer to us. While little kids will be dressing up and getting their parents to take them trick-or-treating, we young adults, who are “too old” to participate, remember back on the good years when we got free candy too. Yes, we can throw our “adult” Halloween parties and invite friends over, but then we think about how much decorations cost and the price of good snacks, and the list goes on and on, and we decide against it. Well, throwing an amazing Halloween party doesn’t have to break the bank! You don’t have to have your apartment decked out like an episode of MTV Cribs in order to make it spooktacular. Here are some ways you can throw a cheap, yet classy, Halloween party on a budget.

1. Invest in fake spider webs These fake spider webs are super stretchy and can give your apartment that extra “spooky” feeling. I mean, everyone is at least a little creeped out by spiders. They also can fit into basically any corner and are very versatile. These spider webs are also offered with cool features like glow in the dark or black light friendly. The best part is that one bag only costs around $2-$5 and gives you around 40- 280 square feet of creepiness.

2. Replace your normal light bulbs with black light bulbs While these are one of the more expensive items on the list, they are definitely a must-have! Going back to those creepy cobwebs, if you get the black light version, you’re definitely going to need them! You can get a decent bulb anywhere from $3 to $8 per bulb. They also help give the space an eerie feeling because it makes the room darker, without making it too difficult to see. Plus, most people’s costumes will be glowing in the lights, and who doesn’t love that?

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3. Balloons Everyone knows how cheap a pack of balloons are, and you can get them almost anywhere. I suggest getting a pack of white or orange balloons. After you blow them up, you can draw faces on them, which turns them into adorable pumpkins and ghosts! You can tape them to your walls, let them float (if you decide to splurge on some helium), or get them to accent your photo backdrop. (Backdrop ideas mentioned later.) Also, you can pick up a pack of glow-sticks, which are also super cheap, and make your own glow balloons to help light up a darker setting.

4. Save the cardboard inside your toilet paper and paper towel rolls. If you know ahead of time that you are wanting to throw a party, start saving these a few weeks in advance instead of throwing them away! For this project, you will also need a hot glue gun, electric tea candles, and white paint. You can glue the tea cable inside of the empty roll, use the glue to make fake candle wax drips, and paint it white - presto! You have cheap spooky electric candles. Also, if you want to get more creative with them, you can needle a piece of thread through the cardboard, tie it, and tape it to the ceiling. This will put off some serious Harry Potter floating candle vibes. If you have to buy supplies, they should cost you around $2 (max) per candle to make.

5. Tonic water Going back to black lights here. If you are 21+ and want to give your drinks or Jell-O shots an extra wow factor for your party, make them with tonic water and green jello or liquids! (Green glows the best) Tonic water naturally glows in black lights. Also, you may want to mix in a sweeter alcohol for this because the tonic is a little bitter. If you want to keep it PG, you can also mix tonic water into a brain-shaped jello / cake mold to really have a bright mind!

6. Creepy mason jars Another cheap thing you can do is take part of those fake cobwebs (or you can use cotton balls) put them in a mason jar with some fake spiders and a glow stick in the middle. With that combination, you have a $3-$6 glowing spiders nest in a jar.

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7. Photo backdrops There are several cheap ways you can do these for your party. You can get multicolored Halloween streamers, hang them up, and make a spooky sign to go with it. Another idea is to get a plain white sheet and some thin black tape. Make a big line every 12 inches and mark them with black numbers. In photos, they look like you are really taking your mugshot with your height behind you. Also, going back to glowing things again (because they are just so fun), you can also decorate a bed sheet with glow in the dark or black light paint!

8. String lights Around Halloween, several supermarkets sell string lights that are either shaped like bats, pumpkins, or spiders, or they shine bright purple, green, or orange! While they are not the cheapest thing on this list, they are definitely worth the $10 or so that you spend on them! Everyone loves a good string light.

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So there you go! 8 tips to get you started on that frightening party you’re going to throw! There are many more ideas out there to spookily decorate without breaking the bank. So don’t let the price of decorations scare you out of celebrating Halloween the way you want to and should!