Friday, 28 September 2012

Hosting a Halloween party.

Rainbow Halloween Star
All kids love Halloween, all kids from age 0 to 110. Making costumes is fun, but you need to show them off. Some parents are concerned with  letting their kids go door to door though. It is a shame to miss out on dressing up and having fun, so there is a simple answer. A Halloween party! Hosting a party can be as simple or as complicated as you like, but here are some tips taken from my experiences working as a party magician.

1) Find a venue for hosting your party.
If you have a large space at home or not many people coming for the party then you should have no problem hosting at home. However hiring a venue may be a lot cheaper than you realize . Club together with other parents to hire a village hall or even the school hall. (one school hall I know costs £20 for 2 hours, between 10 parents that isn't much at all). Many village councils are even offering a reduced rate for Halloween parties to help keep kids safe and off the streets.

2)Decorating your party space.
There are packs available for decorating your party place but these can become expensive. Now would be a great time to start Halloween Bunting making. Black and Orange Poly Cotton makes great bunting. For a added touch  cut out the pendants with pinking shears to give your bunting a zig zag edge. This will also help the bunting last longer. Covering furniture with white cloth can help stop it getting mucky, but also give the room an eerie Haunted house feel, like a house where everyone moved away long ago. Check on line for creepy stencils to download to make cardboard cut outs as well.

3)Music and Games
All the big shops do  mix cd's of Halloween party music and princes start for £5 or so. As for games, if possible keep it non-elimination. Many people have started to complain about the lack of elimination games in schools as they can prepare kids for the little knocks in life. This may be true BUT if you have elimination games in your party you will have a bunch of kids sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for the game to end. This will not be fun for anyone. Here are some games to try.

Esrella Amis Stars
Pass the Parcel  Take a price, be it a toy Dinosaur or a sweet treat and wrap in one sheet of paper, then take another treat and place that on your parcel then wrap with paper again. Repeat until you have a layer for everyone. Play music and stop it at random points, a child unwraps and ill have one small treat, continue the music and stop again, if your quick you can make sure everyone gets a prize BUT no-one knows who will get the big one at the center.

A Monster's tail. You need a long scarf or decorate a strip of fabric about 3 metres  long to look like a dragon's tail (think glitter for scales, or bright colour stripes. get the kids in a line and pop the hands of the kids on the shoulders of the kid in front of them. Wrap the fabric around the waist of the last  kid leaving a tail of suitable length. Now the head of the dragon has to catch the tail . A great game with lots of space. when the head catch the tail they become the new tale, leaving a new kid upfront to be the head. if you have enough kids split them into teams with a prize for the first team team where every kid gets to be the head and tail.

Skull and Crossbones fabric
The Balloon pass Challenge. Get the kids into two teams, and  get them to stand in a row. Get a balloon for each team and make them pass the balloon from the  front of the row to the back. When the balloon gets to the back the kid at the back runs to the front and then repeats the process. The first team where every kid has been to the front wins.Make the game harder by mixing up whether the balloons  have to be passed over their heads or between their legs.

Apple Bobbing. The classic apple bob. Some schools have banned this fearing germs. According to the Health And Safety executive though there is nothing to fear. If you are screamish about the idea there is an alternative . Cut out apple shapes on pieces of paper, on one side write a challenge like "3 press ups" or "recite Mary had a little lamb backwards". Then pop a paperclip on each one and  place them writing side down in a bowl. Attach a magnet to a piece of string and tie the string to a pencil to make a rod. Now the kids can go fishing for challenges.

Other things to Think about. 
Red Spider Web 
If some kids are going to be at your party without their parents then make sure you have contact details for them. If you are partying in your own home  spend 10 minutes taking the breakable items out of the room first. You will be a lot more relaxed if  you're not panicking about your favourite vase. Chocolate is lovely but can be messy. If you avoid chocolaty treats you will be spending less time the next day trying to clean the carpet and sofa.

Being at parties is always fun, but hosting them can be amazing fun. So get together with friends and family now and start planning a little adventure for yourselves and those around you.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Halloween preparations.

Halloween means many things to many people. For some it's a chance to grab some free sweets whilst for others it's a chance to let rip and show off an alter ego. For me it's all  about the chance to make the sort of costumes I love to make, but would not normally fit in at  say a wedding.

Halloween Organza Fabrics 
 There are many advantages to making your own costumes as opposed to renting or buying. For example it CAN be cheaper, in my case it tends to cost about the same BUT it's of a much higher quality.

However for me the main advantage is it helps show my creativity. This isn't something to stress about. No-one really judges you, it's more about how you feel about yourself. Looking at an insane black and purple petticoat laying under layers of  organza can give you a great sense of achievement.But creativity is not just a case of using fabrics we would normally not use, or extreme design. Halloween is an excuse to colour outside the lines, to through caution to the wind and to make yourself, or someone else, something spectacular.

Moonlight Web in Bronze
There are many wonderful costume ideas in the pattern books, but you cold also make a plain outfit into a Halloween masterpiece by just adding trimming, ribbons or layering it with one of our translucent spiderweb fabrics

To help  you on the way to creating your own master piece we have some free tutorials on the website
Here you can learn to make a cape, a cravat (for the CLASSIC Vampire, none of this sparkly stuff)  or a Tu Tu or a cape.

Also on this blog we have "how to make a pirate shirt" and "How to make Pirate pants". The pirate pants make great Genie pants.

To help you with your Halloween preparations we will be running a few mini blogs in the next week. From making petticoats and wings to organizing a Halloween Party!.