5 Ideas for DIY Theme Halloween Parties

By: Maria Trimarchi

DIY Halloween ideas
These DIY ideas will help you throw a Halloween party on a budget. Fotostorm/Getty Images

Costumes, trick-or-treating, monsters and all things scary suit the spirit of Halloween, as does a killer Halloween party. Why wait for party invites from friends and family when, with a little pre-planning, and a small budget, you can throw your own ghoulish shindig?

We have come up with five ideas to spark your creativity, starting with an oldie, but goodie: the haunted house.


5: Haunted House

You might think that putting together a haunted house party requires a lot bigger budget than an average Halloween event. Not necessarily. Going the DIY way can save dough and be just as fun. It might just take a little more pre-planning to keep it cost-effective.

Here are a few tips:


  • Pick a specific theme for your haunted house party and focus on its details. A modern-day mad scientist theme, for example, might be scarier and cleverer than your everyday ghost and goblin affair.
  • Lighting definitely sets the mood, too. Replacing a few regular bulbs with dim, blue or red lights might do the trick.
  • Consider renting a fog machine from your local party store.
  • Hit your local craft store for decorations instead of the Halloween store aisles.
  • Enlist the family to be characters in your haunted house.

4: Great Pumpkin Party

Pay homage to the Peanuts gang with an "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" themed party. It's a great choice for kids and teens and loved by most parents.

Of course, the evening should center around a viewing of this 1966 holiday classic. Instead of munching on popcorn during the flick, consider serving partygoers toasted pumpkin seeds. And instead of Halloween candy, serve a pumpkin-flavored treat, like pie, or pumpkin-shaped cookies.


Follow the viewing with a pumpkin carving or crafting event. Take-home goodie bags should, of course, contain a rock (pivotal to the Great Pumpkin storyline!).

Tip: Make it a costume party by asking guests to come dressed as their favorite character from the movie.

3: Devilish Dinner Party

Give Halloween sweets a rest and throw a healthy dinner party for your friends and family.

To plan your menu you'll find more than enough Halloween inspired recipes on HowStuffWorks. "Bleeding" cupcakes, "eyeball" soup, pickled goblin fingers, guacamole "brains" and stuffed "cockroaches" are just a few creepy eats!


While this could be a nice break from a traditional Halloween costume party, why not invite both adults and kids to come dressed in their Halloween costumes. When else will Elvis get to share "severed hand" punch dine with Dora the Explorer?

2: Unspooky Party

Halloween can be quite a fright fest for little kids. It's basically a day where people don't look or act like themselves and, let's face it, a scary vampire with candy is still a vampire. So, skip the skip the creep factor this year by throwing an "unspooky" party at home.

Invite guests to come in their cutest costumes, serve toddler-friendly foods and plan to play fun games: think bubble blowing, outdoor races and pumpkin beanbag tosses. And since everyone will be looking as cute as can be in their Halloween threads take advantage of the photo opportunity -- have your camera ready to go and encourage other parents to bring theirs along too.


1: Monster Bashes for All Ages

Calling all vampires, werewolves, movie monsters and other creatures of the night: you're invited to a monstrously fun Halloween party.

For the little ones: this bash is all about the monster-worthy activities:


For an adult party: consider one of these cool themes and leave it to guests to get creative with costumes!

  • Dead prom queen/king
  • Flapper zombie
  • Slaughtered rock star
  • "Thriller" dance party
  • Werewolves vs. mummies
  • Addams Family party
  • "Swamp Thing" (or other cult movie classic)
  • Bella Lugosi Party (or other cult movie character)


Add grenadine to your favorite cocktail to make it a "bloody" good drink to serve to guests.