|be the perfect host/ess||.||
to throw a fabulous halloween party
by Yee-Fan Sun
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lighting | Replace all of your regular boring old white bulbs with colored bulbs and blacklights. I like red lights best, but go with whatever suits your fancy. String lights in orange and purple are readily available for cheap this time of year, and add a nice subtle touch both indoors and outdoors. The one thing I avoid is real candles - the combination of drunk folks and open flame just makes me too nervous. If you're hell-bent on having real candlelight, be safe about it: stick with floating candles or use glass hurricanes.
playing with fabric | Scour thrift stores and discount fabric shops for cheap fabric and sheets -- anything black is great, especially in velvet and lace; orange, red and purple also work well with the Halloween theme. Use the fabric to embellish (and protect) tabletops, bookcases, and other furniture; arrange lace over windows and doorways for a Victorian feel. You can also go the haunted house route by draping all your furnishings in tattered sheets.
paper silhouettes | One of the cheapest, coolest-looking decorations I've done involves cutting bats and spiders out of black paper. Don't just snip out the exact same image twenty times; use an array of different shapes and sizes for a much more visually interesting end result when you stick them all over your walls. Need help with drawing bats? Download this pdf and copy away.
spider webs | Fake cobwebbing clings brilliantly, allowing you to easily create spiderwebs wherever you feel like it. You can buy bags of the stuff pretty much anywhere they sell Halloween décor.