With Halloween tomorrow I wanted to share my hidden gem for party planning for any Toronto dwellers reading this!
A couple months ago I was hunting the city looking for the perfect going away present for my friend who was leaving for Singapore for a year. I was interning at a nonprofit organization that supported local food movements and so I was super involved in this whole “going local” and buying from local vendors movement so I decided to take a walk down Queen St W. My friend is an avid reader and so when I stumbled upon Type books I knew it would be perfect. I found a copy of Crazy Rich Asians (a great book by the way) about the Singapore elite and decided immediately it was the exact gift I was looking for. Next door there happened to be a gift wrapping display in the window and so I ventured in to buy some “local” gift wrap and I swear my life was changed forever.
The Paper Place is first of all the cutest place you have ever been to. It’s adorable and just full of gorgeous papers and stationary (which I have already admitted is a huge weakness) and washi tape which at the time I knew nothing about and now I’m obsessed. Here’s what the gift ended up looking like in case you aren’t a paper believer yet:
So whenever I’m in the neighbourhood I always make a point to stop by and check out the goods. Yesterday was one of those days and let me tell you it was so worth it!
First off, they just got in the new Kate Spade New York products for the office, like those adorable bow paperclips and pushpins. They also have the planners which is dangerous.
But most importantly, they have the cutest Halloween display ever. There are so many great little items that would be perfect for your Halloween bash! A couple of my faves were black and white chevron paper straws, creepy crawly cupcake baskets, and black cat tape dispenser (just because)!
In honour of the season, I wanted to share some tips for how to make your party stand out!
The Party Girl’s 5 Tips For A Spooktacular Halloween (yeah, I went there!)
1. Don’t Be Afraid [To Get Tacky]
My favourite part about Halloween is that it is the one occasion that totally deserves to be overdone. I think the most important thing to keep in mind when you’re decorating for Halloween is that “tacky” doesn’t have to mean ugly. You can be classy tacky and still totally rock your party. You can’t go too far with Halloween. Get those headstones for your front yard! Toss that crime scene tape in your trees! Halloween is the best theme to play with in the world and why shouldn’t you take it as far as you can? Some of the best parties I’ve been to were so overdone I still remember the details, down to the fake body parts buried under every pieces of furniture in the living room and the fog machine (yeah, it was great).
2. Save Your Pennies
You have a ton of other opportunities to spend your hard earned cash on party decor. I firmly believe that the best party ware you can purchase is functional and reusable for each party. My go to is a chocolate fountain I stole from my parents a couple years ago. It seems like it wouldn’t fit every theme but I’ve used it for Halloween before by making a “blood syrup” which sounds disgusting but was actually hilarious and really yummy. Dollarama rocked Halloween this year by totally catching on with the popular colour scheme of purple, green and orange and I got a bunch of great decorations there for decorating the office. I spent $25 and got enough to deck out two whole floors.
3. Be Crazy About Your Theme
I think any party is automatically a winner when the host has committed to a theme throughout all their party planning. Take the extra time to send out themed invitations about a month before the party date, have themed table cards for your food table with spooky names like “Eye of Newt” or “Witch Fingers”. Take advantage of all the great free printables out there (I posted some on our Facebook page a couple days ago that would work great!) and relabel your wine bottles. I think decor often gets overlooked at parties but its actually the most fun part of hosting–and attending!–a celebration!
4. Do Your Guests a Favour
Party favours aren’t just for kids and weddings anymore! With sites like Pinterest (and The Party Girl!) there are so many ideas for DIY party favours you can give to your guests as a take home. Favours are really great touches because they are personal and fun AND makes your party stand out. Some of my favourite Halloween favour ideas are mason jars with “eyeballs” (gum!) or little jars of candies that look like they belong in an apothecary.
5. Wear Your Disguises
I don’t understand why costumes have gone out of style with “adult” Halloween parties but I think it is a tragedy. Put a note on your invites to encourage all your guests to wear a costume and put together a fun prize for “best costume” at the end of the night. If you pump up your guests ahead of time and ensure them everybody will wear a costume, odds are they’ll get into it. Having a bunch of your friends in a well decorated house dressed outrageously makes for some of my favourite memories, so make sure you take advantage of the opportunity! Set up a Photo Booth in an area of the party that’s a little less noisy. Print out fun props or set up a basket with some dollar store goodies like bloody limbs and skulls. Toss in a scary background and have someone take pictures all night. You can print them out afterwards and send them with thank you cards to all your guests!
I hope some of these tips help you host your next party. Even if its not tomorrow, maybe you can get psyched for next Halloween. After all, it’s never too late to plan!