You want to throw and awesome Murder Mystery party but are worried about breaking the bank. Don’t worry, we’ve got some great tips on how to get some awesome, affordable decorations, whatever your theme.
For Halloween why not make yourself a paper mâché head? All you need for this is a balloon, paints, paper, water and PVA glue, all things that can be bought from most craft shops and bargain stores.
Paper mâché head
Step One: You’ll need to blow up your balloon, to 80% of it’s full size, we recommend not blowing up to full size because it can pop easier if it’s stretched too far.
Step Two: you will need to rip up sheets of paper, we recommend brown paper or newspaper for the best results, rip it into strips that are easy to pick up.
Step Three: Then you’ll need a plastic bowl or tub, you’ll need to add the water and the PVA glue to the bowl, we recommend 2 parts water to 1 part glue for the best results. Once you’ve finished your prep now it’s time to get messy.
Step Four: Dip the strips of paper into your mixture and place over your balloon, we recommend overlapping the strips a little bit to avoid any gaps.
Step Five: Once your balloon is fully covered you can then start adding more layers. 3 to 4 layers is often the best for stability. If you want to create more defined features for your heads, you can use some clay or card to make eyebrows, noses etc. Glue any specific features to your heads before adding extra layers of paper.
Step Six: Once you’ve finished, you’re paper mâché, leave it to set, this can take a few hours or a whole day, depending on how much paper you used, how warm your home and how watery your mixture was.
Step Seven: Once it’s completely dry you can then paint and decorate.
Another great Halloween decoration are Pumpkins. During this Autumn/fall season pumpkins can be harvested from pumpkin patches or purchased from most superstores. The required tools are sold in most shops around this time of year too and you can get hold of templates online or if you are a more skilled artist, you could draw your own designs. You can learn how to carve a pumpkin here.
For a Halloween party why not make some spooky bunting? Bunting is a great and affordable way to make decorations not just for the Halloween season but for all seasons. They can be made with fabric or card. Why not shop online for retailers that sell fabric in bulk at bargain prices? You could buy some fabric with bats or ghosts on for Halloween or for Christmas, purchase some red and green fabric. You can learn how to make fabric bunting here.
Not sure if fabric bunting is for you? For more simple bunting buy some coloured card, that fits your theme (orange/black or red/green etc.) you can keep them plain and just cut triangles out or you can download a template to make sure all your shapes are the same. These can be stapled directly onto some thick ribbon or if you’ve got thinner ribbon or string allow yourself a little extra card at the top of your design so you can fold it over the string or ribbon and then staple it into place.
Paper chains are some of the easiest types of decorations to make, pick colours that fit your theme and then purchase A4 coloured paper from a stationary or craft store. You can also check your local discount stores, many of which have a craft section that’s likely to have coloured paper and you can of course order it online to keep costs low.
Step One: Select the colours that you want to use and make sure you’ve got an even number of each colour that you want to use.
Step Two: Cut each sheet of paper into equal strips. We recommend cutting 4 or 5 strips out of each sheet of paper for best results.
Step Three: Organise your strips of paper into colour piles, in the order you want to use them.
Step Four: Pick one strip, make a loop and then with either glue, tape or a stapler fasten the two ends together, you now have your first loop.
Step Five: Take a 2nd strip of paper (the next colour you want to use) and put it through your first loop and then attach as you did previously. Continue the process, alternating colours until you are happy with the length of your chain.
A Christmas Wreath is a great addition to your home during the festive season, they require twigs and anything else you wish to add (holly, pinecones etc.) and that can be sourced from parks and woodlands if you know where to look or purchased from superstores. You will also need some craft wire or garden wire that can be purchased from a garden centre or department store and some ribbon. For detailed instructions on how to make a Christmas wreath follow the link.
Glass lanterns are great for all types of celebration, we have 2 methods below. You will need some glass bottles or jars, collect these from your recycling or visit your local discount or bargain store. You will need some paper or card, masking tape and glass paint or frost spray.
Design one: using the paper or card cut out the shapes that you want (hearts, ghosts, stars etc.) and place that over the glass jar or bottle, where you want the design to be. Use sticky back plastic or glass stickers if you want to make it easier for yourself. Spray the glass with the frosted paint, once it’s set, simply remove the sticker.
Design Two: Using card or paper, cut the stencil that you want and stick them over the area of glass where you want the design to be, we recommend masking tape as it’s easier to remove later. Using the glass paint work inside the lines of the stencil you drew and once it’s set, simply remove the tape and the stencil and you’ll have a painted glass design.
Once your designs are done you can then place tealights inside jars or if you’ve got bottles (or jars) and don’t like the idea of real flames then you can either place LED candles or you can purchase from most discount stores or from online retails, small strips of LED lights that will go inside your creations.
Make sure they’ve got a switch or a button that can easily be pressed, we recommend making sure this is on the outside of the glass, you can easily cover it with vines, leaves or other types of decorations so it’s not too obvious.
We hope you have loads of fun making your own affordable decorations for your Murder Mystery Party. Enjoy.