Get Your Halloween Party Started

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Halloween Party Supplies

Halloween Party Supplies

 

It’s time to start planning those Halloween parties.  Here are a few ghoulish goodies, now available in stores, that can really bring your Halloween shindig to life… or death:

  • Pillsbury Halloween Funfetti Cake Mix
  • Hershey’s Tombstones, York Peppermint Pumpkins, and Reese’s Pumpkins Treat Pack
  • Trader Joe’s Halloween Joe Joe’s and Pumpkin Joe Joe’s
  • Trader Joe’s Haunted House Kit
  • Lay’s Halloween Snack Pack (Vampire, Skeleton, and Werewolf designs)
  • Trader Joe’s Ghost and Bat Potato Crisps
  • Count Chocula Treat Bars (available at Target)
  • Dollar Tree Haunted House Plates
  • Franz Bake Shop Vampire O’s “Bloody” Raspberry Filled Doughnuts
  • Franz Bake Shop Zombie O’s Green Chocolate-Covered Doughnuts 

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All that (Retail) Remains

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There are a few more Halloween items we would like to let you know about before the end of this spooky season.

A creepy and cool item is this faux-flame jack-o’-lantern that is sold at Lowe’s.  This ghoulish guy looks like one of those new age fireplaces when turned on, making for quite the lighted spooktacular.  It’s like a Halloween bonfire is burning inside of him.  Eerie and impressive all the same.

SONY DSC

Lowe’s Faux-Flame Jack-o’-Lantern

 

SONY DSCNext is a very unique item from Dollar Tree.  Dollar Tree and similar discount retailers are the ones most likely to have really cool items that other major retailers simply won’t stock.  Take for example this beautiful 5 ft. jointed vampiress cutout.  Now who could this possibly be?  Looks like it’s Sam Dracula’s Daughter, a resident of 1313 Mockingbird Lane, doesn’t she?

This beautiful, fully-jointed homage to the classic monster sitcom is available for the modest retail price of $1.00.  Here’s hoping more like her pop up in the next few years.  We wouldn’t mind having the whole Munsters Family lining our haunted halls.  Would you?

Halloween 2013 | Spook Spotter

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Hallmark

The following does not constitute an endorsement of any product or retailer.   It is for information purposes only.

To get the hearse wheels spinning, we’ll share with you one of the coolest indoor decorations we’ve seen: The Hallmark Haunted House Shadowcaster.  Part tabletop display, part light show, this Hallmark creation is one-of-a-kind.  The display looks great during the day, but really comes to life at night.  Each window features a spooky silhouette that only appears when the display is activated.  An evil enchantress cooks up a crazy concoction in the doorway, while jack-o’-lanterns stand guard on the porch.  Cats, spiders, and skeleton-men haunt the windows, and a ghost hangs out in the rafters.  Each characters appears with the help of a flickering LED light strategically placed behind the facade.

However, the real treat is what’s behind the mansion:  a flock of frightening fanged-beasts!  Through the magic of modern technology, dozens of bats, of all shapes and sizes, are projected onto whatever is directly behind the house.  Illuminated in orange and purple, the light show shifts between two basic positions (plus a third transitioning scene) and lasts anywhere from half-a-minute in “try-me” mode to an hour when the button is held down for several seconds.

Although the house itself doesn’t seem too sturdy and the plastic it is molded in could be thicker, this is still a great little decoration that really captures the essence of Halloween and the magic of the season.  It can be purchased for $19.99 at participating Hallmark retailers.

TJ Maxx

This Halloween season is not unusual in the fact that the best products are not found in the traditional retail stores, but at the discounters.  The TJX group (T.J.MAXX, Home Goods, and Marshall’s) has some of the most interesting offerings.  In addition to the traditional devilish dinnerware and lethal linen, they are offering up both vintage-inspired designs and classic Gothic elegance.

The most unique pieces at HomeGoods and Marshall’s, though T.J.Maxx does end up with some of the overstock.  If you love to keep things dim and grim, you may be interested in some of the faux-stone busts and statues.  Or perhaps creepy candelabras are more your thing.  They have plenty to choose from, including this one that comes complete with LED candles.  Battery-operated, it retails at $24.99.  The light is that harsh, cold, traditional (almost blue) LED style, but it’s ghostly in its own undead way.

The next offerings come from Christopher Radko.  HomeGoods usually carries his vintage-reproduction line of ornaments named after the famous “Shiny Brite” Christmas ornament company.  This year, they serve up some Halloween-themed bulbs that would be perfect for any vintage display or Halloween tree.  In addition, they also have several wooden tabletop and wall pieces with artwork taken right off of early 20th century postcards, like this lovely little witch pictured above.

Tuesday Morning

The main rivals of the TJX group, Ross and Tuesday Morning, have fewer options for the season of the witch, but — every now and then — a spooktacular find materializes.

Such is the case with Tuesday Morning’s Original WoWindow Posters.  Usually only found at the big name Halloween stores, Tuesday Morning is offering up two discontinued designs.  The creepiest of which is the “Vince the Vampire” two-poster set.  When they put “Wow” in the name, they aren’t kidding.  One of the posters in this set could almost cover an entire door.  Now imagine two of them at that size!  These massive decorations really fill out and (fill up) any window, wall, or door.  The first poster features the vampire’s giant face.  The second is a continuation of his body, with his hand taking up the majority of the second display.

Vampire Window Scene Setter

What is most notable about this poster is that it is not made with the same cheap plastic you used to find in this type of decoration.  This is made of a thicker, heavier film, which makes it great for use year-after-year.  The best thing about it is also the biggest drawback: the size.  Unless you have giant windows, it will be hard to place this set.  Fortunately, you can put up the one poster with the vampire’s face and get a decent effect.  At $4.99, it’s hard to pass up.

99 Cents Or Less

99 cent Haunted House display

While the regular retail offerings have been rather lackluster this year with Target, Walmart, and Spirit all failing to deliver on any noteworthy level (not to mention their tardiness in actually putting anything up in their brick and mortar stores), the dollar spots have not disappointed.  Usually, Dollar Tree has some of the greatest “cheap” decorations.  While they do have a few really awesome things that we will be highlighting in two days, 99 Cents Only is this year’s ultimate creep spot.  From outdoors to indoors, they provide wall-to-wall creeps and plenty of hot-and-cold running chills.

Dollar Tree used to be the king of cardboard tabletop decorations.  Now, 99 Cents Only has taken that honor and added some ghoulish delights that are certain to bring death to the liveliest of tables.

The most notable table centerpiece is the one you see pictured above.  Bats, black cats, and ravens surround a classically-designed haunted house.  Unlike some of the Dollar Tree decorations and the previous 99 Cents Only decorations, this piece solves the problem of folding edges and unaligned pieces by having a multitude of supports.  There are basically three layers to this piece, all adding to the spookiness of it, but also supporting the thin cardboard structure — an ingenious evolution of the dollar centerpiece.  It retails at 49 cents, but prices may vary by location.

Dollar Halloween Yard Signs99 Cents only also has some cool outdoor decorations, from window posters to door-covers to these Halloween yard stakes.  They are fairly sturdy — especially for a buck — but they won’t last in the ground if you live in a blustery area.  They are large enough, however, to make good wall signs.  Made of a coated plastic that is more weather-resistant than some of the other outdoor signs around, these are pretty nifty.  They come in four designs: vampire, witch, devil, skeleton; and they retail at 99 cents each.

These Frankenstein decorations are now available at 99 Cents Only.  One is a jointed tabletop figure that is being sold at closeout.  The other is a plastic wall poster that retails for 99 cents.  We’d say more, but we think we’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree has a wide variety of window clings, plastic toys, and cardboard characters, as well as some interesting 3-D decorations made out of wire and tinsel.  They have felt cutouts, plastic skulls, and foam tombstones — basically all of the usual suspects.  So what are the standout items at the one-dollar-retailer this Halloween?

Surprisingly, napkins.  Napkins and paper plates.  For years, it seems, Dollar Tree has been pitching the same basic pumpkin party plates.  This year, that has all changed.  They not only have these great ’80s-inspired Haunted House napkins (pictured below), they also have a full set of paper tablewear (featuring a raven and a rat) that is far superior to any party goods in the big box stores.

Dollar Napkins

In addition, Dollar Tree is offering up massive window posters, much like the ones from Tuesday Morning, only less durable and… busier.  In the case of the Bates Mansion poster, however, busy is somewhat acceptable,  Wait…  Yes…  You heard correctly: BATES MANSION window poster.

Dollar Wall Banner

No, it’s not licensed, but the house pictured on the poster is clearly inspired by the one Norman and Mother call home, or maybe even Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris.  While the house is the centerpiece, it is surrounded by giant tarantulas, jack-o’-lanterns, candelabras, and lightning — virtually every spooky thing they could fit  So, no.  It’s not going to win any art awards, but it has a creepy haunted house on it!  How can you beat that for a buck?  More than anything, it’s reminiscent of a somewhat garish store display for soda, chips, or some other Halloween-themed party treat… and this is really why we love it.  Also, did we mention how massive this thing is?  It’s huge.  Turned on it’s side, it could easily fill a doorway.  If you do pick one up, good luck placing it!

Spook Spotter: Dollar Finds: Creepy Cloth

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The following does not constitute an endorsement of any product or retailer.   It is for information purposes only.

There are a lot of options available to haunt the tables, walls and countertops in your home.  From black draperies to cheesecloth to patterned fabrics, the options for adding that extra bit of spookiness to your Halloween display seem limitless.  Recently, black and gray cheesecloth-esque materials, complete with strategically placed holes, have become big in the decorating world.  You have probably seen the stuff in a variety of catalogs, superstores, and Halloween specialty shops.  And some retailers have charged rather high prices for the material.  Now The Dollar Tree is offering its own option — Creepy Cloth.

This material is basically the same type of fabric you see in Halloween stores, but it’s only a dollar.  While specialty stores will charge about nine dollars for a package, Dollar Tree is offering it for a buck.  And while you certainly don’t get as much as you do at the other stores, purchasing a few of these packages will surely do the job you need done, and you probably will still end up saving.  But, in the end, you have to decide how much you need for your home and which option is the best for you.  As for us, one package from The Dollar Tree covered that one empty shelf that needed that extra bit of “Eek!”

Let us know what you think of this offering in the comments below!

And we will see you back here on Monday with all new content!

Spook Spotter: Dollar Finds: Halloween Treat Bags

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The following does not constitute an endorsement of any product or retailer.   It is for information purposes only.

A stop at a dollar store like The Dollar Tree can bring with it a lot of surprises, especially at this time of year.  From foam tombstones to bags of fingers, the Dollar Tree has some interesting fare that can be used to haunt your home.  Among other goodies, this year, they are carrying an assortment of Halloween sandwich bags.  These bags are usually produced by the big names in the ”baggie” industry and can be hard to track down at the big box stores, which is why it was surprising to find these alternatives at the Dollar Tree.  This year, the discounter is offering a box of 25 Halloween Sandwich Bags for a dollar.  There are two designs: a Halloween Collage and a Jack-O’-Lantern print.  If you can’t find these or would rather wait for the name-brand releases, they can generally be tracked down near the end of September in places like Target.

These baggies are great for daily use, for your kids’ lunch — or your own!  However, they also would work wonderfully for the Halloween night Treaters.  You can fill them with miniature candies, little toys or both!  The zip-up feature makes it so you don’t have to worry about treats falling out and the designs add that extra bit of flare that makes your treat memorable.  The opportunities for using these baggies are endless.  Share some of your ideas in the comments section below!

Check back here tomorrow for more great tips, tricks, and treats to get your prepared for the big night!