It’s the spookiest time of the year! Halloween is a popular holiday for both children and adults; as such, it requires a proper party. If you like to play host, but you’re feeling constrained by living in a rental, don’t worry. There are plenty of tricks to spook up your apartment—without frightening your landlord.
The most important decision is to pick a theme. Once you have that figured out, you can tailor the décor, the food, and the activities—if your party includes them—accordingly. To keep things simple, go for something generic so that a variety of costumes will work. For example, choose a simple black-and-orange night, a nightmarish atmosphere, or the good ol’ fashioned monsters’ night.
For the Halloween decorations, select items that are mess-free and easy to install and remove, such as spider webs, hanging lights, old pieces of wood, and dark accents—like plastic or fabric crows, spiders, and bats. Of course, in a themed or holiday party, it’s all about the details. Consider investing in glow-in-the-dark paint to add a fun note to your cups, bowls, and plates. Or, serve beverages in cauldrons and label them with potion names, such as Draught of Deliriousness or Flask of Illusions.
To darken the room, cover your couch and larger pieces of furniture with black or dark crimson fabric. (This also protects them from spills.) Crank it up a notch by playing old, black-and-white movies on TV; turn the sound off for a dynamic addition to your décor.
Halloween food is all about the display, so be creative. Add fake spiders and bugs on your display table, where you can also use skulls as candy holders, pumpkins as ice buckets, and large test-tubes for various dips. A few days ahead of time, buy latex gloves, fill them with water, and put them in the freezer. Then, on the day of the party, use these hand-shaped ice forms in punch bowls for a dramatic effect. Add red dye to make them even more prominent.
As for the food itself, cook or order whatever you like; the important part is to make it fit your theme. Simple twists to traditional foods are the easiest way to go. For instance, let the tips of your pigs-in-a-blanket come through the dough and add a nail shape to them to turn them into severed fingers. Or, use twigs instead of regular sticks for your caramelized apples and add gummy worms on top of them. The possibilities are endless.
Rental Safety Tips
As a renter, you want to make sure that no damage is done to the apartment. Instead of lighting candles—which can easily be knocked over—fill jars with glow sticks to create a creepy ambiance. And, instead of using shot glasses, fill some syringes with your choice of drink and serve them in a fun display; you’ll be glad you won’t have to clean carpets or sticky floors if anyone spills their drink.
You can’t prevent everything, so make sure you don’t worry too much and have fun. If you feel good as a host, your guests will enjoy themselves as well. Happy Halloween!