150+ Ways to Up This Year's Halloween Party Game

Halloween party season is upon us! Conjure up a spellbinding soiree with our tricks and treats.

It's that time of year again: the last few weeks before All Hallow's Eve can mean only one thing — Halloween parties and lots of them! So, gather the ghouls and prepare to party like the undead. Our tips will make it easy to throw a frightfully fun fete that's sure to bring out the party monster in your guests.

Set the Scene

Decorating for your party doesn’t have to be difficult – something as simple as surrounding a candle with candy corn or hanging a few easy-to-craft foam bats will get your guests in the Halloween spirit.

55 DIYs to Spook It Up

See All Photos

Spook Up the Front Porch

Even if Halloween guests never enter your home — aka trick-or-treaters — they'll definitely see the front porch so give it a festive feel with a colorful rug, lanterns, mums and piles of pumpkins. For a spooktastic finishing touch, we added a pair of Grandin Road Pre-Lit Spooky Trees that come pre-wrapped in mini orange lights that'll cast a spell long after the witching hour.

Photo By: Sarah Busby

DIY Some Spooky Spiders

Easily craft these larger-than-life spiders with the kiddos for a fun Halloween craft that'll spook up your home -- either indoors or out. Inexpensive craft store materials and a little imagination are all you need. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Pick a Palette

Limiting your decor's color palette to just a few shades creates a look that's perfectly pulled together. For our Halloween mantel, we chose black-and-white and shades of orange. Metallics are a must for any well-style vignette so mix in copper, gold or silver for an added touch of glam.

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Craft Some Spellbooks

Make brand new books look like old leather-bound tomes by covering them in a removable leather jacket that you've distressed and antiqued. Stack them as part of a vignette beside wine (aka potion bottles) for a touch of spooky sophistication. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Mummify Your Front Door

Trick-or-treaters and Halloween guests are headed your way; trick out the front door with this frightful facelift that's a snap to craft. Learn how with our step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: Pop Fizz

Or, Mummify a Beverage Tub

Need a quick and easy decorating idea for your monster mash? Turn a galvanized tub into a friendly mummy, ready to keep ice and cold drinks at the ready. Just a few craft materials and our step-by-step instructions are all you need.

Photo By: Marian Parsons Mustard Seed Inte

Turn Pumpkins Into Black Cats

Welcome trick-or-treaters and Halloween guests with a litter of black cat pumpkins. These carve-free kitties are easy to craft, making them a fun project for older children or small kids with a little help from a crafty adult.

Dress the Windows

Give the front of your home a haunting makeover in a flash with curtains stencilled with Halloween designs to transform windows or clear doors into a spooktacular scene.

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Black Cat Candy Hanger

Delight trick-or-treaters by turning a faux pumpkin and old frame into a playful black cat-themed candy holder. Hang or lean it against an interior or exterior wall to create an interactive candy bowl the kiddos will love. Our tips will help you craft your own.

Photo By: Pop Fizz

Create a Shadowy Scene

Adhesive black vinyl sheets and a bit of creativity turned this ordinary garage door into a shadowy Halloween scene. Best of all: It's easily removable when the season has passed. Get more tips for recreating this look

Headless Horseman Door Greeter

Give trick-or-treaters and Halloween party guests a (slight!) scare with this smaller-than-life-size headless horseman figure. Add his jack-o'-lantern head to one hand and a sign leading the way to the festivities in the other. Add a little character to your front porch with our free template and step-by-step instructions.

Candy Corn Piñata

What's Halloween without the candy, right? Construct this colorful piñata to serve as both a party decoration and crowd-pleasing game for your Halloween get-together. Get started with our free templates and step-by-step instructions.

Craft a Few Ghostly Visitors

Create these fun, floating ghostly shapes with a little formed chicken wire, gauzy cheese cloth and liquid fabric starch. A battery-operated florescent light give the apparitions a spooky glow. Get more tips for throwing an elegant Halloween fete

Photo By: Mark Fonville/Hortus Ltd.

Witch Pumpkin

Magic up this not-too-scary witch for your front porch or entryway using a faux pumpkin and basic supplies from the craft store. Create a friendly witch to welcome Halloween guests or a scowling witch to keep mischief-makers at bay. Our step-by-step instructions make it easy to craft your own.

Mini "Pumpkin" Wreath

Although the tiny orange shapes covering this wreath look like diminutive pumpkins, they're actually putka pods. A great stand-in for mini pumpkins, the dried organic seed pods don't deteriorate, so your wreath can be displayed year after year. Get crafting to make your own.

Stencil One On

Pumpkin-carving patterns and paint markers are put to good use to turn a bit of white fabric into a festive Halloween tablecloth. Learn how to make your own

Photo By: Image courtesy of Ruth Meharg

Craft a (Cute!) Owl Pumpkin

You don't need an intricate pattern or advanced pumpkin-carving skills to turn a fresh pumpkin and white gourds into this adorable decoration. Learn how to make your own.

Tiny Ghost Town

Matte black spray paint turns craft store birdhouses into an eerie mini landscape. To bump up the creep factor, add oversized spiders, rubber snakes or faux birds to your scene.

Glam Glittered Pumpkins

School glue and black glitter are all you need to give natural or faux pumpkins a chic makeover. Choose an easy pattern for crafting with kids or go with a timeless design, like a monogram or graphic pattern, for a sophisticated look. Get step-by-step instructions.

Craft a Cheery Orange Wreath

Bright orange tow rope makes it a snap to craft a cheery orange wreath you can display from Halloween through Thanksgiving. Just swap out the saying on the mini pumpkins for an easy holiday update. Learn how to make your own with our step-by-step instructions

Craft a Litter of Black Cats

Turn a sheet of plywood into these simple cat silhouettes that keep a baleful eye on Halloween visitors with glowing eyes created by backing moon-shaped cut-outs with small, battery powered lights. Get more tips for decking out your home with silhouettes

Haunted Terrarium or Cookie Jar

Add a little Halloween "spirit" to your kitchen counter. All you need is a large glass jar, basic craft supplies and a little imagination. This easy project is perfect to do with kids, they'll love coming up with ideas for spooky details. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.

Pallet Jack-O'-Lantern

Spook up your front porch, walkway, foyer or any dark corner with this rustic recycling project that uses a (free!) wood pallet to craft a Halloween pumpkin you can display year after year. Learn how to make your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Upcycled Poison Bottles

Don't toss that old bottle. Instead turn it into sleek Halloween decor. To get the look: Thoroughly clean the glass; once dry, coat each bottle with one coat of spray primer and 2-3 coats of matte black spray paint. Add a handwritten label and display your potent potables as a group. Check out 20+ hip Halloween decorating ideas for more inspiration.

Light Up Your Front Porch

Prep your front porch or entryway for the arrival of trick-or-treaters or Halloween guests with the sweet aroma of candy-corn-filled hurricanes. To create them, place pillar candles inside clear glass hurricanes of different sizes then fill each hurricane, roughly halfway, with candy corn. For safety, be sure to blow out the candle before it burns below the candy. Get more Halloween front porch decorating ideas.

Hand-Painted Insect Plates

Give inexpensive white dinner plates a creepy-crawly makeover with black ceramic paint and easy-to-create bug silhouettes. Learn how to make the painted plates food-safe.

Ever-Watchful Owls

These denizens of the dark are a just-spooky-enough way to decorate your front porch without making it too scary for the littlest trick-or-treaters. Learn how to attach them to the banister.

Billowing Ghosties

This quick-and-easy craft is a great Halloween project to make with the kids. Best of all, the inexpensive materials ensure you can whip up a whole gaggle of ghosts for your front yard.

Faux Formaldehyde

Fill lidded jars with water, green food coloring, rubber creatures (like mice, snakes, bats or insects), leaves or dried flowers to give any room the look of a mad scientist's lab.

Fashion-Forward Wreath

Wrap chevron fabric around a foam wreath form to craft this trendy wreath that will add a big graphic punch to your front door, living room, kitchen or anywhere. Learn how to make the bat garland.

Ghostly Draperies

These billowing, tattered draperies made from budget-friendly cheesecloth will add an eerie atmosphere to your front porch or an interior doorway. Get step-by-step instructions.

Witch's Broomstick Place Cards

Made from a twig, raffia and a scrap of paper, these diminutive brooms add an enchanting touch of whimsy to any Halloween get-together, plus they're a fun party favor that guests can take with them.

Turn Mini Pumpkins Into Cute Bats

Mix a little mischief into your Halloween decorations with these mini bat pumpkins. These not-too-scary creatures are fun to create and will look great grouped together on your mantel, entry table or as a centerpiece.

Levitating Ghost

Turn craft-store materials into a life-sized (or at least afterlife-sized) ghost that appears to float several feet above the ground. Learn how to make your own.

Turn Scrapbook Paper Into "Specimens"

Another great craft to do with kids, this project couldn't be simpler. Just stamp creepy animal shapes — like vampire bats, snakes or spiders — out of colorful card stock to create a collection of "specimens" to fill a shadowbox-style frame.

Whip Up a Spider Web Pillow

Fuzzy yarn on gray wool fabric is used to make this arachnophobic (but cute!) Halloween pillow. This project involves basic machine- and hand-sewing, so it's a snap to make, even for crafters new to sewing.

Let Your Yard Go to the Birds

Print out our free template to turn plywood and paint into a larger-than-life raven you can display either indoors or out. Get step-by-step instructions.

Playful Hanging Bats

Black craft foam, googly eyes and fishing line are all you need to create a colony of swooping, weatherproof bats. Kids big and small will love this quick and easy Halloween craft, perfect for adding a spooky touch to your front yard. Get step-by-step instructions.

Creep-Tastic Wreaths

Give your front door a fun Halloween touch with one of our 10 easy-to-craft wreaths.

Chicken-Wire Cloche

Upcycle a metal lamp frame and chicken wire into a rustic cloche you can use year-round. Add pumpkins, plastic spiders and webbing to create a Halloween vignette. Learn how to make your own.

Edible Candy Topiaries

Cover inexpensive foam topiary forms with fondant and candy to create a sweet Halloween decoration or centerpiece that kids will love helping to craft. After the festivities are over, they'll have just as much fun pulling the candy off and devouring it.

Stack a Jack-O'-Totem

Add some personality to your entry with a pumpkin topiary in the shape of a totem pole. All it takes is a few faux pumpkins, basic craft supplies and a little imagination. Get crafting to make your own.

Set Up an Outdoor Trick-or-Treat Station

Weather permitting, bring a lightweight table or shelf outside then fill it with an assortment of kids' favorite treats packaged using one of our free printable templates. Have adults on hand to make sure everyone gets their fair share and with cameras at the ready to snap photos of the neighborhood kids enjoying the spread. Get more tips for setting up a candy station.

Phantom Chair Slipcover

Use gauzy fabric and cheesecloth to give a traditional dining chair a tattered, ghostly silhouette for Halloween. With raw edges and a simple shape, this slipcover is a snap to make using basic sewing skills.

Creepy-Crawly Napkin Rings

Spook up your Halloween get-together with these easy-to-make (and cute!) felt and pom-pom napkin rings — a perfect project to craft with kids. Learn how to make your own.

Add a Trendy Silhouette

Bring sophistication to your Halloween decor by embellishing a pumpkin with a trendy black-and-white silhouette. Our Get step-by-step instructions show you how.

Craft a Graveyard for Your Front Yard

Whether you choose to add funny sayings or be deathly serious with traditional designs, our step-by-step instructions show you how to turn inexpensive foam sheets into realistic-looking grave markers.

Peekaboo Pumpkins

Kids will love helping you create a spooktacular vignette of peeking pumpkins with mini gourds and a variety of inexpensive bowls and lidded dishes. Get step-by-step instructions.

Craft a Chalkboard Tray

Serve Halloween guests in style with this easy-to-create and totally customizable chalkboard tray. Get step-by-step instructions.

Make Your Mark With a Monogram

Add a sophisticated, personalized touch to your Halloween decor with an easy-to-create monogrammed pumpkin. Learn how to make your own.

Make a Haunted Mirror

Transform a modern mirror into a spooky, antiqued looking glass with this simple technique. In a gothic black frame, it's perfect for Halloween, but this mercury-glass look can work year-round if you use a warm wood, silver-leaf or gilt frame.

Turn a Pumpkin Into a Candy Dish

Cut a faux pumpkin in half to create a cute lidded container for serving Halloween candy. The waterproof foam interior also makes these a great cooler when filled with ice and beverages. Get step-by-step instructions.

Felt Bat Pillow

This oh-so-cute felt pillow requires basic sewing skills and will bring a handmade touch to your Halloween decor. Download bat templates and get step-by-step instructions.

Make a Vintage-Inspired Banner

Add a sophisticated touch to your Halloween decorations with this inexpensive hand-painted banner. Get crafting to make your own.

Go for a Gothic Look

Give a humble pumpkin sophisticated style by painting it to resemble an antique European grain sack. Our step-by-step instructions show you how.

Craft a Dramatic Wreath

Glam up your front door with an over-the-top black feather wreath. Use feathers in a contrasting color and menswear-inspired ribbon for a fashion-forward embellishment. Get crafting to make your own.

Set the Scene for a Fiendish Feast

Gather a few of your favorite ghouls for a dinner party where handmade Halloween decor with a macabre twist sets the scene.

Kids' Craft: Ribbon-Embellished Pumpkins

Give pumpkins a chic fall makeover with vertical bands of pretty patterned ribbon — no carving required. Get step-by-step instructions.

Scaredy Cat Cut-Out

Create an arched-back black cat for your front yard to give trick-or-treaters and Halloween guests a fright. Learn how to make your own.

Turn Your Family Into Pumpkins

OK, not really, but you can add signature characteristics to pumpkins and gourds that resemble your nearest and dearest. Fresh produce, felt, a permanent marker and a few bits of clothing are all you need. Get step-by-step instructions.

Jack-O'-Lantern Luminaries

Fill clear buckets or cylindrical glass vases with battery-operated tea lights to easily craft kid-safe, fireproof luminaries to light up your Halloween celebrations. Get step-by-step instructions.

Bling Out Pumpkins With Upholstery Trim

Easily embellish pumpkins with paint, nail-head trim, ribbon and spiders to create a chic Halloween display — no carving required. Learn how to get this look.

Quick-and-Easy Banner

Turn brown coffee filters and our free printable template into a cute Halloween banner in a snap. Get step-by-step instructions.

Craft a Giant Rat

Our free printable template makes it easy to turn plywood and paint into a creepy indoor or outdoor decoration in the shape of an oversized rat.

Flying Bat Wreath

Easily craft this sculptural Halloween wreath that resembles bats taking flight with craft foam, floral wire, fabric and yarn. Get step-by-step instructions.

Make a Pretty Fretwork Pumpkin

Looking for a new pumpkin-carving technique? Requiring just two different-sized drill bits, this sculptural and intricate design is easier to create than you may think. Learn how to make your own.

Halloween Home Tour

From clever mantel decorations to eerie table settings, HGTV fans share their top tricks for spookifying their homes for Halloween. Peek inside 10 HGTV fans' homes.

Felt Leaf Wreath

A grapevine wreath covered with double-sided felt leaves will add festive fall color to your front door from Halloween until Thanksgiving. Learn how to make your own.

But, Keep It Family Friendly

The Cutest Costumes

The Cutest Costumes

Dress up your little ones in our easy-to-create costumes! With a few basic supplies and a little DIY time, you can make your costumes for your kids without spending a fortune.

Photo by: Rennai Hoefer

Rennai Hoefer

The surest way to start your Halloween party off on the wrong foot is to terrify an attending toddler. If small kids are on the guest list, nix the blood and gore and keep the decorations PG. On the flip side, even adults may have an unpleasant reaction to macabre decorations – for instance, they may have recently lost someone dear to them so a cemetery in your front yard or snacks served out of a lookalike coffin will only stir up painful memories. 

Cater to Your Smallest Guests

Skeleton Sandwiches

Skeleton Sandwiches

Bring kids down from their sugar high with skeleton sandwiches filled with a tasty cream cheese, cucumber and dill spread.

©Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Aside from the obvious Halloween kid-pleaser – candy, and lots of it! – mix in a few healthy and hearty treats like these ‘scream’ cheese sandwiches  to temper the sugar rush.

40 Sweet + Salty Snacks

See All Photos

Easy Appetizer: Cheesy Eyeballs

Who knew creamy mini cheeses, olives and a little food coloring could look so creepy yet taste so yummy?! Fill up your party guests with these savory little mouthfuls for a fun take on standard cheese and crackers. Get the recipe.

Not-So-Scary Monster Apples

Turn tart apples, dried fruit and nuts or seeds into healthy treats for your favorite trick-or-treaters. Get the recipe

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Easy Mummy Cake Pops

A storebought snack cake gets all dressed up for Halloween with a layer of ooey-gooey chocolate and frosting bandages. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Candy Corn Brownies

Concentric rings of colored sugar give dense, chocolatey brownies a candy corn makeover for Halloween — our free printable template makes the tricolor effect a snap. Get the recipe and download our template.

Healthy 'Scream' Cheese Sandwiches

Bring kids down off their Halloween sugar high with one of these savory sandwiches. Filled with a tasty cream cheese, cucumber and dill spread, these vegetarian nibbles are sure to be a hit with even the pickiest of palettes. Get the recipe.

©Sam Henderson

Spooky Candy-Dipped Apples

Looking for a fun Halloween project to do with the kids? Well, look no further! These candy-dipped apples look just like a friendly jack-o’-lantern or ghost and are as much fun to decorate as they are to munch. Get the recipe

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Rice Cereal Monsters

These treats definitely won't suck the fun out of your Halloween soiree. With vampire teeth they can keep, your guests will fall in love with these tasty beasties at first bite. Get the recipe.

Lucky Black Cats

Made from salty pretzels and creamy chocolate, there's nothing to fear from these delicious Halloween black cats. Get the recipe

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Yummy Mummy Empanadas

Wrap up fun for your Halloween party guests with these pepperoni pizza-style empanadas. Filled with hearty ingredients, they're a kid-pleasing snack for school lunches too. Get the recipe.

©Sam Henderson

Jack-O'-Lantern Marshmallow Cookies

Fluffy homemade marshmallows (don't worry, they're easier to make than you think) plus crisp chocolate wafers equal irresistible crunchy-meets-gooey goodies Halloween guests won't be able to resist.

Haystack Mummies

Salty, sweet, crunchy and creamy — these white chocolate-wrapped mouthfuls are sure to be everyone's favorite treat. Get the recipe.

Creepy-Crawly Chips and Swampy Guacamole

Sweets are great but your party guests need something a bit more substantial to munch on too. This Halloween take on chips and dip fits the bill and is actually healthy to boot!

Furry Snowball Monsters

Halloween party guests will love these tasty nibbles that combine the favorite flavors of chocolate and marshmallow with a colorful coconut topping. Get the recipe.

Cake Ball Eyeballs

What kid doesn't love a cake pop? It's all the yumminess of a cupcake rolled into an easy-to-munch handful. Take cake pops up a notch and give them a Halloween makeover with our recipe for creepy (but still yummy!) cake ball eyeballs.

Mini Candy Corn Layer Cakes

Fall's favorite candy gets reinterpreted as a colorful mini cake that's just the right size to satisfy even a monstrous Halloween sweet tooth. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer

Sweet-and-Salty Snack Mix

Pretzels and white chocolate-covered popcorn combine with M&M's for a crunchable snack your Halloween guests won't be able to get enough of. Add our free printable labels to cut-down brown paper lunch bags then fill with this addictive mix for a budget-friendly (and crowd-pleasing!) party favor.

Black Heart Candy Apples

Black food coloring gives this fruity fall snack a sinister twist. Get the recipe

Photo By: Photo by Melissa Caughey

Mummy Cupcakes

Surprise your favorite ghouls and ghosties with this sweet Halloween treat that's fun to make and even more fun to eat. They're easy enough to whip up that the kids can even help with the mixing, baking and decorating. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer

Baby Potato Beetles

These fingerling potatoes topped with creme fraiche may give bug-phobic adults the creeps, but kids will have no problem gobbling them up.

Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Madeleines

These fall-flavored pumpkin cookies are the just-right treat to serve at a Halloween party, Thanksgiving dinner or any fall get-together. They're also the not-too-sweet complement to a cup of tea and party of one. Get the recipe.

Goat Cheese Fingers

Halloween party guests of all ages will enjoy these creamy fingers topped with a sliced almond fingernail. Get the recipe.

Quick and Easy Pudding Pumpkins

Treat your smallest Halloween guests to a snack size cup of pudding that looks like a mini jack-o'-lantern. They're a snap to make so the kids can even help whip them up before gobbling them up. Get the recipe.

  1. pudding

Edible Creepy Crawlies

These gelatin worms and cupcake spiders may look scary but they're so tasty that Halloween guests will be sure to gobble them right up. Get the recipe

Sweet and Salty Popcorn Mix

Combining the best of both worlds, this sweet-meets-salty snack is just too good to pass up. Mix up big batches for Halloween get-togethers, school functions or to pass out to your favorite trick-or-treaters. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer

Witch's Hat Cookies

Top rich homemade chocolate cookies with an easy-to-magic-up orange frosting and a chocolate kiss for a sweet snack that kids will make disappear. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Beryl Cohen

Mummy Hot Dogs

Wrap hot dogs in flaky, ready-made dough to create a Halloween party snack kids will love helping to make before gobbling them up. Get the recipe.

Frankens'more Treat Pops

Looking for a fun party favor to hand out to your favorite trick-or-treaters? Well, look no further: Dip marshmallow-filled graham crackers into green-tinted white chocolate and milk chocolate to create these Frankenstein-themed twists on the campfire favorite. Get the recipe.

Cupcakes a Go-Go

Perfect for making in advance to take to school events, pack in kids' lunches or for parties, these portable treats are sure to please Halloween fans big and small.

Candy Bar Cookies

Can't decide which Halloween chocolate candy is your favorite? Then these cookies are just the ticket. Chock-full of snack-sized faves, chocolate lovers will definitely want to give this recipe a try.

Witch's Hat Sandwich Wraps

Turn ready-made dough and homemade chicken, tuna or ham salad into a hearty sandwich wrap you can make a day or two before serving. Get the recipe.

Hairy Eyeballs

Turn homemade polenta poppers into these gruesome (but tasty!) nibbles by topping them with corn silk before frying. Add a bloodshot appearance with a few dribbles of marinara sauce. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Beryl Cohen

Salted Caramel (and Bacon!) Popcorn Balls

Gather the ghouls to enjoy this tasty update on the seasonal favorite. Package the balls in a cellophane bag embellished with one of our free printable templates for a homemade party favor. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Courtesy Matt Armendariz ©2012 CookingChannelTV.com

Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Toasted pumpkin seeds and cinnamon bring the taste of fall to classic nut brittle. Get the recipe

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Chile Lime Cashews

These flavorful nuts have just the right amount of spicy kick to make them the perfect salty counterpoint to all the Halloween sweets. Get the recipe.

Halloween Peppermint Patties

A candy-corn-colored mint filling is the sweet surprise inside these homemade candies. Get the recipe.

Honey + Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Delight guests at your next fall or Halloween get-together with this sweet-meets-savory light bite. Get the recipe

Photo By: Mark Fonville/Hortus Ltd.

Cucumber Snake

At Halloween, it's okay for kids to play with their food. And, this colorful snake isn't just playful, cucumbers and carrots ensure it's also healthy. Get the recipe

Curse of the Mummy Mushrooms

Stuff cremini mushrooms with Italian sausage, garlic, walnuts, cream cheese and fresh herbs for a hearty, savory appetizer that both kids and adults will love. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Beryl Cohen

Homemade Pub-Style Pretzels and Beer Cheese Sauce

Adult Halloween guests will flip for these soft and chewy pretzels dipped in smoked Gouda beer cheese. Serve them with one of our 13 signature Halloween cocktails to bring the bar experience home. Get the pretzel and beer cheese recipes.

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

Sweet, gooey, salty and crunchy, this popcorn ball recipe has a little something for everyone.

©2012 CookingChannelTV.com

Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whoever said you can have too much of a good thing hasn't tasted these cookies. Gooey, classic chocolate chip cookies dipped into smooth chocolate ganache — this recipe is a must-try for anyone with an insatiable sweet tooth.

"Poisoned" Candy Apples

Don't worry, these apples aren't really deadly — but they certainly look it. To make them, you'll need: apples, twigs that have been washed and trimmed, granulated sugar, light corn syrup, water, cinnamon-flavored oil, red food coloring, black food coloring and a candy thermometer. Thoroughly wash each apple, remove the stem and insert a twig (you may need to sharpen the end first). Next, stir sugar, corn syrup and water together in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Boil until the syrup reaches 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in flavored oil and food coloring. To coat the apple, dip completely in the syrup and swirl it. Hold the apple above the saucepan so the excess coating can drain off. Place candied apple onto a baking sheet that's been greased or lined to allow it to cool.

Beer Cheese Dip

A few savory options are always a good idea at a Halloween party. This tangy and spicy cheese dip gets its kick from horseradish sauce. Serve with pretzels or on toasted crostinis to keep the party's adults happily munching.

Coca-Cola Cupcake With Peanut Butter Icing

These dense, moist chocolate cupcakes are a walk down memory lane for anyone who ever dropped a few peanuts in their Coke. Topped with thick peanut butter icing, the cupcakes' salty-meets-sweet flavor is always a crowd-pleaser. Get the recipe.

Edible Candy Topiaries

Cover inexpensive foam topiary forms with fondant and candy to create a sweet Halloween decoration or centerpiece that kids will love helping to craft. Learn how to make your own.

Maple-Nut Popcorn

Savory, sweet and crunchy, this fall favorite really satisfies with pure maple syrup, mixed nuts and a kick from cayenne pepper. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Courtesy Kelsey Nixon ©2012 CookingChannelTV.com

Homemade Candy Apples

This fall tradition is as sweet as they come and a lot of fun to boot. Dipping the apples then rolling them in a variety of salty or sweet treats is a fun Halloween activity for kids of all ages. Learn how to make your own.

Triple Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate lovers take heed: There are three types of chocolate — Valrhona, bittersweet and dark — in these gooey, decadent little morsels. Whip up a batch to keep chocolate-craving beasties at bay. Get the recipe.

Potato Chip + Candy Bar Cookies

These chewy-meets-crunchy cookies are endlessly customizable to suit your taste. Add any combination of nuts, Halloween candy or dried fruit. The potato chips add a salty finish that really works for salty-sweet lovers. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Courtesy Claudia Sidoti ©2012 CookingChannelTV.com

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Don't scoop, then dump your pumpkin innards. Salvage the seeds then toss them with your favorite spices to put a new spin on a healthy fall favorite. Get the recipe

Spicy + Sweet Popcorn Snack Mix

With lemon zest, cayenne pepper and chili powder, this popcorn packs a lot of flavor for a crowd-pleasing snack you can whip up with very little prep time. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Courtesy Andrea Albin ©2012 CookingChannelTV.com

Raise Adults' Spirits

Halloween Cocktail: Mr. Hyde Potion

Halloween Cocktail: Mr. Hyde Potion

This spirited Halloween drink might just be a life-changing experience. The potion is full of herbaceous flavors and a kick that will bring out the fun monster in your party guests.

©Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Let’s be honest: Nothing breaks the ice and gets guests mingling quite like cocktails. Beer and wine will do the trick too but serving a signature cocktail, especially one as bewitching as this brew, takes your Halloween party up a notch. To make serving guests simpler, mix up a big batch instead of concocting cocktails on the fly.

Make This: Mr. Hyde Potion

23 To-Die-For Cocktails

See All Photos

Caramel Apple Cocktail

Nothing says autumn like a sweet caramel apple. This cocktail is a grown-up take on a childhood fall favorite and can be served warm or chilled. Get the recipe

Photo By: Sam Henderson


A Halloween take on everyone's favorite summer cocktail — the margarita — this colorful concoction includes the usual suspects: fresh lime juice, triple sec and tequila with a few additions for the spooky season. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Sam Henderson

Mr. Hyde Potion

Unleash your Halloween guests' hidden wild side with this potent potable. Made with vodka, aromatic herbs and blackberry liqueur, it's frightfully refreshing. Get the recipe.

©Sam Henderson

Bloody Orange Cocktail

Plastic syringes (available at party stores) filled with fresh homemade raspberry syrup add a chilling (but delicious!) twist to this fruity cocktail. Get the recipe.

©Sam Henderson

Witch's Hat Cocktail

Don't be fooled by this concoction's dark and mysterious color; this sinister sip is sweet and fruity with just enough tartness to balance it all. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Sam Henderson

Classic Margaritas With a Candy Twist

Give a favorite childhood candy an adult twist by getting gummy worms drunk, then whipping up a tipsy worm's perfect match: a tasty, classic margarita. Get the recipe.

Photo By: H. Camille Smith

Smokin' Skulls Shot

Dry ice chips give this sinister sip its signature vaporous effect while bourbon lends a smoky flavor. Serve in shot glasses — but allow dry ice to completely dissolve before drinking. Get the recipe.

Poison Apple Cocktail

This vibrant green concoction has just the right amount of sweet and sour to please any wicked (or not-so-wicked) witch. A splash of bubbly gives it 'magic potion' appeal. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Sam Henderson

Black Devil Martini

Dark rum and a black olive garnish give this martini its midnight hue. Rim the glass with coarse orange sugar to dress it up for a Halloween party. Get the recipe.

©Photo by Steve Murello

Black Magic Cocktail

Cast a spell over your Halloween party guests with this bewitching beverage that combines orange juice with black vodka and triple sec. Get the recipe.

  1. yellow photos

Black Widow Shot

Black vodka and cranberry juice give this shot its venomous bite. Rim the glass with red sugar crystals for an added touch. Get the recipe.

Easy Apple Cider Champagne Cocktail

Liven up your fall gathering with this elegant spin on the classic champagne cocktail featuring apple cider and apple brandy. Pumpkin pie spice on the rim boosts this seasonal sip's fall flavor. Get the recipe

  1. apple cocktail

Photo By: Mark Fonville/Hortus Ltd.

Zombie Slime Shooters

A blend of 4 liquors, this fruity cocktail goes down easy but packs a mighty wallop. Complement the drink's eerie green hue with red 'slime' you can easily make yourself with just corn syrup and red food coloring. Get the recipe.

  1. green photos

Almond Joy Martini

Miss trick-or-treating days? This adults-only drink made from chocolate vodka, hazelnut liqueur and coconut rum tastes like an Almond Joy candy bar, but will give you more than just a sugar rush. Get the recipe.

©Photo by Steve Murello

Blood Sucker Cocktail

To create this vampire-friendly cocktail, shake up triple sec, vodka and pineapple juice, then strain and pour into a glass. Drip strawberry or raspberry puree along the sides of the glass to add streams of 'blood.' Get the recipe.

©Photo by Steve Murello

Liquefied Ghost Cocktail

Your Halloween guests will die for a sip of this ghostly white cocktail that tastes like a grown-up milkshake. Mix vanilla simple syrup, cream, vodka and soda, then serve in a martini glass. Get the recipe.

©Photo by Steve Murello

Pumpkin Spice Punch

Summery sangria gets a flavorful update for fall with pumpkin pie spice, bourbon and apple cider. Make a big batch to serve in a hollowed-out pumpkin for a pitch-perfect seasonal presentation. Get the recipe.

Milky Way Martini

What would Halloween be without candy? This Milky Way martini combines coffee liqueur, chocolate vodka and cream for an adults-only version of the classic candy bar. Get the recipe.

©Photo by Steve Murello

Witches' Brew

Pull out your cauldron to scare up a batch of this party-perfect punch. Pineapple and cranberry juice give this drink its harvest-moon hue while a shot of Malibu rum lends a Caribbean kick. Get the recipe.

©Photo by Steve Murello

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream — but a liberal shot of bourbon ensures this fall-flavored milkshake is an adults-only treat. Or, skip the booze and blend up a batch of non-alcoholic shakes for your favorite trick-or-treaters. Get the recipe.

Zombie Cocktail

Like zombies themselves, this cocktail packs a powerful punch thanks to apricot brandy and three types of rum: light, dark and high-proof Bacardi 151. Grenadine and orange juice give the drink its lovely pumpkin hue. A few of these and you may indeed feel like the walking dead the next day. Get the recipe.

©Photo by Steve Murello

Bloody Brain Shooter

Channel your inner mad scientist to create this creepy-looking shooter. Add chilled vodka and lime juice to a shot glass, then use a straw to drip Irish cream on top. The acidic lime juice will cause the cream to curdle, creating realistic blobs of 'brain.' Get the recipe.

©Photo by Steve Murello

The Brain Cocktail

For a simpler, fruitier take on the Bloody Brain Shooter, pour peach schnapps into a glass and top with Irish cream for a blood-curdling presentation. For extra gore, top with a dash of blood-red grenadine. Get the recipe.

©Photo by Steve Murello

Vampire Cocktail

This dessert-worthy combination of vanilla ice cream, triple sec and white crème de cacao is deliciously disgusting, thanks to drizzles of blood-red grenadine down the sides of the glass. Get the recipe.

©Photo by Steve Murello

Jack-O'-Lantern Cocktail

Cognac, Grand Marnier and orange juice give this sweet sippable an unexpected kick. Get the recipe.

  1. yellow photos

Nonalcoholic Cemetery Punch

Kids will flip for this gross-looking punch. Since little ghouls and goblins will likely be pumped up on sugar from trick-or-treat bags, diet root beer and frozen yogurt won't add to the impact. Get the recipe.

©Photo by Steve Murello

Vesper Martini

Made famous by super-spy James Bond, this chilling recipe, named for 007's deceased love, is sure to give you the vapors. Get the recipe.

Zombie Gut Punch Cocktail

Blood orange juice and black cherry soda give this cocktail its bloody hue while vodka and bitters pack a mighty punch. Get the recipe. Recipe created by Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark for Cooking Channel

Photo By: Courtesy Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark ©2012 CookingChannelTV.com

Don't Forget Your Best Friend

Handmade Halloween Pet Jester Costume

Handmade Halloween Pet Jester Costume

Handmade Halloween Pet Jester Costume

Pets are family so be sure to consider them in your Halloween party plans. Let outgoing pets join in the fun by dressing in costume; alternately, provide a safe, quiet place away from the hubbub for pets who are timid around strangers, afraid of loud noises or are not feeling well.

Make This: Court Jester Costume

18 (Cute!) Pet Costumes

See All Photos

Fluttering Fairy or Butterfly

Their favorite jacket and a few inexpensive craft materials are all you need to magic up a (cute!) winged Halloween pet costume for your pup. Get crafting with our easy step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: H. Camille Smith

Last-Minute Lion's Mane

Need to whip up a pet costume on the fly? We've got you covered! This cute costume is comfy for your pet and can be constructed in about an hour. Turn your dog or cat into the king of the jungle with our tutorial.

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Groovy Rasta

Your pet will look positively Irie and ready to party in this fun Rastafarian wig and hat. A few craft store materials are all you need for this easy-to-make costume. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions

Court Jester

Honor your pup's inner goofball with a Halloween costume that celebrates his true colors. Colorful fabric remnants, basic machine sewing and our free printable costume templates make this a DIY project you can complete while binge-watching your favorite show. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions

French Chef

Ooh-la-la! Your dog or cat will be the cutest chef on four legs in this crafty Halloween costume. Use tissue paper and card stock to create a mini version of a chef's toque blanche and a bit of red fabric to stitch up a jaunty neckerchief. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions

Ready for Business

Giving new meaning to the phrase, 'working like a dog,' this costume cleverly repurposes closet castoffs to create a costume that's easy on and off and is comfy for your pet. Our step-by-step instructions will help you dress your best friend for success.

Black Bat

Felt, pipe cleaners and a bit of Velcro are all you need to dress your furry friend as a winged bat for Halloween. This costume is not only easy to craft with our step-by-step instructions it's also lightweight so it's comfortable for your dog or cat. 

Little Bo Peep and Her Sheep

For HGTV fan Sara Alavi, dressing her girls up in Halloween costumes is a tradition. She chooses a new look each year based on pop culture trends or her pups' personalities. For this look, she was inspired by Jelly Bean, initially a timid rescue, who followed Sara's older pup, Darci, around like a lost little sheep. To create Darci's Little Bo Peep costume, Sara stitched up the dress herself then topped it off with a curly blonde dog wig (yes, there's such a thing) she bought online. Sara also crafted Jelly Bean's sheep costume using faux fur for the body and hood and pink felt for the interior of the ears. Velcro strips added to each costume ensure easy on and off should either pup become overheated.

Pretty as a Posy

Easily turn craft foam sheets into an oversized flower costume for your furball. Attaching the foam flower to your pet's harness ensures they can move freely and be comfortable while enjoying the Halloween festivities. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: H. Camille Smith

Sea-Worthy Celeb-U-Pup

Not only is Eli the Chihuahua a ship-shape sailor, he's also a canine celebrity who starred in the reality series Doggie Moms on NYC life. His mom and HGTV fan, Karen Biehl, capped off Eli's sailor costume by adding star stickers, a bit of white ribbon and a thin elastic band to a paper ice cream cup to craft his diminutive sailor's hat.

Low-Sew Pinata Pup

This year, celebrate Halloween, fiesta-style, with your best friend. Easily craft a piñata-inspired costume for your dog using felt, hot glue and just a bit of hand stitching. Canine couture designer Kelly Owen shares her step-by-step instructions for crafting this costume for your little party animal.

Little Ladybug

Disguise your dog in a cute ladybug costume you can create in under an hour using basic craft materials and a no-sew method. Our easy step-by-step instructions make this adorable costume a snap.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer, Ten22 Studio

Pooches From Far, Far Away

Leather shoelaces and a bit of brown felt are all HGTV fan samiam405 needed to dress her two pups up like the furry Ewoks of Star Wars fame. Cutting holes to accommodate their ears ensures her furkids are comfortable.

Royal Wedding Attendees

The fashion-forward hats sported by Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice at Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding weren't just a hit in royal circles, they also made quite an impression on HGTV fan Sara Alavi who began work on her pups' elaborate Halloween costumes soon after the royal wedding. To construct Princess Eugenie's blue hat, Sara used craft foam sheets secured with hot glue. Stretch cording keeps the hat comfortably on pup Darci's head while wispy white feathers and a purple rosette complete the look. For Princess Beatrice's fascinator, the trick was finding a flexible material that's also lightweight enough for pup Jelly Bean's small size. Sara used pipe cleaners, covered by a stitched tube of gold fabric, to replicate the twisting ribbon shape. An elastic band wasn't strong enough to prevent shifting so Sara stitched the ribbon to a fabric-covered disk that's sewn directly onto a blonde dog wig.

Arrgh, Me Kitties

Dressing your cat for Halloween is a rite attempted by only the bravest of pet owners — but, if your cat is willing, take a cue from HGTV fan Queen1Cat and turn your landlocked kitty into a seafaring rogue with a custom-stitched puffy shirt and felt pirate's hat. Just be sure to sleep with one eye open for a while.

King of the Beasts

A Great Dane is sure to turn heads any day — but add a furry lion's mane and tail and you can literally stop traffic. HGTV fan FriscoChick put her sewing skills to work to stitch up a thick, faux fur mane to slide over her pup's head. A soft, fabric covered band over his nose attaches to the inside of the mane to prevent it from shifting.

A Pack of Pugs

Many owners of pugs will tell you: You can't stop at just one. Clearly, HGTV fan bratlaw feels the more pugs, the merrier. She outfitted her 5 pups to resemble a favorite candy that's also better by the bunch. To make the costumes, she sewed colorful fabric remnants, filled with a thin foam circle, into round pillows that she then embellished with iron-on letters. A small fabric loop that attaches to their collars plus a wide strap that velcros under each pup's middle keep the pillows from shifting.

Count Kittula

HGTV fan Debbie Richmond is one of those souls brave enough to dress her cats for Halloween. To ensure the Halloween costume doesn't cause them to overheat, she chooses lightweight fabrics, like this nylon cape, that can easily be removed.

Headless Horseman

Trick-or-treaters will definitely do a double-take of this clever Halloween costume that uses toddler-size clothing on a well-crafted body to resemble the Headless Horseman and his horse, Daredevil. HGTV fan newfy1_5226167 is the creative genius behind this amazing pet costume that actually weighs in at less than 5 pounds total and even includes a custom-stitched saddle and bridle to accurately recreate the look.

Send 'Em Off With a Souvenir

Mummy Candy Cans

Mummy Candy Cans

To create a safer edge around the can's rim, fold a bit of fabric over the rim, securing it with hot glue. Fill with candy and distribute to Halloween party guests or trick-or-treaters

Hand-making party favors for your guests really is the icing on the best-Halloween-party-ever cake. Get guests in on the crafty fun by pre-purchasing supplies and setting up a craft table so guests can magic up a take-home treat.

Make This: Mummy Candy Cans

21 Halloween Party Favors

See All Photos

Halloween Treat Cones

These cute cones are easy to make and can be filled with an assortment of small trinkets, toys and candy for guests to enjoy. Get crafting to make your own

Indulge Their Sweet Tooth

Kids love lollipops, especially old-fashioned swirly ones. To make these easy party favors, remove original packaging and pop the lollipops into clear cellophane bags. Tie a bow to close each bag, then finish with a printed and punched tag design. Get started by printing our free templates.

Thank Them for "Popping" By

With so much candy around at Halloween parties, a salty snack will hit the spot. Whip up some homemade stove-popped corn or try this sweet-meets-salty popcorn mix and place in scallop-edged cups. Embellish with dimensional scrapbooking stickers (found at craft stores) or one of our free printables. If you're sending a cup home with your party guests, wrap it in cellophane and tie with ribbon so the popcorn will stay fresh.

  1. party favor

Go a Little Batty

Easily turn wooden clothespins into cute Halloween bag clips. Download our bat-shaped template, print it onto card stock, cut out, then attach to the clothespin with hot glue or double-sided tape. Fill a clear bag with Halloween candy or gumballs and attach the clip for a fun favor.

Cupcakes To Go

Everyone loves cupcakes, especially kids! Place cupcakes in paper or plastic bowls and wrap with cellophane for a portable container they can take with them. Add one of our free printable Halloween tags to dress it up.

Preserve Party Memories

This photo frame idea is perfect for photo booth or Halloween costume parties. Before the party, print and cut out several of the 4" x 6" frame designs. You can also purchase several simple plastic frames, like this one from Ikea, to hold the finished photos. As each guest arrives, take their photo, then print out the photos during the party. Insert photos in printed frames and give them to departing guests as party favors.

Glitzy Party Crown

Help kids make these charming crowns as a fun craft activity during the party. They can wear them as part of the festivities or take them home for later. Using our free printable templates, decorative paper and embellishments, these crowns are easy to create yet so cute.

Batty Party Crown

This adorable crown uses the same basic materials as the glitzy crown but is embellished by our free printable bat template instead of a cupcake liner flower and bauble.

Jack-O'-Lantern Fun

Kids will have a great time posing for photos with these printable jack-o'-lantern grins. Just download the template, print onto card stock, cut out, then attach to a straw or small wooden dowel.

Follow the Ball

This classic game with a Halloween twist is sure to provide tons of fun for the kids. Give each child a set of three white paper bowls with "eyes" made by hole-punching black paper and attaching the punched dots with glue. Give kids a gumball and show them how to play the game with a partner by hiding the gumball under one of the ghosts, moving the ghosts around and having his/her partner guess which ghost has the gumball.

Candy Favor Boxes

Premade Halloween boxes are a quick-and-easy option to fill with candy or small toys. Embellished with one of our printable tag designs, party guests or trick-or-treaters will be excited to open them to see what's inside.

Put Chocolate Under Wraps

Kids love candy bars — after all, who doesn't? For a super simple party favor, use one of our printable wrapper designs to dress up a classic candy bar to match the party decor. Just print the template onto standard copier paper, then cut out the design and use double-sided tape to attach the Halloween wrapper to a chocolate bar. 

Download Black Stripe Candy Bar Wrapper

Download Orange Stripe Candy Bar Wrapper

Candy-Corn-Colored Gumball Necklace

All you need to make this sweet necklace is gumballs, ribbon and a few tools. Use a skewer to puncture each gumball, one side at a time. Thread ribbon through a large needle and slide through gumball, tying a knot between each as you go. Add a ribbon bow for a little extra finishing touch.

Spooktacular Sodas

Being a party guest is thirsty work, and what kid could resist these dressed-up soda bottles? Chill sodas prior to the party and embellish right before it starts with our printable black-and-white striped paper and a punched tag. Tie on a straw with twine; open bottles if guests will be enjoying them during the party, or leave the caps on if they'll be taking them home as a favor.

Mini Candy Jars

Small glass or plastic jars can be found inexpensively at many craft and dollar stores. Simply fill with candy corn, gummy worms or individually wrapped chocolates and attach a punched Halloween tag with twine for a finished look.

  1. party favor

Rock Star

Kids love rock candy sticks. Place them by the door and they won't be able to resist taking one for the road as they leave the party. To add a little embellishment, cut strips from our printable black-and-white striped paper, attach with double-sided tape and cut into a flag shape. Display on a white platter so the colors pop.

  1. party favor
  2. candy

Mason Jar Favors

Mason jars are everywhere these days and they're a great, affordable party favor. For Halloween, fill with white candy to make a ghost or orange candy to make a pumpkin. Top with a circle cut from our printable black-and-white striped paper and replace the lid. Use decals or stickers to create the ghost or pumpkin face. Tie on one of our printable tags with twine to complete the look.

Them Bones, Them Bones

Mini candy bones give these marshmallow treats a crunchy texture kids love. To create them, skewer a regular-sized marshmallow onto a 6-inch lollipop stick. Dip into melted chocolate and, while the chocolate is still warm, roll in candy bones. For perfect presentation, display in small cupcake liners and top each stick with a little black bow.

  1. party favor

Trick-or-Treat Tubes

These clear tubes are turning up at parties everywhere not only because they're adorable, but because they're so easy! Just fill with candy or gumballs and top with a printable Halloween flag design.

Cookie Monster

Another simple idea is to send your guests home with a sweetly packaged cookie. Whether you bake them at home or purchase them at the bakery, kids will be happy to have a sweet treat to enjoy after the party. Place cookies in Halloween-themed bags, wrap in twine and attach a printable Halloween tag.

  1. party favor

Halloween Linen Sacks

These small linen sacks came pre-printed with their Halloween designs, but you could easily dress up plain sacks with foam stamps or a stencil and craft paint. Fill with candy and toys for the party guests to take home.

  1. party favor
  2. candy

Keep Reading

Next Up

Score Big With These Game-Winning Party Ideas

Skip the chip and dips on Sunday, and score big with these football-inspired party ideas.

15 Ways to Kick off Your Halloween Celebration Early

Don't wait until October 31st to celebrate this spooky holiday.

Get in the Summer Games Spirit By Hosting a Legendary Potluck

You don't have to be in Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the Summer Games.

Free Printable Accessories For Your 1920s Party

Throw the ultimate 1920s-inspired party with these free printable accessories.

31 DIY Halloween Costumes to Start Making Now

Because last minute isn't the only way to do things.

How to Throw a Hot Dog-Themed Halloween Party

Because hot dogs are easy, and hot dog costumes are hilarious.

7 Easy Graduation Party Ideas You Can Actually Do

Thrill your grad (and all your guests!) with these simple graduation party ideas that are just as easy as they are impressive.

Fun (and Free!) Games for Your Oscar Party

You and your guests can play along during the awards show with these printable scorecards and bingo. 

5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Family Organized This Year

Let's face it — "easy" is the only way it's going to get done.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts