Today is Halloween, otherwise known as All Hallows' Eve. While traditionally an American holiday, many Australians will still be trick-or-treating or throwing spooky parties tonight. If you're stuck without a costume, spooky decorations, or any prep at all, these tips can help.
#10 Pick the Perfect Last Minute Costume
If you're still stuck without a costume for Halloween, it's not too late to come up with something creative at best, and well, just punny and amusing at worst. Last minute costumes are usually terrible, but there are some good options out there that don't require sewing or expensive materials.
Worst case, you can always take some inspiration from your fellow commenters, thanks to this thread of easy, DIY costumes perfect for starting, well, now.
#9 Streamline Your Halloween Party Prep
While hosting the perfect get-together requires time and energy, if you're expecting guests tonight, it's not too late for some decidedly spooky party ideas. We have a bunch of them outlined here, like some simple decorations like pumpkin paper lamps and quick-carving techniques.
If you want to take things up a notch, try these easy DIY bleeding candles, pumpkin spiders, and floating ice hands in your bowl of punch. You could also make some DIY tombstones in a few minutes to decorate your yard or even the inside of your home before your party.
#8 Carve Pumpkins in a Flash
Speaking of decorations and pumpkin carving, carving is one of the most fun part of Halloween, but if you're crunched for time, don't stress out. A cookie cutter or two -- or even a quick trip to the dollar store to pick some up -- does the trick pretty easily.
If you'd prefer to do it the old fashioned way, you don't have to scrawl on the surface of a pumpkin and try to move a knife around sharpie lines. Print out some of these stencils to give yourself a head start.
#7 Set Up a Quick and Dirty Door Camera to Surprise the Kids
Maybe you're the guy in the neighbourhood who loves to give the kids who come to the door a little fright -- you have your front yard all decked out with fog machines or dry ice, ghosts on wires, pumpkins that play spooky music when people get close, and stuff like that. Well, what better way to complete the whole affair than to know when the kids are coming?
There are a bunch of ways to do this, including slapping an old Android phone in a window (or an old iPhone for that matter) and using it as a remote monitor so you'll be able to open the door creakily and blow fog out right as the kids come up the steps. Perfect, right? If an old phone won't work, a webcam can work for the same thing. Either way, it's all about getting the right effect.
#6 Make Spooky Dishes In a Snap
In addition to some of the spooky entries we mentioned above, like those floating icy hands in the punchbowl or pumpkin dip bowls, you can also make your own treats like a green and red melon-y brain you can carve in minutes, or some quick homemade slime. Spooky glowing water, or maybe some broken bloody glass or bloody lollipops perhaps? Check out this rundown for 12 great suggestions.
#5 Make Candy Toffee Apples You'll Actually Want to Eat
In addition to simple party dishes you can make pretty quickly, maybe you'd like to reclaim one of the most quintessential Halloween treats: the toffee apple. Too often the candy apple is a red delicious doused in a gross, oversweet coating with some red dye in it. Well, no longer! Here's our complete guide to making candy apples great again.
#4 Pair Your Lollies with the Perfect Wine and Beer
Whether you're having guests or just relaxing at home, you'll probably have a lot of candy on-hand. Well, pair that candy with the best adult beverages you can get -- and the ones that will taste the best with the treats you plan to eat!
Here are some recommendations for the best wines to pair with popular candy. Mix and match and have a great night.
#3 Save Money on Food, Costumes, and Decorations
One of the biggest time and money sinks on a holiday like Halloween, where atmosphere is so important, are the decorations and such. We mentioned some of them above when we talked about building a webcam to spook the littles, but if you want to save some dough and still get that spooky atmosphere, there are plenty of ways to do it.
#2 Score Some Freebies of Your Own
While you're spending time getting everything just right for your Halloween party, or to go out to someone else's, or just to set the mood for the trick-or-treaters, don't forget to reap the benefits of the holiday for yourself, too! There are plenty of freebies available on Halloween, including discounted snacks in both stores and fast casual restaurants. (Outback Steakhouse will let kids in costume eat free, for example.) The important thing is to keep an eye out for them!
#1 Raid the Discount Shelves for More on November 1
Finally, perhaps the best Halloween hack of all is to hang tight until November 1 and then hit the grocery stores and convenience stores...where all of Halloween-themed candy will have been moved to the discount aisles. If you gave away all of your candy the night before (or just ate it all), this is the Halloween treat that keeps on giving after the night is over -- and a good time to grab some sweets to get you through to Christmas.