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Thrifty Halloween Thrillers

Halloween is a time for tricks, treats and parties! Whether you are looking for a safe alternative to trick-or-treating or are just in a wicked party spirit, a halloween party is something kids and adults will love.

Story and Styling by Amy Gordy and Katie Hassell, Photography by Katie Childs

Kids of all ages love Halloween. It’s a fun time of year to get creative and let your spooky side shine! Throwing a Halloween party doesn’t have to be expensive; there are tons of DIY options for costumes, crafts and edible concoctions that won’t have you slaving away for weeks in preparation. Check out Savvy’s suggestions for how to have a low-budget, high-thrill Halloween. 


Bandit Loot Bag

You’ll need:
White pull-string bag
Black permanent marker

How to:
1. Insert paper inside of bag so that the marker will not bleed through.
2. Draw a $ symbol in pencil. Fill it in with the permanent marker. 




Freaky Fanta Float

Kids love orange soda! Top that off with a frothy scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have a spooky dessert drink everyone is sure to scream for. Just fill a cup 2/3 full with orange soda, plop in a scoop of ice cream and add a sprinkle of candy corn if you need a little more sugar. 

Scary Cherry Spritzer

Your mini mad scientist will love this interactive drink! Just fill a glass with ice and Sprite about 2/3 full and let them slowly inject it with a plastic toy syringe filled with an ounce of grenadine. The sweet cherry syrup will trickle through the ice for a spooky effect, and add a fun, fruity twist to the lemon/lime soda! 

Caramel Apple Bar Halloween party idea

Wicked Witch's Hat

These desserts are pretty messy but worth the amount of wicked fun they bring to the party (just have wipes handy!). 

You’ll need:
Sugar cones
Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Round cookie wafers 
Small candies for filler

Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl by zapping them in 30-second increments and then stirring until the chocolate is warm and smooth. Paint the chocolate onto the sugar cone, decorate with sprinkles and fill the cone with candies (we used M&Ms, Reeces Pieces and candy corn). Paint a ring of chocolate around the rim of the cone and seal it shut with a cookie or wafer. Place the filled cone in the fridge to let the chocolate set for 10 minutes. Remove the cone and use icing to create the hat’s band and buckle and serve!


Pumpkin Pizza Pockets

It’s a good idea to serve a savory, hearty item or two to help absorb all that sugar! Kids will love these cute pumpkin-shaped pizza pockets. Feel free to get creative when carving the faces and fill them with your own favorite ingredients.


You’ll need:
9-inch roll-out pie crust
Shredded mozzerella
Marinara sauce for dipping
A sharp knife
Wax paper

Let the pie crust come to room temperature and roll it out on wax paper sprinkled in flour. Roll the crust out to about 12 inches diameter, and, using a sharp knife, cut out a large pumpkin shape. Place that shape on top of the dough and trace around it with the knife so you get two pumpkins the same size and shape. Carve a pumpkin face into one of the shapes. Sprinkle the cheese on the faceless shape (leave a small border clear around the edges), top it with pepperonis and lay the Jack-o-lantern face on top. Seal it by going around the edges and pressing with the teeth of a fork. Make an egg wash by whisking one egg and a tablespoon of water, brush the tops of the pizzas with the egg wash. Place the pumpkin pizzas on a baking dish lined with wax paper and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. 


Fall Foliage Globe

This easy craft has it all: pretty fall colors, captivating movement and a required nature walk. Go on a hunt for the perfect twig and pinecones to create this autumnal “snow” globe. 

You’ll need:
A Mason jar with a lid and seal
Hot glue gun
Leaf-shaped confetti
Small pinecones

How to:
1. Go for a nature walk and find a tree-like twig and small pinecones. 
2. Hot glue the twig to the inside of the Mason jar lid, hold it and let it set until the glue becomes opaque. Glue the pinecones to the twig. 
3. Add in a couple of handfulls of leaf-shaped confetti and fill the jar ¾ full with water. 
4. Submerge the twig and seal the lid. 



Hanging haunted bats

These hanging cuties are easy and fun for little ones. Feel free to get creative with colors and funny faces and hang them anywhere that needs a spooky touch. 

You’ll need:
Toilet paper tube (or paper towel)
Black tempera paint  
Black construction paper 
Black pipe cleaners
Googly eyes
White chalk pen

How to:
1. Paint the cardboard tubes black and set aside to dry. 
2. While the paint is drying, draw bat wings on the construction paper and cut them out. We made a wing template and traced it on the construction paper to make multiple wings. 
3. After the paint has dried, fold one side of the tube closed, leaving pointed sides for ears. 
4. Glue the bat wings on the back and the googly eyes on the front. Then draw a little smile on the bat face. 
5. Punch two holes in the bottom of your cardboard tube to attach the legs.
6. Cut a black pipe cleaner in half. Twist one end of each pipe cleaner through each punched hole.
7. Curl the bottom of the feet a little to make hooks. This will allow you to hang the bats. 



No-Sew Superhero Capes

You’ll need:
T-shirt several sizes larger than your child

How to:
1. Lay your shirt out flat with the front facing up.  
2. Cut only one layer of the shirt starting at the bottom edge at the side seams and going towards the arms. Cut behind the arms and over the shoulders. Then around the neckline.  

Mask and Power Wristbands

You’ll need:
Felt in any color you want
Hot glue
No-sew Velcro

Mask how-to:
1. Draw out a mask template, then trace the template on the felt. 
2. Cut out your mask and eyeholes.
3. Cut two 12-inch lengths of ribbon. Then glue one length to each side of the back of the mask. 

Powerband how-to:
1. Cut 2-inch-wide strips of felt.
2. Attach the Velcro to one end and wrap the felt strip around your child’s wrist. Cut off any excess felt and attach the other end of the Velcro. 
3. Use leftover felt to cut out stars and shapes to decorate the mask and wristbands.