Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.View Slideshow
A black, white, and neon green color scheme stars in this no-fuss woodland-theme Halloween party for kids. We bring the forest to you (and make this party super easy to throw) with our fun ideas for food, games, and decorations, including more than a dozen free printables from our partner, Anders Ruff Custom Designs.
Host a spooky Halloween party for kids, complete with a mossy woodland picnic, fun forest games, and tons of take-home favors. Encourage the party guests to dress as their favorite woodland creatures, and use our free party printables and decorating ideas to turn your living room into a forest glade full of adventure.
Draw the little woodland critters to your spooky forest scene with an invitation that matches the party theme. Download our invitation, available below, and print it onto cardstock. Using word-processing software, type and format the party information to fit the space. Put the printed invitation back into the printer, print the party information onto it, and trim to size. Roll the invitation and tie with raffia; package in a black box filled with owl sugar cookies (available from sweetsugarbelle.com), iced pretzel logs, and green paper shreds that mimic moss.
Spray-painted black branches frame a table set with glowing green candy, owl figurines, and a cake, while a gray backdrop filled with swooping bats adds to the spooky display.
Create the bat backdrop by covering a board with gray fabric and adding bats cut from black cardstock. Use pushpins to test the arrangement of the bats on the board. When satisfied with the arrangement, remove the pushpins and staple the bats in place.
Make treats easy-to-grab -- and part of the decor -- with these forest-theme lollipop covers. Print the downloadable covers, available below, onto white cardstock and cut out. Punch a hole through the white circle on the center bar that joins the front and back covers. Insert the lollipop stick through the hole and bring the covers up over the lollipop, adhering with double-stick tape. Stand the lollipops in plastic tubs filled with green candy to play up the emphasize the color scheme.
Give chocolate cupcakes added height with pedestals cut from tree trunks. Whitewash a precut log that's 8-inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick with white acrylic paint, allowing the wood to show through. Let dry. If needed, lightly brush on additional coats of paint to get the desired look. Seal the log with clear polyurethane. Print our cupcake topper designs, available below, onto white cardstock and cut out. Glue or tape the backs to toothpicks for easy-to-make cupcake embellishments. Dress up the center cupcake for the occasion with our downloadable wrapper, available below. Print the wrapper onto white cardstock; cut out. Fit the wrapper around the cupcake and secure the ends with double-stick tape; insert the cupcake. Top the cupcake with green-tinted frosting and a faux spider. Insert a tissue paper medallion pick into the center cupcake for the display's centerpiece.
Come up with interesting ways to present party food -- here, a glass cloche makes elevated cupcakes and meringue toadstools look like specimens. From mossy green felt or wrapping paper, cut a strip to wrap around the side of a foam disk and a circle that's slightly larger than the top of the foam disk. Adhere the pieces with hot glue or double-stick tape; trim edges. Cut a circle the size of the top of the disk from sheet moss; place on top of the foam disk. Display cupcakes on pedestals made from tissue-paper medallions; cover the display with a glass cloche embellished with a cardstock bat.
Gather tasty treats in the center of the table with this decorative black box. Download our "Spooky Forest Halloween Party" label, available below, and print onto white cardstock. Cut out and secure to the front of the box with double-stick tape. Add shreds in the bottom of the box -- we used a market tray designed for gift baskets --to create a pretty presentation. Use the downloadable tags and labels from the other party projects to embellish and identify different lunch foods and snacks.
Embellish glass jars with our printable tags to make the party food fun. Download our small circular tags, available below, onto white cardstock and cut out. Wrap baker's twine around a jar or bottle, going around several times to create a wide band. Tape, glue, or knot the twine at the front to hold it in place, then tape or glue a tag on top of the twine band. To make the drink wraps, download our bottle wrap pattern, available below. Print onto white cardstock or full-sheet label paper; cut out. Adhere the wraps to drink bottles, sticking the labels on or taping the cardstock in back.
Editor's Tip: To create the spooky green gelatin mixture in the jar, mix 1 cup of condensed milk with 1 cup of hot water; set aside. Mix two envelopes of unflavored gelatin with 1 cup of hot water; combine with the milk mixture and set aside. Combine four 3-ounce packages of green Jell-O, one envelope of gelatin, and 1-1/2 cups of hot water; pour a layer into the jar and place in the refrigerator to set for 15 minutes. Pour a layer of the milk mixture into the jar and refrigerate to set; repeat this process until you have the desired number of layers. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Add a fun Halloween party accent with this DIY pillow embellished with a free printable design. Print our pillow pattern, available below, onto iron-on computer paper and trim the excess. Cut two square pieces from light fabric (we used muslin), and sew together using a 1-1/2 seam allowance. Following the manufacturer's instructions, iron the pattern onto the fabric. Peel off the paper backing. Pin the fabric together with wrong sides facing; position black trim along the edge if desired. Sew the fabric together with a sewing machine, leaving a 2-inch opening. Turn the fabric right side out, stuff with fiberfill, and hand-stitch the hole closed. Hot-glue jewel and crystal embellishments to the design if desired.
Serve lunch with toadstool seats set around a large coffee table to put party guests in a woodsy mood. For each stool, whitewash a log that is 10 inches tall and about 8 to 10 inches in diameter by brushing it with white acrylic paint, allowing the wood to show through. Let dry, and seal the log with clear polyurethane or another sealant. Center a 12-inch round wood plaque on top of the log, and drill a 3-inch wood screw through the top to attach the plaque. Use additional screws for added stability if desired. Cut batting and green felt into 15-inch diameter circles. Place a 2-inch-thick by 12-inch diameter foam insert on the plaque; top with the batting and the felt. Turn the stool upside down, holding the loose materials in place. Working around the log, staple the felt to the bottom of the plaque where it extends out from log, pulling it tight toward the center to hold the batting and foam in place. Cut 1- to 2-inch circles from tan felt or other fabric; use fabric glue to attach to the cushion top.
It wouldn't be a kids' Halloween party without this classic and oh-so-simple game. Decorate an apple-bobbing bucket (we used a scuttle) with a tissue paper bat medallion; set the timer to see who can snag an apple the fastest.
Editor's Tip: Germ concerns? Use smaller buckets so guests have their own and can battle head-to-head for the best time.
This Halloween-theme variation of a classic party game is sure to be a hit at your woodland party. Download our game board image, available below, and have a copy shop make a poster-size print; trim if needed. Print the bat pattern, available below, onto white paper; cut out. Fold a piece of black cardstock and place the straight edge of the pattern along the fold on the cardstock. Trace, cut out, and unfold to reveal a bat. To play the game, tape the poster on a wall. Add a strip of double-stick tape to the back of the bat. One at a time, blindfold each participant, spin him around three times, and have him try to attach the bat to the moon.
Stick with the spooky party theme by making your own crayon boxes that guests can take home. Download our crayon box template, available below, and print onto white cardstock; cut out. Cut slits on the bottom left-hand and right-hand corners, as indicated by the heavy solid lines. Fold the sides and the bottom, as indicated by the thin lines. Use double-stick tape to adhere the sides together. Tuck in the folded bottom flap, adhering with tape if needed. Add woodland-color crayons.
Set a neat take-home for each guest on the activity table -- a spooky bat box filled with a small gift or candy. Download our bat favor-box template, available below, and print onto white cardstock. Cut out along the outside edges, and cut slits along the top of each bat wing to allow wings to cross and interlock. Fold the template along the dashed lines and assemble the box, starting with the sides and then the bottom; adhere with double-stick tape. Fold the top of the box, interlocking the bat wings in the slits. Fill with small candies or toys.
Kids will love making this take-home tote they can color themselves. Print our owl design, available below, onto iron-on computer paper. Let party guests color the design with crayons. Trim excess paper. Iron the design on a white or cream-color canvas tote, following the manufacturer's instructions; peel off iron-on backing. Embellish the tote straps with ribbon, raffia, a printable tag, and a tissue paper medallion.
Make the party even sweeter with these creepy candy-filled tubes. Print our tricks label, available below, onto standard-size label paper; cut out. Fill a plastic tube with bright green jelly beans and plastic spiders. Place the label over the lid to seal the plastic tube.
Send your woodland friends home with a mini box filled with sweet treats. Print our owl hanging tag, available below, onto white cardstock; cut out. Punch a hole through the top center circle using a hole punch. Wrap baker's twine around a black or brown favor box, taping at the back. Fill the box with a take-home treat or gift, and tie the tag to the handle.