Wednesday, July 20, 2011

PAAAARTY....for under $100.....hopefully

Welcome to the first post of my new, general blog! I figured that the old blog was too specific for me to comment much on it, but I will still post ballet stuff I find every once in awhile.

This new blog entry is about a themed party I'm planning. I really, really love Halloween, so I actually start planning for it months in advance to sew my costume and make plans. This year I’m planning on making Alice in Wonderland as my party theme. By figuring out my theme already, that leaves plenty of time to make and find decorations, prepare a menu, and create my costume.

I want the party to feel surreal, horrifying, and playful. Weird combo, right? But I figured that with Wonderland, that would make sense. Each room is going to have something different. The kitchen, which is red, will be the Red Queen's lair (horror). The dining room will be the Mad Hatter's tea party (playful). The family room will be filled with odds and ends (surreal). Outside I would LOVE to have a Jabberwocky skeleton made out of paper-mache *crosses fingers and shoots for the moon*. There's going to be a lot of paper-mache decorations to keep my party under budget.

Above: inspirational and concept pictures

Speaking of budget, my goal this year is to keep everything, minus the costume, under $100. Food will probably put me over as it usually does, and in decorations, I’ve already racked up a quarter of that…. So that means games, food, and decorations all under a hundred bucks. Let’s just see if I can manage to pull it off or at least land close to my goal. 
American McGee's Alice

My costume is almost complete. I’m going as Alice for Halloween, specifically American McGee’s Alice. That way I don’t have to worry about a blonde wig for my costume and just have to straighten my hair. As an additional bonus, this Alice is from a horror video game--perfect for Halloween. I bought a jack-in-the-box to modify into a purse, but that’s not going to well for several reasons. 

Otherwise, my costume is nearly complete. It just lacks the alchemy symbols on the apron pockets. I plan on using my aunt’s embroidery machine on those to make them look a bit sharper and so they don’t wash off in the washing machine. I'll post pictures once that's completed. Hopefully it won't look too's my own pattern and the puffy sleeves took a really long time to perfect.

Decorations I've already found:
Here are some decorations I've already found. Most of these will probably used for outside decoration and the kitchen (Red Queen Room). 
 The first items I found were at Goodwill. Only one dollar each! The teapot is going in the Mad Hatter room and the bowl will be a candy dish in the kitchen.
A trip to Hobby Lobby found me these chess pieces for sale at 30%. The white pawn was on clearance for a dollar, but the rest were a lot more expensive. The price for the lot of these is the most expensive so far: $12, but they were just too cool and too perfect to pass up. I'm glad I got these. 
These candles I found at a garage sale. This is what I love about shopping for Halloween in the middle of summer. Deals! But this wasn't any deal... I was working during the garage sale times, so I asked my mom to pick these up for me. She got them for $8.... not happy at all about that. Lesson learned: If you want something done right (and not pay a small fortune for it), do it yourself. Still, these are very cool, but I won't be paying that much for decorations this trivial again.
 Some whimsical stuff I found around in my room. The card deck was missing some cards so it'll be perfect to make into card streamers.
Some things I also have that people gave me that would be perfect for Alice in Wonderland. The right book I'm picking mostly because it has a raven on it. "How is a raven like a writing desk?" The Alice in Wonderland placard on the far left is actually from a Blockbuster that was going out of business.
These are oversized cards, a heart tray, red shrink-wrap, and napkins that I got from Party City. I paid only one dollar for all of these thanks to a secret shopping job I did for them and getting partially reimbursed. Not only do I get these items for a whole lot cheaper, the shopper fee boosts my budget by $14! Sweet! And are those large playing cards not the most amazing things you've ever seen? For comparison, those napkins are your standard size napkins. 

Total Amount Spent: $22.88

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