Friday, October 28, 2011

Better Homes & Gardens Halloween Dessert Contest

I usually only post once a week...but this week, I'm selfishly (kinda) posting twice. Halloween Creepy Crispers seen here are in the running for the Better Homes & Gardens Halloween Dessert contest. (insert happy dance) The problem is that I need votes. This is why I am kneeling at your feet begging you to vote. :-) The contest ends October 30th, so please jump on this like Criss Cross & get your vote on.

Here's the dealio -

* You can vote once each day.
* Each time you vote, comment here or email me - & I'll put your name in to win a $50 Michaels gift card (Umm...a lot of glitter can be acquired for that $). That is just my way of thanking you for the time you took to vote.
* If I win the overall award, I get $250 but it's more like YOU get $250 b/c I'm going to use that money as a budget for a party sponsored by Parties for Pennies & YOU'RE invited (more on this later).

VOTE HERE (click on "here" and it will link to where to vote)

And again...Thank you soooo much! :-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Halloween Costume for $0

Thank you so much for stopping by! has now changed to! You can find tons of budget-friendly entertaining ideas, recipes, & projects.

To see more of this Human Pinterest Board Costume, as well as other DIY Halloween costume ideas, click here.

Party On!
Heidi Rew

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Curly Cue Chandelier

So...have you noticed anything different?


No? Why do I suddenly feel like every woman after they change their hair & want their men to notice? ;p

Parties for Pennies has a new look. I've been wanting to update the site for awhile but didn't want to pay a ton for it. Enter Designer Blogs. They have $10 templates. :-)  And they're really cute. Eventually, I'd like to get a custom site, but for Ginger, the template.

Now to the good stuff.

Planning a party & need some added decor to give some sparkle? Pizzaz?'s how to make a cheasy (this is my new term for cheap + easy) curly cue chandelier.

This is whatcha need -

Step 1 - Undo the wire hanger & shape to a circle. I used a glass bowl to guide the shape. 

Step 2 - Cut a piece of ribbon to twice the length that you want the chandelier to be. Secure it around the wire hanger like this...

I alternated ribbons going around the wire.

You could do the same color or alternate. 

Step 3 - Continue wrapping the ribbon until it covers the entire wire. 

*This process took me two nights of Dancing with the Stars but it was worth it for 80s night. Just letting you may want to catch up on reality shows while doing this. 

What do you think? I actually didn't even curl these ribbons. But you may want to, depending on how tight the curls you want. 

I think this would be perfect for a princess party or...I picked up a few $1 butterflies from Michaels & I think they add a fun punch. 

Now, a little closer...

Now for the $$$....

Wire Hanger  = Free (from my closet)
Curling Ribbon = $3.16  (4 at $0.79 each) I already had some, so you may need more or less, depending on how big your wire circle is.
Butterflies = $3 ($1/each from Michaels)

Total = $3.16 (without the butterflies)
$6.16 with butterflies'

Hope this adds some sparkle to your next party! 

I would love your input on the new background/layout. I'm hoping to update the layout more in the coming weeks & make things easier to find, so let me know if you recommend anything. 

Thanks for reading & for your input!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Tale of Halloweens Past

Several moons ago...three roommates decided to host a murder mystery Halloween soiree. It was such a success word spread far & wide. With requests coming in droves from a few friends to make this an annual began the Halloween party tradition @ the 364 (this is what we named the house we rented...and "we" being myself & my two roommates).

This story does not have a happy ending because the tradition has been stalled this year. :-( I got married, moved out & now have a husband to answer to. (that sounded harsher than I meant) After our wedding reception, my studly husband said we needed to hold off on parties for a little bit. AHHH...Withdrawal! :p

pss...I have a fun party in the works that you guys will actually be invited stay tuned. :-) 

I decided to show you a few pics from last years Halloween case it'll help you plan a Halloween party this year (so jealous). ;p 

DISCLAIMER: This blog was not even a thought when we planned this I apologize for the pics & failure to capture specific details. 

Halloween Party 2010 

Food Budget: $50 
Decor Budget: $50 
People Count: 50-60

Outside Decor: Lots of spider webs! They're super cheap & really make a difference aesthetically. The fact that it was an older house helped too. :-) 

Inside Decor: We used A LOT of candles, more spider webs, borrowed a fog machine, hung an old sheet in the bathroom that had blood on it (fake, obviously...I'll tell you how to do just a bit) & hung pictures of eery things. If you find pictures on the web, print them off on your computer then put them in frames you already have. A great resource for this is iStockPhoto. You could also probably find a lot of free pictures too. Some key words to search: Crows, Full moon, Old black & white pictures

What's in the caldron, you ask?? Glad you asked...

Since we were working with a VERY small food budget, I came up with a snack that is budget friendly & eaaassy to make. Popcorn is a great base b/c it's so cheap. Is it me or has candy corn gotten more expensive over the years??? Maybe it's because I used to always wait until the week after Halloween to get it. ;p Still, it's not too bad. The yogurt pretzels I got from Fresh Market & the cool thing about that is they sold them by the pound, so I could get as much/as little as I needed. You could also make your own with white/milk chocolate. 

This is part of the spread...I didn't even get the rest of it photographed. :-( I'll tell you about what you can see in the pic, though.
  1. In the white pedestal - Breadstick fingers. I used canned breadstick dough & formed the fingers, then topped them with almond slivers. I had marinara sauce (blood) to dip them in.
  2. The cheese tray is pretty explanatory. Since our budget was so small...I cut out the labels from the cheeses & taped them to tooth picks in order to label them. I just love that plastic rat. ;p 
  3. The thing in the top right corner is a fast, easy Halloween party food! It's just a block of cream cheese with strawberry jam on top! Cheap + Easy = Love (hmmm...that's what my husband says about me too. ;p) 

* Those candle sticks used to be gold & $1 each from Goodwill. I spray painted them black & sprinkled them with black glitter. 

Isn't dry ice so fun?? ;p Actually...they wouldn't let me touch it. I'm a little accident prone. We basically sat the dry ice in the caldron & set a glass bowl inside with the "witches brew." I wish I could remember what exactly was in the witches brew...but I can't think of it. My sister & I usually try and think of a mixed concoction that is the cheapest to throw together. 

I know this is a crazy picture...but I wanted you to see this adorable costume idea. Jim & Kristy are friends of ours & she came as a kitty & he dressed up as "cat litter." Easy & funny couple costume. They even won a prize. Here are some of the costume prize categories:

Best LOL Costume
Best Celebrity
Most Creative

*There were others...I'm just forgetting them. Which is why I started this blog...just so I can remember everything. ;p 

For prizes, we wanted something good but within a budget. We ended up buying Groupons & giving those certificates. One was an art class (for the most creative), another was for a comedy/improve show (Best LOL) & there were others just for nice restaurants. I also had some Groupon bucks in my account so it really didn't affect the budget too much. 

I wanted to include the picture above b/c the cute blond is my sister. We didn't get any of just us. :-( But she's been my partner in crime planning the Halloween parties & I couldn't have done it without her (or the rest of my family who usually shows up to help!)

We organized a Haunted Basement that took a lot of work but was well worth it. Even though I love Halloween because you get to dress up & eat candy. ;-) I don't like to scare we made sure there was a good ending to our haunted basement. I wanted to share the script with you but for some reason I can't open it. I'll try again later on. 

One thing we needed for the Haunted Basement was fake I made my own. Here's the recipe -

One More Cheap Idea - I wrote on the toilet seat (only on the bottom of the seat) "Watch Your Back" in red marker in our bathrooms. There were a lot of laughs from that one. And...a lot of guys watching their backs. ;p Only problem...apparently red magic marker doesn't come off of toilet seats very well. Yikes...maybe try a dry erase marker. 

So...are you planning a Halloween party? Can I come? ;p jk Any great ideas that you're planning on doing? Is it weird that I made fake blood? My sister & I definitely felt weird as we were making it. 

If you want ideas for a theme for a party, birthday party ideas, baby shower ideas...feel free to email me or comment here. Thanks so much for stopping by! I appreciate you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Halloween Costumes for $5 or less

When I was younger, August rolled around & I had my Halloween costume already nailed down...or at least down to several choices. Now...October creeps up faster than the stranger that catches you checking yourself out in the mirror.

How many of us have a lot of extra time to hunt down Halloween costumes for the whole family? And costumes that won't max out our credit card too! In honor of National Costume Day this Sunday, I've put together costume ideas that are $5 or less, easy to make & are unique (sorry...not gonna find the typical pirate or princess costume here).

*Below each picture, I'll link to the source if you want to find out more details

So cute & so simple...just use a white posterboard.

Isn't this brilliant? Made with silver & white cupcake liners.

Love the coke bottle scuba gear!

*This safari costume is made up of a paper bag (vest) & toilet paper holders (binoculars)

Soo easy...old box + plastic cups + spray paint = Lego man!

I think I have found my costume for this year! :p

So cute but I'm not sure how they did the Easy Mac container.

This may end up to be over the $5 limit, if you don't already have the correct color towels but I thought it was a cute idea & still inexpensive.

I love this costume b/c I think it could be a great adult costume too. I would just need to brush out my hair, wear my glasses & leave my eyebrows untweezed!

Isn't this so presh?? I want a baby just so I can dress them in this outfit. :p

The costume ideas above are obviously not my own ideas. I have a few of my own, but unfortunately I didn't have a rolladex of kid models to help me out (I awkward would that be??? creepy creepster), Guinness (my stepdog) gave me a 25 page rider (contract & expectations) & I had to draw the line at paw rub & Mike...well...the look he gave me when I asked if he'd model costumes for me said it all. So...I'm just going to list my ideas & describe them. Hopefully next year, I'll have some willing participants.

COSTUME IDEAS (under $5):

Reality TV
Take an old box, cut out a square on one side, add a "power" button, volume buttons, paint black/silver & set it over your head...YOU are reality TV

Swiss Cake Roll 
Take 1-2 white towels & 1-2 dark brown towels. Lay the white towels down on top of the dark brown towels. Roll the combo around your mid-section & pin in place - Swiss Cake Roll

Iron Chef (America)
Get a chef hat, an iron & tape a small american flag on your back or on the front of your shirt.

Kids At Play 
You could do this with two pieces of yellow posterboard. Attach ribbon to the top of either piece & write "Kids At Play" on one of the pieces of posterboard.

Take two trash can lids, spray paint black & wear white clothing. Attach the trash cans with white ribbon that rest on either shoulder.

Rubix Cube
I had thought of this idea & thought...woah...what a great idea. Yeah...someone has done it before. ;p Just take an old box, spray paint black, cut out squares of different colored construction paper & glue to the box. Leave space for your head, arms & legs.

Wear a yellow ski cap with eyes cut out (go around the eyes with black magic marker), wear a yellow shirt & gray pants.  

If you live around the Atlanta area, check out the Costume Swap in Smyrna. Drop off your gently used costumes between now & this Friday. When you drop a costume off, you get a ticket & you can come back on Sunday to get a "new" costume. What a great way to save money!

Do you have an easy Halloween costume idea? What about a favorite costume you've worn in the past? Did you ever win a costume contest? I did, in middle school. I was a California Raisin & I carried around a boombox that played "Heard it Through the Grapevine." dressed up as a dried up grape...that dances...that's a winner. ;p