Halloween Party Invite: How 2 Get it Done.

In Halloween Party Invitations part one, I covered how to age paper you already have to give it a spooky effect.  Since then, my party has been taking shape into a little bit funnier event than in years past.  BUT I am still going to share the basics of how to make a cool Halloween Party invite with nearly zilcho bucks.  And if you already have the paper, then you’re all set. 

Last time we aged our paper.  Then I sent you on a graphics hunt.  While on a hunt for mine I cam across something spectacular.  If you’re a novice at manipulating images, no worries.  You can still get this done with VERY basic skills.  But for kicks, I want to show you this because it opens up a new world of possibilities when creating Halloween Party Invites.  Check this out!  I know what you are saying to yourself. “I don’t have Photoshop and it’s so expensive.  Never fear, GIMP is here and it’s FREE!  I have been using GIMP for about 6 months now and I love it.  From creating website banners, to buttons, you cannot beat free, and it works great.  All the tools you need are there. 

Here’s what I basically did.  You can do this in word, Powerpoint, paint, print shop, whatever you have. 

  1. Age the paper (see previous post).
  2. Find a background image that fits your theme, google it or scan on or whatever.
  3. Import the image to the software you will use to make your invites.  I use Printshop, but whatever you are comfortable with.  Ooh, here’s another desktop publishing program that’s free and you can buy awesome graphics, trust me.  They have Dollar Days too.  Irresistible. YOU WANT THE FREE CREATIVE COMPANION BROWSER.  Thank me later.  Nope, I don’t get paid in any way, shape or form by these guys.  Just thought I’d share the love.
  4. Size the image so that it takes up a good amount of the page.
  5. Tint the image (image format) so that it is light enough for you to see text on top of it.
  6. Type your text (if you’re using word, you’re going to have to insert a text box on top of the image and go into format text box to make sure the text box is your top layer, otherwise it will be hidden behind your background image.)  Be sure to use an awesome font.  Don’t have any?  Check HERE.  Dafont.com has free fonts for personal use.  Just make sure to extract them into your main font folder.  Whenever I download fonts/graphics, I like to have  a little folder first that I designate them to go to for quick access.  Then, unzip them into the correct place.

Here’s mine up to this point.  Those silly circles are there so everyone and their brother doesn’t show up at my house, but you get the picture. 

Halloween Party Invite Before

Halloween Party Invite Before


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Just put a candle by the sink, in case of trouble.  Let the flame go near the back of the paper,  not touching it, and create a few burn marks.  Now it’s time for a few more touches.

Edging the paper with marker.  Any ol’ marker will do, heck use a sharpie.


Run the edge of a marker or ink pad along the edge of the paper for a finished look.

Run the edge of a marker or ink pad along the edge of the paper for a finished look.

What the Markered Edge looks like.

What the Markered Edge looks like.


  Now for a few Blood Drops.  I use this alcohol ink I already have, purchased from a scrapbooking store (Michael’s & Hobby Lobby have this, but you could use food coloring.)


Alcohol Ink used for blood drops.

Alcohol Ink used for blood drops.Blood drop look.






All distressing combined…see below.


Final Look of Halloween Party Invite, Now on to the Delivery Method.

Final Look of Halloween Party Invite, Now on to the Delivery Method.

 These are the final Halloween Party Invites.  Don’t get bogged down in picking fonts, and graphics.  Try to be swift about this.  And get these buggers out this weekend or early next week.  You want everyone to come dressed in an awesome costume, you gotta give them time to do that.   I am going to use a nail to attach mine to mini pumpkins.  The kind you can find like 5 for a dollar.  The ones I mail will probably just be in an envelope.  Maybe a freaky sticker or the back, or edged out in black.  But these are cool and no need to obsess.


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Burning the Edge, Grown Ups only do this.  You can also use a flame to just provide a burned look by getting close to the paper and not actually touching it.

Burning the Edge, Grown Ups only do this. You can also use a flame to just provide a burned look by getting close to the paper and not actually touching it.What the burned edge looks like.


Halloween Party Invites: Aging Paper

Every Halloween Party I’ve thrown uses a paper aging technique for the invitations.  This is a FREE way to age paper (and fabric buwahhaahaaa see way at the bottom of this post) and it’s pretty simple.  Because I use this paper in the printer, the first step is usually just a general yucking of the paper.  We don’t want to go to crazy on the paper yet because paper jams stink.

I went ahead and tried a few different materials to see which worked best.

Here’s the conclusion and a few tips.


These buggers can be found all over the ground in the midwest.  They look kind of like rotten tennis balls.

  • Crush it with a hammer inside an old useless towel.   Use Gloves!
    Walnut in the rough.  It gets even uglier when you bust it with a hammer.

    Walnut in the rough. It gets even uglier when you bust it with a hammer.


  • Put the junk in a glass bowl (or one you won’t mind staining) of HOT water.
  • Stir around a bit.
  • Strain the chunks.
  • Place the paper gently in the bowl, letting it wrinkle a bit.
  • Place on a nasty old towel to dry making sure you’re not dying anything underneath.
  • Hold down, while you dry it a little with a hair dryer.
  • Try to keep it flat so it will go through printer.
  • We’ll age it a little more later, it’s fine for now.  Trust me.

    Onion Skins:


    • Remove Skins from Onions (darker skins the better)
    • Place in a pot of water.
      Boiling Onion Skins

      Boiling Onion Skins


    • Boil Until Water becomes a little darker than caramel.
    • Beware your house will smell like onions.
    • Repeat Steps from above for soaking paper and drying.














    Just use your coffee.  It will work best anyway.
    Just use your coffee. It will work best anyway.

    •  Pour your coffee in a bowl. Allow to cool.
    • Place paper in bowl.
    • Let it crinkle a little, but not so much it rips.
    • Use drying technique from above.









    I liked the way the paper turned out with the coffee the best, although it gets a bit darker with the other items.  This just seemed easier.  The next step in the process will be coming tomorrow.  So here’s what you can be doing in the mean time.  Look around on the internet to find an old vintage image that fits your theme.  We’re going to be editing it so that it becomes a background image on your invites.  I like mine to be black and white (also done through editing) and then faded out quite a bit.  You could scan some old photos you have, or here’s a cool place to check out.


    Another awesome use for all of these concoctions….dying fabric.  I am going to show you how to create a pretty cool garland for your Halloween party using fabric (ugly old towels, cruddy white/ecru t-shirts, or any other light colored leftover fabric you mind staining).  Once your done dying your paper use the liquid to thrown in fabric.  At this point, I’ve dyed a towel, a t-shirt and another half t-shirt my husband ripped up because he needed a soft cloth.  I know there is a way to keep this dye so that it holds fast.  But since this is for Halloween, I am going to not worry about it being washable.  Hmmm, mummy costume, bandages, Halloween banner/garland.  Cheap and Free.  We like.

    Stay tuned to see what I do with my dyed fabric!  Oh, I can’t wait!

    Halloween Party Blog Installment 2: Theme it Up!

     This is Make it Happen Monday.  SO let’s do some planning so we can make our Killer Halloween Party happen.  Monday’s are the day I’m gonna lay out the week.  So get out your notebook again and get ready to have a little brainstorm.

    When I say theme it up, I’m not saying you have to come up with some concrete Halloween Party theme right off the bat, but we need to have direction.  For instance, my first Halloween Party I used Hotel Killafornia.  So my invites used (a project I’ll show you later) my own parody of the song lyrics.  We had a haunted house where the rooms were set up with a hotel in mind. 

     The following year, I just called it a Killer Halloween Party and we used a tricked out version of Martha Stewart’s finger in the box Halloween invite  (btw, this is not necessarily easy, or cheap, but it was cool) and labeled our food with some killer names.  Again, we had a haunted house and tried to make it just plain scary more darkness than anything. 

    This year my theme is loosely based off of an inside joke involving tequilla. 

    Hmmm, and idea just crossed my mind.

    Hmmm, and idea just crossed my mind.

     So you can imagine the menu, the decorations jumping off of that.  All of my themes are loose.  Not every single element of a Halloween Party has to follow the theme.   The party police won’t come get you (unless you cause to much of a raucous).  Just make sure you have a basic idea to guide your decorating, invites, menu etc.

    Now get your notebook out, throw out a few ideas (even if you are trying to figure out if you want to be corny, fallish, scary, elegant, or whatever).  Movies are a good place to start, just make sure you can carry the theme far enough.  But if you can’t, it’s still ok.  You’ll be surprised how easily this will all come together once you have a theme to work with.  Now get crackin,’  but don’t spend too much time, maybe 10 minutes tops.  Write down some theme ideas, and anything else that flies out of your brain that you would like to incorporate.

    For the rest of the week:

    Tues: Tie up the theme

    Wednesday: It’s menu time.

    Thursday: Menu Ingredients- so you can plan out grocery trips and make your budget stretch.  Double duty foods.

    Fabulous Friday: I’ll show you how to make the cheapest and coolest Halloween Party invites ever!  Make sure you have your theme nailed down, at least for the most  part.  This way you’ll be ready to get those invites out at least three weeks in advance.  You want people to show up in awesome costumes, you gotta give ;em time to get it together.

    Photo Fun and my New Favorite Site.

    Using photos for party invitations and party decorations can be a cheap and easy way to give your party instant personality.  I recently stumbled upon this site .  It’s called Picnik.  The best thing about the site is that you can totally edit your pics online and pull them from flickr, facebook, photobucket or upload from your computer.  AND you don’ t have to register.  UNLESS, you want to use the site’s premium features.  But I have to say that the free features are pretty cool.

    Imagine taking a photo and tweaking it a bit.  You fade the thing out and add your party info right on top.  Then print on some card stock.  Totally Custom invitation, Totally Cute and Totally Cheap.  The site also features a photo collage section.  I used it to do this.

    picnick Collage

    picnick Collage


    Use this type of feature to decorate a package, or make little gift bags.  Simply, upload  your photo, print on card stock, punch a hole in the top, and tie with a little jute onto a package, or goodie bag, and you have the cutest little tidbit to add to any party, that is virtually FREE.  Seriously, a lot of the effects on picnik are free.  And like I said, you don’t have to register.  The paid features are pretty cheap, and if your a total photo junkie, it may be worth the change.

    One year I used black and white photos of my guests attending the same party the previous year.  I enlarged them to 8×10, printed on photo paper, then simply used clothespins and twine to create an instant banner.  The guests were allowed to take them home, and it was a huge hit.  Everyone had fun seeing themselves all dressed up and laughing at the costumes, and it didn’t cost me a cent.

    Enjoy Picnik!

    Cheap Wedding Idea, oh and WAY cute!

    We all remember these as kids.  The cootie catcher.  Well in my travels on the world wide web, I came across the cootie catcher on a whole new level.  Weddings!  Who would have thought? 

     Katrina from Holland Michigan, that’s who.  She is a clever crafter over at etsy .    Go check them out, at her etsy shop they are absolutely gorgeous.  The details as to how custom she can go with papers, colors, wording and all of that can probably be worked out with her.  Etsy provides great communication with sellers.

    I am not completely sure, but I am guessing these could easily transition into Grad parties, or Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Prom decorations.  Seems like the way to go.  How  fun.  I just love finding creative people on the web, and Kat certainly delivers. 

    I wanted to share this with everyone.  Be creative, you’d be suprised where you can find some really great and cheap party ideas.  Keep checking back, there’s more where that came from.


    Here are a couple of examples of Kat’s cootie catchers in case you need your memory jogged.


    Totally Cheap, Totally Custom & Totally Cute.  It can't get any better!

    Totally Cheap, Totally Custom & Totally Cute. It can't get any better!

    Done another way.

    Done another way.

    Awesome Party Invitation Thoughts.

    Ok, follow me.  I came upon this Country Living article on designing your own logo. 


    And I have got to say, this could EASILY translate into a great invitaion thought.  Especially for weddings.  Because, after you have created your “logo” you could just print the thing over and over.  This party idea falls under my favorite criteria for party ideas.

    • Totally Cute
    • Totally Custom
    • Totally Cheap

    Here are some sources for old clip art books.  Get crackin on this one.  The possibilities are endless!

    And I am just going to throw this one in for free.  This dude to clip art from old books and created wall art.  I’m thinking decorations!  Oh man, do I love creative people. 

    Now that I have this here.  I am going to have to try out both of these thoughts and show you all what I can come up with party style.

    For now, you’re on your own.  Have fun.  Create, you cheap party chick you.


    Wedding Words of Wisdom Gift

    In my last blog entry I shared the idea of puting together an encouraging book for brides to be.  Asking shower guests (before coming to the shower) to submit their best marriage wisdom, or encouraging words. 

    Here are some ideas as to how to bind those and present as a gift.

    You could make this simple  in card format.  Or go more complex with an altered book look.   

    A book you don't have to hurt.

    A book you don't have to hurt.

    1. Find some card stock that is 8×11 and cut in half lengthwise.  Also choose some coordinating paper that would run through a printer easily (again 8×11).  As many pages as you think you will need to make your book.  you can have more than one quote per page, or have several on a page.

    2. Use a bone folder to fold these pages in half.  These can form the pages of your book. 

    3. Lay the pages on ttop of each other.

     4. Sew a seam down the middle.  Scrapbook stores usually carry threads that are a little heavier and designed for paper. 

    5. You can type the quotes on the coordinating paper and simply adhere to the cardstock pages, embellishing with stickers, or ribbon. 

    OR purchase a premade book, and hand write the words of wisdom.

    Here are some fantastic mini scrapbook ideas using everything under the sun, go wild with creativity.