Halloween party decorations are simple and lots of fun. No complicated color choices, no worrying about what matches what. The color theme is laid out for you—black and orange. (Unless you get fancy and go for that eerie purple and green combo!) Ghosts, spiders, anything spooky makes decorating a snap, and you can easily make things less scary by hanging friendly-faced ghosts and smiling witches instead of ghastly ghouls and threatening hags. Imagine a scary giant spider looming over the heads of the children as they walk in the door. Now imagine that same spider wearing a pink bow on its head and jewelry on all its legs: instantly, and easily, it's not so scary.
Go low budget and get black and orange streamers to hang—with such striking colors, you don't need much more. Toss up a few stretchy spider webbings from the store and throw some spiders on it: It's a masterpiece. Go elaborate with black lights—kids love the way black lighting makes colors look wild. If you are thinking about a fog machine, be sure to follow all the directions. They are not toys and must be used in a well-ventilated area—we suggest using outside only, but it could make a striking entrance into the party!
Try peeling some apples and carving them into faces a few days before the party. The apples shrink, turn brown and start to look like little shrunken heads. Simple, cheap, and nicely yucky. Cloves embedded deep in the eyes make a delicious potpourri shrunken head. Make amazing pumpkin centerpieces, go all out with glow-in-the-dark this and special effects that; the sky is the limit. This is not a holiday that need be elegant or sophisticated. It's supposed to be over the top, so go for it! The key to decorating is having fun and making it fun for the kids.