My daughter is in full on Jack & Sally mode, but I know not all parents think this is the most appropriate movie and not all kids have no sense of fear like her, so for my birthday last month I got the great idea to have myself a Nightmare themed party. The only down fall is there are a lot of us, Nightmare Before Christmas fans out there, but there really isn't really a lot of stuff. Now try to factor in party items. :( But here was my solution:
*Polish the Stars* - Awesome Zero Idea!!! Plus a few great ideas, especially if party is for a kid.
Hostess Blog - Really cute, gave me great ideas even for it being a Bridal Shower.
First after searching around, I picked colors that I felt would highlight items, so mostly black & white with a little purple thrown in. As I started shopping I tried to stick with "Halloweenish" items that could tie back to the movie and weren't overly Halloween/Horror, hence why most items ended up on the simpler side. I didn't want to buy anything that would take away from the few Nightmare Before Christmas items I did have.
Ebay & Amazon.com became my best friend. Amazon actually had items from the movies original release, I feel in love with the Mayor Party Hats.
Ebay was my savior when it came to the cake. I found Jack & Sally action figures an I worked them into a standard grocery store Halloween cake. I'm not gonna lie, I was a little disappointed with the store's work, but the figures fit in and all is well that ends well, right?
*TIP*- Sign up for coupons! Micheal's ALWAYS has coupons & they were extremely use full. Even Spirit had a email coupon. So do your homework, look around on websites sign-up, it pays. Also if you allow yourself enough time you can always wait for the stores themselves to have deals. Since my party was in September I had all the intro Halloween deals to wait for.
I ended up doing a lot of the decorations myself, like I mentioned not a huge amount of items out there, but I really wanted it to be more to the movie then Halloween. So I did a lot of google image searching. I found great ones of Jack & Sally on Spiral Hill and some really cute coloring pages.
For silhouettes I ended up pulling up my favorite images and zooming into a much closer size. I didn't want to lose the details. I grabbed my painter's tape, some light white 12x12 paper, and a pencil. I lightly taped my paper to the monitor and began to trace the outline of the image. Doing it lightly just makes it easier to remove without ruining anything, just make sure it isn't going to wiggle around while tracing. Once that was all done, I carefully untaped the paper from my computer monitor, leaving the tape still on the paper to retape, but this time to my big black poster paper. I did each image starting from a corner. This maximized poster use, plus it made it easier to just fold over the corners with the tape. Then on a safe surface I used a exacto knife to follow the outline on the white. All done, peeled CAREFULLY don't wanna rip black. Looked at my silhouette & cleaned up the edges that I felt were a little rough with regular scissors. They just gave the room a little more nightmare feel. (This is fully explained on the Silhouettes page.)
Another project we did was black glitter pumpkins! (See above pics, center of tables & 1 on cake table.) Of course stores started to carry them as soon as we had finished this project, but I felt mine were better...& cheaper. ;) Dollar Store pumpkins were my base. I already had a bottle of Plaid's black paint & I used a Micheal's coupon for the black glitter (a little bottle goes a long way). We have a wonderful shower curtain we use as a painting drop cloth, so I spread that across the living room floor to give us space to make this into a fun family project, since really you can do no wrong on this. We each had a pumpkin a paint brush an a plastic cup with black paint ready. Pretty simple do your best to paint the whole pumpkin black cover any and all surface (don't have to stress so hard about the very bottom, but we still did it). Once all covered, but while the pumpkins were still wet we let our three year old shake some of the black glitter on the top of each. I thought it gave the pumpkins a more interesting look, almost dew like just having glitter on top, but it's a preference thing.
Of course I had to have party favors, I did a little something extra for the kids & a cookie bag for the adults.
As I mentioned above while I searched I came across some great images for a coloring book. I found a few more then this site offered, but these were what gave me the idea: Drago Art. I used a printing program on my computer. For the coloring pages I put 2 images per page & printed. For the cover I used the same image I had used for invites and just changed the words. This image was another found online & I downloaded Burton's Nightmare Font for all my items that needed text to once again tie it all in.when printing cover I switched to a heavier, tan construction paper an made the layout like it was still going to have 2 images, yet I left the left side blank and positioned cover on the right side. Once all was printed, cover on top-facing ceiling, coloring pages images facing down-towards table. Then folded in half. The unprinted side of the construction paper served as the back of the book. I then hole punched in 2 places. Grabbed paper brads. I was going to use string but thinking of the age of the children the string probably would had ripped the paper when the kids forced the book open, so brads were much easier. So the little ones didn't hurt themselves on the pointy back part of the brads, also so they didn't slide around I covered & secured them with tan masking tape, blended right in with the paper. Very easy no cutting needed.
Party City offers little individual boxes of crayons for less then 50 cents so I bought those and of course had to grab some Halloween themed candy to go with. For the kids I just went with what says Halloween fun? Because let's face it kids just like what is fun and can careless if it fits a "theme" to a T. The bags and ribbon themselves were the same as for the cookie packaging. Both from Micheal's the bags were in their baking section and the ribbon I used was actually like a hard black paper strip, was close to the baking bags.
Cookies were just a sugar cookie mix and a cookie icing in the baking isle of a grocery store. I am into cheap, fast and easy. Sally isn't exactly perfect for a round shape, but oh well it made a good touch & Jack was spot on, plus they tasted good. It was a little more of a pain then I planned just because we ended up decorating 50 cookies way ahead of party time so I was really worried that taking short cuts would mean that my cookies would go bad, but they didn't. I let them sit out over night (although the icing instructions said 'sets in 4 hours' glad I did, they needed the extra time for sure). The next morning I packaged each one (a Jack & a Sally for each). Tied tight with paper ribbon and tried my best to get all the air out. Placed all in big ziplock freezer bag, once again tried to get air out. Put them all as flat as possible. Day of the party I took them out about 6 hours ahead of time and added to each bag a little "Thank You" tag I made. Same Burton's Nightmare font used.
Best word of advice: When you have your own party, whether you use any of these ideas or tie them into a Halloween or even a non-traditional Christmas party, just remember to HAVE FUN! :)