Whether you love them or hate it, candy corn is a quintessential Halloween candy. Honestly, I don't eat the stuff but everyone's heart swells for all things Halloween when we see candy corn. Some of our family's memories revolve around Halloween parties but planning a party that BOTH adults and kids can enjoy is a challenge. Since October 30 is National Candy Corn Day, we decided to throw a candy corn inspired party, full of candy corn decor and Halloween party food ideas for kids and grownups alike. And we're not just serving candy corn at this shindig!
How do you make a memorable Halloween party that is colorful, festive, and family-friendly? When I was younger, our Halloween parties were really creepy and totally not kid-friendly at all. What ever happened to the nice side of Halloween? Casper the friendly ghost? Smiling, dancing pumpkins?
Follow this simple guide for how to put together your own kid-friendly, Pinterest-pretty, candy corn party that adults will also love!
DIY Candy Corn Party Ideas the whole family will love (without going broke)
If you have ever priced party supplies, it can be well over a hundred dollars to plan those parties. One of the secrets to saving money on a party is to make the decor and food yourself. Over the years, I have found a few great tips that help create great parties without buying a ton of supplies every time. Here's how:
It's totally possible for your party to be festive and feel really abundant all the while staying within budget. I love using supplies that can have more than one purpose or be reused again and again. It's a bummer to spend hundreds of dollars on party supplies that just go in the trash later. Plus, if you buy reusabel decor for every single holiday, you'll need to rent a storage unit to store all of that stuff!
When planning this party, I really thought about finding party supplies that are smart:
- Supplies that are not disposable
- Supplies that can be reused for other holidays and purposes
I detail how to use these smart party planning strategies to make KILLER Halloween party below. You can use these ideas for ANY party theme, not just Halloween, so be sure to bookmark or PIN this post to save it. Let's get started!
Table Set-up and Backdrop
Lots of the great parties on Pinterest focus on creating a party on one table. It's easy to photograph and helps keep the food confined to one spot. Try to set up a table in front of a blank wall. A great party spread has some height to it. You can use stacked cake plates or food displays but an affordable way to get height is with boxes. I place a few cardboard boxes on the table, usually one on each side. or this DIY Candy Corn party spread, I chose boxes that were about 6″ to 12″ tall and then I covered the table with a cloth table cloth.
The pumpkins on the right and left of this party spread are on top of boxes tucked under the table cloth … can you spot them? No one will ever know that there are boxes under the table cloth!
I keep an assortment of fabric table cloths and pieces of fabric to use as backdrops. Go to your local garment district or wholesale fabric supplier to find solid colored polyester fabric or suiting. Polyester and polyester blends usually won't wrinkle or need ironing as much as cotton or linen fabric. I usually buy a 3-yard section of fabric to cover the wall and create a colored backdrop for the party spread.
Three yards will also reach from the floor to the ceiling in most standard homes. Keep fabric pieces in the colors of the rainbow so that you can use them for multiple holidays throughout the year. For example, a red piece of fabric can be used for Christmas and Valentine's Day parties.
Soft glow string lights … with ping pong balls!
The secret to creating a soft glow with string lights is ping pong balls! All you need are some colored lights, a bag of cheap ping pong balls (this box of ping pong balls from Amazon are the best deal I've found yet), and a craft knife. Carefully cut an X into each ball with a craft knife. Press the bulb from the string light into the X on the ping pong ball to “pop” it on. Turn the lights on and enjoy the soft glow. This technique with string lights looks especially pretty on Christmas trees.
Water Beads in Vases with Vinyl Faces
Water beads are easy to use for any kind of holiday decor. Plus, they shrink back down to the size of seed beads when you're done using them so they take up no space at all to store. You'll need water beads in candy corn colors, tall glass vases, black vinyl, and an electronic cutter like a Cricut to make these Halloween-themed vases for our party table!
You'll use the electronic cutter to cut letters or create eerie faces on vases. You can also use large vinyl letters or cut the images out of vinyl sheets with a craft knife. Check out DIY Candy Corn Halloween Decor – Vases with Water Beads for the full tutorial!
DIY Candy Corn Felt Letter Board
This quirky yet adorable felt letter board completely ties the table together and it can be used all over the house. You all know how I love to DIY felt letter boards! This design is the easiest to make and gets the best result out of all of the letterboard designs I have tried to make.
Since I made this, Walmart released their own version of felt letter boards from LeisureArts for under $10. You can spray paint the Walmart letterboard to make it look like candy corn (on my to-do list!). For a party or desk decor, I really love the size of this felt letter board the best. Plus, when you DIY it, you can make it whatever size you want.
To DIY this felt letter board, you'll need a frame, some square dowels, black paint, Turbo Tacky Glue, felt in candy corn colors, a gift card, and letters for the finished letter board.
To view the whole tutorial on how to create this board, go to DIY Candy Corn Felt Letter Board.
Candy Corn DIY Halloween Banner
This cute yet simple banner really brings the Candy Corn theme to life! And it is super easy to make.
With some colored felt, Aleene's Felt & Foam Glue, clips, and twine, you can DIY this banner in minutes. I made mine while watching Netflix!
Decorate with Candy Corn
Even if you don't like eating candy corn, you can still use it to decorate for Halloween.
Fill candy dishes with candy corn and use it as a table scatter. Sure, the kids are gonna snag some as they walk by but it's a party! Plus, if people did not gather that the theme of the party was candy corn, I mean, come on, they won't miss this!
Candy Corn Pumpkins
Who says pumpkins have to be orange? You can do this painted pumpkin technique with faux pumpkins, real pumpkins, or paper mache pumpkins like I used here. I picked these up at Jo-Ann Stores last year on clearance. Everyone has fake pumpkins at this time of year so just find some in a shape you like and get started painting!
For this project I used Folk Art Milk Paint. This paint gives a different type of finish than acrylic paint, similar to chalk paint. Milk paint is pigment mixed with lime and a milk base – the paint's secret ingredient is the casein in the milk. You can get a nice flaky texture if you apply milk onto a surface that is already painted. And since milk paint is fade resistant, these candy corn pumpkins will keep their color for a long time.
Paint the top of each pumpkin with white paint first. Then add the yellow paint to the bottom. Paint the orange section in the middle last. Paint the stem black and dip into black glitter while still wet. If the glitter won't stick, wait for the paint to dry, apply glue all over the stem, and dip in black glitter again.
Keep it corny at your party with a CORNY t-shirt! Get the how to: DIY Candy Corn T-Shirts and Tote Bag
Halloween party food ideas for kids
Find foods that both adults and kids want can be a challenge at a Halloween party. We created all of these kids party food ideas with both grownups and kids in mind, making sure we got a great mix of sweet, savory, and sour flavors across the food spread.
Orange Soda in Mason Jar Mugs with Cute Straws
Mason jar mugs are the cutest for yummy drinks and sodas. You can make orange punch or use an orange flavored soda as your party drink. The handles make these mugs easy to hang onto for both kids and adults. Yes, they're glass but that helps the party feel fancy, cuts down on trash, and adds to the smart, reusable factor of this party. You can serve alcoholic drinks in different glasses, away from the reach of kids.
To top it off, adding a festive straw always makes it more fun! Plus, the straws help prevent spills since no one has to tip their glass to take a sip.
Candy Corn Hot Dogs!
No, not candy corn IN the hot dogs! We created candy corn colored hot dogs with saurkraut!
The adults are gonna loves these … and if your kid has a sophisticated palate, he'll be chomping down these Candy Corn Hot Dogs with saurkraut. We like to choose all-beef hot dogs to go as natural as possible. Yeah, I know it's a party but you gotta try to stay on the healthy path a little bit, right?
The beauty of hot dogs for a party is that they are affordable, everyone likes them, you can ditch the bun if you are gluten-free, and you can top the m any way you like.
We pre-made these for the party platter but you can set up a hot dog bar that allows your guests to choose their own toppings as well.
Here's how to make these candy corn hot dogs with saurkraut:
- Divide a jar of sauerkraut into 3 bowls.
- Mix a few drops of yellow food coloring in one and orange in one other. Mix well.
- Place a warm, cooked hot dog in a bun with mustard, ketchup, and relish.
- Spoon the colored saurkraut onto the hot dogs in buns in the candy corn pattern – white, orange, yellow.
- Add chopped red onions on top!
There you go! Hot dogs with a candy corn twist!
Lil Smokies Wrapped in Crescent Roll Dough for “Mummy Hot Dogs”
I love me some pigs in a blanket but it's HALLOWEEN. I can't just serve up some regular pigs in a blanket! They have to be cool and thrilling. So I decided to make my Halloween version of pigs in a blanket, “Mummy Hot Dogs”. To do this, grab some crescent rolled dough and cut into strips to make “bandages” for the lil smokies.
Wrap the smokies with the strips to create the illusion of a mummy. Put them in the oven till they are cooked through and that's it! If you want to go the extra mile and make it extra spooky, you can grab some mustard and put little dots for the mummy's eyes!
Bloodshot Eye Deviled Eggs
Any good party has deviled eggs and there are so many variations out there.
We created this Bloodshot Deviled Eggs Recipe a couple of years ago. This recipe is definitely gruesome enough t make it all the kids giggle and yummy enough for everyone to eat. If you dar!
Tapatio for the win!
Candy Corn Oreos
It's not a party without sweet treats, especially Halloween ones! Here's a list of sweet treats that are easy to plate, to-go friendly, and easy on the budget!
In recent years, Oreos have been coming out with some crazy but fun flavors, particularly around the holidays. Lucky for us, around Halloween time, they come out with candy corn themed Oreos. This is PERFECT! You can use the Oreos to decorate a plate of even stack them up to make a cool fortress or tower of some sorts. Get creative and let your imagination run free!
Candy Corn Cupcakes
Cupcakes are another one of these kid friendly treats that just make life and parties that much more simpler. For this party, we decided to buy store bought cupcakes ( You can also make them at home. Whatever is easier for you!) and decorate them with sprinkles and candy corn candies. I got the kids to help me with this part and we had a blast!
We bought candy corn colored sprinkles and used some candy corn candies to decorate the cupcakes. Here's how:
Dip the frosting in yellow, white or orange sprinkles and arrange on the cake plate of your choice to look like a candy corn.
Adding a little candy corn to the top of each cupcake is the final touch.
You can also sprinkle the cake plate with extra candy corn candies to add another festive touch and break up the white of the cake plate.
Put all these ideas together onto one table for a budget-friendly and super festive Halloween party spread willed with candy corn party food ideas the kids and adults will love.
Now all you need is a costume! Check out these fun DIY costume ideas:
- DIY Emoji Costumes (under $25!)
- DIY Sharknado Costume
- DIY LEGO Ninjago LLOYD + Green Ninja Reversible Costume (the movie is NEW for 2017!)
Staying on budget and having festive decorations is totally possible with a little pre-planning a savvy shopping when throwing a candy corn Halloween party. Share some pics from your DIY Halloween themed party – I can't wait to see them!