Monday, November 12, 2018

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Although I hadn't seen the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas in years, I always knew it would make a fun monthly dinner theme.  I was definitely right as I had so much fun putting together the decorations, menu, party favors, and everything! Can't wait for you to read and see how it turned out...

Invite:  I designed an invite on PhotoShop with black, white, purple and a hint of yellow.  I kept these colors throughout the remainder of the decor as well.  The font is a Nightmare Before Christmas font I downloaded.

Entry Decor:  A few weeks before Halloween a friend of mine posted a photo of her front door on social media and the photo had this giant Jack Skellington.  A week or so later when I decided this would be my theme, I called her up and asked to borrow Jack.  So here he is (thanks Ember)! He is awesome!  He moves and talks when he senses movement.  

My friend also had the Zero that we tied from Jack's arm.  

I made this super easy clothespin wreath for the door.  I bought a pizza pan and clothespins from the dollar store.  I spray-painted the pan and half the clothespins white, and the other half of the clothespins black.  I would use a mat finish for this.  I had a can a glossy black so that is what I used, but the white was mat and it was much less sticky.  I cut out the yellow circle and the black mountain with my Cricut, and just glued them on.  You could paint them, but I thought I could easily switch out the center and black clothespins for other colors/center to use this for Christmas or Valentines.  The centerpiece was easy and cost me only a few dollars since I already had the spray-paint.

Table Decor:  Absolutely loved my table for this dinner.  The purple tablecloth gave a pop of color, and some small touches added fun to this theme.  The smallest touches were not difficult or expensive to do.

One of my friends is a huge Nightmare Before Christmas fan, so I asked her if she had any items I could borrow.  She sure did (Thanks Colleen)!  I borrowed her plush characters and these amazing Jack and Sally goblets to use in my centerpiece.  The Zero urn is also from her.  I placed these on top of black and white patterned cardstock.

I used simple yellow paper plates, but added the iconic mountain from Nightmare Before Christmas with cardstock. 

For placecards, I bought mini pumpkins from the grocery store and painted them to be either Jack's face or Sally's dress.  For those pumpkins that had a really short stem, I broke a toothpick to insert into the stem and then propped the card with my guest's name on it.

With the Sally pumpkins, I painted all the colors first.  Then I used a Sharpie to do the outlines and details.

Don't you love these Zero napkins?  They weren't too difficult to create either. I bought large white napkins, opened them up, and pinched the middle a few inches down to create the head. I secured it with a red ribbon as a collar.  Using another napkin, I cut out the two ears and glued them onto the head.  I couldn't find orange pompoms, so I used red.  A hole-punched black cardstock was the eye.

A fun and inexpensive place setting.

I used more of my friend's characters and her giant poster for my side table.

I created simple wine labels with Sally's potions.

For wine charms, I used my friend's Nightmare Before Christmas mini buttons.  She had 6 of them, so I just found other characters/images online and made them into circles the same size as the buttons.  All are tied on with black ribbon.

Menu: Coming up with a dinner menu centered around a theme rather than just snacks is sometimes difficult to do, but I had a lot of fun creating this menu.  I tried to theme each piece of the meal around one of the characters from the movie.  For a starter, I made a french onion dip to pair with black chips.  I used a piece of cabbage to make the Nightmare Before Christmas mountain.  I called this Graveyard Dip, but I served it in a Zero dog bowl.

For the main dish, I initially was planning to make Oogie Boogie turnovers.  I had an Oogie Boogie cookie cutter made custom from a local cake shop.  I just sent them a jpeg silhouette of what I wanted, and they made it as large as they could.  When I got the cookie cutter back, it was just too small for turnovers, not much would have fit inside.  I made Chicken Pot Pies without the crust on the top instead.  I made Oogie Boogie out of pie crust to place on the top. 

Along with the pot pies, I made Jack Skellington mashed potatoes.  These were so easy to make.  I cut olives in half for the eyes and then just used cardstock for the mouth.  The original plan was to do the mouth out of olives as well, but it was just too time consuming and cardstock worked just as well.  We dipped a half cup measuring cup in the potatoes to get the faces the same size and amount.

Instead of mixing a fruit salad together, I served it in jagged sections on a plate.  I then cut jagged stitch lines out of black cardstock to set between the sections of fruit.  This gave the plate the look of Sally's dress.  You could do this with black licorice or even melted chocolate if you wanted it to look professional and actually be edible.  

For dessert, I made peppermint chocolate pudding.  I made chocolate pudding and then added a bit of peppermint extract.  I filled my decorative wine glasses with a little pudding and a dollop of whipped cream.  I made the cornflake cookie Monster Wreath to place on top of the glass.  I shaped the mixture into wreaths, added eyes I cut from dried mangos, teeth I cut from dried coconut, and a few red hots for holly.  The eyeballs are just dots from an edible black marker.  I did the marker last minute as it does bleed a little bit on the mango.

Favor:  I absolutely love these favors I painted with the help of one of my English students.  I bought the black tree at Joann's Fabrics after Halloween, so it was super cheap.  I bought glass ornaments and then painted two/three of each character - Sally, Jack, Oogie Boogie, and Zero.

Should have made an extra of each one for me to keep as these are so fun.  They were a big hit with the guests as well.

I hope you loved this party as much as my friends and I did.  Definitely saved me a ton of money knowing friend's with Nightmare Before Christmas decor, but chances are you know someone too.  Add this theme to your next party as it is "frighteningly fun"!

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