Party Decor Ideas for Kids and Adults

It’s that time of year again! We just LOVE Halloween at arc Thrift Stores!! It’s spooky, fun, a little silly, and super creative!

A lot of you are probably planning your kids’ school Halloween party, or having a party at home for the neighbor ghosts and goblins. Maybe you’re having your friends over to celebrate with a more adult-themed version of trick or treat!!

Well, at arc you will find everything you need to make the most ghoulishly delightful party ever!! And, the best part? You don’t have to drive all over town and you don’t have to spend a ton of money! It’s one-stop party décor shopping at arc!!

Here are some ideas:


Little potion bottles can make a great Halloween decoration for your tablescapes. Mineral oil and food coloring mixed with a bit of water to create the potions in the bottles is inexpensive and easy. Buy your little potion bottles in all shapes and sizes from the Bric Brac department of your local arc Thrift Store. You can then fill them with little plastic spiders or plastic eyeballs or fingers to create a creepy décor piece. Bottles range from $0.49 to $1.99 each

Spooky Candles:

  • Votive candles (at arc for $2 – $5)
  • Black, orange, and green felt (at arc for .50 a sheet)
  • Glue

Wrap votive with black felt. Cut out pumpkins from orange felt and add green accents (leaves, top of pumpkin, etc.). Attach with glue.

Wrap votive in orange or green felt. Cut out bats with black felt. Attach with glue.

Candy Man:


  • Jeans ($8)
  • Flannel Shirt ($5)
  • Cowboy hat ($2)
  • Cowboy boots ($15)
  • Baskets ($1.50/each)
  • Candy
  • Pumpkin (carved with silly face)
  • Newspapers

On the table where your party food will be served, lay out the jeans and shirt, as if a person were about to wear them. Stuff the arms, chest, and legs with newspapers. Cut out sections in the jeans, and leave the buttons of the shirt open.

Fill baskets with candy. Slide the baskets into the cut out sections of the arms, the open (unbuttoned) area of the chest, and legs of “Candy Man.”

Place jack o’ lantern as the head, and top with the cowboy hat.

Adult version:

 Candy Man isn’t just for kids!! Instead of the flannel shirt, boots, and cowboy hat, pick the jersey of your favorite rival football team (Patriots, anyone?!?) ($10 at arc). And, instead of candy, fill the baskets with chicken wings, chips, and dip!!


Ghoulish Gummies

  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 1/2 cup of corn syrup
  • 6oz packet of your favorite flavor Jell-O
  • 4 envelopes of unflavored
  • Gelatin

Dissolve the corn syrup in cold water with a spoon. Dissolve the
Jell-O and gelatin in the corn syrup and water mixture. Transfer to
small pot and cook over medium heat until bubbly. Remove from heat and carefully pour into fun, Halloween-inspired ice molds or cake molds (available at arc for $4 – $8). Set on the counter for 5 hours (no need to refrigerate) and carefully remove from molds.

Adult version:

Change the amount of water to ¾ of a cup, and add ¼ cup of vodka.

Monster munch

  • 4 cups popcorn
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup Reese’s prices
  • 1/2 cup candy corn
  • 1/2 cup melted white chocolate

Pour popcorn and candy onto a cookie tray (at arc for $3) and drizzle with chocolate.

Allow to harden and break up with fingers and either put into a large
bowl or separate into treat bags (box of 25 at arc for $5) and tie with orange and green ribbon (at arc for $2 a roll).

Adult version:

Instead of candy, use nuts and chocolate chips. Drizzle with caramel.

Make A Custom Wreath For Under $20

Christmas is the best time of year for an Arc craft project. The aisles are packed with goodies and colorful, potential, craft materials. Today I wanted to show you how to take these “potential” items and turn them into a beautiful holiday adornment.

My door is lacking a cheerful Christmas wreath and I thought it would fun to make one using old wool sweaters and give an old grapevine a new life.

The first step to create a wreath is to find a form at your local Arc store. Anything can be used, but I found a lovely grapevine wreath that was begging to be up-dated. The cost of this form was $4.99.


The next step is to find wool sweaters that are 90% to 100% pure wool. Since this is the Christmas season, I hit up all the red sections over and over again until I found the perfect sweater. I then grazed through the rest of the knits and found a lovely soft gray sweater made of merino wool and another in gold. Each of these cost $8.00, $7.00 and $5.00 respectively.

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When you get them home, tear off the tags and bag them in pillow cases. Toss them in the washer on high heat for your longest cycle with just a small amount of detergent. Don’t let the spin cycle run. I would do separate loads to avoid having the colors run. If you have a front loader like me, throw in a couple bouncy balls, tennis balls or a tennis shoe. Check the sweaters after the cycle and if you can’t see the knit stiches anymore you are good to go. If not, run them through again. This whole process is basically wool care blasphemy.

After felting the wool (the process above) it is time to cut the sweaters up. Cut circles and flower shapes and spirals and leaves. Just go to town and make a giant pile.

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Pull out your hot flue gun and put your flowers together and then glue them to your wreath form. My finished product is below. I had some fun adding a bow and mixing up the types of flowers.


Written by Jessica, aka Colorado Momma.

arc Thrift Stores – Top 10 White Elephant Gifts

Laughter danced through the offices at arc Thrift Stores as team members selected their top choices for the annual white elephant gift guide. Traditionally “White Elephant” gifts are items that are useless, but humorous. For the last 12 months, the marketing team at arc Thrift Stores has been collecting items that fit that bill.

Following is a preview of the 2013 “Top Ten” White Elephant gifts that are sure to be a conversation piece.

Let the gag gifting begin. Over a million other White Elephant gifts can be found in arc Thrift Stores 22 Colorado locations along with vintage Christmas treasures and “Ugly” Christmas sweaters.

About arc Thrift Stores: arc Thrift Stores operates 22 thrift stores and 9 “donation stations” throughout Colorado. arc Thrift Stores provides funding to arc Chapters, which in turn provide advocacy for people with developmental disabilities. arc Thrift Stores is one of the largest employers of individuals with developmental disabilities in the state of Colorado.

Denver Craft Ninjas: Halloween Headbands

Welcome Becky from the Denver Craft Ninjas as our first Guest Blogger!  If you don’t know about the Denver Craft Ninjas, then you should!  Read on to see how you can make super cool DIY Halloween Headbands from our local craft guru……..

Don’t have time for a complete costume this year? Or can’t figure out what will pull together your delightfully frightening costume ideas?

Get together with your friends, like I did, and DIY the cutest little Halloween headbands!


Amber and Becky (Denver Craft Ninjas) model their spooky headband creations!

Headbands are the perfect blank canvas for your costume idea. Add some plastic bones and roses, a little greenery and a red eyed raven, or tulle and spiders to create spirited accents that work perfectly on their own or as an addition to a complete costume.


She’s Crafty! Awesome Denver Craft Ninjas Halloween craft studio.

My lovely assistant Amber and I played with a variety of materials to create three great headbands that will work for any age.

And really the materials are the best part, right?

We gathered fabric flowers, scrap fabric, and a few cheap Halloween necessities and set to work. Many of these items can be found at arc Thrift Stores!

First, is our adorable Mummy Eyes headband!

Amber whipped this super cute, asymmetrical eyed accessory up in no time.


To start, grab a fairly wide headband and wrap with a gauzy fabric or ribbon and secure with a glue gun. Then grab some creepy, bloodshot eyeballs (we used a pre-painted foam eyeball) and glue them wherever you want on the headband. Amber decided on a crooked placement for the eyes and it minimized the ghoulish and made it a little silly. And last, Amber wrapped a little ribbon around the eyeballs.

A totally cute addition to a mummy costume or just something fun to wear all by itself!

Second, is our simple spider headband!


With this project, we used some lavender tulle and wrapped it tightly around a thin metal headband securing it with a glue gun. We made charming tulle rosettes by gathering small pieces of tulle and then placing a dot of hot glue in the center to hold the rosette together. Be careful! The hot glue will seep through the tulle and can burn your fingers.

The tulle will naturally fan out and make whispy bases for sinister, sparkly spiders to sit on. Another small dot of glue in the center of the rosette will secure your spider to the rosette. Then decide on placement for your spider! We placed two spiders right next to each other for extra creep factor!

This is a great project to experiment with! The tulle is so fun to play with and it’s fairly easy to create a haunting veil that hangs over your face.

Our last headband turned out to be our favorite!


Inspired by Dia de los Muertos, we created a spooky statement piece that can be worn with a whole costume or on it’s own with some really gorgeous face paint!

Using a wide, black fabric headband, we started by gluing some gold and black stretch lace to the headband to add some

In our hunt for pieces to use for these headbands, we were drawn to these lovely black leaves with purple glitter on them. PURPLE GLITTER! We took apart the leaves and placed 6 leaves, 2 at a time, in the middle and on the sides of the headband with hot glue. Then between the leaves we placed fun mini skulls which created a kind of crown. Finally, between skull and leaf we tucked little trios of mini fabric red roses. After letting the glue set on all the pieces, it’s a good idea to adjust the leaves to be sure they don’t obscure any of the other elements of the headband.

Voila! You have three great looks to jump start your costume plans!

Halloween is a great time to get your glue gun fired up and create something handmade that is as individual as you are!

Visit the Denver Craft Ninjas new craft space called Share.Denver located at 28th and Fairfax in Park Hill.