POPSUGAR Celebrity

8 Halloween Tricks and Treats From Sandra Espinet

Oct 11 2010 - 9:00am

For its upcoming Halloween Block Party [1] special on Oct. 16, HGTV has asked interior designer Sandra Espinet [2], designer Kenneth Wingard, and event planner Michelle Buckley to transform the homes of three families to create the spookiest neighborhood in America! The show will give us dozens of ideas for a Halloween [3] menu, décor, floral arrangements, tablescapes, and more. Sandra Espinet has been kind enough to put together a series of Halloween [4] décor tricks and treats for us as a sneak peek of the special. From front-yard graveyards to skeleton sugar cookies, I know you'll want to try all of these tricks and treats.

Pumpkin Ice Cooler

"If you are bad at carving pumpkins or have limited time, simply cut the top off of a pumpkin, scoop out, line with a clear plastic bag and fill it with ice! Now you have an instant Halloween cooler for your favorite canned and bottled beverages with very little effort."

Skeleton Sugar Cookies

"A great way to get the kids involved in Halloween is to make sugar cookies and have them paint and decorate them. You can use a Christmas gingerbread man cookie cutter and paint a skeleton over it. This is a cute way to have fun while you prepare for your party."

Tombstone Cookies

"For a Halloween variation of sugar cookies, make tombstone cookies and sit them on top of brownies to look like graves. Get creative and have fun with the wording on these tombs. You're bound to get lots of giggles from this."


"Don’t have time to bake cookies? You can simply buy cupcakes from a local grocery or bakery and add a cute topper that goes with your Halloween theme. Make sure the icing is a solid color so that your topper stands out."

Take-Away Candy Bags

"If you are having a Halloween party, it’s great to have themed take-away gift bags for guests to put all of their cookies and goodies in as they leave. Simply purchase solid color bags and glue on colored designs of your choice that go with your theme. This is a thoughtful detail that does not require much time or money, but will have your guests thinking about you the following day."

Candy Display

"A super easy way to make your Halloween sweets look elegant is to properly display the candy. Glass apothecary jars like these can be found at many retailers."

Halloween Piñatas

"A great way to have Halloween outside for young kids is to get a Halloween-themed piñata and tie it to a tree outside. All of the candy stays outside and you do not have to worry about messy fingers inside. Almost all cities have a Mexican neighborhood where you can buy piñatas. They range from $40-$80 and are filled with confetti and candy. The kids will have a blast trying to break it open!"

A Front-Lawn Graveyard

"It sounds more complicated than it is. All you need is a few large black garbage bags, dirt ($5/bag), a set of bones-in-a-bag ($25) and some leftover candles or flowers. Lay the plastic bag down, put the bones down and throw dirt over it. Decorate with the candles and flowers and boom! A grave. The good thing is that it is even easier to clean up. Just grab the plastic bag from all 4 corners and throw it all out into your trash bin."

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