by Erin

Like most of my crazy ideas, this Monster High Dress-Up Dance Party was inspired during a slow afternoon in the office…and on Pinterest.  We originally planned to have her party at home, using the spare room for the dress up area, but winning a free hall rental at the last minute worked out pretty well! My mission was to turn our local American Legion into a Monster High Gym! I wouldn’t say it was a transformation, but my 6-year-old approved!!

The first idea that caught my eye, was a huge Monster High Photo Booth that looks like the box the dolls come in.  Given my love of foam board projects, I knew this was something I could do.  Check out our post with a step-by-step guide on how you can build one too!

Once the Monster High Photo Booth was done, the rest of the decorations came together pretty easily.  We already had tons of costumes and props around the house, from my wannabe photographer phase, and the rest I was able to print at home, thanks to a few quick Pinterest searches.  I found some fun DIY printable masks from OH My Fiesta!

monster-high-masks2The Hostess with the Mostess also has some freaky fun free printables that really pulled the party together.  I printed everything out on card stock and hand cut them out as needed; candy table decorations, wall decorations,  lip silhouettes that glued to Popsicle sticks and even some bow ties for the boys!  I spray painted some frames from my stockpile for our candy table printables and used some DIY cake stands (gluing a plate to a candlestick holder) along with some bright colored tubs to display the candies. The candy table came together wonderfully.

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We put Pixie Stix on the white cake stand and called the pretzels, Reaper Rods, thanks to the free printable from Hostess with the Mostess! I forgot to bring the cookies, so we didn’t end up using the Creepy Cookies label #messymomming

I created a custom banner with my Cricut paper cutter, using the Rock Princess cartridge.  I’m still a beginner with the Cricut and this was a pretty easy project for me.  I put all the bows on one sheet of hot pink and only needed about three sheets of black and gray for the skull layers.  Luckily, I already had a decent stash of paper and didn’t have to spend anything on this banner.
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I went with solid colors for the table cloths, napkins, plates and cutlery, which cut back on costs since I was able to buy most of it at the Dollar Tree.  After my DIY decorations were all put together, I only had ended up spending about $40 at the party store; most of that was on the balloons, but my favorite find was the life size wall hanging that was only about $6!!

For favors, I bought plain black and white composition notebooks on sale for fifty cents a piece!  I customized them into Monster High Notebooks using another free printable; I wrapped them in ribbon and attached a scented pen from the Dollar Tree (sold in 8 packs).  The Monster High Website had a cool app that allowed me to make custom Monster High Student ID Badges for each child, complete with Monster Name and all!  I attached them to some blingy lanyards!!  Now our favors were complete.
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The cakes were going to be my next challenge but my husband had agreed to help and he’s way better in the kitchen than I am.  I wanted to make a cake to look like the Monster High Skull logo and just in case that didn’t work out, I planned a big coffin shaped cake as a back-up.  I had watched a really great tutorial for the Monster High Skull Logo Cake and already had the boxed cake baked, cooled and cut using the printed out template.  I put a quick layer of icing on the cake and let it chill to harden, I’ve learned this is called the crumb icing, to keep the crumbs from getting all into the decorative icing.  I was also able to find a recipe for regular store bought icing and confectioners sugar to make it into a fondant like consistency.  Unfortunately, I can not find the link right now 😦  We rolled out our fake fondant onto wax paper and flipped it over to cover the cake, much easier than I thought.  It cracked in a few places, but I was able to fix it with a light brushing of water and using my finger tips to smooth it out.  My hubby used black decorating gel for the outline, eyes and bow outline and hot pink sprinkles to color the bow.

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The coffin shaped cake was baked in a large, lined roasting pan and iced the old fashioned, homemade way and my hubby used a can of spray icing to do the outline and the wording.

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We were able to get into the hall space the night before to decorate and set up.  I had a plan in my head to utilize the dance floor area, with my over-sized black photography backdrop as the background of the dance party.  The pool table had not been moved, so we had to get a little creative with our setting up.  In the end, everything came together great!  The costumes looked great on my yard sale garment rack and a table full of fun and funky props were going to make this party so much fun!
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The head table took up three banquet hall tables, we used black tablecloths on the two end tables and the Monster High tablecloth in the center.  Rather than have the Birthday Girl at the head of the table, we put her right in the middle of all her friends.  Each place setting had a Monster High Notebook, fangs on a stick and a bottle of Monster High water, made using this free printable.

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Seeing my daughter’s face on the day of her party was what made all of this work totally worth it.  We may not always have the budget to do a big fancy party, but it’s always the low-budget, do-it-yourself parties that prove to be most memorable!

Questions and comments welcomed!  What are some of your favorite tricks and tips for a do-it-yourself party?

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