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Last-minute Halloween: Party savers

October 30, 2009 |  3:46 pm

HalloweenCats Procrastinating parents, last-minute party hosts, tightwads who wait till holiday décor goes on clearance: Your time has come. Halloween is here, and for those of you who need a cheat sheet on seasonal spirit, we made a mad dash through local stores for you this week as shelves grew bare. Some retailers were already beginning to discount Halloween merchandise, so prices on some items may have dropped from what we’re listing here. A sampling of what we found:

Pictured above, a cotton and nylon spider web place mat ($3.99) and a much heavier beaded charger ($12.99) spin a seasonal background for a plastic skull dinner plate ($1.99) and appetizer dish (99 cents). They are all from Target stores. Rubber spider and witch’s hat stamps ($5.50 and $7.50) can turn plain party favors into instant Halloween novelties; the stamps are from the Paper Source, which has locations in Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Thousand Oaks and Costa Mesa. The flashing orange pumpkin light ($5.99 for set of three) is waterproof and can be used as a glowing ice cube; it’s at Sur La Table stores.

Instead of stringing garland horizontally, why not dangle it vertically? This set with eight 8-inch black cats and silver string ($8.50) came from the Paper Source. A few more finds after the jump, including a Halloween emporium open till 7 p.m. on Oct. 31 ...


The year-round Burbank costume shop Halloween Town has a surplus of spooky stuff. Run in there on Saturday and you could easily transform your home into something resembling the Haunted House at Disneyland. (It is seriously dark in there and has one room that really does resemble the theme park landmark.)  

Among the things we spotted this week that were inexpensive and still well-stocked: paper cutouts, figurines from monster movies such as “Saw” and “Beetlejuice,” fake body parts, Frankenstein goblets, glow-in-the-dark skulls, lightweight plastic jumbo shackles, barbed wire garland, black rose wreaths, flashing eyeballs and our personal favorite: a zombie-brain gelatin mold. We picked up the little plastic skulls ($9.99 for a bag of 12) scattered in the picture above. The store is open till 7 p.m. on Halloween.

When trick-or-treaters stop by, hand out the high-fructose corn syrup from a metal spider-web bowl ($3.99). Lighten the mood with a coordinating candle holder ($2.99, candle not included) and a skull cheese spreader ($2.49), if you’re serving treats for the adults too. They’re all from Sur La Table stores.


Above: An 18-bone set of removable stickers yields a 2-foot-tall skeleton for a window, mirror or wall, plus leftovers to make a skull and crossbones. This set was $6.75 — already 50% off — when we picked it up at a Paper Source store earlier this week. Peel, stick, done.

-- L.A. at Home staff

Photo credits: Allen Schaben / Los Angeles Times