Dress Up from the Neck Up: An Easy Halloween Costume Party

Halloween masks, hats, and face paint! If you want your guests to dress up without all the work, a "Dress Up from the Neck Up" theme Halloween party is perfect for you.  Not only is this theme great fun, but it's also not as much trouble as the usual Halloween costume party.
Ask your friends to come dressed only from the neck up. Or supply them with what they need to do just that (just in case they arrive out of "costume"). Why bother with the whole rigmarole when you can just decorate your neck, ears and head?

Halloween Mask Invitations

Send a personalized Halloween invitation that will wow your guests while also conveying the rules...dress up from the neck up!

  • Another creative way to invite everyone to your Neck-Up Halloween party is to send them a plain mask and ask them to decorate it. Attach an invitation to the back of the package. This way you can give your guests a "head" start on getting their costumes together.
  • Send your guests a ticket invitation to the best Halloween party in town!  Choose colors to fit your theme.
  • You can always send along cheap add-ons to give your guests some costume inspiration! Vampire teeth, cat ears and glow jewelry are easy to send in the mail.
  • Finish off your invite by sprinkling a little pumpkin or skull confetti in the envelope to dress it up, and then drop it in the mail.

Make it easy for your guests to rsvp.  Send out invites 6-8 weeks in advance so guests have enough time to get their costumes together!

Halloween Mask Costume Ideas

It's a great idea to let your guests know if you will be supplying costumes. Buy a variety of hats, wigs and masks.  Or even some sunglasses or other fun eye wear ... anything and everything your guests can use to decorate themselves. And then let them have at it!
Display wearables in a spooky, themed way - and make sure you leave them in easily accessible places throughout your party space. (The sign-in table would be a great place to start!)  Try a few of these fun display ideas:
  • Pile paper masks in plastic pumpkin buckets, and place them on your sign-in table or coffee table.  Guests can sort through them and choose their favorite! 
  • Buy a plastic black cauldron and put a bowl of dry ice in the bottom.  In a separate bowl at the top of the cauldron, add a variety of glow jewelry. The "smoking" cauldron will add a creepy feel to your party.
  • Stack party wearables, like masks and glow rings, on tiered stands. To kill two birds with one stone, use one of these stands in lieu of a centerpiece. 

Now that everyone is "dressed up from the neck up", it is time to get some pictures! Make sure to setup a creepy photobooth (see some suggestions under "games and activities"), so guests can take home a memento from your soiree.

Halloween Mask Party Decorations

Since your theme is "Dress Up From the Neck Up", focus your party decorations on heads! You can choose how gory you want to be. Try skeleton heads, witch heads, vampire heads, shrunken heads. Here are some creepy decorating options:
  • Wrap plastic skeleton skulls in stretchy spider webs, and hang them from doorknobs, chandeliers, and lighting fixtures for ghoulish effect.
  • Make plastic skull garlands and hang along mantles and doorways for an easy and cheap decorating option. Add plastic chains and spider webbing for a creepy feel!
  • Set up a graveyard with head-theme tombstones.  "Here lies Fred. He lost his head." Or "Susie broke her skull. Now she's much more dull."
  • Carve skull faces into white pumpkins and scatter throughout your party space.
  • Pile "heads" in your fire place for a macabre scene!

You can even give more traditional party decorations a "head" twist.  Put black and white balloon bouquets at all your party hotspots, only make sure to draw skull faces on the white balloons with black marker.  Add a skull balloon weight!

Halloween neck up table decorations and menu
For this easy  Halloween theme, make sure to have table decorations and ideas that are simple, too!  Try a few of these spooky centerpiece options for your party:

  • Take an extra large white table cloth, gather enough material in the center to form a ghost's head, stuff it and draw a face on it. Tie with a festive Halloween ribbon, and you've got a head centerpiece and your table cover all in one. Scatter skull confetti as a finishing touch!
  • Spread stretchy spider webs over the table, and in the center, stack several plastic skulls.  Surround the centerpiece with votive candles and scatter plastic spiders to complete the look.
  • Customize this halloween lantern table centerpiece with whatever photo you like! Maybe a picture of the host's head :)
  • You might want to visit your local costume store for ghoulish masks that can be stuffed and placed as centerpieces, too.

When deciding on a menu, let your budget help you decide. Finger food is wonderful for a no-fuss Halloween party. Coordinate the food in orange and black or just serve whatever makes your head feel good!

Halloween Party Games and Activities

Keep your guests entertained all night with Halloween party games that are perfect for a "neck up" theme:
  • Start with a  "neck up" photobooth. Make sure to have a backdrop and a mega set of halloween props nearby for guests to grab.  Have your photobooth double as party favors by printing out some of the best pictures before the party ends. Guests can take them home to hang on their fridges until next year's party! 
  • Hire a face painter to give your guests a Halloween makeover! Or you can set up a diy face paint station where friends can put on their own Halloween makeup.
  • Scavenger hunts are always a blast! Guests can scurry around looking for "head" related items, like a fancy toothpick, comb, q-tip, travel pack of tissue, eyeglass repair kit, and a scrunchie.
  • Or your can do "head" themed karaoke. These songs are perfect!
    • Burt Bacharach “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”
    • Elvis “Hard Headed Woman”
    • Tony Bennet “You go to my head”
    • Tom Petty “A Face in the Crowd”
    • Lynyrd Skynyrd “Hide Your Face”
    • Peter Gabriel “In Your Eyes”

You get the idea :) Don't forget to check out our Halloween Party Games for more party fun, too.

Halloween Mask Party Favors
Try Halloween theme favor bags filled with candy. Most everyone has a sweet tooth, and since you're focusing on the "neck up", try these delicious treats:

  • Halloween Candy Bar - Personalize the wrapper of this delicious candy bar
  • Halloween Mint and Candy Tins - Another "sweet" way to say "Thanks for coming!"
  • Decorated sugar skulls are a tasty way to match the theme.
  • Paint plastic Easter eggs white and decorate with black paint to look like a skull.  Fill with candy corn for a spooky themed favor!

Have a great party from the neck up! And Happy Halloween from the Party Girl!