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For 2018’s Halloween Event, we did a SoCal Haunted Tiki Island. Here are some of the decor ideas, props, drinks, bar set-ups & more that we did all ourselves with the help of some great artist friends:

  • We painted found palm fronds to look like spooky tiki masks

  • We carved a jack-o-lantern face into a pineapple and built a palm tree out of pineapples and palm fronds for the leaves and made it a centerpiece for a fruit tray

  • We decorated the horse drawn carriage to look like a tiki surf woody wagon complete with surfer skeletons and blow up surfboards
  • We dressed all our skeletons in surfwear and had them riding surf boards and inner tubes
  • We set up some hula cut-outs for a fun photo prop
  • We built two tiki bars
    • The first tiki bar, we decorated with skull tiki lanterns, lots of raffia, more masks made of palm fronds and so much more. We painted grass beach mats with tiki art and hung them on the face of the table. We built the bar with pvc pipe and bought bamboo piping that had been split vertically to cover the pvc pipe. We then covered the back and sides with more grass beach mats.

  • For the second voodoo bar, we used our old peanut barrels from previous parties and had a piece of mdf cut to fit the top and had it hang over the back a bit so we could drill two small holes. Into those holes, we put two super long steel pipes that went through the holes and down into the ground past the edge of our deck – the purpose was to have something temporary that would hold up all the crates. We covered the mdf with burlap and then stacked the crates (we had painted them for a previous party) and zip tied them in the back to the steel poles so everything was super study. We then decorated the inside of the crates with lots of tiki/voodoo decor, leis and lights. I bought a chalkboard bamboo sign that I could use to put my Voodoo Juice Bar signage onto – just taped that onto the chalkboard. This sign told people what each drink on that bar is and what was in them.

The drinks at the Voodoo Juice Bar were:

The Zombie – a classic:

Gold Rum

Dark Rum

Lime Juice

Cinnamon Infused Simple Syrup

Midnight Mai Tai:

Dark Rum

POG & Triple Sec

Lime Juice


Activated Charcoal (to make it black and spooky)

  • We built a seating area by covering a pop up canopy with raffia and filling it with furniture that we made to look tiki bar’esq. and decorated the inside ceiling with an old ladder and haunted tiki bar items hanging from the ladder
  • We set up a long table for food that we lined with grass skirting and covered the top with grass beach mats, then covered the food risers with Hawaiian print fabric, large palm leaves and leis
  • The entire front of the house was decorated with old palm fronds and shrunken head style decor to make the entrance look like you’re going into a haunted tiki party thrown by a bunch of drunken surfer skeletons
  • We set up a square beach themed blow-up kiddie pool with another smaller round kiddie pool on the inside. In the square portion, we threw in beach balls, then filled the round with ice for people to put their BYO drinks. We put both of these on a table that we covered with trash bags (to protect the table) and covered with grass skirting
  • Lot of lighting in colorful blues, greens and pinks was used for this party. I can’t express enough how important lighting is for parties and weddings, they can make the scene really come alive and evoke emotions that you couldn’t get otherwise. On the Surfer Skeleton that we set up on the porch, we wanted it to look like he was paddle boarding so first we had to wire him up to keep him standing and then we used the FX blue uplights to make it look like bubble ocean water underneath him. The blue and green lights really gave that under water feel.
  • For the inside of the house, we saved brown packing paper for months, then twisted it and hung it on the walls to make it look like vines. I actually was inspired to do this by the vines at the miniature golf at Belmont Park here in Mission Valley which is a whole haunted tiki theme inside, it was the perfect place to go have fun and get some inspired ideas.
  • We printed out sheets of paper that looked like bamboo and covered the wall above the fireplace, and the fireplace face, then printed tiki totems and taped them to the sides of the mantle. On the mantle, we placed an old nautical style mirror we found in the alley (SCORE!) and lots of other skeletons and other nautical tchotchkes. We hung nautical netting all over the ceiling and filled it with lights and beach balls to make it look like those nautical glass balls.
  • In the dining room, we continued with the nautical tiki theme. First, we hung a tiki style shower curtain between the kitchen and the dining room to block off the work area from the fun area. We continued to hang the nautical netting across the ceiling and filled it with beach balls and lights. On our ceiling light, we removed the Tiffany style lampshade, replaced the regular light bulbs with colored light bulbs, the put clear round lantern domes over the lights. The only thing was that they technically didn’t fit, so we had to tie them onto the light fixture in a safe way. We then wrapped them with the nautical netting (after testing to make sure the bulbs didn’t heat up the glass lanterns – we bought LED lights to reduce the heat), the netting wrapped around them made them look like the expensive glass fishing floats.
  • Also in the dining room, we drew a new design on the chalkboard that hangs on the wall to read, “Tiki Lounge Eat Drink Chill” above the inside bar. We also printed tiki drink pictures and mod podged them onto pieces of thin wood that we cut to be just a bit bigger than paper size and placed them on the ledge around the bar between candles

I don’t have pictures for it, but the dance floor was lined down each side with burlap and palm fronds. And, this year, the backyard was closed due to construction. One of the really cool things was how so many people came dressed in the party’s theme – so many skeletons and surfer zombies and tiki, Hawaiian zombies. We even had a zombie Elvis! This was a favorite theme of many.

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