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One of the most fun parties of the year is coming and it’s time for the whole family to get down to work to create a terrifyingly fun atmosphere. Halloween is here! We’re here to make it easy for you and share ideas on how to decorate a Halloween party so that it will be a hit – you just have to follow these simple decorative tips. Roll up your sleeves and get ready for a spookily good article.

Star colours: Orange and black with touches of purple and white

Decorate a Halloween party decoration ideas

If there’s one thing you should bear in mind when it comes to decorating a Halloween party this year, it’s the base colours, where oranges and blacks, together with touches of white and purple, take on a leading role. From the unmissable pumpkins, to the typical cobwebs, balloons of different shapes and different scary costumes, where the kids can enjoy themselves.

The classics never fail: the Halloween decoration that can’t be missed

If there is one decoration that can never be missing at any spooky party, it is pumpkins. You can buy them in lots of shops and supermarkets and hollow them out and decorate them yourself. There are many crafts on the internet to make the spookiest faces and have a great time with the family. 

Spider webs are another must-have for any spooky party, as well as skulls or ghost garlands and monster piñatas. You can make them with papier-mâché, cardboard or old fabrics. You can also hang balloons of different shapes and sizes on the walls, as well as paper bats.

If you want to add a special touch to your Halloween party decorations, don’t forget to create a ghoulish atmosphere with good music and dim lighting – it will give you goosebumps!

A creepily delicious sweet spread

Decorating a halloween party: sweet treats

We don’t want to just focus on how to decorate a Halloween party; to make it even more memorable for the little ones, you can make original devilish snacks. From sandwiches with googly eyes, terrifying biscuits decorated with spider webs, to pumpkin-shaped cupcakes, or simply fruit that looks like ghosts or mandarins that look like pumpkins. The idea is to use your imagination and create easy, simple and especially entertaining recipes that the kids will love!

A great activity during the party is to decorate biscuits. To do this, you can have toppings in the main party colours and some sweets or chocolates to decorate them.

The spookiest fancy dress costumes

Fancy dress is key when planning how to decorate a halloween party

Always bearing in mind the age of the children you are going to organise the party for, there are a series of characters that have to be at any Halloween party. If the costumes are homemade, all the better. 

You can make the classic ghost as a sheet, simply cutting out the shape of the eyes and creating a chain tied to the children’s feet, or fold black cardboard to make a witch’s hat and a broom.They can dress up as vampires with a face, fangs and a big red cape made from scraps you have around the house. Also monsters, mummies made with bandages, skeletons… If the children are a bit older you can propose a more themed party with science fiction characters such as Jack the Ripper, Maleficent, Edward Scissorhands, the Joker and many more. The point is to enjoy this frighteningly entertaining party!

The scariest party of the year is already here! Let us know how your Halloween party looks by tagging us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

We are excited to share that we have partnered with the Instagram famous styling duo Style Sisters to create an exclusive Edit and 10 top tips for styling a child’s bedroom, featuring clever storage and multifunctional furniture.

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Top storage tips for a child's bedroom by The Style Sisters
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The Style Sisters have risen to fame by helping their clients to style and organise their homes and wardrobes. From smaller wardrobe detoxes and decluttering to full organisational home makeovers, the sisters are on hand to transform their clients’ homes.

The Edit

The Edit focuses on clever storage solutions and multifunctional furniture for a child’s bedroom. With the help of ManoMano, you can shape your world in your own vision and make the most of whatever space you have – from wooden bunk beds with drawers underneath and a cow themed storage stool to characterful home accessories.

  1. Wooden Bunk Beds £269.99
  2. Storage Animal Stool £79.99
  3. Chest of 5 Drawers £221.00
  4. Real Cow Hide Rug £153.99
  5. White Ladder Shelf £179.99
  6. Blayne Pendant Light £68.48
  7. Children’s Desk and Stool £86.16
  8. Wardrobe £359.99
  9. Knot Cushion £39.99
  10. Teepee Play Tent £42.99
  11. Storage Box £49.99

*Stock levels may vary and will be restocked throughout the year. Alternative products are also available on the website.

Top 10 tips: Styling a child’s bedroom

1. Choose furniture that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also holds plenty of storage! You want to make sure you’re picking pieces that are stylish, practical and functional. 

2. Beds with under the bed storage like the drawers in the bunk beds we have chosen are a great way to maximise space and storage. 

Under bed storage comes in handy to maximise space
Under bed storage and ottomans come in handy to maximise space

3. Ottomans are perfect for storing away items like toys and teddies, you can make them multi functional by popping a few cushions on top so it can also double up as seating. 

4. Think outside the box with storage especially in smaller rooms. Don’t neglect wall space! Use shelves to display and store items.

5. Think about purchasing furniture that can grow with your child rather than nursery furniture. Consider a chest of drawers you can add a changing topper/ mat to, so that you can simply take these off when the child no longer needs them, leaving you with a chest of drawers that still has purpose in the room!

Choose pieces of furniture that can grow with your children
Choose pieces of furniture that can grow with your children

6. Over the door storage is also a great solution for otherwise unused space. A great hack is to use over the door shelving (shoe pockets also work great and can be found inexpensively) – you could use them for teddies/toys! 

7. Desks don’t have to be big and bulbous! Choose one that has lift-up storage like we have used and consider placing shelves above to store craft items on. This way it takes up minimal space but hosts a cute creative corner for the children to use and love! 

Multifunctional desks with lift-up storage are a clever way to store more away

8. Slimline velvet hangers are perfect for a children’s wardrobe. They take up less space than other hangers and leave everything looking super stylish too! 

9. Sleek freestanding shelving displays are great to store books and toys. They make a lovely alternative to a traditional bookcase and are more narrow so don’t take up as much room. 

Try a ladder shelf for storing books & toys

10. Storage baskets are perfect for holding children’s toys. Choose baskets that match the style of the room and go as big as the space will allow. You can place them around the room to store the toys away – you can also bring the basket into other rooms when needed!

Gemma & Charlotte, The Style Sisters
Gemma & Charlotte, The Style Sisters

 “We’ve loved creating an edit with ManoMano and wanted to show what can be done to freshen up and modernise a kids bedroom. Our aim was to utilise space by selecting furniture with storage incorporated into it and we’re excited to show you the end result”, the Style Sisters.

Have the Edit & top tips for a stylish, multifunctional child’s bedroom inspired you? Share your results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

DIY Christmas Game project created by My Thrifty Life by Cassiefairy with photography by Andy-Greenacre.co.uk

Family DIY Christmas Game by Cassie Fairy (C) Andy Greenacre
Family DIY Christmas Game by Cassie Fairy (C) Andy Greenacre

If you’ve got family visiting your garden this winter, why not build this snowman target game to entertain them outdoors? This fabulously festive family Christmas game makes use of an unwanted pallet rescued from a skip and turns the wood into a DIY snowman decoration for the garden. The snowman is freestanding thanks to the stakes attached to the back, so always take care to ensure that the snowman is solidly fixed into the ground and can’t fall over, no matter how hard you throw snowballs at him! 

If you add holes of various sizes to the front of the snowman, he doubles-up as a family game. The aim of the game is to throw snowballs through his ‘buttons’ and mouth to score points. It’s quite a skill to form the snow into a suitably-sized snowball to fit through the holes! If it’s not snowing, you can use homemade pom-poms, faux snowballs or tennis balls instead. Family members can take it turn turns to throw their ‘snowballs’ and most points scored with five balls wins the game. Check out the DIY Christmas game guide with step-by-step photos to make this snowman target game here. Enjoy!

Family DIY Christmas Game by Cassie Fairy (C) Andy Greenacre
Family Christmas Game by Cassie Fairy (C) Andy Greenacre

Did you enjoy this DIY Christmas game guide for the family? Why not read our article on 30 Christmas decorations using wine corks or even our December home and garden checklist!

Are you creating your own family Christmas games this winter? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

One of the most indispensable accessories for the summer is the parasol! Hurrah that summer is finally here with it’s blue skies and sunshine full of much-needed vitamin D! Yet sunburns or heatstrokes are likely to put a damper on your summer holidays. It provides the perfect solution to protecting yourself and your loved ones in the heat. You’ll be able to spend ample time basking in the sunshine’s warm glow, whilst avoiding all the uncomfortable side effects. Here are our top tips to help you select and enjoy your parasol to the fullest this summer.

Tip 1: Selecting the right parasol

Selecting the right parasol for the job
Selecting the right parasol for the job

To choose your parasol, several criteria come into play. First up is its intended location: is it for the garden, a patio or balcony, or the beach? Next, how many people will it shelter? A small beach umbrella for one child is poles apart from a cantilever parasol capable of protecting a table of 12 people! You also need to tailor your choice to the region where you live: How many months in the year can you use it? Will it be exposed to summer storms? Finally, what is your budget?

Once you’ve answered all these questions, simply opt for the version that best suits your needs, with a little help from our handy advice guide. It will help you spot the difference between upright, tilting, or cantilever parasols. Our blog also explains the benefits of round parasols compared to rectangular parasols or the different types of canopy fabrics available, such as cotton, acrylic, or polyester.

You’ll be sure to find the perfect model to go with your garden furniture set or swing.

Tip 2: The wind is not our friend!

Wind can cause damage to parasols
Wind can cause damage to parasols

Wind poses two serious dangers to your parasol: tearing the canopy and the risk of it collapsing or blowing away. An open parasol must be able to withstand winds of 25 km/h. The very best can survive gusts of more than 50 km/h.

In fact, the wind resistance of your parasol will depend on the model you choose. A light parasol will be more sensitive to wind than a larger, heavier and more robust model. Wooden poles are more fragile and require regular maintenance, but they are heavier and are more stable in the ground. The type of canopy fabric used also plays a key role. Acrylic canopies are more expensive, but more resistant, especially when it comes to keeping their colour in the sun.

If you live in a very windy region, we recommend choosing a parasol with a textilene (synthetic mesh) canopy, which is very light and extremely resistant. Although not widely available, they are gaining in popularity. Large parasols also have a wind cap or valance to add extra stability against wind. The wind cap is a smaller piece of fabric partially stitched into the top of the parasol. When the wind blows, this cap lifts and lets air pass through to reduce the pressure put on the frame.

The wind cap is but stretched over a rigid frame, like a mini parasol over your parasol. It also ensures better air circulation and greater resistance to sudden gusts of wind.

Tip 3: Choose the right spokes

The stability of a parasol depends on its spokes
The stability of a parasol depends on its spokes

The stability of a parasol in windy conditions will also depend on its spokes. Located under the canopy, the spokes keep the canopy in place despite the amount of pressure exerted by the wind. As cheaper models have less robust spokes, they are easily lifted up and moved around by even the slightest gust of wind, a bit like hand-held umbrellas.  Flexible spokes will provide better wind control. The best models use fibreglass spokes to ensure optimal flexibility of the whole structure.

Tip 4: Parasol safety on the beach

Parasol safety on the beach
Parasol safety on the beach

When a beach umbrella suddenly takes flight, it’s hard not to laugh. But it can cause serious damage! If the metal foot hits an unsuspecting beachgoer, it can be extremely dangerous. That’s why you must take extra care when anchoring your parasol at the beach. Here are a few helpful tips to follow:

  • Don’t use it if the beach is too windy
  • Bury it as deep as possible in the sand (or pebbles)
  • Pack the sand around the entire foot
  • Weigh it down by hanging small bags of sand to the spokes under the parasol
  • Face the outside of the parasol into the wind

There are also models with sand anchors, explicitly designed for the beach. For optimal stability, opt for a beach parasol with a built-in screw foot and crank-shaped pole that bores directly into the ground.

Enjoy your parasol this summer!
Enjoy your parasol this summer!

Did you enjoy reading our parasol tips for the summer? After all the effort you’ve put in, it’s time to relax on your  DIY pallet chair, safely sheltered from the sun and flick through our article on your garden to do list for the rest of the summer 🙂

Share your finished results with us on instagram using the hashtags #mymanomanoway and #manomanouk!