Halloween, aka All Hallows’ Eve, aka Goth Christmas. It’s the one day of the year that we inexplicably encourage our children to take candy from strangers, dress our babies up as pop culture icons (no, Ten is not your two-year-old’s favorite Doctor, stop it) and pressure women into dressing up as scantily clad versions of beloved cartoon characters. It is also one of the most popular holidays of the year, with consumers in the US spending close to seven billion dollars to join the spooky festivities. That works out to over seventy dollars a person, which if we’re being honest is mostly just the cost of replacing the first two or three bags of trick or treat candy that was mysteriously eaten before anyone actually came to the door.

Halloween is also one of the most popular holidays that adults use as an excuse to throw a party, only trailing New Year’s Eve, the Super Bowl and when the McRib comes back to McDonald’s in popularity. So this week I thought I’d find the ten coolest 3D printable decorations to help you make your Halloween party mysterious and spooky and altogether ooky.


MINI GHOST LIGHTS

3dp_halloween_ghostlightsGhost Tealight by 3DCustomizationCo

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

These cute little spooky ghosts can be 3D printed in any transparent or see-through material and fit right on top of those battery operated candle tea-lights. That way there is no risk of fire, they can be set anywhere, and add the perfect mood and atmosphere to your party. You can even 3D print them in creepy Halloween colors like orange and purple to make your party extra festive.


JACK-O-LANTERN TEA-LIGHTS

3dp_halloween_pumpkinlightHalloween Pumpkin by Robin

Found on: 3DShare
Cost: $0.99

Jack-o-lanterns were originally used to ward off evil spirits that roamed the world on All Hallows’ Eve, but now, for the most part, they’re carved so parents have an excuse to give their children something to do for an hour. Generally modern Halloweeners carve jack-o-lanterns from pumpkins, however traditionally any gourd or vegetable could be used. Historically, when pumpkins and gourds weren’t common or easy to get a hold of, people often used turnips and beets. (Which, as far as I’m concerned, is really the only good way to use a turnip or a beet.)

These tiny little 3D printable pumpkin tea-lights will give your Halloween party the perfect, creepy atmosphere and–let’s be honest–they will probably smell a lot better than rotting turnips.


BLOODY SEVERED FINGER COOKIES

3dp_halloween_finger_cookiesSevered Finger Cookie Cutter by kspring

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

If you want your Halloween party to be the talk of the town, then you’re going to have to feed your guests; if you don’t want to make food, then at the very least provide some sweet treats. You could probably just put out some packages of those pre-made supermarket holiday cookies, but you should know that while they will get eaten, no one actually likes them. So you’re just going to end up with a room full of people resenting the fact that you didn’t think they deserved food that didn’t taste like a stale cracker with frosting on it.

Don’t be a lazy host, at least bake some cookies. And since it’s supposed to be a spooky party, what better shape to bake cookies into than severed fingers? Just make some colored icing for the fingernail and the severed stump and you’re all set. I’ll even share my super easy recipe for cookie icing:

Put one half cup of powdered sugar in a bowl. Add a small amount of almond or vanilla extract (about ¼ tea spoon). Then add about a spoon full of milk (Don’t worry, the sugar will prevent the milk from spoiling, but you could use water if you’re a coward). Mix together until it has a thick, gooey consistency. Divide the icing up into smaller bowls and add food coloring as needed. Let the cookies air dry overnight until the frosting solidifies, then you can store them in an air-tight container until it’s party night. Boom, you’re welcome.


REAL SEVERED FINGERS

3dp_halloween_severed_fingerFinger by Spfaff1994

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Okay, not real real, but a realistic fake severed finger. There are literally a million fun things that you could do with fake severed fingers. You could leave a trail of severed fingers all over your house, keep a few of them floating in your fishtank, scream while chopping something up and scare your friends into thinking you cut your finger off, heck you could even give them out to trick or treaters who have lame costumes. Those kids are too old to be trick or treating anyways, and “annoyed pre-teenager” is not a valid costume no matter what they tell you.


SPIDER WEB DRINK COASTERS

3dp_halloween_coastersSpider’s Web Coasters by MakeALot

Found on: Pinshape
Cost: Free

Anyone who has thrown a party in their home could probably agree that you can never have enough drink coasters. And if you happen to be the type of grown-up who actually has nice wood furniture with fancy finishes – not three milk crates tied together with zip ties and a sheet of plywood on top – then you’re probably going to want to protect that investment. So have as many drink coasters handy as you can possibly manage, because if you have more than six people show up to your party then you’re going to need them.

It would be really cool if you 3D printed these spider web coasters in glow in the dark filament to add an extra touch of spooky to your party. And they even come with a 3D printed holder so you can keep them organized when not in use.


REALISTIC TEETH FOR JACK-O-LANTERNS

3dp_halloween_pumpkinteethRealistic Pumpkin Teeth by Dr_Ice

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The jack-o-lantern is an iconic symbol of Halloween these days and carving one is a rite of passage for just about everyone. They were originally intended to ward off the evil spirits that roamed the night looking for those few houses who still gave out full-sized candy bars, but now they just serve as a warning to wild pumpkins, that if you mess with our house we will carve out your insides and display your corpse as a trophy.

These disturbingly realistic teeth will make any jack-o-lantern really stand out from the rest of the neighborhood losers who just let their kids carve the pumpkins all on their own. I mean, have you seen some of those ugly things? They look like they were carved by five-year-olds!


MAD SCIENTIST LIGHT SWITCH

3dp_halloween_lightswitchFrankenstein Light Switch Plate by LoboCNC

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

If you want to add some extra scare to your room, then this awesome light switch plate reminiscent of a mad scientist’s big, scary machine lever is a no-brainer. It’s easy to install–just unscrew the existing switch plate and replace it with the lever, it fits right over the existing switch and is the single best way that you could turn the lights on in your home. This is one of those things that you can justify as a Halloween decoration, but really just plan on never taking down. Not that we’d know anything about that, with the first look we took at this design being back in the distinctly un-Halloween-y January.

And there are several different styles of switch plates available, including plates for a double or even triple switch plate. And there is even one for those weird looking giant paddle style light switches.


CREEPY ARTICULATED SKULL-BUTT SPIDER

3dp_halloween_articulatedspiderArticulated Spider by DexterMurphy

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Why does it have a skull for a butt? Who knows, but large fully articulated and posable spiders are an essential decoration for any Halloween party worth its dry-ice-in-water witch’s cauldron and cotton balls pulled into spider-web decorations.

These cool, posable spiders should be hidden in areas where they are bound to produce the maximum amount of shock and surprise. I mean, what’s a good Halloween party without a few scares? Put one in the coat room, in the cooler with the drinks, there should be one hanging over the toilet (naturally) and one buried at the bottom of the chip bowl. And if you’re really mean, move them around throughout the party, ideally so that one friend of yours who is scared of bugs always comes across it.


DEAD GOBLIN WITH SPECIMEN PINS

3dp_halloween_speciminSpecimen 165b (Lucanidae Chiroptera. loc: Guatemala) by Sam Rowan

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

This creepy little goblin thing was one of the winning designs from MyMiniFactory’s Halloween decoration competition last year, and it remains just as creepy this year. The little dead creature is ready to be mounted on a dissection board and ready for his bits and pieces to be catalogued for study.


SKULL-SHAPED SUGAR CUBES

3dp_halloween_sugarcubesMini Sugar Skull Mold by paralogical

Found on: Shapeways
Cost: $20.42

Okay, so this is probably getting dangerously close to Martha Stewart territory. But if you happen to be the type of party-thrower who actually puts effort into making your event memorable and nice for your guests, then what better way than to offer tiny little skull-shaped sugar cubes?

Yes, you have to buy the little mold thing, and yes, you have to mix together the sugar with some other stuff to make them hold together, which sounds just exhausting. But you can’t deny that these sugar skulls are cute, and a bowl of these sitting by the artisanal coffee bar that you’re setting up for your All Hallows’ Eve celebration is a great way to make everyone else feel really bad about themselves and their party-throwing abilities. Skull sugar cubes are a good thing.

And you can even make giant-sized sugar skulls, which would be great for topping cakes and baked goods, or just throwing at people and scream ‘this is how much I care about your happiness’.


And as a bonus here are a few entertaining tips that have served me well over the years:

1.) Keep a water gun handy, it’s the best way to convince guests to leave when you’ve decided that you have had enough of their presence in your home.

2.) Make sure that you clean out your cupboards and serve as much of the older or expired food as you can. It’s a great way to get rid of old food and avoid feeling guilty when you throw it away because you know you’re not eating that nasty crap.

3.) Cover everything with large trash bags, so at the end of the night you can just scoop up the bags and throw them out. Maximum clean up with minimum effort. You can even make it a party game by telling your guests that there is an expensive prize hidden under the bags, all they have to do is clean up a bag and they might be a winner. Then you can “find” the prize under your bag and laugh at them for being so gullible.

4.) Just don’t entertain. Let’s be honest, you’d rather just spend the evening 3D printing stuff, so do that instead.

Have a happy Halloween everyone!

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