How to Use Dry Ice at Halloween: The Complete Guide
Step up your Halloween decorations this year with Penguin Brand Dry Ice® and make your house the talk of the neighborhood.
Dry ice Halloween decorations create fun and spooky effects perfect for indoor or outdoor use. Dry ice can be used to make fog that creeps, cauldrons that bubble or Jack-O-Lanterns that come to life! It’s the perfect solution to take your festivities to the next level this year.
In this guide we’ll tell you everything you need to know to make your décor a success. Plus, we’ll share some of our favorite creative ideas and tips, too!
Where to Find Dry Ice
Finding dry ice has never been so easy! Penguin Brand Dry Ice® is available in over 5,000 retail stores around the U.S. Which stores you ask? You can easily find one near you using our store locator. Give it a try!
Safety First: A Few Simple Tips
Dry ice is fun and exciting to use, and it’s easy to handle it safely as long as you keep a few things in mind. When handling dry ice, always use gloves, tongs or even a towel, as it can irritate your skin if direct contact is made. Consumption of dry ice is never recommended. Although not toxic, dry ice sublimates into carbon dioxide gas, so be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area and avoid storing it in air-tight containers. When used properly, dry ice can enhance your holiday creations and leave a lasting impression on your family, friends and neighbors. Learn more about handling dry ice safely here.
Dry Ice Halloween Idea #1: Spooktacular Jack-O-Lantern
Turn your traditional jack-o-lantern into a ‘spooktacular’ new masterpiece. For best results, we recommend creating a large hole for the mouth to best highlight the dry ice effect. Once carved, fill a glass half full of hot water and place the glass inside the pumpkin. Next, put on your gloves and safety glasses, wrap the dry ice in a towel and use a hammer to break it into smaller pieces. After, drop two or three pieces of dry ice into the glass and place the lid of the pumpkin back on top. Stand back and watch how the mesmerizing effects of dry ice turn your traditional jack-o-lantern into a spooky fog filled work of art. If you happen to run out of dry ice before the night is over, check out our store locator on the website for the nearest store around you that carries Penguin Brand Dry Ice®.
Dry Ice Halloween Idea #2: Smoking Cauldron Chandelier
Looking for the perfect Halloween décor? Look no further than the smoking cauldron chandelier. This quick and easy DIY project is sure to be a hit at your next Halloween party. Designed to be completed in 30-minutes or less, this fun new twist on a favorite Halloween decoration only requires four things:
- Three plastic cauldrons (one large, medium, and small)
- Penguin Brand Dry Ice®
Starting with the largest cauldron, thread the twine through one of the holes and tie a few knots. Measure around 6-8 inches up the twine and tie the middle-sized cauldron and secure it with 2-3 knots. Repeat this process for the final and smallest cauldron. Once one side is complete and the length of the twine is determined, repeat the steps on the other side until all three cauldrons are tied together.
For the best results, fill each cauldron with hot water. Once you have your gloves on, break down the dry ice with a hammer and place pieces into each of the cauldrons. Easy enough, right? If you aren’t sure where to get the materials, check out Hobby Lobby’s Halloween and crafts selection, as it is the perfect one stop shop for this DIY project. The spooky chandelier can be hung up outside on a hook or even from a sturdy tree branch for more visibility from the road. If hung on a tree, be sure to hang it high enough to prevent children from dipping their hands into the foggy display.
Read the full DIY guide by Miranda Enzor, author of Halloween blog Spooky Little Halloween here.
Dry Ice Halloween Idea #3: Spooky Centerpiece
Spookify your hors d’oeuvre table this Halloween with a dry ice center piece. Create this fog effect by filling a metal or plastic container with hot water. Once filled, begin adding pieces of dry ice to the water until the fog begins to cover the table. For consistent results, use a slow cooker in order to keep the water warm. Or, you can simply swap out the water from time to time in order to keep the special fog effects flowing into the night.
Dry Ice Halloween Idea #4: Eerie Graveyard Effects
Transform your front lawn into an eerie graveyard this year. You can find everything you would need to set up your yard at a store like Party City. Once your headstones and other props have been set up in a portion of your yard, let the sublimation begin! It is recommended that you use 5-10 lbs. of dry ice for every four to eight gallons of hot water used. Using a small fan can also help direct the fog in the right direction. Once the sun is down and the kids are out, let the mysterious fog begin to swirl its way through your yard and listen as the word begins spreading around town about your haunted decor.
Dry Ice Halloween Idea #5: Mad Scientist Laboratory
If you’re setting up a haunted house or just want to add some flair to your Halloween party, a shelf full of bubbling mad science experiments could be just the trick! All you need are some beakers (or other containers) of varying sizes, a little food coloring, and dry ice. Arrange the beakers on a shelf along with other Halloween-themed props to match your decorations. Then, add warm water, food coloring and a small chunk of dry ice to each container. The water will begin to bubble and fog will spill out of the beakers to set the mood. As you can see in the video above, you can really intensify the scare-factor with this if you want, or go a more kid-friendly route depending on your guests.
Bonus Tips for Longer Lasting Fog
Follow these steps to ensure your fog lasts longer than the rest:
- The ideal “water to ice ratio” to create fog effects is about one half gallon per pound of dry ice
- Use a heavy plastic bow, three times as deep as the thickness of the dry ice you’re using
- Use a small fan to direct the fog
- Cycle the water as often as possible – This is the most important tip for increasing fog duration. If water becomes stagnate, the amount of carbonation infused in the water will decrease the amount of fog you are able to produce.
As you can tell, dry ice can be used in a variety of different ways to help you prepare for this year’s Halloween festivities. Outside of All Hallow’s Eve, Penguin Brand Dry Ice can also be used as a perfect cooling solution for all of your great outdoors needs, entertainment and special effects, science experiments, around your home during power outages, and for packing coolers. Use the store locator today and find where Penguin Brand Dry Ice® is sold nearest you. Take the pressure off trying to keep blocks of wet ice frozen all day and make the switch to dry ice. It’s the ‘cool’ thing to do!