Throw a spellbinding and trendy dinner party for your friends this Halloween with just the right amount of spooky fun – minus the fake cobwebs and plastic pumpkins.
The key to making this type of party a success is to showcase dark and elegant colors, with decor that is both sophisticated and spooky. From centerpieces filled with mystical flowers to chic decorations and a cool smoky atmosphere thanks to the dry ice, Halloween is a great time to embrace a darker side and throw an unforgettable gathering for adults.
Here are some fabulously spooky dinner ideas from Thanksgiving.com (America’s Home for the Holidays), Grateful.co, and FoodBlogs.com, which are part of the USA TODAY Network.
1. Create hauntingly elegant floral Halloween centerpieces
Save cheerful tulips and daisies for the summer and think outside the box, focusing on dark and mysterious arrangements. Don’t feel limited to orange and black; think instead of color families, with purples and dark blues and bright corals and fuchsia.
“I wanted to evoke a dark and mystical vibe for this fall table, so I asked my florist to reflect that,” said Lory Parson of To Have and To Host.
Its magical centerpieces include Royal Protea, Purple and Fuchsia Mums, Dark Coral and Black Dahlias, Lilac Aster, Burnt Shadow Snapdragons, Slate Blue Thistle, Plum Leafy Stems, and Silver Eucalyptus.
Simple red roses can also give a table a chic and spooky look, but it works best if the roses are slightly withered but still have a bit of color. To get the dead Halloween rose look, you can hang fresh roses upside down for two weeks or just buy pre-dried roses.
2. Prepare the decor with a sophisticated tablecloth or table runner for Halloween.
Lose the bright orange plastic tablecloth and create a more upscale Halloween party with a slate gray fabric tablecloth. Black can work too, but gray makes a slightly muted backdrop perfect for black dishes and other table decorations.
Create a color contrast by draping a transparent white or black table runner across the middle of the table.
3. Add a surprising touch to Halloween table decorations
Who knew that a bowl of fruit could be scary? Using fruits and vegetables is a nifty way to decorate a table. Look for fruits and vegetables with darker colors and interesting shapes and textures.
“Produce is a fun and easy way to create a centerpiece and has a dual purpose, because you can eat them afterwards,” says Parson, who created these magical bowls with plums, blackberries, red raspberries, grapes. table, black mission figs, purple cabbage and artichokes.
“Exotic fruits always bring a touch of mystery,” she says, noting that dragon fruit, golden raspberries, brown turkey figs, tropical rambutan, dark sapphire grapes, and dark magenta-colored champagne grapes are all great options.
4. Use candles to create the perfect lighting
Turn down the lights and set the mood for a magical and spooky night with candles. Look for black candle holders or paint them yourself. Black or gray taper candles go well with the theme, but white is also a classic choice. Make sure to light them a few hours in advance to achieve that creepy melting candle look.
Empty wine bottles can also make fabulous candle holders, especially with a weird, dripping candle effect.
5. Go into the dark with Halloween table decor
Black plates or other dark plates set the stage for a haunting and trendy dinner, and they combine an elegant color palette. Start with a dark plate loader, then place the flat plate on top, followed by the salad plate. Fold a brown napkin into a rectangle and lay it on the plate to give the table a splash of color.
The small white soup bowl makes an elegant card holder. Write a guest’s name on a black place card using a gold pen and place it in the bowl next to a small brown flower. Place black or dark gray silverware on either side of the plate to complete the look.
Following:DIY glitter “boo” letters
6. No Halloween party is complete without spiders
If you want a more casual vibe, use spider-shaped napkin rings and place them on black dishes. Look for metal spider napkin rings rather than plastic, for a more sophisticated look.
7. Create a cool but scary vibe with dry ice
Dry ice takes Halloween parties to a whole new level with its spooky and magical effect. Place dry ice cubes in cocktails to create a festive look or place them in cauldrons on the table for a smoky meal vibe.
Most supermarkets sell dry ice, but be sure to buy it on the holiday because it doesn’t keep for long. Cut it into 1-inch cubes using a screwdriver – and be sure to use pliers when handling it to avoid burns. If you are using dry ice in cocktails, be sure to tell guests not to drink the cubes.
8. DIY decorations don’t have to break the bank
Use small black Halloween trees to create a unique look. You can usually find them at stores like Target or Walmart. For a simple DIY version, spray small black branches or sticks and place them in glass jars. Add black or dark blue feathers for more texture or a pop of color.
Solid white skulls take on a more decorative appearance when spray painted in black or gold and can spice up any table setting.
9. Give an orange pumpkin a cutting edge upgrade
Every Halloween party has to include pumpkins in one way or another, but bright orange pumpkins don’t exactly work with this adult color scheme. Instead, consider taking miniature pumpkins and painting them black, gold, or white.
Following:Big ideas for small pumpkins
10. Add an air of mystery with masquerade masks
The delicious blend of beauty and mystery in masquerade masks makes them a perfect addition to an adult Halloween gala. Place them around the table to add some spice to the party.
The USA TODAY Network and Thanksgiving.com, America’s Home for the Holidays, are here to help make special times of the year even brighter with family and friends. Whether you’re looking for recipes, how-to videos, seasonal decorating ideas, or delicious new desserts, we’ve got you covered. Thanksgiving.com is produced by Grateful Ventures, part of the Network.