Of course when you ask our florists at Belle Fiori what the best decorations are for any occasion, we’ll say flowers. But when a holiday like Halloween rolls around, it’s hard not to get excited about the other great decor you can use to spice up your home for the season or a special party.
Once again, I’ve been perusing the web looking at different sites and blogs for some autumn inspiration. The amount of posts about fall decoration is almost overwhelming, but I thought I’d share with you a few ideas I loved from Country Living. Classy but fun, these are a great way to make you home Halloween appropriate while utilizing all the great bounties of fall.
Make your front door season-appropriate, framing it with dried corn husks and a garland of oak leaves. Ghostly bottle-gourd scarecrows were painted white, with features added in black felt tip, and then speared on sticks and “planted” in Styrofoam blocks inside urns.
SETTING THE SCENE: Come October, often you can still host a party outdoors. Just let fall’s exuberant palette lend a hand with the decorating, suggest Richard Kollath and Ed McCann, who like to layer in atmospheric Halloween accents when entertaining. The designers, authors, and event planners (their most recent book is Faux Flowers; Chronicle Books) advise: “Host a party for adults or families the week before Halloween, then leave the decorations up for trick-or-treaters.” You also have a great excuse not to sweep up the leaves, which, scattered across the ground, help set the scene. Autumn foliage, faux crows, candlelight, and plenty of jack-o’-lanterns cast a welcoming spell on an outdoor dessert buffet.Pictured: On the back terrace, branches of autumn leaves, bittersweet berries, and hanging gourds create a lush frame for a help-yourself dessert buffet.
Candy Cone Decorations
Halloween entertaining is all about scaring up creative ways to celebrate the holiday. Neither children nor grown-ups want to miss out on trick-or-treating. Treat every guest to a surprise right at the door, perhaps with candy-filled cones nestled in a vintage plant stand aflutter with feathered crows.Candy Cone How-to’s1. To create a cone about 10 inches long, first wrap an 8 1/2″ by 11″ sheet of heavyweight white paper on the diagonal. Trim excess paper. Use this as a template to cut as many cones as desired.2. Shaping each cone according to the template, use pinking shears to cut a band of glossy orange paper about 4 inches wide for the middle of the cone, and a band of yellow paper about 3 inches wide for the top. Affix the orange and yellow bands to the white base, then join the ends of the cone together, using double-sided tape.
Spell out your greeting in mini pumpkins gathered at a prominent — and stationary — location. First, pencil letters on hollowed pumpkins (carve out the opening from the bottom). Then, using a drill with a half-inch bit, bore holes to form each letter. Here, strings of Christmas-tree lights, gathered in small bunches, illuminate each pumpkin (unscrew bulbs where the string descends to the next row).
Candy Corn Candles
Trick: “Use no more lighting than you need,” advises Ed McCann. “Rely on candlelight as much as possible.” Treat: “Let an outdoor fireplace and torches provide a warming glow.”Anchor pillar candles in a bed of candy corn or black and orange jelly beans for seasonal touches.
Tuck candles and small pumpkins inside glass cylinders or canning jars. Chocolate- and caramel-covered apples from Stonewall Kitchen make toothsome favors.Trick: Create different “destinations” or stations at a party — for appetizers, mulled cider, and dessert. Treat: Guests move comfortably from one spot to another — enjoying more opportunities for mingling.
Bare-limbed trees provide the perfect ghostly perch for jack-o’-lanterns, candle lanterns, and a flock of faux black crows (don’t be surprised if a few real ones alight). Make sure the tree limbs are sturdy enough to support the weight of the items you are hanging and take care not to overdecorate, which can lessen the overall effect. Funkins are an especially good choice for this project, since they’re lightweight and won’t rot.
Special effects don’t require special tools when it comes to pumpkin carving. To clean out the inside of the pumpkin, ceramic artist Derek Harding recommends using a potter’s loop tools and a variety of knives — paring, X-Acto, and serrated — to make precise cuts. Though the carving should be restricted to the adults, the entire family will love the artful results.