Hauntingly elegant Halloween party ideas

Woman wearing white fox mask made of feathers and vintage fabrics

The run up to the 31st October is that splendid time of year when our supermarket shelves suddenly fill up with a LOT of black and orange plastic. With Halloween paraphernalia, there is a multitude of choice – and it no longer stops at witches hats and freaky masks. Particularly for grown ups, there are some seriously bizarre takes on the Halloween theme (i.e. not at all related Halloween whatsoever) and apparently the more tasteless the better.

Unless you regularly attend parties with a Spongebob dress code, most of this stuff will probably only get used once. And yes, I could link to some of these offending items, but I wouldn’t want to encourage you. A quick google search quite clearly reveals that a white suit ‘tastefully’ spattered in blood and an adult mask in the shape of a toilet are at the milder end of the scale.

But enough of the party pooper mentality, because let’s face it, there’s definitely something quite exhilarating about dressing like a zombie just for one day a year. Nonetheless, I’ve been inspired to look for some creative Halloween party ideas that rebuff the plastic and polyester, and hopefully won’t leave you literally – with skeleton costumes in your closet… rather tragically just hanging there, taking up space and gathering dust.

Disclaimer: If you’re looking for something gory, you best go elsewhere, otherwise read on and please continue eating your lunch.

1. SKULLS GALORE

Vintage china teacup and plate upcycled with skull design by Melody Rose

What better tableware for the most sophisticated Halloween party of all time? These daring designs are made from upcycled china by Melody Rose and will certainly give an added edge to your afternoon tea.

2. CONSTELLATION PUMPKIN

Black pumpkins carved with constellations by The Merrythought

We couldn’t really ignore the whole pumpkin thing, could we? This contemporary take on pumpkin carving is by the very nice blog The Merrythought who shared their step by step tutorial on Design Sponge. The constellation design is pretty straightforward to achieve, as long as you know how to handle a drill. And if you’re looking for natural paints for your pumpkins, check out Fusion Mineral Paints which are available worldwide.

3. HARD CANDY

Black candy apples

Making an impressive spread of delicious party food can be time consuming, but at least you have the added advantage of all that Halloween ‘stuff’ completely disappearing until next year. Call me old fashioned, but the whole food resembling eye balls and severed fingers has never really put me in the mood for eating… For something more appetising, check out the irresistible black glossy sheen on these candy apples. Find the recipe on Sweet as a Cookie.

4. BLACK ON BLACK

Halloween dinner setting with black accessories

This rather refined Halloween table setting by Camille Styles has been cleverly achieved with plenty of black on black; black table cloth, black tableware, black candelabras and black candlesticks. The vintage chairs and silver platters were sourced from a local vintage rental company and the look was completed with vintage books, apothecary jars and creepy photos sourced from an antique market.

5. THE NO COSTUME COSTUME

Woman in red velvet headdress with metallic eyeshadow

For some, finding (or making) a Halloween costume is really too much bother. A bit of clever make up (à la these ideas found on Total Beauty) and you can create the perfect last-minute Halloween look. Sometimes a bit of artistry on the face is all you need to make a spooky statement. Image via Mac.

6. TIN FOIL BUST

Face sculpture made from tin foil

This incredible bust by designer Dominic Wilcox was created for project called Speed Creating. The impression was taken from an existing plaster mould, but if don’t fancy smothering yourself with tin foil, I reckon a similarly creepy affect could be achieved using a statue or mannequin’s head.

7. ANIMAL MASK

Fox mask made from feathers and natural materials

These masks by Norwich based makers Curious Fair* are simply works of art. Pictured is a bespoke feather fox mask, made from real feathers, vintage fabrics and paint. Not just something to wear however, this enchanting decorative piece would look beautiful displayed in the home too.

8. TATTOOED PUMPKINS

Tattooed pumpkins

How ‘eye-catching’ are these? If you’re not sure how to apply temporary tattoos to a pumpkin, this tutorial by Proper will show you how. A very cool way to decorate for Halloween, without the mess!

9. DEVILISH COCKTAILS

Black Devil Martini Cocktail

What’s your poison? Get your guests in the party mood with a vampish cocktail in a suitably Halloweenesque colour scheme. I love the orange sugar rim on this Black Devil Martini recipe from HGTV.

10. PUNCTURED PUMPKINS

Pumpkin lantern decorations for elegant Halloween party ideas

Less eerie, more decorative, but a great idea for the garden. Some go to some seriously extravagant lengths to carve a pumpkin. But if you’re not up to depicting the ‘here’s Johnny’ scene from The Shining (yes, that pumpkin carving does exist), making a few holes with a drill should be a lot easier. Find this celestial pumpkin tutorial via Martha Stewart. Photo by Anna Williams.

 Any more spooky suggestions for a Halloween party? Let us know!

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Author: Antonia Edwards

Antonia is the founding editor of Upcyclist. Based in the UK, she is the author of two books: 'Upcyclist: Reclaimed and Remade Furniture, Lighting and Interiors' (Prestel 2015) and 'Renovate Innovate: Reclaimed and Upcycled Homes' (Prestel 2017).