eat, drink, and be scary!

halloween dinner party table setting

Dinner parties are a great way to get your friends together for some Halloween fun!  Setting the table with creative, handmade details will impress your guests and satisfy your own creative sweet tooth.  Here is a tablescape that incorporates the littlest pumpkins centerpiece craft and the hand dyed napkin craft as well as a simple napkin ring fashioned from chenille pipe cleaners and mini feather boas.

Here’s what you need for the Feather Napkin Rings:

  • mini feather boa
  • black pipe cleaners
  • scissors
  • ruler

feather napkin ring craftfeather napkin ring craftfeather napkin ring craftfeather napkin ring craft

In order to get the right size lumen for the napkin ring, I wrapped a pipe cleaner around an existing napkin ring and twisted it.  Then, wrap the ends of the pipe cleaner around the diameter of the chenille ring to tuck, leaving a small tail unwrapped to serve as the “glue” for the feather boa.  Cut feather boa into 8-9 inch pieces. Take a strand of feather boa and wrap around the chenille ring in the opposite direction as the tail until you reach the end, bending the pipe cleaner tail around the ends of the feather boa to secure. No glue necessary!

feather napkin ring craft

Cost: $2 for 8 napkin rings! Can’t beat that! Materials were purchased at Michael’s at the regular price of $0.99 each!

Wicked Wreaths

feather wreath Halloween craft

Add some frightful fun to your home decor this Halloween with a couple of spooktacular wreaths!

bleached moss wreath Halloween craft

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • feather picks
  • bleached moss
  • plastic spiders
  • grapevine wreath
  • styrofoam wreath
  • hot glue gun with glue sticks

For the feather wreath, arrange your feathers prior to gluing to make sure you have enough material to cover the entire face of the wreath.  When arranged, insert the individual picks into the grapevine wreath, bend the ends that stick out of the back and secure them with glue.  You can buy more picks to cover the entire wreath, but I think it looks nice with the grapevine background.

feather wreath Halloween craft

For the mossy wreath (original idea from Martha Stewart), as for the feather wreath, lay out your moss prior to gluing to ensure you have enough to cover the styrofoam completely.  Once ready, apply glue to the styrofoam in 2-3 inch sections and press moss  gently against the hot glue to secure.  Adorn the finished wreath with black plastic spiders for an extra creepy effect.

bleached moss wreath Halloween craft

Tip: Make sure to use your 40% off Michael’s coupons for purchasing the wreaths if they aren’t already on sale.  For the feather project, make sure fall accessories are on sale – these were 50% off, so in total, I only spent $6 for 12 feather picks.  The bleached moss was a clearance item at Pottery Barn that I scored for $2.97/bag.  I ended up using two bags on a 12″ styrofoam wreath.

Cost: $10 per wreath!

the littlest pumpkins

Tired of using flowers for dinner party table decor? Capture the essence of the fall season and All Hallows Eve with this creatively simple alternative.

pumpkin table decoration craft

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • low, metal trays
  • dried black beans
  • mini pumpkins, preferably in different colors

The trays I used are actually repurposed, rectangular tart pans from Williams-Sonoma which were the perfect dimension for my rectangular table.  Galvanized metal trays would also work well for a more rustic look.  Simply spread the dried beans into the bottom of the tray and place the pumpkins on top.  Using two different colors of pumpkins gives nice contrast and brings in more colors of the season.  If you want, you can glitter the pumpkins for a magical effect.

I found the dried black beans at Big Lots for a whopping $1.00 per bag.  The small pumpkins are sold at grocery stores.

Cost: less than $4 per tray (after using tart pans I already had in my cupboard)


hand dyed napkin craft

Is it me, or is the trick to shopping the discount stores weeding out all of the tacky stuff?  For people like me, who have a simple design esthetic, I don’t want ghosts embroidered on my placemats or cheesy black, orange and white plaid napkins for Halloween.  I want a simple bright orange napkin paired with a simple black placemat.  I’ll make the tablescape interesting and fun with other adornments, but as a thrifty crafter and entertainer, I think your basic table linen pieces should be able to be mixed and matched with other linens throughout the year, not just for one specific holiday. While it was relatively easy to find plain black placemats (Big Lots, $1.00 each), I had a surprisingly difficult time finding those bright orange napkins.  So, I decided to stop searching and purchased clearance bamboo colored napkins for $0.99 each and dyed them orange with good, old-fashioned RIT.

hand dyed napkin crafthand dyed napkin craft

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a large bucket
  • a wooden spoon (or some other utensil to stir the bath with)
  • a disposable containter, like a 7-11 Big Gulp cup, to mix the RIT in
  • tea kettle or large pot to boil water in
  • gloves
  • salt
  • detergent

Basically, you’ll want to follow the directions on the RIT label for best results.  There was no way in heck I was going to dye napkins in my nice All-Clad stockpot, so I used water just off of a boil to fill a plastic tub that was placed in my sink.  Make sure you dye all articles at once for the same amount of time, otherwise discrepancies in color will occur.

hand dyed napkin craft

Cost: $9 for 6 napkins

Creepy Candy

Need a crafty and inexpensive way to hold all that candy for the trick or treaters?  Try this super easy project to add a little spook to your serving bowl.

Here’s what you’ll need:

halloween candy bowl craft

  • craft spider web
  • wire fruit bowl (this one purchased from Target for the REGULAR price of $2.49!)
  • lotsa candy!

Any type of basket that has natural catches would work well for this project.  Even if your vessel doesn’t have ideal roughness, you can always use Zots to adhere the web to the bowl.  Spread out your webbing, and starting on the bottom of the bowl, use Zots or photo mounting squares to tack down your starting point.  Delicately thread the webbing through and around the wires of your bowl in a non-symmetrical, almost haphazard way, tacking to the bottom of the bowl as needed when you want to change direction.  Finish by tacking to the bottom of the bowl where you started (this doesn’t have to be pretty – no one will ever see the bottom!).

halloween candy bowl craft

Eh, voila!  A cute, easy and festive way to pass out candy this Halloween, with a reusable bowl, to boot!

Cost: less than $4!

Hot Diggity Dog!

simplicity pattern 3952 dog costume

My husband I adopted a little Jack Russell Terrier mix last Christmas who is just too cute NOT to dress up for Halloween!  Since he is perfectly snausage-sized, I decided he should be a hot dog this year.  Unhappy with what I was finding in the stores, I decided to make my own with the help of Simplicity Pattern # 3952, purchased at Joann’s for the sale price of $1.99!

I chose material, again, based on what was on sale.  It just so happened that felt by the yard was on sale for 50% off, which worked out great! A word to the wise – felt can be fairly difficult to turn out so if your patience for craft project difficulty is low, use a fabric that is a bit easier to work with.

hot dog pet costume homemade

The key to keeping this project inexpensive is to shop sales and clip coupons!  I bought the felt and pattern at one visit, then the next week bought the extras – foam, batting and velcro – when coupons could be used.  Plan ahead!  Like everything in life, procrastination has its costs, and trying to whip up an outfit without watching the sales could end up costing you more than buying a pre-made outfit at the store.

hot dog pet halloween costume

Cost: $15!