Libby Langdon's first book, Libby Langdon’s Small Space Solutions, is being sold in Home Depot, at over 1,600 Lowe's Home Improvement Stores, as well all major book stores. Photo courtesy of Libby Langdon Interior Design
Replace most of your lamplight with candlelight to give your house a haunted look. Photo courtesy of Libby Langdon Interior Design
When you're not hosting a Halloween party, your pumpkins and candles can create a beautiful autumn display in your home. Photo courtesy of Libby Langdon Interior Design
Halloween Party Menu Ideas
There are limitless recipe possibilities perfect for fall and Halloween celebrations. Check out LibbyLangdon.com for fun food tips.
Libby Langdon’s Frightfully Fabulous Halloween Tips
Design guru and TV entertainer Libby Langdon offers spooky ideas for one-of-a-kind decorating and entertaining.
- by Libby Langdon
What holiday is more fun to decorate for than Halloween? You’ll have as much fun adding spooky style to your house as you will throwing a ghoulish party for your friends.
No Tricks, Just Treats
Candy Corn Candle Holders—Fill the bottom quarter of clear drinking glasses with candy corns and nestle a votive candle inside on top of the candy. This is quick, easy and adorable!
Shadow Lanterns—Cut out lots of small Halloween shapes from black construction paper (bats or spiders) and tape onto clear cylindrical glass vases. (Or you can use stickers and lightly stick them to the outside of the vases.) Then cut a piece of vellum for a sleeve and fit it loosely around each vase; the sleeve should be 1” taller than the vase. Place a votive candle inside, and watch as the space between the vellum and the vase makes shadows that appear to move in the flickering candlelight.
Petrifying Party Ideas
“One Material” Costume Party—Host a costume party but tell people that they can only use one material to make their costume. It could be masking tape, garbage bags, tin cans, ribbon, Styrofoam, Kleenex, toilet paper, wrapping paper, twine …whatever, but the rule is they can ONLY use that “One Material” for their entire costume! Just wait until you see what people come up with! Mix up some fun cocktails and serve hors d’oeuvres on top of a layer of black and orange jellybeans on trays. Have a Polaroid camera to take pictures of guests as they arrive and then tape the pictures in a scrapbook. Have your guests sign the page with their picture on it and you’ll have a fun memento from the evening.
A Sophisticated Grownup Scare Affair—If your crowd of friends is past the costume phase, invite everyone to wear black and temporarily (and easily) transform your home into a haunted house. Replace most of your lamplight with candlelight and strings of tiny white Christmas lights and cover your furniture in old white sheets and your tables in black fabric. String lots of artificial cobwebs all over the house.
For a spooky display, fill clear jars and vases with food coloring-tinted water and set green grapes in one (eyes), a fennel bulb in another (a heart) and a head of cabbage in another (a brain). Set up your bar with red wine and “eyeball” martini’s (vodka, fresh lime juice, lychee nectar and garnish with a fresh lychee, which looks like an eyeball).
To set the mood, line the walkway to your house with luminaries, and set out lanterns, big knotty branches, and dried leaves at the entrance. Then play low, slow organ music as people enter.
Scavenger Hunt for Grown-ups—It sounds hokey but it can really be fun! Have everyone meet at your house to have cocktails, appetizers and get divided into teams. Make sure dinner is already prepared, and put yourself on a team too. Set the time limit (not too long) and give teams their lists of what they need to bring back; combine easy things with ridiculously hard things and the first team back wins! Items can include a wine label, a tennis ball, 3 rocks, a brochure for a local museum, a shiny penny, a copy of People magazine, a poem, two maple leaves—or whatever comes to mind related to the community where you live, As the host just be sure to be home when the first team makes it back, have drinks standing by, put the finishing touches on dinner and be prepared to hear some hilarious tales from the hunt!
For the Monsters
Pumpkin-Carving Party—Plan an outdoor pumpkin-carving party; it’s fun for adults and kids (just make sure not to include really young children who could get hurt with sharp carving tools). Set up a big table outdoors with cozy blankets on chairs and benches. At each place, set out a cutting board instead of a placemat. And instead of silverware for lunch, wrap a dishtowel napkin around carving “tools” (spoon for scooping, pairing knives, awls, melon balers and tiny saws). Begin with mugs of hot tomato soup to get appetites and creative juices flowing, and offer a glass of hot chocolate, mulled cider or Beaujolais nouveau as guests choose their pumpkins for carving. Let everyone begin carving and set up a buffet of warm, rustic chicken potpies and cheese biscuits. Set out caramel apples for dessert and watch the friendly competition for the best jack-o-lantern begin!
Haunted Scavenger Hunt—Plan a scavenger hunt for the kids, and at each stop plant another clue for the next stop. Have a “Ghostly challenge” with each clue. Whoever wins the “Ghostly challenge” wins a goody bag with candy (it’s a good idea to have extra bags for multiple winners and no hurt feelings). Challenges can include bobbing for apples, picking up coins with your toes and the “brains and bands” challenge. For “brains and bands,” cook a large pot of spaghetti, let it cool and pour oil in it, then add a few bags of rubber bands. Stir it all together and let the kids roll up their sleeves and dig in. Whoever gets the most rubber bands out of the cooked spaghetti pot wins, it sounds gross but kids love it! Just make sure you have some towels standing by to wipe off greasy arms afterwards.