This past Halloween I was asked to decorate a theme table for a fundraising event for a local theatre. I was impressed at how creative some of the other tables were decorated by other volunteers at the event. I felt a little intimidated at their towering tablescapes, and colorful masterpieces. I quickly realized however that I was not alone in feeling the pressure to create something memorable, and yet affordable for a centerpiece.
My inspiration was the Haunted Mansion dining room scene at Disneyland. I began by choosing my two dominant colors which were cranberry and black, and also by choosing crystal/glass to be used through out the setting. Once I had figured out my color scheme, I scoured the 99 Cent store and was able to find some really cute tombstones, as well as glass goblets with a dark purple stem. If you keep your eye out at the discount stores, often times you will come across items that you can use for dinner parties. I then headed over to Wal Mart and was able to purchase two candlehabras (sp?) and silk black roses. I purchased as many of the roses that I could get my hands on, and at $1.00 a piece it turned out to be a real deal. I generally try to save vases from past Valentines Bouquets, and was able to use one I had on hand. I did pick up some cranberry colored glass stones and used them in my centerpiece, as well as some cranberry sprays which I arranged with the black roses. The candles and napkins were also purchased at Wal Mart. The remainder of the black roses I picked up, I tied black ribbons on the stems and placed them on the napkins as a party favor.
I started with a black tablecloth as my base, and then stretched Halloween spider webbing across the table. When stretching I made sure that in some areas it had a wispy appearance, while in the other areas it seemed thicker. It was random and I kept adjusting it until I was pleased with the look. Hint: Be sure to let your guests know not to place their used utensils on the webbing as it sticks. I had one guest pulling webbing off of their fork before she took a bite. It was really funny. I was thankfully able to use glass goblets that were given to me for my wedding, and borrowed the silverware and glass pitcher from my mother. I loved being able to use what I had, and purchase the items at discount prices. It just shows that you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to create something fabulous for a dinner party.
In order to get the dripped look for your candles, light them prior to your dinner party and let them drip awhile and then cool. Keep a close eye on them, especially if you plan to keep them lighted throughout your party. We had a slight breeze, so before I knew it they were down to stubs. Just keep an eye on them, and you will be fine.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me!