First annual Halloween Party

One summer evening as I shared an al fresco dinner with my “roommates” (Anthony and Teddy, who lives in our guest house) on our backyard patio, we remarked on the inherent spookiness of our old Victorian. The perfect setting for a Halloween party would be our 100 year-old house, we summed up, and with Halloween being a mutual favorite holiday, it was quickly decided that we’d have to start a yearly tradition. Many friends were invited, and my wheels started spinning.

Now that we’re moving quickly into the Christmas season, I thought I’d reverse and share a few of the highlights from our DIY Halloween party. This year, I really only got any decent photos of the decor, but the company was excellent as well. There was a choreographed Mortal Combat performance (courtesy of a ninja’d Teddy and his friend Lun), many creative costumes from our friends, a cozy bonfire, laughs and memories made. Next year, hopefully I will be able to capture more of that on camera. But for now, here are some of my favorite shots from the setup.

First, I got a few pictures before night fell. Good thing – because I have a lot of difficulty getting a good photo out of low light!

Because we always thought the garden looked a little like a graveyard anyway, we put some headstones (some relating to inside jokes that our party guests would get), lights and cobwebs in the former veggie patch

Because we always thought the garden looked a little like a graveyard anyway, we put some headstones (some relating to inside jokes that our party guests would get), lights and cobwebs in the former veggie patch

More banners

Hand stenciled burlap banners

Hand stenciled burlap banners

Hand stenciled burlap banners

I painted a piece of leftover wood from another project with Chalkboard paint and hung it above the "bar" for a drink menu

I painted a piece of leftover wood from another project with Chalkboard paint and hung it above the “bar” for a drink menu

Then, after night fell, I did my best to get some of the same shots after dark.

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The "graveyard" at night

The “graveyard” at night

All the Twinkly Lights!

All the Twinkly Lights!

Olive (dressed as Anthony -- in one of his tshirts) is hesitant to enter the spooky world of our backyard

Olive (dressed as Anthony — in one of his tshirts) is hesitant to enter the spooky world of our backyard

My pumpkin greeted party guests at the gate

My pumpkin greeted party guests at the gate

Decorated candles I got for a dollar a piece at the grocery

Decorated candles I got for a dollar a piece at the grocery

Of course I had to design my own wine labels, and then I affixed them to emptied wine bottles filled with homemade concoctions

Of course I had to design my own wine labels, and then I affixed them to emptied wine bottles filled with homemade concoctions

the bar

the bar

And last but not least, the food was inside. Luckily we were able to spend time both inside and out because it hadn’t quite gotten bitter cold just yet. Plus, many of our guests planned accordingly and wore warm costumes. It’s a good thing, because I don’t think the 50+ people that showed up would have even been able to breathe if we had all squeezed into our little house! Talk about a fire hazard! But, those who did venture in were treated with an assortment of, well, treats!

we set up a game table in the office, and it ended up looking like a spooky seance!

we set up a game table in the office, and it ended up looking like a spooky seance!

Candy corn jello shots, peanut butter fudge cupcakes and "cobweb" florentines, a recipe from Martha Stewart magazine that was the hit of the party.

Candy corn jello shots, peanut butter fudge cupcakes and “cobweb” florentines, a recipe from Martha Stewart magazine that was the hit of the party.

Fun napkins I found for a steal at TJ Maxx

Fun napkins I found for a steal at TJ Maxx

"Witches Brew" chili cheese dip in a breadbowl with pretzel rods

“Witches Brew” chili cheese dip in a breadbowl with pretzel rods

the spread

the spread

I had so much fun planning and setting up this party, and can’t wait to do it again next year!

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