My annual All Hallow’s Eve dinner party is coming up this weekend, but I took a quick break from preparations because, as per tradition, it is time to share the photos from last year’s party with you all! My husband loves throwing this party, and I have a great time working together with him on it. The only bad thing about it — we can’t invite as many people as we’d like. It is a formal sit-down dinner and we run out of essentials like chairs, plates and table space (even though our table is over 30-feet long!) at 34 guests, but I truly wish all of you could be there.
The theme for this party was Ghost Music. Sort of ambiguous I know, but I think it is one of the best themes we’ve had — unique but there was so much good, spooky stuff to work with. Behold…
So we totally wallpapered our wall with old sheet music for this party. I’m not going to lie, this project took a really long time, but we did it about a week in advance when things were still fairly low stress so it was manageable. We put a piece of blue painter’s tape on the four corners of each sheet and stuck it up on the wall… very low tech. We started at a corner and overlapped the sheets collage style. We did use nearly an entire roll of tape on this project. My darling grandfather collected all the sheet music at garage sales, which meant we created a big wow moment for very little money. I was so in love with how the wall looked covered in music I was seriously tempted to keep it. We did eventually take it down, and the tape left absolutely no mess.
We usually serve cheeses and drinks as the guests arrive and mingle. This year we swapped out our serving table for an old organ. We found our organ at a local thrift store, and since it didn’t work we figured there would be no harm in serving drinks off it. Superdad rigged up his iPod so it almost seemed like that the organ was playing on its own.
Ironically the morning AFTER the party, where we served drinks and naturally spilled a bit on the organ, we figured out that the thing does actually work, and it still works so no harm done I guess.
Our signature cocktails were simply called Black and White inspired by sheet music. The Black drink was just black cherry soda, but for White I mixed up a fun coconut cocktail using the recipe below.
WHITE COCKTAIL RECIPE
1.5 – 2 Liters of Lemon-Lime Soda
2 cups – Milk
2 – 14 oz Cans of Coconut Milk
1 cup – Torani Vanilla Syrup
Add soda first and let the fizz settle. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Serve chilled. Makes approximately one gallon.
We usually line our incredibly long dinner table with clusters of white candles, and it makes for quite an impressive sight. This year I added a few black tapers reminiscent of the keys on a piano. Sadly the wind was blowing so much that the candles would not stay lit. I was so disappointed, and I thought our party was ruined. Unsure what to do, I am still grateful that my quick-thinking mother grabbed some white Christmas lights and ran them down the table. I didn’t think they would create anywhere near the same effect, but I was wrong. They were the perfect stand in, and the dinner went on as planned.
I know this post is getting long, but I hope you’re still with me because these “Decomposers” are one of my favorite details from the party. They were a last-minute addition after I decided to take down our normal decor I needed something to keep our wall from looking empty. I decided to frame photos of Beethoven and Mozart and then my husband asked if I could make them look sort of zombie-ish but in a classy way. I found this incredibly useful database of free clip art and was able to work a little Photoshop magic to create these spooky faces.
The constant click-clacking of a metronome is enough to drive anybody mad. Our black metronome felt right at home amongst the rest of our eerie decor.
The Music Staff Garland is made from fraying pieces of black, polyester, lining fabric, tied together end to end. I hung five strands inspired by a music staff and added a few glittery notes.
Of course what music party would be complete without some live music… or in this case I guess we should say dead music? My mantle was haunted all night by a Ghost Trio. We never saw the lifeless musicians, but their instruments swayed together.
I suppose if you look closely you might guess that it was just fishing line holding the instruments in place, but I like the Ghost Trio idea so much better.
We sent guests home with their own Ghost Callers as party favors. These enchanted whistles can summon nearby spirits, but I must admit they do look an awful lot like these metal dog whistles, which you could buy and attach to our free printable cards.
:: Decomposers Mozart & Beethoven Large Format Posters
:: Decomposers Nameplates
:: Ghost Caller Party Favor Tags
About the author
Bettijo is the founder and designer of Paging Supermom where she shares what she's dreamed up for family fun. Known for practical and kid-friendly activities, free printables and simple ideas for holidays. She is a single mom of three girls and one boy. Bettijo was a guest on the Martha Stewart Show and has frequently appeared on local television. Her work has also been featured in national magazines including Real Simple, O, Redbook, Parents, Family Circle, and Health. During quieter moments, she enjoys art, retro-modern design, photography and making new things. Bettijo lives with her four kiddos in Phoenix, Arizona.