As many of you know I host an annual All Hallow’s Eve dinner party. It’s a formal dinner, and guests wear black or dark colors rather than costumes — check out my past year’s Halloween dinner parties for more fun witch party ideas. Since I host the party so close to Halloween, I generally don’t share the party photos on the blog until the following year. Last year I was so busy with our kitchen remodel that I made a radical decision to skip the Halloween party. I struggled with that choice, but you know what, life went on just fine, and I don’t regret it at all. It was the right move, and the kitchen (and my sanity!) were totally worth the sacrifice. So this year I’m sharing my party from 2014, the theme was Woodland Witch, and boy was it a good one…
The only catch is that I’m knee-deep in preparations for this year’s party, and I have a crazy long to-do list for today. So I don’t have much time to write up details for all the witch party ideas, but I couldn’t wait any longer to show you the pictures. If you have any questions that I don’t answer be sure to leave a comment.
This spooky witch scene was setup on my front porch for Halloween to greet guests as they arrived at our party. The witch is my gorgeous friend Mandy, who did a spectacular job. She held so still and no one could tell if she was real or a statue. I know at least two guests actually POKED HER to see if she was real — NOT kidding. haha!!
We created the illusion of a fire by placing a strand of white lights (bunched up tight) underneath several sheets of orange tissue paper, with logs and branches placed over the top.
Inside we covered our floor with fall leaves, and the guests were so surprised as they felt the leaves crunch underfoot. We also hung a freshly cut tree branch over the food table. Both elements transported guests to the forest setting I’d imagined. They were a big WOW that cost no money, and while it might seem like a huge mess, the leaves where trampled into tiny pieces by the end of the night, and I just swept and vacuumed them up afterwards… worth it!
We served guests a bubbling Witch’s Brew straight from the cauldron. Caramel-covered “poison” apples, “moldy” cheese and pumpkin seeds made great appetizers for our guests. We displayed the whole caramel apples because they’re so pretty, but it’s much easier for guests to enjoy them when cut into pieces. The Pesto Gouda from Trader Joe’s was the crowd favorite, after the caramel apples of course.
I dipped the apples in my favorite caramel and rolled them in crushed butterfingers. I made the caramel apples with small tree branches instead of sticks. It may seem obvious, but it’s something you might not think of, be sure to check that the tree in your yard is not poisonous before using the branches in your food! Given the recent incident where my son ate a poisonous berry from a tree in our yard and ended up in the ER — a tree that we’re now of course removing — I feel inclined to caution you. A quick google search of your tree will reveal if it’s poisonous or not, and of course don’t use branches from a tree you can’t identify.
I imagined our witch’s dinner party taking place inside of a creepy hovel in the woods, so I decorated my fireplace mantle the way I envisioned a witch’s hearth would look… with spell books piled and various potion ingredients strewn about. There’s also a dutch oven “cauldron” resting on a log trivet, and a pumpkin covered in warts, no doubt the result of some recent spell gone awry.
Antique windows that show a mossy forrest scene are just what you’d expect to see as you peer out of our witch’s cottage. I printed a photo from a recent family vacation and another from a quick Google Image search, as enlargements at Costco, then taped them behind the old windows.
My witch’s spell books are so simple to create using my free printable templates. I designed the printables to fit books you probably already have in your home library, so it really couldn’t be easier.
To create the witchy potion ingredients, I filled various jars with different items that I already had in my pantry, like millet (eye of newt) and cinnamon (powdered blood); then I added spooky labels.
My favorite part of this party has to be the Green Weed Table Runner. Can you believe that stuff was growing out in my back pasture. As we were hauling Halloween decorations out of our barn, I saw the weed, and thought it would make the perfect centerpiece. My husband of course thought I was crazy, but he’s learned to give my crazy ideas a try. Turns out with a flat-headed shovel we could peel this weed right off the ground in strips that made the most perfect table runner ever. We gently laid it out on the table, and I randomly poked the candle holders through the grass. It turned out even more gorgeous than I had imagined!
After dark, with all 80+ candles lit up, the table was breathtaking! I’ve always struggled in the past to get good pictures of the table at night, but my photography skills are getting better, and I got a few shots that I think come close to capturing the magic.
We sent guests home with a packet of magical herb blend No. 13, grown and dried by the witch. If you look back at the mantle photos, you can see she must have been busily preparing these packets right before guests arrived, since there are pieces of them there. It was so fun to get caught up in the world of our friendly, but spooky witch while I was planning this party, and it’s been so much fun reliving it as I prepared this post.
One of the best parts of the night was after all the guests had gone home, and my kiddos helped me snuff all the candles. Happy Halloween everybody!
Witch Party Ideas Sources
I’ve compiled this reference of places to find the exact or similar items to those that I used, in case you’d like to have a witch’s party yourself!
Wood Log Slices
Black Stock Pot “Cauldron”
Stone Mortar and Pestle (similar)
Slate Cheese Board
Clear Glass Cake Stand
Witch’s Spell Books
Muslin Herb Bags
Glassine Bags for Herbs
White Buffet Plates
Smoke Glass Goblets
Black Cloth Napkins