Elegant Halloween Decorating: Harvest Floral and Fruit Centerpieces and More

All too often decorating for a Halloween party looks cheap and a little trashy, with festoons of black and orange crepe paper around the house, the ubiquitous plastic pumpkin candy holders, and articulated plastic skeletons hanging from the doorways emitting, when touched accidentally, a ghoulish ha ha ha of laughter. Maybe this will fly for a college party.

But Halloween can be an elegant holiday. Really. With these ideas for a Halloween decorating using plants and flowers and harvest-themed centerpieces it’s possible to throw a classy, adult Halloween party. And to have fun doing it.

Decorating with Fall Flowers

Chrysanthemums, known as mums for short, show up at this time of year at garden centers and big box stores like Target and Wal-Mart in a profusion of autumnal colors with names out of a decorator’s notebook: brick, plum, ocher, burnt sienna. The rest of us know those colors by their pedestrian names: red, purple, yellow and brown. Mix and match colors for terrific fall decor both inside and outside the house.

The chrysanthemum plant’s leaves are a rich, vibrant green even through the first frost so they’re safe to keep outside. How about buckets of them lining the walkway up to your spookily well-decorated door? That would be a treat for your well-dressed Halloween party guests.

Autumn-Themed Halloween Centerpieces

Once inside, your holiday guests will look around appraising the Halloween atmosphere and what will their eyes fall on first? The stylish and (it’s possible) ghoulish Halloween centerpiece: just scare up some fun Halloween decorating ideas. The options for do-it-yourself crafts for fall are endless:

  • How about a Halloween candy topiary? Take it up a notch by making the topiary with yellow, orange, and black Godiva Halloween chocolates.
  • Enlist the kids to make a paper mache pumpkin, or pumpkins out of balloons of various sizes and then fill the “pumpkins” with Halloween-themed conversation starters such as this whopper: Is there an afterlife? Discuss with the lady in the Elvira costume.
  • A big, woven rattan cornucopia, overflowing with perfectly ripe, perfect-looking organic harvest fruit from Harry and David
  • Popular this year: a punch bowl filled with a rum and gin concoction called Mother’s Ruin with a icy hand grasping at unsuspecting dinner guests from its depths. The hand is easily made by filling and freezing a dish glove with colored water. Spooky. And spookier still after several cupfuls of punch.

Elegant Halloween Decorations

The usual route is to go to any national chain and pick up a carriage-loads of plastic Halloween tricks and treats, most of which are made in China and might have dubious lead content. Without a doubt, all these trinkets and decorations will end up in a dump somewhere after November 1st. There is another way. A greener Halloween way. This year, invite just the adults over and decorate for a party with the eye of newt (remember this is Halloween) and savvy decor. A trip to your local garden center doesn’t hurt either.

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