Into the Woods
This perfect photo is by bomobob on Etsy. I especially love all of the tree photos this time of year. Check it out!
This year I planned a fabulous Halloween party. Turns out I’m not able to throw it, but I can’t let all of that planning just go to waste. It’s not too late (if you hurry) to steal my idea and throw an awesome creepy party!
The theme of the party is “Into the Woods.” Costumes should have something to do with the woods – exactly what is up to each guest. I, personally, was going to come dressed like a deer – it’s actually what inspired the whole theme! I can’t believe I can’t find the actual photo – it was an ad in a graphic design magazine, and I was sure I saved it, but with all of the house staging going on it probably got packed away. Sadness. Luckily for everyone I found this lovely headband from Etsy seller Doublespeak. It’s just one of her many beautiful deer headbands. Now, doesn’t that make you want to run into the woods?
On to the entertainment! I decided to set up a digital projector at the top of my back yard, near the house, and hang a sheet as a screen towards the bottom. My yard slants downhill slightly, away from the house, and has two large trees. Our trees and our neighbors trees hang cover most of the yard, so it’s all shadow-y and could easily become spooky given the right props. I thought it would be so neat to place dry ice in spots around the edge of the yard, up against the fence, to create a low-lying fog that would just barely obscure the bottom of the movie screen.
As far as movies go, I’m torn. I’m a big ol’ chicken, so super scary stuff is not even on the table for me. Of course, the movies should have something to do with the woods, and I was thinking about Pan’s Labyrinth, Sleepy Hollow, Legend (one of my all-time favorites!), and maybe some episodes of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller. But if you’re braver you can find a lot of options – here, for example. I had to share some pictures from Legend here – I seriously LOVE that movie – but I had a hard time locating good shots until I found the blog Truly Smitten to Love. Romance and loveliness!
I planned to place some large fake birds – ravens and owls mostly – on the fence and in the trees, and maybe hide a cd player with some spooky forest sounds playing just loud enough – barely noticeable but adding to the ambiance. I also thought it would be great to rig up some sort of GIANT moon hanging in the tree – perhaps a large hula hoop wrapped with fabric, with twinkle lights between the fabric so it glows. Speaking of lights, I did plan to hang a string of the larger patio lights from the house down the yard to the back fence, just so no one injures themselves! I also would have a stack of blankets to spread out on the ground for movie-watching.
Ah, food. My favorite part of any party! Almost as soon as I thought of the idea for this party I came across these fantastic “Spooky Candy Apples” on MattBites. A few more minutes on Matt’s site (ok, who am I kidding, I spend at least half an hour there when I go, and probably a full hour the day I discovered these!) and lo and behold…Blood Orange Caramels! Nom nom nom…. Add in the kettle corn (for the movie-watching) and the sweet side of the food is pretty much handled. Pretty much. Except, there’s also this thought I had – zombie woodland creature cookies. Yes, I said zombie. I got these cookie cutters from IKEA last year and iced them up all pretty for Christmas. How cool would it be to make them greenish with pieces falling off, injuries, and blood around the mouth. Yup – pretty cool! I wish my kitchen didn’t have to stay all pretty for showing right now, or I’d make some up tonight!
Speaking of cool – how amazing are these cake embellishments?! If I had the funds, these mushrooms and ferns would be the first thing to get for any woodland themed party. Just amazing. If you have to have them you can get them and about a million other perfect sugary creations on Etsy from Andie’s Specialty Sweets.
As for savories, I’m leaning towards skewers. For the more adventurous, venison sausage and beet skewers (yes, dressed as a deer, eating deer…very macabre – the beets will make it all bloody-looking too). For the not quite as adventurous, pork sausage skewers with potatoes, and a veggie skewer. And for the picky (you know who you are) the full moon quesadillas from the Halloween Martha Stewart Living Special Issue. I think a nice hearty soup or stew would finish this menu off well. A giant pumpkin full of stew like this one would be beautiful and tasty!
For invitations I thought I’d use pages from an old book of Grimm’s fairy tales and print over them. I love the idea of boxed invitations, and though I’d probably never actually carry it out, I thought packaging the printed invitation, some pretty leaves and acorns, twigs and a photo of foggy woods, in a folio made of scrapbook paper that looks like bark. My inspiration comes from Brooklyn Limestone, whose Halloween invitation is so much cooler than anything I could make.
Ok, perhaps it is a bit late in the month to be planning a party like this, but it’s a lot of fun to think about! I hope whatever your Halloween plans are, they are a little creepy and a lot of fun!