Halloween is around the corner and for many this means adventures to the pumpkin patch to pick out all the most Insta-worthy orange pumpkins, getting ready for fall and of course working on your outfit for All Hallows Eve.
All Hallows Eve with a twist
In South Africa, it’s, however, a completely different situation. The weather for starters is very far from autumn leaves resting on sidewalks and wearing chunky sweaters. Over here in the Southern Hemisphere, the sun is blazing hot and summer is in full swing, no chunky sweaters insight. Another thing that’s barely sighted is an orange pumpkin which means that it’s really hard to get your hands on this Halloween icon.
Overall Halloween isn’t really popular over here but it’s never stopped me before from dressing up and using it as an excuse to have a fun time. And this year is no different! Except, instead of going out to a Halloween party I decided to bring the party to my house. Or to be more specific, to bring Hogwarts to my house by hosting a Harry Potter-inspired Halloween dinner for my closest friends. I’ve already shared a 3-course meal that’s perfect for any Harry Potter dinner party so before you continue with your décor, check out what you can serve your guests on the night here. All the dishes on the menu are actually mentioned in the books, from butter beer to pumpkin pasties, and they are fairly easy to put together if you have some basic cooking skills.
Turning your house into Hogwarts
So, now that you’ve checked out the menu for the night, it’s time to set the mood with the right decorations. You’ll be glad to hear that you don’t need to take out a loan at Gringotts to afford these decorations and the night will probably cost you less than buying a ticket to a Halloween party where you have to buy expensive drinks and food anyway. To make it even more budget-friendly I used a lot of things that we already had in the house because once you add some spider webs and enough candles to something, anything can look a bit creepy. Check out the list below to see everything I used or check out this video:
Shopping list :
- White or black table cloth
- Black netting
- Black plates and glasses
- Gold Cutlery
- Gold serviettes
- Harry Potter-themed coasters (this is something I already had)
- Black placemats
- Orange pumpkins (carved and non-carved)
- Bunch of Eucalyptus leaves
- Different shaped candles
- Different shaped vases and bottles
- Stretchable spider webs
- Plastic rats, spiders and bats
- One big soft toy spider
- Gold, black and bronze glitter Angel Hair
- Spider web confetti
- Fairy Lights
- Old books (preferably from the Harry Potter series)
- Black cauldron
- Genuine Heritage Glass Stain paint in colour Ruby
- Any other trinkets you have to add either a spooky or Harry Potter touch
Putting it all together
Follow my guide to putting all the above decorations together to create the ultimate Harry Potter-inspired Halloween table! Or if you don’t have the time to read everything, you can just check out the final look video at the end.
The white (or black) table cloth will be the base for your table. The black netting will go over the table cloth to add some extra texture and to give it a darker tone but before you put it over, spread some fairy lights over the table so that it can shine through the black netting. Each guest’s spot should be set with a placemat, a black plate and glass, the gold cutlery and a coaster. You can also place a gold serviette into each glass to give the setting some height.
First, you need to carve the pumpkin for your centrepiece. Start by hallowing it out and then trace the design you want on your pumpkin with a pencil. Here are some really cool Harry Potter ideas to check out! Make sure you use a sharp knife to make the carving and remember to be careful; I don’t know any spells that grow fingers back. I decided to do the Deathly Hallows logo which wasn’t too tricky because it has a lot of straight lines. Remember to put a candle in the middle to light it up!
The rest of the table
The pumpkin will be the main element of the centrepiece so you can place it in the middle. Now you can start putting together the remaining items around the pumpkin. Start with big items like vases, candles and books. Make sure there is a different element to focus on from each angle of the table. If you have extra fairy lights you can also put some into the vases or you can just add some water with food colouring to make it look like a mysterious potion. Add a few branches of the eucalyptus next to the pumpkin and use it to fill any other gaps on the table. To add some extra height to your table you can also put some of the leaves into the vases. Now that all the big things are in place, you can add plastic spiders and rats.
Now it’s time to get things looking a bit spookier. Use the stretchable spider webs to cover various different elements on the table, I even covered some of the chairs. Just make sure you really stretch the webs out so it doesn’t just look like a ball of fluff on the table.
Now that your table is getting to a spooktacular level, you can add touches of the glitter Angel Hair and the confetti. Do not overdo it however, it should just add a touch of sparkle to the table.
To really transform the room you are using to host your dinner party, you should use all the space you have, even the ceiling! Remember the plastic bats? They are going to be flying over your guests’ heads while they are enjoying their Hogwarts feast of feasts. Tie fishing line around each bat and then just use some Prestik to stick them to the roof.
The glass stickers
In the list of items I mentioned, Genuine Heritage Glass Stain paint. I used this paint to create glass sticker letters so that I could use the glass doors behind the table as part of the decoration space. The letters were used to say: “The chamber of secrets has been opened”. Making the stickers was super easy and all you need apart from the paint is a Flip File so you can paint the letters on the plastic pages. The paint takes a few hours to dry and sometimes you will need to add some extra paint to areas that came out a bit too thin. Here’s a clip of how I made the letters:
In the room, I used we also have a bar area so I used this space to serve the butter beer. I still had some extra spider webs, plastic spiders and some confetti so I spread this out over the countertop. To display the butter beer I used a little cauldron. I also added the big spider to this area to add some more elements.
Welcome to Hogwarts
The final look of my Harry Potter Halloween dinner party area:
How did your decorations turn out? Let me know in the comment section. Happy Halloween!