Halloween is just around the corner and it's impossible to miss it. The shops are full of decorations, fancy dress costumes, scary masks and delicious sweet treats.
Halloween provides a fabulous opportunity to throw a party - especially if you want to show your new home off to friends and family or you simply haven't had them over in a long time.
We love Halloween because it's the perfect party theme for all age groups and offers the perfect excuse to invite all your friends and family over at once! Don't wait for Christmas to arrive or resort to hosting yet another formal dinner party - have a little fun instead with a Halloween party!
To help you show your guests your beautiful home and impeccable hosting skills, we've put together some wickedly fabulous ideas you can use to create a stylish Halloween party.
Halloween parties don't have to mean decorating your home with garish plastic tablecloths and glow in the dark skulls. You can create a sophisticated Halloween party with just a little sprinkle of creativity and planning.
There are plenty of elegant Halloween decorations out there. Use materials that are stylish but still fit within your theme - think ceramic, wood, acrylic, felt and metal to give your party the wow factor.
How about hessian Halloween banners to hang in the main party room? You can also decorate your shelves, windowsills or tables with candles or tea lights, and there are tons of options such as these ceramic pumpkin tealights, which are sure to help create the right ambience.
Set the scene for the evening by hanging a wooden sign outside your front door. This wooden pumpkin sign will do the trick perfectly. Alternatively, you can adorn your front door with this tasteful tinsel wreath from John Lewis, while these fabric glittery bat garlands could be perfect for draping across the party room.
Being creative with lighting can give your party a spooky glow - after all, everything feels scarier in the dark. With the main lights dimmed, you can create a Halloween feel with little pockets of light from uplighters. A quick change to an orange coloured light bulb will add warmth and a Halloween hue to your party. Plus, decorative lighting can really bring the theme to life, like this Mottled Rose Gold Pumpkin Battery Light.
If you're looking for a centrepiece for your table, why not think about making your own? As an added bonus, this is something you can get the children involved with so they really feel as if they have made a special contribution. With the personal touch, you could make a candelabra with melted wax dripped down the sides; fill big wine goblets with mini wooden bats or black cats or go traditional and carve your own pumpkin centrepieces.
Food and drink is always going to be at the centre of a great party. There's so much choice when it comes to feeding a party crowd- everything from a winter BBQ (bringing the food inside of course!) to traditional fish and chips; warm pizzas paired with huge bowls of pasta to Mexican Fajitias and tacos - all easy options for a fun filled party with lots of guests.
A Halloween party though needs Halloween foodie treats and BBC Good Food is just one goldmine of delectable Halloween goodies that you can whip up for your party. They've compiled 40 recipes including zombie fingers, pumpkin face cookies, chocolate orange spider jellies, spider web chocolate fudge muffins, Frankenstein cupcakes and chocolate bat biscuits.
It's easy to turn drinks into spooky delicacies. You can tempt guests with a Halloween fruit punch - with cranberry juice to make it red and scary, as well as blobs of fruit bobbing around on the top cut into shapes like fingers or eyeballs!
No Halloween party would be complete without fancy dress. Why not inspire your guests by asking each family to pick a theme and dress up together - you'll have a family of ghosts, witches, mummies, goblins or vampires as this year's guests!
Encourage everybody to use a little imagination by making it a party with 'homemade' Halloween costumes. Guests can be as innovative as they wish, using whatever materials they can find. Don't be surprised if you find yourself opening the door to a sophisticated mummy wrapped head to toe in bandages, a traditional ghost wearing a crisp, white sheet or a zombie covered in green face paint! Pinterest is a great place to start for inspiration and ideas for family Halloween costumes.
You can also make it extra competitive by setting up a costume catwalk; ask your guests to walk the catwalk and show off their handmade creations for a prize - which can be as simple as a box of chocolates!
Every Halloween party needs hauntingly hilarious fun and games! Here are a few activities and ideas that will get everybody laughing together.
· Apple bobbing - it's an oldie but a goodie - just add a drop of red food colouring to the water for a spooky edge.
· Pin the ? - make your twist on the traditional 'Pin the tail on the donkey' and ask your guests to play 'Pin the broomstick on the witch', 'Pin the eyes on the bat' or 'Pin the mouth on the pumpkin' - the options are endless!
· Mummy Wrap - for this game you need willing grown-ups and lots of toilet paper. Set the timer and see which family can create the scariest mummy!
· Pumpkin carving competition - get the families together and see who can make the best pumpkin. This is also a great way to ensure your guests have a souvenir to take home.
· Cookie decorating - whip up a batch of cookies before the party ideally using themed cookie cutters and get the children and adults to decorate cookies - again, there could be a prize for the most creative designs.
Finally, don't miss out on the Halloween disco - get the gang up to dance with some perfect Halloween songs like 'Thriller', 'Monster Mash' and 'The Time Warp'.
We hope we have inspired you with some haunting Halloween ideas. All that's left to do now is get your party started. Happy Halloween!