Creating a Magical October

October is surely one of the most glorious months of the year: the days are crisper, nights are cooler and in many parts of the country the annual display of autumnal color is in full blaze. It’s a month marked by the fall harvest, with bushels of apples, squash and pumpkins for sale at farmers markets and roadside fruit stands. The month is filled with state fairs and hayrides, and culminates with the most hauntingly fun holiday, Halloween.

For those who love to decorate and entertain, it doesn’t get much better than October. Start the beginning of the month (or even the last weeks of September) with outdoor décor celebrating the arrival of autumn, such as grapevine or eucalyptus wreaths adorned with fall foliage. Sheaves of wheat or tall bundles of corn stalks on either side of the front door provide a warm welcome to guests.

Stacks of pumpkins on the front porch is a traditional symbol of October; unfortunately, since the days are still fairly warm, pumpkins will often go from fresh to foul quickly if left outside for several weeks. Laura Byrne, director of marketing at Michaels Arts and Crafts Stores, suggests using craft pumpkins instead. “They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, just like the real thing, are easily carvable and, best of all, can be used year after year.

Since they are made of foam, they are also very lightweight, which makes them easy to store away when the season is over.” When Halloween gets closer, transform your autumn decorations into spooky ones by adding small ghosts and goblins to wreaths and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns.

But don’t stop at the porch! Extend your autumnal welcome into the front yard with scarecrows and more craft pumpkins grouped around bales of hay. Clusters of tombstones and spooky yard stakes will give your yard a pleasantly eerie atmosphere for Halloween.

Make the most of the brilliant autumn colors inside your home, as well. Deck mantles and doorways with garlands of maple and oak leaves. Load tables with baskets filled with seasonal fruits and vegetables. For a fun kitchen topiary, glue three small pumpkins of graduated sizes on top of each other and place in a terra cotta pot.

Since you'll want to be sure all your creative handiwork is visible in the evening as well as the daytime, incorporate lighting into your decorations. Luminaries are ideal for lighting the walkway to your door. Spotlights made especially for the Halloween season will cast a purple glow on front yard cemeteries. Miniature lights with decorative holiday shades like ghosts, bats and pumpkins are delightful indoors and out.

And if you’re into collectables, Michaels is a good place to find The Spooky Town collection from Lemax. Choose from a variety of houses, figurines and accessories to create a ghostly village of your own that your children will love. Give your room a creepy glow with “Monsters Ball.” Dark clouds slither past the full moon and leaves are falling from the trees; you realize it is almost time for Halloween. When combined with “Witch’s Lair” this display becomes a Halloween classic as Witch Wanda circles over the moonlit graveyard.

The cool nights of October are the perfect time for a ghoulish gala. For something a little different, consider a black and white theme. Imagine Morticia Addams with a dash of Martha Stewart – perfect ghostly glamour. With this immortal color combination as a guide, here are some ideas that will make your guests shiver with delight.

  • Plan to have your ghoulish gathering under the canopy of a starless black night with a full moon and your decorating is halfway done.
  • Nothing screams elegance more than a long banquet-style table draped in snowy white linens. Don’t have a 12-foot table? Not a problem for the bold hostess: line up all the card, picnic and folding tables you have, snap a few starched white sheets over them and voila!
  • Place masses of white candles of every size and shape down the middle of your table for instant ghoulish glamour.
  • Cut bone shapes out of white craft foam and write each guest’s name on one with a black marker and place at their designated seat.
  • Wrap Halloween ribbon around black napkins to complete this frightfully delightful table setting.
  • For exquisite dinnerware, paint simple motifs such as bats or skulls onto plain white dishes and clear glasses with black glass paint. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to permanently seal the design.
  • Buy several pounds of dry ice and, using a hammer, break it up into ice cube size pieces before the party. Keep low bowls of water on the table and drop a few cubes in periodically for an atmospheric floating fog.

For children, Halloween night is, of course, the absolute highlight of October. All the time spent planning and making costumes pays off the night they put them on and collect treats for their creativity. To complete their ensembles, have kids make their own matching treat bags. A well-dressed witch might carry a glossy black bag decorated with gleaming faux gems and black boa trim. A hobo can garnish his bag with felt patches while a fairy might adorn hers with lavish sprinklings of glitter. Craft stores carry a large selection of paper bags with handles, in a rainbow of colors that make perfect trick-or-treat totes.

The Author:

October and the Halloween season provide endless opportunities to get creative and usher in the fall months. It’s a favorite time of year for those who prefer simple décor and easy activities as well as those who favor over-the-top decorative themes and parties –and everyone in between. Whichever you are, be sure to visit www.Michaels.com for even more ideas to make this Halloween the perfect holiday.

Source: (ARA) ARAcontent.com

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