Creating a last minute ghastly, ghoulish Halloween party can be simple and fun. So, grab a witch’s brew and settle into your seat because you are reading the perfect ingredient list to create a last minute spooky Halloween bash and table setting that all the ghosts and goblins won’t want to miss!

1. Keep it simple and affordable. Use items in your own home for decor. You will be amazed at how many ghostly things you can create. This is a great time to break out those silver candlesticks, trays and vases that have gone unpolished.

2. Create a focal point, like one scary table. Spice up your existing white tablecloth with black spider webs you can find online. Try this decent sized black web from Oriental Trading company.


3. Kid friendly décor projects. Use white napkins (paper or cloth) to make mini table ghosts. Stuff the head with tissue and tie off with raffia or white string. Self-adhesive googley eyes complete the ghoul. Michaels Arts and Crafts has googley eyes and raffia too.


4. Batty personalization ideas. We made bat shaped name cards here from cardboard. You can also make a “blood” initial on a plate instead of using a place card for your guests. Create the blood initial from red food coloring and sugar water. Use a dropper to place the initial(s) on the plate.


5.Must have spooky décor. Have a witch’s hat handy? It looks great on a piece of art, like we have here in the photo. A few black crows from Target and mini pumpkins for votive holders complete the table.

6. Eerie Lighting. Use candles and low overhead light or none at all. If you have children attending, the battery-operated votives are really great also. Mix and match your candlesticks from home. You can also decorate flashlights with spooky web designs.Panna Cotta

7. The gory details. For dessert, treat your guests to a little brain food, a panna cotta brain with pomegranate gore. The brain mold can be found on Amazon at Gelatin-Mold-Zombie-Brain. Serve the panna cotta brain on a silver platter that is raised on the table with black skulls.

8. Haunting music. Play songs that tell the Halloween story you are creating. Keep it low so it works its magic subtlety.

9. Frightening food. Serve scary foods like monster pizza (Boboli pizza, purple cabbage for hair around edge, use veggies for face features (mushroom ears, pepperoni eyes) This is the perfect dish to get your kids involved in helping design their own spooky party this year.

10. Have fun. Celebrations are only as good as the attitude of the host throwing the party. So, here are my secrets for prepping any special event. Prepare and set up as many things the night before. Let go of perfection. Once the guests arrive, stop arranging dead flowers and just enjoy the moment and play games that will make you laugh, like pin the wart on the witch!

Enjoy your ghoulish dinner and Happy Halloween! For more tips and tricks please check out and my blog Celebrate Everyday!

Image Source:// All Author’s Own

Cathy Riva

Cathy Riva


For event planner Cathy Riva life is about celebrating. With more than 10 years of experience in event planning and having been featured on talk shows such as NBC’s Today Show, The View, The Tyra Banks Show and, her own show, Discovery Channel’s “Party Girl”. Emmy nominated, Cathy Riva, founder of Riva Events is an expert at leading a team to create personalized, sophisticated events.

Past parties include a high powered technology event at the New York Stock Exchange with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, The Diamond Aquifer Pre –Oscar Suite at the Soho House, LA on behalf of the Diamond Information Center attended by celebrities such as Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Terrance Howard, Teri Hatcher and Adrian Grenier and a recent private wedding in Los Angeles for a Hollywood client.

Experience with both large and small events has really helped Cathy refine her own philosophy of reduce, repurpose, recycle when it comes to parties to often create something new for each individual client.

Now as a mom, Cathy specializes in making children’s parties the most amazing and creative celebration of family. She recently designed three New York City princess and pirate parties in two weeks. Her family friendly ideas have been featured on Today Show Mom’s and LXTV Mommy Monday’s.

As passionate as Cathy is about being a mother, wife and planning events, she is equally enthusiastic about teaching party planning skills. She was recently a guest speaker for a UCLA Marketing Class and the Learning Annex’s “How to get into event planning”. Her goal is to give people the tools to create their own party, creating happy memories, lasting friendships and bonding families together.

Cathy offers party planning features and tips for print and broadcast. She also curates style and design for home divisions of stores, such as Kohl’s, and content for websites and brands such as AOL, Splenda, Glad Press’N Seal, and her own new site www.CelebrateEveryday.TV.

Cathy lives in Manhattan with her husband Marc who is a film director and five-year-old daughter Riley.