If you're still racking your brain for a sophisticated centerpiece come Halloween, look no further!


Using 99 cent skulls from the dollar store and a few other basics, I'll show you how to create a creepy centerpiece that’s chic enough to take center stage at your next ghastly gathering. It’s inexpensive, reusable, and eerily easy!


Before getting started, I gathered these materials: seven black Styrofoam skulls and one foam ring (about 10-12 inches in diameter), both from the dollar store; then, from any craft store, black glitter, faux black roses, wire cutters, glue gun, and spray adhesive.


First, I sprayed the adhesive on the foam ring, then coated it thoroughly with black glitter. Make sure you create a solid, glittery black base on which to affix the skulls.


Then, using a hot glue gun, I attached each skull to the foam ring at the back of its jaw. Don’t forget to pay attention to the angle and spacing of each skull—you want them positioned uniformly around the ring, with enough room for one black rose in between.


With wire cutters, I shortened the stems of my black roses, then attached one flower between each skull. (Depending on the fullness of your flowers or the size of your ring, you may need to add more than one flower.) Drive each stem into the foam carefully and securely so that the flower sits flush against the ring.


And since Halloween is always creepier by candlelight, I put a cylinder hurricane and black pillar candle in the middle. This one, by the way, is smokeless, dripless, and solid color to the core! For a final touch of ghoulish glam, I elevated my centerpiece on an old hotel silver cake pedestal. Just make sure that if you put yours heads-above the rest of the table (no pun intended!), its height doesn’t interfere with conversation among your guests. There’s nothing worse that having to lean around hollow-eyed skulls to make eye-contact with company!


With my centerpiece complete, I’m ready to set the table for a sophisticated sit-down dinner! Now I’ve always thought that when it comes to Halloween décor, a restrained palette of classic colors works best, so I chose shades of black, gray, and cream. To add depth and give the table a more polished look, I layered a dark gray runner (simply fold a piece of fabric and trim it with ric rac) on top of a light gray tablecloth. The flatware is vintage black Bakelite with a gothic insignia and the ivory damask napkins, with their creepy shawl fringe, are topped with plastic spiders. It's the devilish details that make all the difference!


These antique amethyst black “end of day” glass salad plates (so named because glass manufacturers produced them by mixing all the colors that were leftover at the end of the day) are perfect for a first course of wilted greens with blood-orange vinaigrette. To serve the main course—blackened rack of baby lamb in a red wine reduction sauce, ghostly mashed potatoes with blue cheese, and rot-roasted root vegetables—I’ll use these octagonal antique ironstone dinner plates, shaped like coffins.


Finally, for high drama, I’ve got a carafe that’s full of “blood water” and crawling with creepy spiders. (The spider is affixed with floral clay, and you can make your own blood water with just a drop of red food coloring.) The champagne flutes are vintage with a sophisticated swirl reminiscent of the ric rac. (Just remember that if you’re going to trick your guests with blood water, then it’s only right to treat them with something sweet at the end of the night!) I went with these devilishly delightful hard candies from Hammond's. Their black and white stripes and bone-shaped curves are a frightful finish to a ghoulish feast.  


Speaking of ghoulish feasts, what are your Halloween plans this year? I'd love to hear about them!