Throw a grown-up Halloween bash and invite your pals over for an elegant evening in—and make room for a few creepy-crawly friends.
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tips + how-tos

halloween party

DO IT UP RIGHT!

DRINK
 Chill Arachnid Ice Cubes
 Freeze creepy cubes for cocktails: Wash small plastic spiders in warm, soapy water and place one in each section of an ice tray. Fill with water and freeze overnight.

DESSERT
 Fake-Out a Spider Cake
 Cast a web of delight on a store-bought chocolate cake. Starting in the center, pipe four to six concentric circles (about 1 inch apart) in white royal icing. Drag a toothpick from the center toward the edges of the cake in straight lines; repeat to make a web.

Have a Candy Blackout
 Leave around bowls and jars filled with black jellybeans, black-and-white swizzle sticks, and dark chocolate. For take-home favors, wrap chocolate bars in wax paper and cover them with black fishnet stockings (cut the legs into 4-inch sections). Tie both ends with black ribbon.

DECOR
 Wilt Your Bouquet
 The easiest flower arrangement ever: Buy a bouquet of red roses a few days before the party, then put them in a tarnished vase -- without water! Let them dry out completely.

Go Wild with Webs
 Drape shredded cheesecloth or novelty cotton webs in corners of the room, around furniture and under serving platters. Top the strands with plastic toy spiders. Creepy chic!

Set a Glam Gothic Table
 Pull out any black serving platters or dishes you have and cover the tables with lacy linens and old-fashioned punch glasses. Think The Addams Family meets Antiques Roadshow.

DRESS
 Call All Little Black Dresses
 Suggest an all-black code with spidery accessories: lace stockings, insect brooches and bracelets, and long gloves.