Simple Steps to Create Your Own Spooky-Elegant Halloween Table Setting

diy spooky halloween table
Follow these simple DIY steps to create a Halloween table setting that's perfectly adult-friendly.

By Justine Hand for Remodelista

Good Halloween decor should always evoke a ghost story. To honor All Hallows' Eve with a more subtle, grown-up approach—something that is only vaguely sinister or decayed. This year I wanted to serve up a spectral supper in the dining room. Using little more than floating black leaves and bone white porcelain, I've conjured a Halloween setting that is, I like to think, equally haunting and beautiful. Here's how:

diy spooky halloween table

What You'll Need:

  • Approximately 35 leaves in dark colors. Allow leaves to dry overnight so the edges curl.
  • 1/3 pound beeswax
  • Black candle dye
  • A double boiler
  • Any fine thread


Step 1: Gather leaves. Search for sunset yellows and oranges, or noirish reds and browns—the more desiccated and moth-eaten, the better.

diy spooky halloween table

Step 2: Melt wax in a double boiler over medium heat. Once the wax is entirely melted, add several drops of coloring. Stir and do a test dip with your leaves. Add more color until you reach the desired shade. You also can re-dip your leaves if you want a richer hue.

diy spooky halloween table

Step 3: Reduce the temperature of the wax to low. Holding the stem, quickly dip each leaf in the wax, letting the excess drip back into the pot. Place leaves on parchment paper to dry.

diy spooky halloween table

Now much more noir, my wax-dipped leaves will also last for a long time.

diy spooky halloween table

Step 4: If necessary, use a hammer and nail to poke holes in your leaves. Or simply tie a thread to the stems. Be sure to give yourself extra string, so you can adjust the height of your hanging leaves.

diy spooky halloween table

Add locust pods into the mix.

diy spooky halloween table

Step 5: Suspend your leaves at staggered lengths. I used matte Scotch tape to affix them to the ceiling.

diy spooky halloween table

Step 6: Once the leaves are hung, it's time to consider your tablescape. I wanted a stark contrast to the black leaves, so I employed alabaster porcelain from White Forest Pottery, dried straw flowers, pale gourds, and several layers of creamy linens to create a ghostlike shroud.

diy spooky halloween table

Voila! The finished table.

diy spooky halloween table

For a centerpiece I gathered more black leaves as a backdrop for two white gourds set on an antique pedestal.

diy spooky halloween table leaves

I love the lacy effect of the tattered leaves. Here also you can see that I added one red leaf, like a pinprick on my tableau.

diy spooky halloween table

Elderberry Cordial from Caledonia Spirits makes a perfect Halloween aperitif for adults. And note, you don't need to polish the silver.

diy spooky halloween table bar

More haphazardly placed linens add an air of neglect to the side bar.

diy spooky halloween table

Chic yet spooky, the adult way.

Copy and images by Justine Hand for Remodelista

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