Sunday, October 20, 2019

a Halloween tablescape with a mystery book theme

I couldn't resist tackling at least one Halloween post this year, especially when Liz Vice gave me a sweet shout-out on Facebook, about all my old Halloween parties of yesteryear. 
And it made me smile.  
Once upon a time I used to be a Halloween maniac during this season. And since I woke up one day recently-- with a rare feeling of normalness in my chest, I decided to let my creative juices get going. 

One little post that only took some simple grocery store flowers.

I hope you enjoy it.

A mystery-book themed dinner party with a library card invitation :

made here

With books being the center of attention at this table, I envision wonderful conversations about the latest books being read by fellow guests. And the best part of book conversations is how a simple topic about someone's favorite author or book can result in so many surprising facts about fellow readers.

One of my most sentimental buys I've ever gotten from a used bookstore was a big box filled with old Nancy Drew books for twenty bucks. I was so excited. As a little girl I loved these mysteries and I still remember that first book I carried to the librarian to check out: The Secret of the Old Clock.

oooooohh I couldn't wait!

Personally I love the idea of incorporating books into a table setting and especially for Halloween, mystery books are perfect choice. I've seen Joanna set tables with books opened and placed underneath each dinner plate for a creative touch, but I prefer opening them up on top the plate so the words can be seen.

One creative idea for a place card is to write each name on a bookmark and display it inside the open book.

Or since it's a mystery theme you might place a magnifying glass over each name card.

Over time I've collected brass candlesticks and vases from my thrift store visits and there's nothing better for a Halloween table than old, scruffy-looking brass contrasted with black candles.

I'm also a believer that you can never have too many candles when it comes to creating atmosphere. And whenever I buy the lemon curd from Trader Joes I save the jars to use for my votive candles. I recommend adding a layer of sand or water at the bottom of the jar if I plan on letting them burn for hours, so you don't end up with dried, thick wax on the glass

For this centerpiece I used a piece of green floral foam wedged inside and just filled it with red roses, carnations, fresh eucalyptus, and lime green hydrangeas.

Olive branches from my tree and fresh eucalyptus are down the middle of the table. For continuity I use the same hydrangeas from the garden to tuck into the arrangement in the vase and around the candles..

These mix and match napkins came from TJMaxx.

I really like this gold silverware set from Target.

Roses from an old arrangement I finally threw out found a perfect home.

Living in Southern California means you can still have dinners outside in October...which is nice.

Who knows?
Maybe one of these days I'll throw a big mystery book dinner party and when I do, you'll be on my guest list!


I'm sharing this post with friends:


Susan~aredheadonthego said...

The juices are flowin my girl. The juices are flowin.......... :)

La Contessa said...

I read them over and over!
LOVE THIS TABLESCAPE!I have that stemware in the wine glasses!!!I like yours BETTER!
Isn't THRIFTING THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!??

Patty said...

I love this idea of a mystery book dinner party---the library card invite is so cute! Beautiful tablescape!

Carla from The River said...

Love when you share your creative ideas with us Leslie. This was fun and great photography. I like that last photo. Well done.
Happy Halloween!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Oh! What a fun party this would be...I love your tablescape, Leslie! I spent many hours with Nancy Drew, too! I love all of the hints you shared...sand in the candle jars...and the fun place card ideas! Who wouldn't love to be your guest!?

NanaDiana said...

Oh! Leslie, Please add me to the guest list! I love mysteries and, would you believe, the first Nancy Drew book I ever read-was the Secret of the Old Clock? Then I read The Hidden Staircase and after that read them whenever I could get my hands on them. I wanted to BE her! lol

You table is just gorgeous and I love that you went to all the work and shared it here. It is wonderful to see this post from you.

Have a great night and a really good October week! xo Diana

Karen said...

I always take away inspiration and ideas from your creative table settings. I love this one. I too was a huge Nancy Drew fan. What fun! Such a pretty table.

Blondie's Journal said...

OMGosh! How fun! You really went all out creating this theme and I have to say--I'm stealing a few ideas!! You've brought back so many memories with the Nancy Drew books. My older sisters read them and my father later stored them in a cardboard box in the attic, accessible only with a rickety old ladder, in the garage. I'd climb up there with a flashlight and read all afternoon (maybe I started with The Secret of The Old Attic!). I was an odd child, shy and reserved. Books were my passion. And apparently I wasn't afraid of spiders!

Anyway, super post, Leslie. I'd be the first to come to one of your dinner parties and it would be heaven to sit outdoors!!❤️❤️❤️


Sophie said...

Oooooh... this tablescape is knuckle-biting goooooood!! So enchanting.. I absolutely love books, candles and this cozy ambience of autumn. First I thought these decorations were from House Beautiful magazine or something but I realized that this is your table. Wow, it makes me giddy just looking at them. Books are delicious!! I used to read Nancy Drew too! They were so good haha^^ What a delightful experience it would be to attend your book party!!

Klara said...

Dear Leslie,
Thank you so much for your comment on my blog, it means a lot!
I have been reading your blog for a little while now, and I truly admire you. Your words often ring in my ears for days after I've read your posts.
Much love,
PS: I love your table decorations and the table itself. Real wood that looks like it has lived a little and seen many happy faces around it over time.

Sandra Sallin said...

Love it all. Could I please come to your party? I'll bring one of the courses. Love all of your ideas. Yes, of course I read all of the Nancy Drews. Looking for my next book!

Thanks for all the tips on how to style the table. So enjoyed it all and will refer to this post in the future.

Jeannine said...

How very charming! Thanks for sharing your creativity.

Melanie said...

Your creativity astounds me! This is incredible. Looks like a photo shoot from a magazine. Yes, please to the Nancy Drew books (some of my first reads as a child, too!) and dining outside in October.


Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

Your table is beautiful and so fun, I love the addition of the books, I loved reading Nancy Drew books years ago! Oh my, the TJ lemon curd on top of vanilla ice cream, one of my favorites, what do you put it on? Thanks for the tip about water in the jars, never thought of that. xo Kristin
(You put a smile on my face when I read that you woke with a feeling of normalness in your chest)

Pamela said...

This is just amazing!! Gorgeous and fun!

Debra@CommonGround said...

oh Leslie, I'm so glad you came by and shared this wonderful post. It's so beautiful and "mysterious". I was a Nancy Drew junkie when I was a kid, and the books I read were just like the ones you shared. Opening the book on top and the dried roses is just the perfect touch. thanks so much for including us. xoxo

Chloe Crabtree said...

Every single little detail is so beautiful! This was a brilliant idea for your Halloween table! Bravo!

designchic said...

Leslie, you must throw a mystery dinner party and I would love to be on the list! Love the addition of the books! Happy Monday, my friend ~

Amber Lyon Ferguson said...

This is so beautiful and creative! I am happy to feature this post at All About Home this week!

Julie @ My Wee Abode said...

Such a lovely table! I am a collector of OOP books, and that Nancy Drew immediately caught my eye! :-D Congrats on your feature at All About Home. We would love to have you link up at Tuesday Turn About via today at 5pm CST! Hope to see you there!

Splenderosa said...

Goodness, I LOVE this. Brass, scruffy or not, is one of my favorites, but I've never thought of black candles. Super good idea. I'm not doing Halloween because there's no one here but me and the dog. We're already onto setting the Christmas table for dinner parties, which have to be small because I now don't have the room for a big event. Lots of inspiration here. Beautiful post !! xx's Marsha

Rita C at Panoply said...

So beautiful. I am so happy you'll be joining the Thanksgiving table party.
Rita C at Panoply

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Beautiful! Your tablescape is lovely Leslie. I loved Nancy Drew as a child and read all of her books, how wonderful to have these books in your collection.

I have been thinking of you and meaning to reach out but live has been crazy and finding a minute has been a challenge.

Sending your love, and hugs,


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