Truth be told, I’ve never been big into Halloween. My parents were sort of half-assed about it, to be honest — they would encourage us to dress up by making use of things we already had; I can’t remember them ever buying us costumes or fussing over what we would wear.
“What are you? Oh, a cowgirl and a zombie in one? Great.”
“I don’t know, just throw a sheet over your head and call it a day–bam, you’re a ghost.”
When I was around twelve, for some inexplicable reason — and trust me when I tell you the embarrassment still cuts to the quick, as I contemplated three or four times whether to take the following anecdote out of this post, but — HEY — I’ve never shied away from humiliating myself on this blog before, so what should stop me now? — I decided to dress up as the Pillsbury Doughboy.
I mean, why.
Why would a girl on the cusp of puberty further her awkward standing in life by willingly adorning herself as a shapeless, puffy pile of uncooked dough.
The worst of it was — since my mom wasn’t into buying costumes, I threw together a makeshift costume myself with a floppy chef’s hat, a blue scarf around my neck, and an oversized white t-shirt. I think I may have tried to put white face-paint on, too? Unclear.
I was probably too old to go trick-or-treating anyway, and I still shudder when I think about my slightly plump tween body trailing uncomfortably behind my sisters, dressed up as The Little Mermaid and a Dog or something equally innocuous, and lingering in the shadows before furtively reaching out for a handful of candy.
“And what are you?”, well-intentioned adults would offer encouragingly, as I dipped my hand into the candy bowl.
“Um, the Pillsbury Doughboy.” Kicking leaves around, not making eye contact, mumbling.
OH LORD PEOPLE. Started from the bottom, now we’re here.
For the record, one of my sisters still enjoys mentioning this Halloween costume to me when I’m getting a little big for my britches. “Yeah, well, the Pillsbury Doughboy,” she’ll say knowingly, smirking. And she’s got me.
So maybe you can see why I’m not big into Halloween?
THAT SAID. I absolutely love buying candy and handing it out — one of the many joys of this house we’re leaving behind in a matter of days is that it lived on a great neighborhood street with lots of young kids who would come knocking at the door (and I believe two out of the three last Halloweens involved snow…see ya Chicago). I always buy a handful of full-sized candy bars that I bury in the candy basket and take such delight in seeing a little six-year-old fish it out, eyes wide — “LOOK WHAT I GOT!” he’ll cry to his brother, flaunting the king-sized Almond Joy in the air.
I also love an excuse to buy new tablescape / home decor. So, I’ll take Halloween.
Halloween Pick No. 1: Decorative Pumpkins
These seem like an effortless, grown-up way to introduce Halloween decor into the home without looking a little…Lillian Vernon. I have a fairly extensive collection of mercury glass hurricanes, vases, votives, etc., and can just imagine arranging these in their midst down the middle of my autumn table.
I’m also a fan of these inexpensive dipped metallic mini pumpkins (4 for $9), which would look darling arranged along a mantel.
Finally, these are technically Christmas ornaments, but these orange mercury glass globes ($17 for 12!) would be chic in an oversized glass bowl.
Halloween Pick No. 2: Minimagpie Jammies
Halloween Pick No. 3: Halloween Book
Halloween Pick No. 4: Halloween Tabletop Accessories
For a festive tabletop, consider these gingham nakpins ($16 for 6) — the orange and black are super on-the-nose; black and white feel festive but not over the top.
Some black and white stripey straws ($3 for 25) will make any cocktail (including my go-to, a Tom Collins) a little more seasonally-appropriate. Up the ante with these pumpkin-shaped ice molds ($6)!!!
Halloween Pick No. 5: Halloween Cookie Cutters
Sugar cookies are probably my favorite baked good of all time — topped with a ton of buttercream, of course. These Halloween-themed cookie cutters (on sale for $8!) are perfect.
Halloween Pick No. 6: Dia de los Muertos Ornament
I love these tree ornaments from St. Frank Textiles — something you might buy now and position as a little tabletop ornament (maybe a napkin ring?!) and then repurpose come Christmas. (These beauties are also seen in the photo above, from the store’s eye-catching Instagram account. P.S., Read more about the incredible founder of this boutique — a woman of substance! — here.)
Halloween Pick No. 7: Minimagpie’s Halloween Costume
As you may have gathered from the prelude to this post, even though I consider myself creative, I am challenged when it comes to Halloween costumes. But babies look adorable in even though most basic of costumes. The giraffe has always been minimagpie’s spirit animal — I’m not sure why. We loved the giraffe stuffed animal in her nursery and have found ourselves gravitating towards giraffe prints, toys, etc. We even bought minimagpie’s grandmother a giraffe charm similar to this one to add to her charm bracelet as a thank you for coming out to visit. (BTW, Etsy is a great place to find vintage silver charms — which make such a thoughtful gift for a loved one, or as a remembrance for yourself! Maybe you bonded with your mother-in-law over tennis, in which case this might be a lovely thank you for a summer full of tennis matches together, or maybe your best friend grew up with St. Bernard dogs and needs one of these; or maybe you’re moving from San Francisco and need this little guy as a reminder of a city that’s meant a lot to you. P.S. — I included some of my other favorite gift ideas in this post — scroll down to the bottom.)
So, long story short, I wanted her to be a giraffe for Halloween. Amazon to the rescue. (The leopard and the dalmatian are also adorable.) Hanna Andersson also has some great costume essentials. Finally, I’m dying over these superhero outfits from Etsy store Lovelane. (Shown below.)
Halloween Pick No. 8: Minimagpie’s Halloween Dress
I have this darling smocked pumpkin dress as well as this every-holiday dress from Pixie Lily ($98, shown below) — genius, because you just swap out the tab at the top to accommodate the appropriate holiday! I also love this from Dondolo, which has sold out in most sizes across the Internet. Of course, had to buy a coordinating Poppy Bow in orange!
Halloween Pick No. 9: Fall Diptyque Candle
Halloween Pick No. 10: Skull Plates and Napkins
I can’t get over Meri Meri’s adorable party goods, like these dia de los muertos paper plates and napkins ($12 for set). Also love these kitschy party picks (imagine them tucked into pigs in a blanket?!?! Who could resist!), this bat garland, and these ghost napkins.
P.S. I mean, no one *needs* a pumpkin-shaped cocotte, but…do I need these? (Tini, I’m looking at you.)