Pippa Middleton showed that she's the queen of entertaining with a children's Halloween-inspired party in Fulham, London, to mark the launch of her very first publication, Celebrate: A year of festivities for Family and Friends. And her comprehensive guide to home entertaining has come not a moment too soon with the spookiest day of the year right on our doorstep. Pippa admits that "As a child, I felt that Halloween was a time when creatures of the night suddenly came to life", making it the perfect family event to entertain young witches and warlocks with the 29-year-old's nostalgic party tricks.
And at the writer's book opening, Pippa provided the children with a spooky spectacular of dangling doughnuts, lollipop-studded pumpkins and floating garden ghosts. The young party-planner disclaimed in her new book that she considers the holiday "a wonderful excuse to let your imagination run riot with gory-looking food and special effects". Amongst her tricks, the Duchess of Cambridge's sister advises setting a scary scene by stacking some aged ‘spell books’ beside her spooky bottle candlesticks dripping with blood. And for the maximum eerie effect add the finishing touches to your room with homemade Halloween bat window decorations and vary the template to cut out star, moon or pumpkin shapes as well. For a twist on the classic door wreath, Pippa suggests making a trick-or-treat version with wrapped sweets, such as toffees, or any other kind of treat that comes in shiny paper.
SPOOKY BOTTLES• Prepare a label for your bottle by printing or writing with a marker pen on plain paper an evocative description of the contents (i.e. ‘Witches’ Wine’, ‘Bats’ Blood’, ‘Spooky Syrup’).• Cut into a label shape, burn the edges, dab with a wet teabag and sprinkle with coffee granules. Leave to dry and then stick to your bottle with PVA glue.• Place a white candle into the neck of the bottle, then light a red candle and allow it to drip over the white candle and the bottle. The messier it gets, the better! Experiment with other coloured candles, such as slime-green or purple, if you prefer. SWEETIE WREATH • Curve a 1m length of gardening wire into a circle, weaving the two ends together to fasten.• Using 1m of fishing thread, knot together 3 wrapped sweets and tie the thread tightly • around the circled wire.• Repeat with 3 sweets at a time. • Each time you knot the sweets on, bunch them up to create a full-looking wreath.
STAINED-GLASS BATS• Draw around a plate on black card. In the centre of your circle, position a bat template and draw around the outlines of the bat.• Cut around the bat and the circle.• Stick tissue paper to the back of the silhouette with PVA glue, or use colourful sweet wrappers instead (in which case use a glue stick).
Extracted from 'Celebrate' by Pippa Middleton, HB £25 (Penguin Books)