A good classic book title was all the excuse these girlfriends needed to host a
Halloween-themed girl’s night out – that will knock your socks of!
Studio 5 Contributor Teri Harman dishes on the details of a Halloween Witch
Book Club Party.
Book clubs are about four things: bringing books to life, making reading
enjoyable, bringing friends together and having an excuse to through a
fabulous party. This October give your book club an unforgettable Halloween
experience with a witch book club party. A truly outrageous event that
celebrates all things witch.
“The Witch of Blackbird Pond” by Elizabeth George Speare
When 16 year old Kit leaves her paradise home in Barbados, to sail for the
New England shore and the home of her only living relatives, she is filled with
hope and wonder. But from her first glance at the cold, gray shores of
America, she is perplexed and stifled by the strangeness of Puritan life.
Kit’s free spirit and outspokenness soon capture the unwanted attention of
the conservative town. Struggling to fit in, but remain true to her own heart,
Kit finds refuge in the company of a lonely old woman, known to the town as
the witch of Blackbird Pond. For Kit this is an innocent friendship, but to
some in the town it’s a sure sign of witchcraft.
One of my favorite witch books, “The Witch of Blackbird Pond” is beautifully
written, with characters so vivid they step right off the page.
Note: This party can be easily adapted to any witch book. Here are
a few more that I recommend. For complete reviews of these books visit my
– “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” by Katherine Howe
– “A Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness
– “The Witch’s Daughter” by Paula Brackston
– “Practical Magic” by Alice Hoffman
Have your discussion on the book over dinner. Discussion questions and
other information are easily found online. Then it’s time to party!
Creating the perfect atmosphere is the best way to ensure a successful party.
I started with an incredible witch themed fabric from Cottonwood Fabrics,
8617 Highland Drive, Sandy, Utah. I framed large and small portions of this
fancy fabric and two accents fabrics in ornate frames (found at IKEA and
Hobby Lobby) and displayed them at different places in the schoolhouse. I
also asked a friend with sewing skills (since I have none) to make me a
couple throw pillow covers. Not only was this the center of my party décor,
but it will be my home décor for the Halloween season.
The color scheme of the party – pink, black, white and silver – came from this
Besides the framed fabric I decorated with lots of fun witch things, witch
books, pink roses in silver vases, silver lamps, black lanterns and lots of
candles. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to hold a Halloween party in a 100
year old school house.
Tip: It’s easy to match anything to your color scheme – vases, candlesticks,
etc – with a little spray paint. Buy cheap items from dollar or thrift stores and
customize with paint.
Witches on the Black-Catwalk
The main event of my party was a witch fashion show. Every guest came
dressed as a witch from books, movies, TV shows, etc. Before the show each
guest filled out a black-catwalk cue card with an entertaining description of
their costume. I then read these fun descriptions as the person walked the
catwalk. It was hilarious and everyone really got into it.
For music, my husband and I put together an energetic mix of
The catwalk itself was made by my handy husband out of simple plywood
and 2×4’s. Once assembled, we painted the whole thing black. I then spray-
painted the silver cats using a stencil I made myself from a clipart image. To
make it even fancier we strung white Christmas lights around the underside.
This cost about $50 and made the fashion show so fabulous.
Over the years I have created an invite making system that is easy and cheap.
I made a template to fit a standard legal envelope (cheap and easy to mail).
The template has three parts: base of solid colored cardstock – cut from 12
x12 sheet; middle layer of patterned scrapbook paper – cut from 12 x 12;
top information paper – cut from 8 x 11 for easy printing. For this invite I
found paper that matched the pink, black and white color scheme at my
favorite paper store, The Country Loft, 288 E. Main, Lehi.
I added sealing wax – it’s so fancy. And when I saw pink wax I couldn’t resist.
Purchased at Tabula Rasa, Trolley Square.
Every witch needs a wand, so I made my guests fun, but super easy and
cheap wands. These function as a favor and part of the fashion show. Before
we walked the black-catwalk I gave a brief history on wands and wand lore
and then encouraged everyone to use their wands to send “magic” to their
fellow witches as they walked the catwalk – basically a fun thing to wave and
hold during the show, like the pom-poms or foam fingers used at sporting
To make wands: Buy wooden dowels (packages of 16, $0.97 at Wal-Mart) and
spray paint silver. Once dry attach two different types of ribbon or decorative
yarn, pink and black, with hot glue. Also attach a length of cording with a
silver bead. I found the pink ribbon, black yarn, silver cording and antique-
looking beads at Hobby Lobby – all on sale.
After our trip down the black-catwalk we treated ourselves to some
“potions”. These fun drinks are the perfect way to end the night. My brilliant
sister-in-law created fun phials of potions by filling phials (she got these
from the biology lab where she works, but can also be found online) with
three different drink mixes, purchased at Smith’s. Each phial has just the
right amount of mix for a single drink. Each color represented a different
kind of potion: red – love and romance, green – wealth and luck, blue –
beauty and health.
Each guest then chose a phial and poured into a prepared glass of club soda.
Stir in the colored drink mix with a stir stick and it’s just like mixing a
magical potion. Really fun effect and very yummy drinks! For extra flare top
stir sticks with fruit, like berries, grapes and small lime wedges.
We kept our food very simple, but tasty. Perfect for Fall, serve your favorite
soup that is easy to make in big crock pots. Add rolls or breadsticks, some
fruit or veggie trays and simple desserts like cookies, brownies or cupcakes.
To ease the work load and cost, make food assignments and let your guests
help ( didn’t prepare one crumb of food this year).
Witch Name Game
One of the most popular things at my witch party the last three years has
been the Witch Name Game. As guests arrive they must choose one word
from two different lists. Instruct them to choose the first words that jump out
to them. Once the words are selected, guests should write them on a sticker
name tag (find at office supply stores). Don’t give any more explanation
other than the simple instructions to pick words and write on nametag.
One: iris, sage, rose, lily, daisy, topaz, ruby, emerald, sapphire, diamond,
Two: rain, water, mountain, lake, wind, snow, moon, star, forest, river,
dancer, singer, lover
Later, after your book discussion and before the main events read the
following (or some version of it) to explain witch names to guests:
Many witches take on – or are given – a secret soul-name. The two words
you chose are your magical witch name. This name is believed to hold great
power. It encapsulates your Essential Self. It has always been there, waiting
for you to discover it. It is your “true name.” To know your true name is to
know a great deal about you.
Have fun calling each other by your witch names for the evening.
Spell Writing Contest: Divide guests into small groups and assign a spell
subject, like love, transformation, affecting the weather, etc. The groups then
have 10 minutes to write a clever 4 line spell, with at least one rhyming
couplet. Each group reads their spell out loud for the group to hear. Hostess
picks a winning group and gives a prize.
Which Witch Am I Trivia Game: Write up trivia worksheets about different
witches in books, movies, history, TV, etc., at least 15 questions long. For
example: Question – I do not ever bathe, shower or swim. I prefer to wear
black because it matches my green skin. A house fell on top of my sister.
Answer – The Wicked Witch of the West. Vary the questions in difficulty. Hand
out worksheets and have guests fill out the answers. Whoever answers the
most questions correctly wins a prize.
Camp Floyd State Park School House in Fairfield, Utah. For more info visit http://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/camp-floyd