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5 Clever Ways to Use Food in Your Halloween Decor

gelatin eye balls in a jar surrounded by pumpkins on a table
Lauren Sakiyama

On Halloween, the food isn’t just for eating. It’s also good for freaking out your friends. Mad scientist made tonics and creepy-crawly crudités are only the beginning. Check out our five ways to create eerie, edible decor.

Instead of settling for generic party-store hoopla this Halloween, put your kitchen skills to work and create decor your guests can’t help but devour—literally. Cardboard cut-outs, single-use banners, and paper streamers are fun, but we prefer decor that does double-duty on the buffet line.

Whether you’re looking for a bunch of beetles or a plethora of poisoned potions, we’ve got just what you need to make your Halloween especially spooky. So throw on an apron and make a few scary, sweet, and savory spectacles, sure to freak out your friends, all while filling their bellies.

No Guts, No Glory

This is the sort of display that might leave guests afraid to make a plate; use caution. You’ll need a plastic skeleton, which should be readily available this time of year. Lay Mr. Bones out on your buffet table and then stuff him with tasty treats.

What you stuff him with will determine how scary this one gets. A simple meat and cheese platter is pretty tame. But fill it with icky-looking intestine bread, which is essentially a raspberry danish, and guests might think twice before taking a slice.

For an extra spooky take, cover its head in sliced prosciutto. The effect is pretty gruesome. But, served with cheese, crackers, and sliced melon, it’s also a yummy snack!

Puking Pumpkins

carved pumpkin with gummy worms spilling out of its mouth

These take some carving skills, but a template will make it easier. The goal is to create a pumpkin that looks like it’s had a few too many treats and is now expelling its insides onto the table. This can be as creepy or as silly as you’d like. Sure, you can use the pumpkin insides and go the non-edilbe route. But, it’s more fun to use candy or a dip, like guacamole as a stand-in for the actual pumpkin guts.

Jarred Specimens

One thing that’s sure to cause panic at the buffet table is a jar filled with mystery fluids and specimens. Use weird jarred fruit like lychee and jackfruit to create disturbing, but edible, decor. Bamboo shoots and tapioca pearls work, too. Just throw the bizarre foods into clear mason jars and top with your choice of liquid. We like apple juice or light iced tea, so you can easily see the white “specimens.”

If you don’t want to stop there, you can also use Jell-O, coconut milk, blueberries, and a spherical ice cube tray or cake-pop molds to make Jell-O eyeballs like those shown in the first photo of this article. We’ve found those to be especially creepy when crammed into jars set amongst the other dessert offerings.

Creepy Crawlies

homemade jello worms

One of the easiest ways to create edible decor is via candy bugs. There are many ways to do this. You could use regular gummy worms. Float them in punch bowls and scatter them across counters with reckless abandon. Or, for a slightly scarier option, make your own Jell-O worms in somewhat more realistic shapes and colors than the store-bought candy.

If you really want to get creepy, though, you’ll need dates. That’s the Medjool variety, not the Tinder type, to be clear. These brown fruits already look like cockroaches in low lighting. Stuff them with goat cheese and sprinkle them throughout your party for a seriously spooky snack.

Canapes for Cannibals

Finger sandwiches are a perfect party platter option. On Halloween, though, we have to take it a step further. Cut sandwich bread into finger shapes, and then use cream cheese to attach a slivered almond on one end as the nail. At the other end of the “”finger,”” add a dollop of strawberry jam to look like blood. Fill the sandwiches with cream cheese and jam and arrange on a platter to serve.

Decorating with food is never easier than on Halloween. From skeleton guts to puking pumpkins, the ideas are endless. And, we think you’ll find they’re all delicious. Of course, that’s only if you’re brave enough to take a bite!

Lauren Sakiyama Lauren Sakiyama
Lauren Sakiyama is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. She has managed restaurants, country clubs, and large-scale event operations, but her passion has always been about the food. Read Full Bio »
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