Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
20
SEP
2010

Throw a superstition party for Halloween

by: Chica

Throw a superstition party for Halloween
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Halloween is coming up soon, and for many of you witches and ghouls, that means hosting a fantastic party. I’ve seen a few great Halloween parties in my day, and they all had pretty much the same theme — scary. It’s hard to throw a party that is different and unique on a holiday with such a narrow focus, but if you’re looking for something different, I’ve got just the idea for you. Why not throw a superstition party?

This idea first came to me a couple of months ago, when my friend, Michelle, was planning her 40th birthday party. Her birthday fell on Friday the 13th, so she wanted to go all out and have a huge superstition-themed party. She asked me to help her plan it, and it was so much fun both to plan and to attend. When the party was over, I realized that the same idea would be great for Halloween, too!

I’m going to share with you all the goodies I created for the party, including the invitations, centerpieces, decorations, party game, and menu ideas. These can easily be used for a Halloween party, or if you have patience, you can wait until the next Friday the 13th on the calendar (which isn’t until May of 2011).

Party game

lucky money envelopesIf you want something for your guests to do that’s casual and not too difficult, and that also serves as a great icebreaker, then you’ll like this idea. I made up a “How well do you know…?” game that had two parts. First, it asked questions about the guest of honor, to see how well the guests knew Michelle. Then, it asked questions about superstitions, to see how well the guests knew what was lucky and unlucky.

Guests filled out the quiz as best they could, and put their answers in a box. Every half hour or so, Michelle drew a sheet from the box, and if the answers were all right, that person won a prize. The prize was a lottery ticket tucked into a Chinese lucky money red envelope. It was the perfect prize to really encapsulate the ideas of luck and superstition. Unfortunately, nobody came away a lottery millionaire, but one guest did win $20!

Here is my game template for you to download if you want to have it at your party.

superstition party game Download our
Superstition Party
Game Template

This template is a Microsoft Word doc that you can easily edit and customize. Once you’ve got the questions suited to the party host, just print a bunch out and let your guests have fun with it.

Decorations

The decorations were so fun for this party! To start off, I got the biggest ladder I could find and put it outside the entrance. Guests were encouraged to walk under the ladder in order to get to the party. This definitely set the tone for the evening, and guests knew what they were in for the second they arrived. (Note that this event was held at a large, old house… this isn’t where Michelle lives!)

superstition party decorations

Near the entrance, I played a looped recording of the song “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder which welcomed the guests in a humorous way.

Once guests entered the building, they saw a table adorned with several items for the party. The most obvious thing on the table was the party game I told you about, with a stack of sheets and a bowl of pens. I took a cardboard box and wrapped it with paper, and stuck a slot machine cutout on the front. This served as the box for people to put their completed game sheets into. Then I put up a sign with the game instructions. (Don’t worry — the instruction sheet is included in the party game download I gave you above).

superstition party decorations

Also on the table were a couple of fun “good luck” items to make guests feel comfortable in a party full of superstition violations. I put a big bowl of rabbit’s foot keychains for guests to take as favors. I also put an assortment of glass vases and bowls that I filled to the brim with Lucky Charms cereal. (I will admit that I snacked on plenty of the marshmallows while setting up!)

superstition party decorationssuperstition party decorations

In the foyer of the building, the huge staircase served as a great place to put a bunch of open umbrellas. These were the first sign to guests that this we really were casting all superstitions aside at this party and letting it all go! We had each guest pose in front of the umbrellas for a photo, which we collected for the party scrapbook Michelle will make.

superstition party decorations

One final touch for the party space, which was a subtle one, was the number of tables and chairs. In keeping with the lucky/unlucky theme of the night, we had 13 tables for guests to sit at and each table had 7 chairs!

superstition party decorationssuperstition party decorations

Centerpieces

You may have noticed the centerpieces on the tables shown in the pictures above, and wondered exactly what they were. The centerpieces were my favorite part of the whole party, and each table had a different one. I did a bunch of research and found as many superstitions as I could, and brought them to life as centerpieces. Every table had a collection of items that showed both a “good luck” superstition and a “bad luck” superstition. Here are close-ups of the 13 table centerpieces I created.

(You’ll also notice a bunch of tiny “40” confetti on all the centerpieces, which were there because it was Michelle’s 40th birthday. You obviously wouldn’t do that for Halloween!)

GOOD LUCK
The number 7 is considered lucky.
BAD LUCK
The number 13 is considered unlucky.
superstition party centerpieces
TIPS: Shop your local craft store for papier mache or wooden numbers and paint them in bright colors.
GOOD LUCK
An elephant is good luck, especially if its trunk is facing up.
BAD LUCK
It is bad luck to step on a crack.
superstition party centerpieces
TIPS: Ask for a broken tile at your local home improvement store. They’ll usually give it to you for free. Borrow a doll from a kid. (Thanks, Squirt!) Borrow an elephant from a friend who collects them. (Thanks, Jo!)
GOOD LUCK
Carrying a rabbit’s foot is good luck.
BAD LUCK
It is bad luck to put a hat on a bed.
superstition party centerpieces
TIPS: Borrow a doll bed from a friend. (Thanks, Little Jo!)
GOOD LUCK
Mistletoe in the house protects it from thunder and lightning
BAD LUCK
It is bad luck to stab knitting needles through a ball of yarn or to leave a knitting project unfinished.
superstition party centerpieces
TIPS: Find mistletoe in a Christmas store or in the silk flower section of a craft store. Find a friend who knits and borrow a half-done project.
GOOD LUCK
Blue beads protect the wearer from witches.
BAD LUCK
It is bad luck to have a load of bread upside down if a slice had been cut from it.
superstition party centerpieces
TIPS: Get a loaf of bread and slice it, then put upside down. Drape a string of blue beads over the top.
GOOD LUCK
An umbrella opened inside the house is bad luck.
BAD LUCK
A four-leaf clover is good luck.
superstition party centerpieces
TIPS: Get a child’s umbrella so it’s small enough to fit on a table. Trace a four-leaf clover design and cut it out of green cardstock.
GOOD LUCK
It is good luck to pick up a penny that’s heads up.
BAD LUCK
Spilling salt on a table is bad luck unless you throw a pinch over your left shoulder.
superstition party centerpieces
TIPS: Use your own salt shakers or pick them up cheap at a dollar store. Ask the bank for a roll of brand new pennies.
GOOD LUCK
A horseshoe with the points facing up is good luck.
BAD LUCK
The luck will run out of a horseshoe with the points facing down.
superstition party centerpieces
TIPS: Find a friend with horses (Thanks, Jo!) or cut horseshoe shapes out of cardboard. Use a piece of wood or cardboard and some balls of clay to mount them so they stand upright.
GOOD LUCK
A frog inside the house is good luck.
BAD LUCK
A bird inside the house is bad luck.
superstition party centerpieces
TIPS: Find a papier mache house at the craft store and paint it. Shop the floral section for miniature birds and the toys section for a tiny frog to put inside the house. Make sure the house has windows so you can see inside it!
GOOD LUCK
A cat onboard a ship is good luck.
BAD LUCK
A black cat crossing your path is bad luck.
superstition party centerpieces
TIPS: Find a black cat in the Halloween section, or shop for stuffed animals at the toy store. Get a wooden ship from the craft store and paint it, then add a toy cat.
GOOD LUCK
You’ll get a wish if you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake.
BAD LUCK
If a candle lit as part of a ceremony blows out, it’s bad luck.
superstition party centerpieces
TIPS: Frost a piece of styrofoam with royal icing to make a durable fake cake. Draw flames onto paper and tape onto candle wicks so you can safely have them all lit except one.
GOOD LUCK
Three butterflies found together are good luck.
BAD LUCK
It’s bad luck to have shoes upside down or on a table.
superstition party centerpieces
TIPS: Use brand new shoes so the table remains clean. Find silk butterflies in the floral department at the craft store.
GOOD LUCK
An acorn in your pocket is good luck.
BAD LUCK
A broken mirror is 7 years of bad luck.
superstition party centerpieces
TIPS: Break a mirror by hitting it gently in the middle with a hammer. If you can’t find real acorns locally, check home decor and floral decorations for wooden or plastic ones.

Each table also had little signs next to the centerpiece that told the guests what superstitions were being shown. I did this by creating small cards with “good luck” or “bad luck” written at the top, and with the details of the superstition below. I put one white “good luck” card and one black “bad luck” card on each table, displayed in a menu card holder. And of course I’ve got the cards in a handy downloadable template for you!

superstition centerpiece cards Download our
Superstition Party
Centerpiece Cards

These centerpieces were not only fun to create and shop for, but they ended up being a great way to get guests to mingle. Everyone at the party traveled around the rooms throughout the night, wanting to see what was on all the tables. It really kept the crowd moving around and everyone got to see everyone else!

Menu ideas

The food served at your party should fit the superstition theme as well, and anybody who has ever eaten black eyed peas on New Year’s knows that some foods are considered lucky! Here is a list of traditionally lucky and unlucky foods to consider:

These are some lucky foods:

  • greens (cabbage, collards, kale, chard) are considered lucky because green symbolizes money
  • legumes (black-eyed peas, lentils) are considered lucky because their round shape resembles coins
  • pomegranates are linked to abundance and fertility
  • citrus fruits are associated with luck and wealth
  • grapes are considered lucky for a sweet year
  • round breads and cakes resemble a ring and symbolize continuation of life and new beginnings
  • long noodles represent long life; the longer the noodle the better
  • pork symbolizes progress and prosperity

There are some unlucky foods:

  • lobsters are unlucky because they move backwards, symbolizing setbacks
  • chicken is unlucky because birds scratch backwards, symbolizing regret
  • anything with wings is very bad because your good luck could fly away
  • white food is bad because white is the Chinese color of death

At Michelle’s party, the caterers turned this list of food ideas into a wonderfully superstitious menu, which included:

  • roasted pork sliders (lucky pork served on lucky round buns)
  • spaghetti pasta salad (with lucky long noodles)
  • coleslaw (lots of lucky cabbage)
  • homemade potato chips (more lucky round food)

We also concocted a special drink that we dubbed “Lucky 40 Punch” that was a mixture of white grape juice and pomegranate juice, garnished with orange slices. Besides being full of lucky fruit, it was also very tasty!

For the birthday cake, we opted to play up the idea that round cakes are especially lucky, so I created an arrangement of cupcakes that spelled out “40” in several colors of icing. We put them on a round table which made a really great presentation. Tiny chocolate letters spelling out “Happy Birthday” adorned the cupcakes on the edges. (I made them by piping melted chocolate onto wax paper, then sticking them upright in the icing after they hardened.)

superstition party decorations

Invitations

Oh my goodness, this post is long enough already without getting into the invitations, too! They were pretty amazing, though, so you’ll need to check out my separate tutorial for Friday the 13th party invitations for details. To tempt you, here’s a look at what a stack of 50 invites looks like!

superstition party invitation

Throw a superstition party for Halloween
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34 comments so far:

  • 1
    Julie 09/20/2010 at 1:41 pm

    This party was amazing! I love every last detail! Congrats on throwing a spectacular event!

  • 2
    Chica 09/20/2010 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks, Julie!

  • 3
    Carol 09/20/2010 at 7:02 pm

    Wow! What creativity and what fun! This must have been so much fun to plan and to attend.

  • 4
    Olivia 09/21/2010 at 9:27 pm

    This party looks fun! I am going to try it on friday the 13th . Thank you so much!!

  • 5
    Michelle 09/22/2010 at 12:08 pm

    OMG!!! I sooooo have to play copycat on this one!!! You ROCK!

  • 6
    Chica 09/22/2010 at 12:11 pm

    Thanks Michelle. We’d love to hear about your party after you throw it :)

  • 7
    Beth 09/25/2010 at 11:05 am

    Wow… I *attended* this party and didn’t even notice all the subtleties: the Stevie Wonder “Superstition” music, “40” spelled out by the (DELICIOUS) cupcakes, or the fact that there were 13 tables.
    I probably missed some more!
    And yes, the party was a blast!

  • 8
    Corryn 09/25/2010 at 2:01 pm

    I was just wondering about the venue. I was married in Briarcliff, Ny at Mansion Hill. Is that it?

  • 9
    Jo 09/25/2010 at 2:38 pm

    Corry, sorry, not the same place. But since it looks so similar, your wedding must have been gorgeous!

  • 10
    Lola 10/01/2010 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks Chica and Jo, you did an awesome job!

  • 11
    Arnalee Miller 05/02/2011 at 5:09 pm

    Thank you! I love this idea and plan to use it for my group!

    This reminded me of another party – a luncheon fashion show – that I attended a few years ago and would like to host but I need to find the details, if any are out there.

    The models made their own costumes/fashion statement. One dress had “buttons & Bows” attached, another was called “eating on the Run” with plastic knives, forks and food items! One wore bell bottom jeans with bells sewn on. That’s all I can remember right now. They were all creative and funny. If you could point me in the right direction, to the right people, or find where I could find the information, I would be greatly appreciative.
    If you haven’t heard of this before, maybe with your collective creative minds, you can come up with a kooky fashion show party theme.
    Thanks, Arnalee Miller

  • 12
    Chica 05/04/2011 at 7:03 am

    What a fun idea, Arnalee. We’ll keep an eye out and if we see or think of any ideas, we’ll let you know!

  • 13
    Arnalee Miller 05/07/2011 at 7:33 am

    Thank you, Chica. It was a fun show and the Mistress of Ceremonies was hysterical.

  • 14
    Marti 03/31/2012 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks for the great ideas. We are giving my granddaughter who will be 13 on Friday the 13th a superstition party and you had some good information that will be helpful.

  • 15
    Chica 03/31/2012 at 7:56 pm

    Wow, she’s turning 13 on the 13th! Have a great party, Marti, and we hope you’ll come back and share some ideas and details with us.

  • 16
    Kaya 07/26/2012 at 5:44 am

    This is great! My mom is turning 40 on Friday, December 13, 2013! So it’s like, 12-13-13! DOUBLE THIRTEENS!

  • 17
    Harrison 02/08/2013 at 5:13 pm

    For Friday 13th in September this year, i will work on a 4 leaf clover wreath, inspired by all your wonderful wreath ideas! :) any ideas you could give to help me go about doing this?

  • 18
    Chica 02/08/2013 at 5:45 pm

    Clever idea for warding off the bad luck, Harrison. I think the easiest thing to make a bunch of 4-leaf clovers out of would be green felt, or perhaps cardstock?

  • 19
    Harrison 02/22/2013 at 1:04 pm

    Thanks for the advice! I think i will take on board your advice and use green felt, but i think it’ll be very time consuming to cut out all those pieces. Any ideas on how I could make the whole process as quick as possible? :-)

  • 20
    Chica 02/24/2013 at 11:42 am

    Harrison, you might be able to use a die cut machine on felt, if you can find a die the shape you want.

  • 21
    Betty Alsabrook 07/29/2013 at 9:03 pm

    Thanks so much for your creative and fun ideas. My Sunday School class is going to have a Friday the 13th party in September and we will use a lot of your ideas.

  • 22
    Chica 07/30/2013 at 8:00 pm

    Glad to help, Betty. Have a great party!

  • 23
    Julia Kavulich 09/11/2013 at 5:11 pm

    Hello,
    I am planning to use your ideas for our staff party on 9/13. However, I was wondering if you could provide a key for the superstition quiz. Thanks!!
    Great ideas!!

  • 24
    Chica 09/11/2013 at 6:28 pm

    Oh my goodness, Julia… how could I have forgotten to give you the answers! I’ve just modified the downloadable game doc and added a page with answers. Have a great party, and please come back and tell us about it!

  • 25
    Kerrie 09/11/2013 at 8:51 pm

    We are having an office birthday party for one of our staff this Friday. I am using your ladder idea just to get into the office! That’s a great one!

    I thought about getting tiny umbrellas and opening them. Maybe putting some cheese or something on it.

  • 26
    Julia Kavulich 09/13/2013 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks! How fun!

  • 27
    Fiona 01/30/2014 at 10:38 am

    Thanks so much for posting this. I have a Friday 13th birthday this year and have been browsing, looking for ideas, and you have basically planned my entire party! Thanks again x

  • 28
    Chica 01/31/2014 at 7:20 am

    So glad we could help, Fiona. Have a great party!

  • 29
    Melanie 08/05/2014 at 5:14 pm

    This is a great idea! I’m going to use it for my daughter’s 13th birthday – she wanted something unique and “cool” and the kids will have a blast with this. Thanks for sharing! :-)

  • 30
    Chica 08/05/2014 at 5:22 pm

    You’re welcome, Melanie. Have a great party!

  • 31
    Louise 11/13/2015 at 12:59 am

    My husband, a twin, was born on Friday the 13th and tomorrow is his 62nd birthday on Friday the 13th. We are having a take of your superstition party. I am posting the bad/good luck cards all around the house, I don’t have room for all the table center pieces. We are playing the games and others. I have Lucky Charms and Rabbits feet. It should be fun! Thanks for the ideas!

  • 32
    Chica 11/13/2015 at 7:28 am

    How fun, Louise! So glad we could help inspire you.

  • 33
    Kim 12/27/2015 at 1:31 am

    I am planning a superstition party for my daughter’s sweet 16 in 2 years and this is a great list of things to do. Thank you for sharing.

  • 34
    Jo 12/28/2015 at 11:00 am

    Would love to see how it turns out!

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We are two best friends sharing our creative journey. You never know what we will be into each time you visit. We could be throwing a unique party, refinishing a flea market find, or whipping up a new cupcake recipe. We invite you to join us for the ride as we tackle life one project at a time!

Please visit Chica and Jo at http://www.chicaandjo.com for more DIY projects and clever ideas!