Halloween and Autumn Party and DIY Videos

How to Style a Halloween Chilling Chili Buffet: DIY Party Ideas, Crafts and Decor

10:48 AMC Riches

A bubbling cauldron of hot chili accompanied by the usual sides provides the perfect Halloween food buffet for hungry little ghouls - It’s also a very relaxed, warming way to entertain and feed a crowd before Trick or Treat! 

We love it so much in our house, that we've now made a tradition of having a chili buffet every Halloween! :)
Here are some easy ideas on how to style a fun and spooky-licious Halloween Chili Buffet that I designed and styled for the fall Edition of Yum Food and Fun for Kids Magazine!

Setting Up The Chili Buffet


Party printables offer a unique and inexpensive way to decorate your chili buffet - From the invitations, buffet signs to table banner and buffet cards. Printables allow you to create a harmonious decor in minutes. Our spooky printable kit is only $9.99 and contains over 30 page of printable templates (including editable invitations) for you to get creative with!


When setting up your buffet, it’s important to position the buffet table away from the wall, so that guests have access from all sides. A few days before the party, map out serving pieces and dishes out on the table, to be sure that it all fits neatly.

Create various display levels on your table by elevating the dishes and platters. You can use candle holders, plant-pot pedestals or upturned bowls to elevate them, and use glue dots when necessary. For a permanent display, use strong adhesive to secure pieces together. Varying buffet levels not only look more appealing to the eye, but also allow you to display more on the table.


We decided to go with an orange and black color scheme with touches of white and green, also reflected in the food. A piece of black and white fabric is hung as a table backdrop, along with three large helium balloons for added fun.

Use small decorative Halloween accents like plastic spider, mice or other spooky creatures borrowed from your Halloween decor, to fill any empty spots on the table.


We also used a lot of disposable party ware, which we embellished for the occasion. These are great as they are inexpensive but also very practical, as no washing up required afterwards! 

Keep your plates and utensils together on the far left of the table and lay out dishes in order of service. We bundled our cutlery and napkins together into a cute printable Halloween Pouch made with some of the scrapbook printable papers in the kit. This allows your guests to move around the buffet easily and more orderly.

DIY Crafty Decor To Make


For our chili cauldron buffet card, we created a mini witch’s broom using a lollipop stick, a stripped straw and some black raffia. The raffia is tied onto the lollipop stick and helps to keep the buffet card upright. Then simply use hot glue to stick a printable buffet card to the front of your mini broom.


Disposable party ware does not have to be boring! With a few black straws and googly craft eyes, our side-bowls can be made to look like cute spiders. Simply hot glue the craft pieces onto the bowl, and fill with your favorite topping.

The Party Food

The beauty of a Chili buffet is that the dishes can be cooked ahead and warmed up just before serving. As this was a Halloween chili, the usual toppings and sides were chosen complement the main course, but with a spooky twist:


A traditional chili con carne displayed inside a plastic cauldron - Recipe to come later in the week. Place a heat-proof bowl inside the cauldron to serve your chili. That way you can top up and heat it easily if necessary.


Bread sticks are great for dunking into a steaming bowl of chili – Recipe to come later in the week.


A traditional guacamole is the perfect side. Serve inside little Frankenstein cups, which we decorated with black electrical tape and googly craft eyes - Recipe to come later in the week.


Healthy sides always taste better when they look fun! Mini cherry tomatoes, salad leaves and onions are displayed inside hollowed out and carved oranges. These are easier to carve than mini pumpkins, and you can use the orange segment in the salad too. Thanks to The Party Wall for the idea! ;)


Using spooky cookie cutters, you can make your own crispy Halloween chips - Simply bake them in a  hot oven until golden, then season to taste and display in a bowl with a large skeleton hand coming out of it for extra fun (wrap the base of the plastic hand in foil to avoid it touching the food).

You could also use pitas instead of flour tortilla wraps, and sprinkle with paprika or cumin powder.


Any of the traditional chili toppings, homemade or store-bought; can be made to look extra spooky if served inside fun spider bowls! :)


Decorate the bottle of your favorite chili sauce with a printable label, and glue a plastic skull on the lid. I painted the plastic skulls with white acrylic paint. you can get these in most craft stores like Michaels.

Check out this funky video to help you with your buffet table styling ;)

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Party Credits:

Styling, recipes and Photography: Bird
Spooky Halloween Party Printables: Bird's Party

Check out this full party, recipes and crafts in the latest edition of Yum Food and Fun for Kids:

Hope you like the ideas, and click here to get your hands on 
our spooky Halloween party printables!

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