Create A Creepy Garden for Halloween

creepy plants
Create a creepy garden for all your mad science needs.
Photo by Rick Tate.

When I’m creating decorations for Halloween, I tend to think of what would happen if Tim Burton, Walt Disney, and Jim Henson created a quirky mutant window display.

This Creepy Garden trio craft fits this criteria nicely.

What you need:
• Plain small or medium-sized garden pots (pottery or plastic)
• Polystyrene foam (regular or floral)
• Floral moss
• Plastic skeleton hand
• Floral wire and chenille stems (aka pipe cleaners)
• Small polystyrene foam balls (about 1″ in diameter)
• Plastic Easter egg (one that opens lengthwise)
• Craft paint
• Assorted silk leaves, craft form sheets, reptile vines and fake “greenery” of choice

For all three plants, cut and fit polystyrene foam into the pots so it fits snug, but not too tightly it would crack pottery.

 For the Zombie Hand:

styofoam
Prepping the pots

This is the easiest one of the three plants. Bore a hole in the Styrofoam large enough to place the hand in deep enough so it looks like it is crawling out of the pot. Use a hot glue gun (for older crafters) or tacky craft glue and place enough floral moss around the hand and over the top of the pot. It won’t take much.

 For the Eyeball Plant:

Using craft paint or markers, paint each ball so it resembles an eye, let dry if needed. You can also find polystyrene balls that already resemble eyeballs (like the ones I used) in seasonal items at craft or retail stores or “pop-up” Halloween shops.

Next, poke the floral wire into each eye, and twist a chenille stem around so it covers the wire. Take another chenille stem and coil it until it looks like a disc, than glue it to the back the eyeball. Enhance with craft foam or silk or plastic leaves. Repeat this process until there are a least four or five “eyeball plants” to work with.

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“Eyeball” from back.

Poke each eyeball plant stem into the polystyrene in the pot, then bend and arrange them as desired. Poke in some reptile vine, leaves or plant branches, or make some with craft foam.

 For the Man-Eating Plant:

Using a hot glue gun, glue the floral bottom end of a plastic egg. Add a small piece of red chenille stem to the inside to make a “tongue.” Cut two small strips of white craft foam in a saw edge pattern to resemble teeth and glue one each to the inside of each egg half for “teeth.”

maneating plant
“Man-eating plant” head construction

Glue the top half the egg over the bottom half, leaving the “mouth” slightly open to create the plant’s head. Paint the egg green, or use a green egg, and add optional eyes, lips, polka dots, or other patterns.

In the same manner as the eyeball stems, twist a chenille stem around the floral wire, and add silk leaves, or craft foam leaves to the back of the plant’s head. The remaining step is also similar to the eyeball plant: poke the plant in the polystyrene, add reptile vine, silk or plastic leaves or make a few out of craft foam sheets. Cover the exposed area with floral moss, and glue in place.

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Feed Me!
Photo by Lisa Kay Tate

All of these plants can be modified, combined or mutated. I made a modified version of the man-eating plant using a larger plastic egg to resemble a prop from a favorite musical. Hint: I named it “Audrey.”

As a finishing touch, you can print out these Creepy Garden Labels on cardstock and tape them to a wooden craft stick to better identify the flora.

Finally, give them plenty of moonlight and talk to them often. It is best if you approach them slowly and try not to offend them. However, I would think twice before feeding them any plant food, water or blood….no matter how much they beg.

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Photo by Rick Tate

 

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Lisa Kay Tate is a veteran feature writer with 20 years experience in newspaper, magazine and freelance writing. In addition to serving as Associate Editor for her local arts and entertainment guide, El Paso Scene, she has been a regular contributor to the site ihogeek.com and maintains her own blogsite at lisathegeekmom.wordpress.com. She and her husband, writer/photographer Rick, live on the edge of "New Texico" where they keep busy raising their two geeklings and sharing space with their dog, Sirius Black, and cat, Loki.