Little Shop of Horrors Halloween Treasure

So, we happened to be in Michael’s a few weeks ago and I saw this really cute (but pricey) Venus fly trap. Rather than pay the $100 price tag for this cute Halloween prop, I thought I’d make it! Turned out fairly easy too and quite the neighborhood talking point and centerpiece.

What you’ll need:

  • Foam Pumpkin
  • Hot knife
  • Fake Sunflower stems (or something even stronger)
  • Dollar store leaves/mini pumpkin leaves
  • Hot glue gun/glue sticks
  • Pot to use as the base
  • Cardboard
  • Something to weigh the pot down
  • Acrylic paint (shades of green and red)

I had a lot of the stuff I required for this project already, so the only items I really needed were the foam pumpkin, the sunflower stems and the greenery/mini pumpkins with leaves that I found at my local dollar store.

I did pick up a small pumpkin from the dollar store as well so I could have a practice run on carving one out as I had never used a hot knife and I had never carved a foam pumpkin before. It’s a really good idea to do a practice run as it does smell (a lot) so you definitely need to be outside or somewhere you can get some fresh air and using a hot knife is very different to using a box cutter.

Foam pumpkin

I grabbed my pencil and drew out what I wanted the “smile” to look like and it was only as I was drawing that I thought I could actually carve the teeth out of the pumpkin as well! So I drew those on there and made sure I was happy with where everything aligned itself. Definitely don’t cut until it looks good! I also thought that the end of the pumpkin with the stem on it actually looked better than the end without, so I cut my stem off and later glued (and screwed) it on to the other end.

I’d already inserted the sunflower stem by the time I took a photo

As you can see in that last photo, I used the hot knife in a sidewards motion to scrape/melt/cut the “pumpkin” skin off the side of the teeth and found their off-white look was absolutely perfect for the look I was going for. Be really careful doing this part though, it comes off easier than you think it will and I may have come dangerously close to cutting/burning myself!

Be careful your hot knife doesn’t melt too much of your pumpkin

It was at this juncture I realized I needed to take a little more “skin” off from where the stem had been and use my glue gun to give her some lips. This was fun as it just came down to imagination and self-appeasement, the only problem I had was a lack of patience waiting for the glue to dry in between layers. I did end up doing three different layers of glue before I was happy with it.

Glue lips taking shape

Then it was on to the painting. The first thing I did was pour red paint inside the “mouth” and use a long paint brush to delicately push it around the entire inside of the mouth. This took some patience as it was on very thickly (to be able to swirl it around inside without damaging any of the teeth on the outside) and took forever to dry! I used two different shades of green (just from Walmart’s cheap acrylic paint selections & painted until I was happy. Each side of the pumpkin took 2 coats followed by some touches up. The lips were painted after the green was dry and that’s where I had to do some touching up around the edges.

Finally she started looking like the one I had modeled her off!

The original

After I was happy with the painting side of it, I put a hole in the original stem for the sunflower stems to go through and glued it on to the other side of her, but as I said earlier, I found the glue wasn’t quite strong enough so I ended up finding a screw and screwing the stem down. Now it was a matter of getting her to be able to stand on her own and look like she was a little more polished. I used both sunflower stems but actually found these weren’t strong enough on their own so had to get some floral wire and wrap it around the stems, reinforcing them a little bit. I put the stems in a black pot I already owned and used a couple of bricks/stones to hold them in place. In the meantime I had traced a hole (using the pot as my frame) from a piece of cardboard (one of our thicker moving boxes) and used it to cover everything in the pot. I wanted this to sit in there nicely and securely so it was really a matter of cutting little tiny slits all around the edge of the original circle to make it squeeze inside the pot perfectly.

I wrapped the dollar store leaves/mini pumpkins and even the practice pumpkin all with the green floral wire and attached it to my two sunflower stems then poked a hole through the cardboard. I actually ended up attaching the whole thing to my mailbox as the stems still weren’t strong enough to stay up on their own even with the floral wire, so my suggestion would be to find something a little thicker and a little stronger if you want this to be a standalone item. I’m going to cross that bridge next year when I have some more time to invest in making this a standalone item. For now though, I think it came out great! And it cost me less than $20!

I have a magnolia tree and used the cones from it that were lying in my yard to cover the cardboard. You could use pine cones or anything you have to do the same.
The “baby”. 😆

Let me know what you think and if you’ve got any suggestions for keeping it upright on its own or you’d like to share your photos when you make this yourself.

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DIY Halloween props

With Halloween only days away, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I’ve made for this year’s Halloween party! Notice I didn’t say just say “Halloween” that’s because in my house, it’s become more about the party than it has the actual night! Sorry kids! 🤣

Anyway, this year is going to be a blast and I wanted to share with you some fun, cheap DIY projects that you too can do at home with some pretty basic supplies!

1. Dollar store hanging pen

This one was really cheap and really easy to make, you could honestly stick anything inside it too, I just wanted something fun and easy to hang near the street, so opted for what a I’ve got.

What you’ll need: 2 baskets from the dollar store (sorry Aussies, you’ll have to pick some up from one of the cheap shops, I know they’re not a dollar, but still pretty reasonable). I spray painted them black with spray paint I already had but you can pick up cheap spray paint from Walmart or even your local hardware store.

I bought 2 stake (as in you normally stake them in to the ground) glow-in-the-dark arms from Dollar Tree as well as one of their skulls. I bought a mop also from there. I had an empty lacquer thinner container that I used as my ‘body’ (after I had rinsed it, of course) and got one of my son’s old shirts.

Get your dollar store mop and remove some of the strands:

I got a glue gun and took the strands from the mop and glued them to my skull. Nothing fancy, just gluing wherever they looked good. Then it’s a matter of putting it all together, I’ve seen similar projects with skeletons inside the baskets or even homemade ‘monsters’, as I said I opted for something super simple. The process was very easy and maybe took all of 20 mins (excluding drying time).

I grabbed the lacquer thinner container and drilled a hole on each side for the arms to slit into and put a dab of hot glue to hold them in place. I also hot glued the skull on to where the lid formally lived. Then it was just a matter of putting the shirt on and placing him in the basket.

After the baskets were dry (having sprayed both inside and outside of each) I placed my ‘half-guy’ into the basket and put the other one on top. I placed the hands where a I wanted them to go and zip tied everything in place. Then it was a matter of putting a couple of Dollar Tree rats on the outside of the cage and a chain from there also and zip tying those into place too. It has been outside in all sorts of weather and still looks great!

2. Dollar store trophies

I wanted to give out trophies this year as well as the prizes we regularly give out, but didn’t want to spend a fortune on them so I grabbed these from Dollar Tree:

and made them into these:

Super easy too! All you do is give the skull a light sanding and using acrylic paint, darken the already darkened areas on the skull. Grab a light grey paint (or gold/brown or whatever colour you like) then go over everything else, leaving the darkened spots in place to contrast. The great thing is that if you make a mistake, you can easily go back over it with whatever paint you need to!

Then I got a candle (also from Dollar Tree) that fitted into the top of the trophy perfectly. I hot glued this in place (just the lids so that if someone wants to use the candle they still can). Some of the candles I painted in a metallic acrylic paint, others I left as is. I printed out trophy names on the printer, cut them out and modpodged them to the candle cases. I glued hair on some and not on others, there’s even one as a gag trophy to a friend of ours because he promised to finally wear a costume to this year’s party! 😆

Let me know what you think. And if you try this yourself, I’d love to see your photos!

If you enjoy reading my crazy, varied blogs, please subscribe here on WordPress. Sharing is caring, so feel free to share with your friends. I’m on Facebook: Aussie Mum’s Adventures. Come like my page and share it with your friends! You can find me on Twitter: @ozmumsadventures, on Instagram: Ozmumsadventures, and on Pinterest: Aussiemumsadventures