Yikes, where did this week go?! Sorry to drop off the map there; John relapsed from his "cold" - which turned out to be viral Bronchitis - so it's been hectic over here on the party-prepping front. He's still pushing through, and I think may finally - FINALLY - be better, but we're looking at the mountain of projects ahead and freaking out juuuust a little, haha. Still having fun, but also lying awake nights going "WHAT HAVE WE DONE?!"
Let me show you one of the few things I've finished and installed and am actually super happy with, because they were a blast to make AND make me grin:
My Cake-Eating Huffle Plants.
Not canon in any way, so don't hex me, Potter purists; I just needed more magical plants, and after the Mimbulus debacle I've put off making a mandrake for now.
Besides, look at these sweet lil' faces:
"I LIKE CAKE."
"WE ALSO ACCEPT DAY-OLD DOUGHNUTS."
Now with their lights on:
I know these give off serious "FEED ME SEYMOUR" vibes, but since they're 'Puff plants I've decided they're on a strict pastry diet, no human flesh.
Plus they were so fun to make! Here, let me walk you through it:
All you need are some leftover foam pumpkins (check the Fall Clearance right now; we got these at Walmart for around a dollar each), a craft blade, craft paints, and an old silk plant with thick-ish stems.
To begin, sketch out a jagged mouth around the horizontal line of your foam pumpkin - stem in the back - then cut through your lines with a craft blade:
Peel off the plastic "skin" inside the mouth, revealing the white Styrofoam underneath.
Now the messy part: carve out the foam inside the mouth, but keep some behind the teeth for strength:
It helps to think of the foam as a cake, and cut out triangular slices. This isn't nearly as hard as it seems; just messy (the foam gets EVERYWHERE - especially with cats!) and a little time consuming. It shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes, though.
When you're done you'll have something like this:
(Yes, different pumpkin. Just testing to see if you're paying attention. :D)
Paint the inside of the mouth first, since this is messy and takes a while to dry:
The Styrofoam will crumble and fall out in places, so just keep piling on the black paint best you can.
(Actually, you could stop here for an awesome creepy pumpkin plant for next year!)
Once that dries (I used a hairdryer to hurry it along) start painting the outside green:
Use 2-3 shades of green that match your silk plant, randomly loading your brush with bits of each to give it a nice streaky finish. This will take two coats to cover the slick plastic skin.
Next use a bright yellow to give it stripes, and also accent the "lips" so the mouth stands out:
I also used a dark purple to darken the sections in-between the yellow. Just have fun and keep loading on more colors 'til you're happy with how it looks.
The silk plant I was using had leaves streaked with white in the middle, so I painted the white sections yellow to make them match better:
This is fast & messy - trust me, it'll look great from a distance.
I forgot to take a picture, but also paint the middle interior of the mouth with a bright pink or red. Just a bit - you can leave most of it black.
To attach to the silk plant, I found a nice sturdy branch, wedged open two stems, and hot-glued the pumpkin stem in-between:
I also hot-glued the back of the pumpkin "head" to the branch up above, for a secondary support. This won't stand up to much abuse, I'm sure, but for display purposes it holds just fine. If you're nervous wrap a little floral tape or wire around it, too.
The last thing I added were the tongues, which are cut-off plastic leaves from a different plant, painted pink and hot-glue in place. The leaves were super stiff - solid plastic - so I used a heat gun to melt a curve into them:
You could also use craft foam for this, or even wired ribbon.
Needless to say, the tongues are absolutely the best part, so don't skip them. :D
If you get lazy like me, you can also paint one of the pumpkins without carving the mouth, so it looks like a seed pod. I did that on one side:
K, that's the plant itself, now let me show you how we made the rest!
For the wall planters we bought a $5 plastic pot, filled it with expanding foam, then cut the whole thing in half:
BOOM. Two wall planters with built-in floral foam!
To hang them you can see John added aluminum bars inside with pre-drilled holes for a screw or nail. There are visible screws on the outside edges of the pot, holding the bar in place, but my hanging greenery hides those, so no biggie.
Hang the pot on the wall to work on your arrangement; it's the only way to make sure everything sits properly. Or, you know, have John whip together a quick stand so you can work on the dining room table:
I used three different kinds of cheap thrift-store greenery: a hanging ivy, a hanging purple-leafed thing, and the larger-stemmed bush my Huffle plant is attached to. Since I only had one plant of each hanging thing, I cut them in half to fill both pots - and you can see I had plenty to work with.
As a final touch I tucked in a strand of battery-operated lights from the Dollar Tree. I couldn't decide between red and yellow, so I have one of each. :D I'm hoping to add more wall plants around the room, in which case I'll add blue and green lights, so we have one for each House color.
I made sure to stick a light in each mouth, so they stand out better. Since it will be dark in here for the party, I'm hoping the lights help people notice our extra plant babies. :D
And that's it! I hope these made you smile, maybe inspired some more magical plant creations out there.
Now a couple extra pretty pictures, because pretty:
Oh! I should mention this awesome Hufflepuff banner! It's awesome. Only $14 Prime on Amazon, huge, and the print quality and colors are phenomenal. John will be moving it to his game room after the party... though I may have to trim it down because it's so big! Anyway, highly recommended - and as always, if you shop through any of my Amazon links John and I get a little kick-back, so thanks for supporting us. We love you guys bunches.
Look for our next big build - or at least an update on it - in a post soon!
And for you locals, John and I plan to be out and about taking photos at the Dressed To The 9 3/4s event at Universal Orlando this Sunday, so if you see us, please say hi! (It's a fan-run event like Dapper Day, only Harry Potter themed. Not too big, so it's a great way to meet other fans!)