I didn't fully document this project because I was sad.
Following a cross-country move at the end of Summer, and weeks of unemployment before finally starting a new job, I faced Halloween with little hope. With no budget at my disposal, no time, and living in a town without even a proper thrift store to speak of when looking for materials, I came to a decision: rather than a costume, I would simply make a prop.
At first I didn't think I'd be able to make anything new at all, and I was prepared to accept that because I've got lots of old costumes that are worthy of being worn again, in a new setting. But it was a hard move, and a rough adjustment, and Halloween is my favorite time of year. So I just had to do something.
What I had on hand was a small selection of scrap fabric, paint, a hot glue gun, and access to a sewing machine.
I needed to purchase a couple of yards of additional green fabric, a plastic flower pot, polyester stuffing, glue sticks, and a styrofoam ball. Altogether, I spent $13, including a buck for the plaid bow tie.
Step 1: Undocumented Craft
I made this thing up as I went. I cut the styrofoam ball in half and scooped out enough material to jam my fingers and thumb in either side, puppet mouth style. I made sort of cloth glove/sock deal for my hand so I wouldn't be digging at naked foam, and then shaped a cloth sheath around the whole assemblage. I used straight pins through the cloth and foam to hold it together, then hot glue. I cut a long pink oval piece of cloth and glued it in place for the mouth interior, then glue on tubes for lips, shaped with polyester stuffing. I painted the whole thing by hand, just trying to make it look really cabbage-y.
The body of the puppet way made to reach my elbow, with the painted portion going most of the way up my forearm. It's essentially a snakelike puppet that is operated through a large opening cut in the side of the flower pot.
For teeth I started with buttons, but they sucked. So I made little white cloth cones instead. They're hot glued into the mouth.
Step 2: Lots and Lots of Leaves
The leaves were all made freehand. The smaller ones have thin quilt batting inside.
The larger, more complicated ones were drawn on cloth, sewn freehand on the machine. Then I lightly stuffed them and stitched in the veins.
Each leaf was gessoed and then painted by hand. Before putting it together, I also laid the leaves out and sprayed them with an acrylic varnish.
The vines were created in exactly the same way, with freehand stitching, polyester stuffing and a lot of patience.
Step 3: Finishing Touches
The prop was finished off by gluing the vines and the large tropical leaves around the inside rim of the pot. Most of the small leaves were glued and stitched to the body of the puppet. Once it was all in place, I glued brown cloth inside the rim of the pot to simulate dirt and hide the crude edges.
The whole things was cheap and crude but it works!