Let's Make Some Killer Plants!

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Introduction: Let's Make Some Killer Plants!

In my house we love Halloween and we love plants, thus we love Halloween plants best. I saw several versions of these homemade killer plants and decided to give them a go myself, for as little money as possible. Here's how I did it with the help of my minions.

Supplies

1) Mini foam footballs from the dollar store. Seriously they cost $1 each and they're about seven? inches long. Perfect. Color immaterial, as we're going to cover it all up.

2) Acrylic paint. I used a six-pack of basic colors from Sergeant in 4oz bottles, but it turns out you need a lot more black than you might expect. I ended up using all of the black on thirteen of these little guys, but have plenty of the other colors leftover.

3) White plastic for the teeth, as in from an empty milk or creamer bottle. You could probably use plain opaque plastic and paint it, but my experiments with that turned out extremely meh, whereas cutting teeth directly out of an already-white bottle was easy and awesome and required no other steps.

4) Some sort of spacer for the mouth; in this case I used pieces of branches that were trimmed from my bougainvillea.

5) Some sort of branch for the stems, in this case, mine also came from my bougainvillea.

6) Spray-on varnish

7) Hot glue

8) Scissors, paper, tape, box cutter, paint brushes, etc.

Step 1: Open Up the Mouth

Cut the footballs down the centerline to about an inch on either side. I found an old steak knife worked best, because it was faster than a box cutter, and frankly if the edge is a little jagged, so be it.

Step 2: Prop the Mouth Open

Take your spacer and hot glue it into the back of the mouth. I used bougainvillea cuttings, so I ended up hot gluing two together ahead of time to make the spacer size I liked best. Using cuttings was nice because they all vary just a little due to their organic nature, giving my babies a satisfyingly non-uniform look.

Step 3: Paint the Inside of the Mouth

Paint the inside of the mouth using the black acrylic paint. I found the foam to be extremely thirsty, so this took longer (and more paint) than I expected it to originally, but the result was pretty sweet.

Step 4: Paint the Outside

I took the basic green acrylic paint and added little red, and a spot of black to get a darker, deeper green color and then painted the exterior of each head. I found that two layers were enough to cover the original color and barcode markings as long as I let them dry between coats. I also ended up going back to touch up the outsides before varnishing, so don't panic about small imperfections.

If you have young minions that want in on the fun, this is the place to let them go nuts, because you can always put one last layer over whatever chaos they create.

Step 5: Give Them Some Lips!

Once the green coats are dry, use the red acrylic paint to draw lines along the top and bottom of the mouths. If you're like me, you also want to add pouty lip details to the top side (or both sides). Again, I let each coat dry before adding another.

Step 6: Make and Attach the Teeth

Cut teeth out of your white plastic. I didn't use a template because again, I was looking for that organic, non-uniform look, but I did make two rough sizes: big/wide teeth, and thin/needlier teeth. I used four bigger and five smaller for each. Kids can generally help with this, too, because the plastic cuts pretty easily with regular scissors, and again, their unevenness is part of their charm.

Once the paint on your heads is dry, use a box cutter to cut a furrow just inside the top and bottom of each half of the mouth. Run some hot glue through the furrow, then stick your teeth in how you like them.

Step 7: Add a Stem

Take your box cutter and cut a small hole near the bottom back of each head. Try not to make the hole too much bigger than your stems. I made mine all sit on their stems at angles all a little different than the last. Shove some hot glue in there and then stick your stem in. I made the mistake of not taking a photo at this step, but here's what the approximate placement should look like.

Step 8: Paint the Stem and Touch Up the Exterior

Paint the stem from where it touches the head (paying attention to any edges that are showing around the attachment point) to most of the way down. Touch up any weird or thin spots on the heads.

I chose to paint the stems roughly the same that same muddied-up green color as the heads. I also did NO measuring while mixing though, so every batch of that green was a little different from the last, which I felt added to the depth of color here.

Finally, spray your babies with a nice varnish. Remember to do this outdoors with good ventilation, and be careful to cover your nose and mouth. Glossy or matte, your preference! I used matte.

Step 9: RELASE THEM INTO THE WILD

I stuck several in my strawberries, where they seemed right at home. I also zip tied some into my shrubs for the lolz. You can also add some fake greenery and stick them in a pot using recycled foam or cardboard and hot glue to make a free-standing, reusable decoration, if you want. And that's it! Now it's time to admire your handiwork and laugh hard. Add some little plastic human fingers for added lolz.

Step 10:

1 Person Made This Project!

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