Halloween Decorating, Garden Style: Growing a Man-Eating Plant.

It's a well-known fact that my DNA is missing artistic genes. I'm not sure how that happened. Both of my sisters are crafty, talented, artsy-type people. I, however, am a hazard with a hot glue gun and can't draw a stick figure.

I aspire to be artsy. I do. But whenever I see an adorable project on Pinterest or think of a cute craft for the garden, my vision is so much better than the reality.

For example, I happened to be browsing one of my favorite Facebook groups, #gardenchat, when I came across this post.

"How to Make a Man-Eating Monster Plant."

Oh. My. Gosh.

The author of the post, Shirley Bovshow of the Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" show, provided step-by-step instructions on her Eden Makers blog. The best part? The project would take ONE HOUR from start to finish, including the 30 minutes to allow the insulation foam to dry.

One hour? I'm in! It looked so simple.

One hour--and THREE DAYS LATER--I've finally, finally completed my monster plants.

man-eating monster plant @juliesgardendelights.com

Seriously. The project took THREE days. Of course, those days also included four trips to purchase missing materials, two permanently sticky hands from misdirected spray adhesive, and one blistered finger from hot glue.

How is that possible? It was supposed to be a one-hour project!

OK. I did make two plants, so granted--I can see doubling the time. Two hours, max.

And I did use extra large pots, which required far more spray foam insulation than I anticipated, resulting in one of the many trips to the store.

But how am I that uncoordinated that it took me three days???

I'm baffled.

I swear, it's my genetics.

Because I know many of you are talented, hot-glue-gun-wielding craftsy types, I still wanted to share the project with you, because I do think it's an adorable idea. The next time I feel the need to make something non-garden-related for the blog, I'd like to invite you artsy friends to come over. I'll provide the wine if you'll provide the talent.


So, here's my version of how to make a Man-Eating Plant:


supplies for man-eating plant @juliesgardendelights.com

Old garden pot/container
Foam pumpkin
Silk leaves
Spanish moss
Spray foam insulation (With the size of my container, I needed four cans per container.)
Spray paint (I used a bright green)
Tacky spray adhesive
Hot glue gun (and glue sticks)
Garden clippers
Tree branch
Knife (to cut foam pumpkin--the wimpy pumpkin carving tool didn't make a dent in it.)


Fill your container about half-way full with the spray foam insulation. Wear gloves and protective eye gear, please--this stuff can get nasty messy. In fact, I put together the entire project outside. You'll definitely want an area that's well ventilated. Because my containers are so big and the insulation can get pricey, I first filled them with old plastic nursery pots to take up volume, then added the insulation. Allow the foam to dry for at least 30 minutes or until hard.

pots inside pot @juliesgardendelights.com

spray foam insulation in pot @juliesgardendelights.com

Remember--the insulation will grow and expand.

While waiting for the insulation to dry, mark the design on your pumpkin. The stem will be at the back of the plant's "mouth."

man-eating plant pumpkin design @juliesgardendelights.com

Using a short-bladed, sharp knife, carefully carve the foam pumpkin. Make a small hole at the base of the stem--this is where you will attach the pumpkin to your branch.

carved pumpkin for man-eating plant

(I never expected carving a fake pumpkin to be so challenging! Yeesh. I worked up a sweat trying to carve the first one. Sad, isn't it?)

When the foam is dry, insert the branch into the center of the foam, making certain to push down until it is well secured. Using one of the small branches near the top, insert the pumpkin onto the branch.

pumpkin on stick

Close up of pumpkin on stick

Spray the pumpkin and entire branch with your choice of colored spray paint. (This is messy. Wear old clothes, and do it outside, away from anything that might get painted, like a cat.) Allow paint to dry well.


painted pumpkin on a stick

While paint is drying, coat the top of the spray foam insulation with spray adhesive. Immediately place the Spanish moss on the adhesive, arranging it to cover the insulation. I liked the creepy look of it spilling down the side of the container, so I added a bit more in some places than others.

When the paint is dry, adhere silk leaves to the branches using hot glue. Note: HOT GLUE IS DANGEROUS! IT BURNS! There. You've been warned! (Seriously, how do people use hot glue guns on a regular basis? Every time I use one, I blister a finger. Today, it's my left index finger.) Just please be careful, OK?

moss on pot

Allow the glue to dry well, then move your monster plant into place. You can also embellish it, adding bones and spiders to the container, but I went for subtle--and only added a sign.

monster plant enter at your own risk

Man-eating Monster Plant final @juliesgardendelights.com

Although I spent a ridiculous amount of time making these decorations, I'm fairly certain there will be more Halloween garden craftiness happening.

Or perhaps I should just get back to the garden and play in the dirt. After all, I think gardening is less hazardous to my fingers...

We'll see.

Are you creating anything for Halloween or autumn? If you make this Man-Eating Plant, please share a photo on my Garden Delights Facebook page. (And let me know how many hours it takes you from start to finish!)

Happy Crafting!