It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Halloween decorating time!
This year, since my monster plants have become permanent fixtures in my house, I decided to add to my haunted garden with some bone and eyeball based plants. Now, I can’t completely take credit for these ideas. I purchased the eyes I used from Grandin Road and it was on their website that I originally found the ideas for a hanging bone topiary and the eyeball plants. However, they suggest using their skeletons, and to be honest, that was a bit pricey for my Halloween décor budget. I could afford their eyes and butterfly wreath, but I went with a slightly cheaper version for the bones. They have fantastic stuff, and if I ever win the lottery–well–my family knows what sort of house I’d have us living in!
You will need:
- Bones (I used rib cages from bone and skeleton sets)
- Large silk or plastic flowers
- Eyeballs (the tan ones I used were from Grandin road but I did find the bloodshot version pictured here in a craft store)
- Butterflies (I cut apart a wreath from Grandin road but I did find several versions in the craft store under the scrapbooking supplies)
- Spray paint (only needed if the large flowers are not the correct color – I could only find pinkish white)
- Moss (both dried Spanish and decorative varieties)
- Scissors and/or a craft knife
- Hot glue
- Pots if desired or fishing line for hanging.
- Plant foam, Styrofoam or sand
Step One: Trim the Flowers
The only flowers I was able to find that were the right size for the eyeballs I wanted to use had middle clusters of “buds.” Using my scissors, I cut these middle portions out of the flower to leave a space for the eyeball to rest comfortably and look natural. Or as natural as any giant eyeball could look when hot glued into an oversized flower.
Step Two: Paint it Black
I took my now trimmed giant flowers outside (or use a well ventilated and paint safe zone) and sprayed the leaves with black spray paint. Black is not needed as a color – the other flowers I found were purple and I left them that color. But, I suggest you carefully consider your color and Halloween decorating scheme. I tend toward blacks and purples with the occasional orange, so these white-pink flowers were not going to work.
Step Three: Plant the Bones
(If you don’t want to do a full torso, skip ahead to the hanging basket of ribs)
While the flowers were drying, I found a large pot for my torso bones. (I am not good at keeping real plants alive and I tend to collect the pots after each plant burial) I filled the pot with plant foam and pushed the end of the spine deep into the foam for support. I then added a few squirts of hot glue to help stabilize the bones. You could also use sand to support the bones, but remember, that is much heavier than foam and might make it hard to move later.
Step Four: Add Flowers to the Bone Arrangement
Once the spray paint is completely dry, add flowers to the sides of the pot in whatever way feels artful to you. This is a personal choice and you ought to go with what makes you happy visually. Then add dried Spanish Moss to the cover the foam and make the bones and flowers appear to be “growing” out of the planter.
Step Five: Butterflies and Moss and any other Creepy Crawlies You Want
At this point, I glued the butterflies I cut from the Grandin road wreath across the bones and added some varieties of moss I found in a collection bag of decorative mosses. I used the hot glue for all parts of this. After that, I draped some more Spanish moss through the ribs to give it that “lived-in” look. If you would prefer some spiders or bugs to butterflies – please, customize this craft. I would love to see some other ideas and how they turned out!
Step Six: Add Eyes to the Flowers
Even if you don’t want to plant bones with your flowers, you will want to add the eyes only after all the paint is completely dry. Test the flower and eye combo first. Once you’ve decided exactly how you want the eyeball flower to look, cover the back of the eyeball in hot glue and press firmly into the center of the flower. Hold until the glue has set.
Step Seven: If You Want a Vase of Eyeball Flowers
I wanted to vary my bone garden so I found a large vase/urn and filled it with sand. With enough sand, I was able to solidify the stems of my giant flowers. Once they were well placed, I added a bit of water to the sand to help it congeal and hold up against the occasional jostling.
Step Eight: Hanging Basket of Ribs
If you don’t want to go full-torso, I found the hanging basket a nice alternative. Using a partial ribcage, I hot glued butterflies to several of the ribs. Then I draped a few globs of Spanish moss through the ribs. Using fishing line, I hung the small rib cage from my ceiling. One plus to the cheaper bone collections – they are very light. I actually just wrapped the fishing line around a grommet in my overhead light so I didn’t have to add any holes to the ceiling.
I can’t recommend this addition to a Haunted Halloween Garden highly enough. It was by far one of the easiest and most economical decorating crafts I’ve undertaken – and the results are incredible! I expect these beauties to join my Monster Plants as permanent additions to my décor!