Looking for a fun and different alternative to the traditional Jack-O-Lantern? This week on the blog Candice demonstrates how to make your typical pumpkin into a fun and eye-catching pumpkin planter! With grass hair, succulent eyes and mouth, these planters are silly and allow for a lot of room for creativity. This tutorial allows your to "cheat" plant your Jack-O-Lantern without any soil, while leaving your plants within their plastic containers. As this isn't a long lasting planter, this is a great green option which allows you to easily reuse the plants.
1 medium sized pumpkin (you can also use a gourd to change it up)
1 sharp pairing knife or pumpkin carving knife
1 metal spoon or pumpkin scoop
1 One Gallon Grass ('Cool as Ice' Blue Fescue, 'Evergold' Carex, and 'Orange New Zealand Sedge' Carex are all fantastic options)
2 2" Echeveria or Succulent of your choice (for a small to medium sized pumpkin) or 2 4" Echeveria or Succulent of your choice (for large to x-large pumpkin)
1 2"- 4" trailing Sedum (Moss Stonecrop, Burros Tail, String of Pearls or String of Bananas are fun options)
3-5 floral pins or spool of floral wire
Glittery leaves or fall themed picks *optional
Choose what size pumpkin you would like to use for your project and feel free to size up or size down your plants accordingly. If you would like a smaller pumpkin, then feel free to choose a 4" or 6" grass for the hair as we have many options in those sizes! We also recommend choosing a pumpkin without a stem because it will make the next step easier. Next take you grass and place it over the top of the pumpkin stem, and with your pen or knife, gently score or outline the grass pot. This will give you a rough template to begin carving.
Using your sharp knife, while wearing gloves, cut out the grass pot shape. This will be a little smaller than the pot, but that is okay for now. As usual, scoop out the contents of the pumpkin with your metal spoon or pumpkin scoop. Be sure to compost the innards and/or bake the seeds for a healthy treat!
Next is the pumpkins "hair". Now try and place the grass, while still in its pot, into the opening you just created. If it is too tight, begin to cut away the opening little by little until the pot fits snugly into it. You want it to be fairly tight as pumpkins atrophy a little as they dry out and you don't want you grass to fall into the pumpkin. Once this is completed and your grass fits snugly into the opening, you are ready to move on to the eyes.
Candice recommends that you take your succulents out of their pots and use the pot opening as a means to trace the "eye" opening. Once you have decided where you want the eyes to be located, hold the pot where each eye should be and use your pen to outline the pot. Do both eyes (unless you want a cyclopes - then its up to you). Repeat the process for the mouth and nose (we chose not to give our Jack-O-Lantern a nose). We placed the mouth off-centre because we knew we wanted to create a smile using the foliage of the Sedum.