I belong to a very small group (there’s only four of us but until recently there were just 2 of us) of gals who each month have a “Crafter’s Smackdown”. It originally started with my BFF Wendy and I when I was living in Massachusetts. Each month, one of us would pick a crafting medium (like for instance a roll of duct tape). We would each separately construct something from the chosen medium and not share the results until completed. The only rule was that while you could add whatever additional supplies you wanted (glue, paint, wood, etc.), the given medium (ie. the duct tape) needed to be the primary focus of the completed project. It became a way to flex our creative muscles each month. Every single month I expect that we will come up with the same idea, and every single month I am wrong. A few examples are as follows:
The coffee filter challenge:
Wendy made a garland of pom-poms and fairy lights while I made a rosette wreath that I tutorialized here.
The popsicle stick/river rock Smackdown:
Wendy made a set of coasters, I made an hombre painting or tray (my rocks are on the back).
For the Cork Smackdown, my college roomie and old friend Lori joined the group:
Lori made a beautiful trivet that looks like a Pansy, Wendy made the awesome shutter-turned-memo-board, and I made a tray for serving wine. To myself.
For this month’s Crafter’s Smackdown, Lori got to choose and she chose gourds. I already had my eye on these pumkin topiaries on Pinterest so I decided to take action on one of them. I’ve seen several variations, and did a mixture of a few of those.
I did not take pictures as I went along, but here’s the gist of it. I should mention here that if you have less than or more than 3 digits in your house number, you should adjust accordingly. I got 3 (a small, a medium and a large) “Funkins”. These are the fake pumpkins that they sell at craft stores the greatest benefit of which is that they last forever. I wanted to be able to reuse this for years to come so I got myself some Funkins. Anyway, they are hollow, lightweight, realistic looking and EXPENSIVE, so I got mine at Hobby Lobby when they were 40% off. Cut a 1″ hole in the top and bottom of the medium and large size pumpkins, and in the bottom only of the small one (the one that will go on the top). Find the flattest side of the pumpkin and draw, paint, or stencil your house numbers on them. I did mine with a Sharpie because I find that easiest, but if you look at the pumpkins very closely, well, I know it would look better had I used paint instead. I just couldn’t be bothered. Ok, now you are ready to assemble your topiary (Already?! I know, right?).
Take your urn, I got mine at Lowe’s and it was $12 and made of plastic. Lowe’s also had a “real” one that was $70. Unless you break the bank and buy the real one, you’ll want to weigh it down with something. You can fill it partway with stones or bricks or sand. I took a 10″ terra cotta pot, turned it upside down and stuck it into the urn. The pot had a 1″ drainage hole in the bottom of it, which came in handy for the next step. You will need a 3/4″ wood dowel that measures the same height as the depth of the urn plus the height of your 3 pumpkins combined. I bought a 4 foot dowel and cut it down to about 3-1/2 inches. Stick the dowel into the center of your urn. For mine, I threaded it through the drainage hole in the terra cotta pot which helped secure it really well. Now thread your three pumpkins onto the dowel with the largest at the bottom and the smallest (the one that still has a stem on top) at the top. Garnish with fake or real leaves, moss or other fall foliage. I used fake leaves at the bottom then a raffia-type product in between the other two. I made a nice bow for the top and that’s about it. My gourd Smackdown is complete and it only took me a few hours.
I have a whole slew of projects I’m working on now for Halloween, so sit tight and I’ll have them up here before long. Thanks!