I, like many of you, look forward to October.
The days have become a little cooler, the dog days of summer are, hopefully, behind us and my mind starts wandering to all the upcoming holidays. One of my favorite holidays, Halloween, is right around the corner. It is no secret that we all enjoy the spooky and scary holiday.
We spend, literally, billions of dollars each year on Halloween costumes, decorations and, most importantly, candy. In 2017, it is estimated that Americans spent 9.1 billion dollars on Halloween and Halloween related items. That is a huge amount of money.
While most of us cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars on Halloween decorations, I have a very inexpensive and effective way to decorate your yard or patio for Halloween, and you might already have a lot of the items on hand. Let’s go!
Five Jack O’Lantern pumpkin buckets (I got mine at my local big retailer for one dollar each)
Tall garden stake or tall piece of rebar
Garden pot (optional)
Electric drill and appropriate sized drill bit
Pea gravel or other object for weight
Fall silk flowers, leaves, small scarecrows, etc., for decoration.
Cut the handles off the pumpkin buckets. Using your drill and a drill bit, that is the same size as your garden stake or rebar, drill a hole in the bottom of your plastic pumpkin.
Place your garden pot, upside down, in your chosen location, thread your garden stake through the drainage hole, and push into the ground securely. Slide your plastic pumpkins onto the garden stake, from the hole in the bottom, tilting each pumpkin to alternating sides.
Put a couple of scoops of the pea gravel, or other heavy material, into the pumpkin, on the side you want it to lean. This will weight it to that side, keep it in place and also keep it sturdy in windy conditions. If you want to add lights to your pumpkin tower, now is the time to do it. Take a string of lights, tuck some into each pumpkin, running the cord behind the display.
Decorate your pumpkins. Put in seasonal silk flowers, grass and reeds. Add in a couple of small scarecrows. Maybe throw in some smaller pumpkins. Use your imagination!
Add in the rest of your own Halloween and fall decorations. Put in some small hay bales, a few more pumpkins, a spooky sign or two. Maybe a skull. It’s Halloween! Go crazy!
A few more tips:
If you don’t have or don’t want to use a garden pot, you can drive your stake directly into your yard or flower bed and stack your pumpkins accordingly.
If you are doing this for a front porch or balcony, use your garden pot upright, fill it with potting soil, to give it weight, place your stake into the pot, and continue.
If you want fresh plants, fill your pumpkins with potting soil and put in autumn plants like Mums, Crotons or Pansies.
After Halloween, turn your pumpkins so the Jack O’Lantern faces are to the rear, and you will have plain pumpkins that will take you into the Thanksgiving holiday.
I hope you all give this inexpensive, easy and fun Halloween decoration a try. Invite me to your Halloween party so I can see it! I have a great costume!
Wichitan Chip Kouri — who recently participated as a teaching artist in the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture that gave us the Don’t Fence Me In project, as well as starring in “Sister Act” and “The Wizard of Oz” at The Wichita Theatre and “Lend Me a Tenor” at Backdoor Theatre — takes us along as he creates some of his home, gardening and entertaining favorites. Kouri is currently starring in “Clue: The Musical” at The Wichita Theatre’s Stage 2.
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