How to make a Haunted Tree. (With things you already have, of course.)

I’ve mentioned that we’re throwing a Halloween Party and I am trying my best to decorate for pennies on the dollar. So far I’ve spent about $38 on supplies ($30 of which went to black spray paint) and I think I’m in pretty good shape.

We have a bare planter that is right off our patio (aka The Dance Floor for the night of the party.) I wanted to do something with it to gussy it up. A Haunted Tree and lots of candles the night of the party should work well.

Here’s what you need:

  • An old heavy pot
  • An old tomato cage
  • Branches
  • packing tape
  • craft paper (or paper grocery bags)
  • black acrylic paint
  • a spray bottle
  • black spray paint
  • child laborers (optional)

Turn the tomato cage upside down and wedge it into the heavy pot. Take your first branch and wedge it in there too, securing with tape as you go.

Add more branches, making sure that you arrange them in a creepy, spooky way… like they might reach out and grab ya or something. :) Secure them with tape too.

Here’s where the child laborers come in. Roll out your craft paper (or spread your grocery bags on an already embarrassing portion of your lawn. Take black acrylic paint and water it down. Fill a spray bottle and hand it to one of your kids.

This serves three purposes.
First, by using the acrylic paint first, you won’t need as much spray paint later. (This saves money.)
Second, it helps to soften and “age” the paper you’re using.
Third, your child laborer will feel like they are helping to decorate for Halloween and you won’t feel as guilty about crafting instead of taking your kids to the park or something.

When the watered down paint has dried, rip the paper into big chunks and crumple it up. Don’t be shy… really smash it and crumple it. Start tucking it into the bottom of the pot and winding it around the tree “form” you created with your branches.

Use more tape to secure it. It’s OK to do a messy, crinkly tape job. In fact, I think it’ll look better overall when you’re finished if you do.

When you’re satisfied with the way it looks, break out the spray paint. I only partially painted mine. I will do the final coat and make the necessary adjustments the morning of our party. No sense in getting it “just so” and then leaving it outside another 20 days.

Now I just hope the dog doesn’t knock it down. Part of the reason that nothing grows in this planter is that squirrels run back and forth across the top of this wall and it drives our dog crazy. She runs through the planter chasing them. Oh well. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.


  1. says

    I made a tree similar to this for teacher appreciation week last year and hung it to Peanuts teachers door with a recycling bin. It said “Be cool go green…Go Mr. Green” I never would have thought about making it like this! Once again I am in awe of your craftiness and agree with Becca, I want an invitation!

  2. says

    How has no one snatched you up to be their party planner??? You are the list gal, you have ideas gahhh-lor, you don’t mind sticking to a budget & you are clearly a crafy genius!

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