Tanya Memme's Spooky Halloween Tree

Materials Needed:

  • (1) 8' long 14' diameter concrete tube
  • (1) 3' Plywood Round
  • (4) 5" "L" shaped brackets
  • (2) 6' 1x3 plywood planks
  • (1) small roll of brown butcher/painters paper (comes in standard size)
  • Spray mount adhesive
  • Scissors
  • Rubber gloves
  • Face mask & goggles
  • Jigsaw
  • Wood screws
  • Drill
  • Black exterior spray paint
  • Exterior latex paint – medium gray
  • Pencil/Sharpie
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Paint brush
  • 4 Lawn Stakes
  • (2) Branches from your backyard


  1. 8' long 14" diameter concrete tube can be special ordered from a cement supply company or your local hardware store.
  2. Using the Sharpie, draw a spooky face in the upper half of the concrete tube and a jagged line all the way around the top of the "head."
  3. Wearing goggles, use the drill to put a starter hole in the cement tube where you will cut out the face. Cut out the face and jagged top with the jigsaw. If you are not comfortable with a jigsaw, you can use a heavy utility knife or a handsaw.
  4. Reinforce the tube and create places to attach the base and arms by adding 1x3's on the inside of the "trunk." Run a bead of Gorilla Glue down the side of the 1x3's. Slide the 1x3's on each side of the tube so they are flush to the inside of the tree. Place the 1x3's on opposite sides of the face mirroring one another. Secure in place from the outside of the tree with wood screws and drill, spacing wood screws about 12" apart, starting at base of tree and securing the final screw at the top of the 1x3.
  5. Add "bark" to the tree. Roll out 6 strips of butcher paper 9' long (1' longer than the length of the 8' tree). Crumple up the paper to make it wrinkly and twisted. Smooth the paper out again.
  6. Put on mask and rubber gloves. Spray adhesive along the length of the section of the tree you will be covering. Spray glue one section at a time. Adhere the paper to the tube, crinkling the paper as you go. Roll the tube over and repeat with each strip of paper until the tube is completely covered. Cover all of the face holes (ie. "mouth" & "eyes").
  7. Break out paper from mouth and eyes and fold paper inside the tube.
  8. Mount the trunk to the 3' plywood round base. Place the tube on the plywood round where it will be screwed in and trace the trunk on the round with a pencil. Remove the trunk and go over the pencil tracing with Gorilla Glue. Replace the trunk on the glue. Reinforce the seal by screwing in one "L" bracket into the base of the plywood round and the tree trunk. Be sure to screw the bracket into the 1x3's.
  9. Place the other two "L" shaped brackets on either side of the tree where the "ribs" would be. This is where we will eventually attach the branches.
  10. Paint the visible parts of the inside of the tube with the black spray paint. You may need to give it 2 or 3 coats.
  11. Paint the tree with the exterior gray paint with a brush. Make sure you use heavy coats of paint, pushing the paint into the crevices of the paper folds. This will help to weatherproof the tree as well. Don't try to be perfect here. Drips will add to the spooky look!
  12. Choose branches that have character to them so they look like "arms." If the branch you pick for your arms is too heavy to pick up, then it's too heavy for the tree. Make your branches about the same size and weight for each side's balance.
  13. Depending on the size and length of your branches, find a good spot on your tree for the "arms." Cut the ends of the branches that will attach to the tree so it's flush to the trunk.
  14. From here, it's all about detailing. You can add Spanish moss or fall leaves with spray mount wherever you see fit.
  15. Place your tree where you want it in your yard and stake it to the ground with lawn stakes. If you are really concerned about stabilizing your tree, add rocks to weigh down the base.
  16. The exterior paint should protect the tree, but if you live in a particularly wet climate, I would also coat your tree in a clear water-resistant varnish, like Never-Wet from Chrylon. Marine varnish will work, too. To store for future Halloweens, detach the branches from the brackets and cover everything with a tarp. You'll have this for years to come.
  17. Tweet momtrepreneur and lifestyle expert Tanya Memme @Tanya_Memme. Also, visit her on Facebook and check out Get more great recipes and crafts by visiting us on Pinterest at and follow "Home & Family" on Twitter @homeandfamilytv and Facebook. Plus, check out our YouTube channel for backstage videos.

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