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OK - I have a bunch of heavy duty cardboard tubes (from rolls of vinyl). 15"-20" long by about 3" wide. Any ideas on how to utilize these and transform them to make them look like faux wood? Wanting to build full sized "crosses" for scarecrows to hang from. Lack of real wood/branches. Any help would be great!:D
 

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What i would do is soak them in water for a bit to make them pliable, once done, i would pound or press them flat to make them "Board-like" then let them dry in the sun until they are hard again. Once this is done, simply fasten them together as "Crosses" either by screws or glue (what have you). Next paint them a "wood colour" of your choosing as a base coat. Then "Dry brush" a wood grain onto them and Voila.......instant wooden crosses!
 

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If you are trying to make them look like wooden poles then I would join as many together as you need for height and then use great stuff to make a bark texture . Go up and down the "trunk" with the foam and when dry use rasps wire brushes or what ever to get bark texture then paint and stain. Branches can be made with electrical wire similarly coated.
 

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I have one of those wood grain tools . Can anyone tell me how to use it properly. I have tried several methods and it is not as easy as it looks
 

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What i would do is soak them in water for a bit to make them pliable, once done, i would pound or press them flat to make them "Board-like" then let them dry in the sun until they are hard again. Once this is done, simply fasten them together as "Crosses" either by screws or glue (what have you). Next paint them a "wood colour" of your choosing as a base coat. Then "Dry brush" a wood grain onto them and Voila.......instant wooden crosses!
If you soak a cardboard tube the plies of paper that make up the tube separate and the tube falls apart. I worked at a mill that made tubes, including the sonotubes for 5 years before moving to the paper mill I am now at where we grind up tubes like that all the time to make new paper. If those vinyl tubes are going to be outside they will definitely need to be waterproofed, even if they are very thick. Try corpsing them with plastic. Saw where someone made an entire tree out of melted plastic and chicken wire. Looked good. The plastic corpsing will give a lot of protection from the elements and make a rough texture to break up the perfectness of the tubes shape a little. Go thick with multiple layers, paint with black latex, then dry brush in browns and tans.
 
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