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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I just wanted to share my first real attempt at making my own Halloween props. I wanted to add more atmosphere to my little front yard haunt and thought some spooky trees would get the job done. Tried to do it in a relatively simple, cost effective way - hopefully this can help some people. I will be making more this year, so I welcome any feedback on how to improve for this season.

First off, I simply had a PVC pipe and attached one of these joints;

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After that, I simply emptied two cans of expanding foam on the "trunk" and let it dry. Once it was dry I carved the bottom so it was flat enough to stand up (practically unassisted).

Next step was to go for a walk and find some suitable branches - which I jammed under the pram on the walk back home much to my wife's embarrassment - and simply stuck them into the pipe in a way that it looked good. It was like a weird jigsaw puzzle in some ways;

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After that I finished off the expanding foam around the branches and let it dry. Once completely dried I cut some details into it that looked like little knots, and tried to carve off some of the unnatural looking bubbles that had formed.

The next day, I gave it a coat of black spray paint. I accidentally purchased GLOSS, but as this was days before Halloween I just rolled with it. This year I'll have some more time to do things a little better. Here it is standing unassisted;

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Next was just painting some browns, which I just dry brushed a few different tones from existing colours I had when I made my foam window boards. I added some rubber bats and little black skeletons for decoration.

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I have that "tree spirit" animated head which I tried to match the skin tone the best I could and added that to the tree at the front of my yard to trigger as people approached - "there's something spooky out tonight, and I think it's you!"

I had my "Clawing Cathy" zombie prop under the smaller tree that went in the centre of the yard, and the wide branched one at the back had my severed zombie head hanging from it.

In order to keep them stable, I actually drove some small metal stakes into the ground and slid them over the top. The "big" tree that had the larger PVC pipe didn't fit snug over the stakes, so I bought a pool noodle, cut a strip and wrapped that around the stake and once I slid the pipe over it didn't move at all. Really worked a charm.

I think they really helped take my little graveyard to the next level and I can't wait to raise the bar again this year with even more!

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*Picture above is the day before, so it's missing the animated props, some spiderwebs, and the candles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You can also stick some skulls into the foam...they look great and what a genius idea!
Thank you.

I was actually thinking of doing that this year! I'll get some foam mannequins and carve them up a bit to look scary, then set them in the expanding foam before it dries. I was hoping to somehow work a solar panel in so the eyes have a subtle glow at night.
 

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Margarita Goddess
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These are great. Pinning this!
Great idea starting with the PVC.
Thinking of expanding on this idea and use it for the branches also and covering with expanding foam.

matrixmom love the idea of putting skulls in.
 

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I used your inspiration to come up with some similar trees of my own! I'm at the second phase which is getting them painted, however did you do use anything in particular to help protect them from rain/weather?

Any tips to help the longevity would be appreciated, thanks!
 

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Those look awesome. Im thinking i may have to just scrap the 4 meter long branch i had my partner carry home and do something like this instead
 
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