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Hi all,

So I'm planning for my outdoor Halloween theme to be Sleepy Hollow this year, and I want to set the scenery in my very California drought stricken, barren yard with a forest look. I'm just very unsure about how to do this without having to buy those usually expensive light up spooky trees. Anybody have any tips and suggestions on how to do this? Also, if you have any other Sleepy Hollow ideas or links to transform my yard, feel free to chime in. So far, my plan is to make one of those wicked looking, tall Tim Burton style scarecrows, and for the Headless Horseman, I'm just planning on putting a Headless Horseman costume on my pose and stay skelly, with some newspaper stuffed inside to give him bulk, and with a funkin head wired to his hand. Other than that, I'll place my little ghost projector that I got at Home Depot last year on my garage door, and hopefully this year I'll get a fog projector that will keep our fog, as we have had as-of-late, super warm weather on Halloween (I cannot tell you how upset I am when it's warm on Halloween).
 

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First thing that comes to mind is tree trimmings, go out and collect down branches (or contact an arborist or recycling center and see if they have any clippings you can grab. Then using wood simply screw the trees to a cross section of wood as a stand (think charlie brown christmas tree). Or u could use ply wood and cut out spooky tree silouette and simply paint them black and add uplighting.

I have a sleepy hollow board that might help with some other ideas (link in signature ⬇) but sounds like your headed in a great direction....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow!!! See, I knew I was asking the right people! I do have a huge redwood tree in my backyard so I'm going to see about getting my husband to collect the branches from our next trimming. What's even better is that the redwood drops its baby-tree-makin' stuff and we have several little baby redwoods that we need to remove anyway, so I'll see about attaching these trimmings to a couple 2x4s. I'm so going to follow your Pinterest board too, btw.

First thing that comes to mind is tree trimmings, go out and collect down branches (or contact an arborist or recycling center and see if they have any clippings you can grab. Then using wood simply screw the trees to a cross section of wood as a stand (think charlie brown christmas tree). Or u could use ply wood and cut out spooky tree silouette and simply paint them black and add uplighting.

I have a sleepy hollow board that might help with some other ideas (link in signature ⬇) but sounds like your headed in a great direction....
 

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First thing that comes to mind is tree trimmings, go out and collect down branches (or contact an arborist or recycling center and see if they have any clippings you can grab. Then using wood simply screw the trees to a cross section of wood as a stand (think charlie brown christmas tree). Or u could use ply wood and cut out spooky tree silouette and simply paint them black and add uplighting.

I have a sleepy hollow board that might help with some other ideas (link in signature ⬇) but sounds like your headed in a great direction....

I've been slowly collecting enough trimmings to make a forest for a few years now. Finding ones that look "tree" not "branch" is sometimes difficult.

I strap mine to rebar with some jute twine, and you can hardly see the rebar/twine.
 

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Blue Pill? or Red Pill?
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Don't you think its ironic that the haunters that live in a desert want a forest setting and the ones that have it all green all year long like me want it deserted?:eek:;) I have the same prob trying to hide all the lushness without killing it all. Lots of dead leaves the ground spread all over also give it an autumn feel.There are some folks here on the forum that have made trees out of sono tubes from home depot and added paper mache branches. A couple of these made large may be all you need.
 

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Don't you think its ironic that the haunters that live in a desert want a forest setting and the ones that have it all green all year long like me want it deserted?:eek:;) I have the same prob trying to hide all the lushness without killing it all. Lots of dead leaves the ground spread all over also give it an autumn feel.There are some folks here on the forum that have made trees out of sono tubes from home depot and added paper mache branches. A couple of these made large may be all you need.
I'm closer to forest than desert, actually. I know people think of Utah as a desert, and that's true for a lot of it, but there's plenty of forest as well.

Start of the nature trail, literally 2 blocks from the house.

Look at those gambel oaks! I'd LOVE to be able to haunt amongst them. Many houses in the area kept a lot of the gambel oak "forest" in their landscaping as well. For whatever reason, our subdivision was clearcut when they built the houses. Ah well.
 

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Want, need, a "forest?" Forests can be scary, they may hide a lot of evil.
Here at my haunted house I work many hours every week all summer long, just so people walking or driving passed can see something of the house and my yard displays.
Right now there are trees only 25? years old that tower over the roof(s) of this house, some of them are full of vines that kill the trees, then a DEAD tree is hanging over the roof of the house!
Shade, cooler temps, privacy are all nice, but here , for me, it is a lot of work.
But I do now have some very twisty old, thick vines that could maybe be a "Creature" of some sort....
 

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Harbinger of Autumn
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I have been working on the forest thing for years now and worked more on the pieces then the trees. One thing I want to try is the trunk out of cement form tubes and find a way to animate the roots and have them moving. One thing I have had luck with using pine nuggets to use as bark. They separate into nice thin pieces and go well glued on a Styrofoam head to look like a forest creature
 

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Great suggestions already! One thing I would add that you could consider - many Halloween stores sell the Scene Setter-type plastic tablecloth-looking backdrops. If you have an area that you want to block off, you could hang the scene setters from a fishing line wire, weight them a bit at the bottom, then place your faux trees in front of them to add depth. It may be something you'd have to set up the day of Halloween due to weather concerns, but in the dark, depending on your lighting, could help you with that forest feel if it could block the view to the neighbors house or to your backyard fence or something.

Another option for you - my family likes to use sound machines in our rooms at night (I started my kids with this as babies, using ocean waves. It works great to travel with the sound machine because even if the room is unfamiliar, the sounds are the same!). Our sound machines offer a "cricket" setting. That would be pretty neat to have some speakers around with sounds from the forest to add to your whole feel!
 

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Depending on how you handles the lighting you could make spooky tree cutouts from thin plywood or foam board and paint them black .True they would only be 8 feet max but the focus should be on the characters anyway.
 

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Get someting semi translucent like fabric or white plastic sheets and paint something like this for the backdrop and back light it in a spooky olive green. Put the tree trimming in front of it, to give a little more sense of depth. If you mostly light the botton so it fades to black it won't have to go up as high.

 

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I've seen the light fixture make the FB rounds. It's a fantastic idea, but there's no way that fixture is throwing those shadows.
 

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Sleepy Hollow is my life :) Sleepy Hollow Manor is my garage haunt name. I have lots of tree ideas on my enchanted witches Forrest board and I have three Sleepy Hollow Boards. My Pinterest link is below.

I use branches from the side of the road and rebar. Cheap and easy. Trash them when you're done so you don't use storage space :)
 
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