this is halloween – diy halloween tree

DIY Halloween Tree - Directions Not Included

Quite some time ago I pinned this awesome Halloween tree. I kept going back to it on my Halloween board for inspiration, and then finally realized it was Gretchen’s from Boxy Colonial’s. She scored this amazing tree at a thrift store for next to nothing and decked it out with a handmade banner and lights. Color me jealous, because thrift stores in South Florida are horrendous so there was no way I was going to find a Halloween tree like that (or much of anything for that matter). But I wanted one. I really, really wanted one. My internet search was pretty futile so I decided to try and make one. This is a complete experiment to try and make a DIY Halloween tree. I didn’t have high expectations, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I started off with some wire I bought at Home Depot for some other Halloween decorations from last year. I made the very crude shape of a spooky tree. Very crude.

DIY Halloween Tree - Directions Not Included

Building this form up with paper mache was my initial thought, even though I hadn’t worked with it since I was probably 8 and made a ladybug stool during camp. The thing with paper mache is that it uses flour. I have Celiac disease which means no wheat flour for me at all – I can’t ingest it and I don’t want to touch it either. I found a gluten free paper mache recipe and decided to try that. I am the messiest crafter ever. This was such a disaster mess-wise. Ray had to take pictures of what I was doing and I wasn’t allowed to touch anything in the house. During this, I knew he wanted to throw me outside and hose me off. Being that it was a million degrees outside, I had to make it inside. The mosquitoes and heat are just insane this time of year.

DIY Halloween Tree - Directions Not Included

Messy as it was, it worked. I kept adding layers of newspaper to create the form of the Halloween tree. The more I added, the better it looked.

DIY Halloween Tree - Directions Not Included

Now here is the thing. I didn’t add glue or another additive to the GF paper mache mixture so it was a little softer than I thought. I decided to use some Mod Podge to help seal and harden the tree. I used the Hard Finish kind and just glopped it on. Yes, “glopped” is a word now.

DIY Halloween Tree  - Directions Not Included

Normally, I follow all instructions and use a paint brush or sponge to very lightly add layers of Mod Podge to any piece I work on. That said, for this Halloween tree, adding heavy layers added more character and fullness to the tree.

DIY Halloween Tree - Directions  Not Included

DIY Halloween Tree - Directions Not Included

After a handful of Mod Podge layers, I spray painted the whole thing black.

DIY Halloween Tree - Directions Not Included

Wrap some mini-Halloween bat-shaped lights, and you have your very own DIY Halloween Tree. It actually looks good in the sunlight too. I’m just too lazy to take another photo.

DIY Halloween Tree - Directions Not Included DIY Halloween Tree - Directions Not Included DIY Halloween Tree - Directions Not Included

Thank you, Gretchen for the inspiration. I’m excited to add this to my Halloween decor this year. Now if I can only decide where to display it.


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  1. says

    ooh, that turned out great! When the thrift store won’t come through for you, you have to take matters into your own hands! Someone told me in a comment that mine is originally from Pottery Barn. I still need to pull it out this year…

  2. says

    You did such a great job, and your Halloween tree is so cute! I think the outside picture of it looks like it even has a scary face on it. I think I might try this and try to make it have a face in the trunk, with mean-looking eyebrows!

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