To be completely honest, I’ve never decorated for Halloween in September. If there’s one thing the last couple of years of living in Utah has taught me, it’s that as soon as people start busting out pumpkins, it means snow, cold, and general yuckiness will soon follow. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fall, but as a California girl, I’m obligated to hold on to good weather for as long as possible.
This year, however, I discovered something that will forever change my reluctance in decorating for Halloween – Pinterest! Ahh, Pinterest, it was love at first pin! Now I can hardly wait to make all my Halloween pins a reality, so I’ve been picking up pumpkins, dark fabrics, and miscellaneous gems all month at garage sales, and I’m ready to use them.
My first venture was to figure out how to make an indoor Halloween tree. Dustin chopped off part of our dying peach tree this summer, and one branch was particularly perfect for the project. The shape of the branch looked like it had been shaped in the wind, and would be an interesting piece to add to this year’s decor.
The Problem: Getting such a lop-sided branch to stand up on it’s own was a challenge. I tried putting it in vases and propping it up next to objects, but the vessels didn’t quite look right for this purpose, even when they didn’t fall down.
The Solution: Dustin came up with an idea to create a custom cement base to hold up the tree – and it turned out to be way easier then he made it sound the first time he presented the idea.
First he cut and measured a piece of brown paper. We guessed at the right size for our little tree at 9 inches high and 16 inches long.
We then folded it into a cone shape, trimmed up the sides, and securely taped the edges. Then, since we weren’t sure that we’d be able to pull the paper off the cement once it was dry, we lined it with plastic wrap and inserted our new funnel cone-first onto the end of the branch.
Next he mixed up some thin-set (you know the stuff that you’d tile with, since that’s all we had around) to the consistency of thick mud. We glopped it into the open end of the funnel, helping to shake it evenly around the base of the tree. Then we folded the sides of the open end of the funnel to enclose the base of the cement pyramid. We then set it upright on the cement block, leaning it on an object to keep it from moving or falling while drying.
We ended up letting it dry for a few days before unwrapping the paper and plastic, and to our amazement, it actually stood unassisted!
I then braided a bit of grey wool fabric I had on hand (but any fabric would work) and wrapped the braid around the cement, you know, ‘cuz cement on a table can be a bit ugly, and I’m addicted to hot glue.
Problem: Ironically, the more challenging part of this Halloween Tree turned out to be decorating it. I considered making small crows to put in it’s branches, adding candles, or decorating it with beads, but they were all either too heavy, too much a fire danger, or not the right look.
Solution: As I started to go through my Halloween decor I found it! The answer to all my Halloween Tree problems! A bag of potpourri that I almost threw away last year would turn out to be a perfect small, light, non-flammable decoration for my wind-blown tree.
I threaded the pieces on with tripled up string and tied them to random places on the tree, careful to put the heavier pieces closer to the trunk to keep it balanced.
Problem: The next challenge was finding the right place to display my new creation. We tried everywhere from kitchen and dining tables to the console table, and nothing seemed to work. The color on the walls, and existing decor didn’t do the tree the justice it deserved.
Solution: We finally settled on the top of the faux fireplace, and had a fun time trying to decide what companion pieces worked best with it. Since we couldn’t really decide, we put them all together – which one do you like?
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