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How to Make a Skeleton ‘Tree’

Make a Skeleton Tree


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Start with an urn or pot and a tomato cage.  I found this urn at Lowe’s.  I got a nice discount on it because of the time of year, and it was a bit beat up, which is perfect for Halloween!  I filled the bottom of the urn with stones and then added some styrofoam.  Here is a close up of how the tomato cage fit down over the urn.  You can likely find a container at a home super store in the garden center along with your tomato cage so you can see how it will fit on the container.  The next step might be the most difficult.  Any of the rings of the tomato cage above the pot need to be cut off.   I tried a bolt cutter, but it wouldn’t trim it neatly next to the upright wire.

I had much better success by starting with a hacksaw and then using wire cutters for a clean cut. Dollar Tree skulls are a funky color and I wanted mine to be bright white, so I gave them a coat of Rustoleum white spray paint for plastics. 

Each skull needs to have two holes drilled in them.  It doesn’t really matter if you drill them before or after you paint them, however, I did find the drilling tended to scrape off some of the paint.  My recommendation would be to drill them first.  They will get a hole in the top of their head and one underneath the bottom of the skull.You will want to drill the holes so the skulls sit at this angle when threaded onto one of the upright wires.  I used six skulls on each of the four wires.  Here you can see how the tree is taking shape.  When you have all of the skulls threaded onto the wires, use a pipe cleaner to pull the tops of the wires together, forming a point and secure them.  Use a bit of glue from a hot glue gun to secure the skulls in the proper position, so they don’t spin around.  Spinning skulls!!  Now that would be scary!!!  I stuck a heavy dowel rod (1/2 inch diameter) into the styrofoam in the bottom of the pot.  A six foot black lighted garland was wrapped around the dowel and fluffed out between the vertical rows of skulls. 

To fill in any extra spaces and hide the base of the tomato cage, I used four packages of this creepy black fabric, also from Dollar Tree.  

The final addition was Spanish moss gathered from local trees!  Of course, the best part is when it gets dark and the lights come on!  Spooky, a little creepy, and a lot of fun, this Skeleton Tree is a great family project for Halloween“When the crypt doors creak
And the tombstones quake
Spooks come out for a singing wake
Happy haunts materialize
And begin to vocalize
Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize”


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  1. I really hope you put the Spanish moss back on the trees you got it from. It is not a moss. It is a species of Tilandsia (air plant) that is becoming rare because people collect it and sell it online.

    1. I am glad you are concerned about the Spanish moss. I did not put this moss back, the trees are actually all in my yard and the weight of the moss was damaging some of the branches. It has all multiplied again! We are fortunate in our area that the fungus hitting a lot of the moss is not an issue here.

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