This is the haunted tree that a couple friends and I made for Halloween this year. We really kind of just made it up as we went along but luckily I think it turned out really good.
Step 1: Building the Trunk
What we did starting out was to take a trash can and a ton of "great stuff" spray foam and just made vertical lines all the way around the trunk. Then did the same with one of those cardboard tubes Quikrete makes to make it taller.
Step 2: Attaching the Two Peices
Since the trash can was wider than the tube we just set the tube on it and used the foam to blend the widths which also makes them nice and solid together.
Step 3: Adding Some Detail
Next we foamed on a face and added some roots and some jagged points around the top. The top I cut cardboard to make the spikey shapes around the top that way there was something for the foam to adhere to.
Step 4: Making the Arms
To make the arms I used pvc and wire. after getting the look I wanted I foamed them. Foaming them took a bit of a light hand since they were so thin but I just took my time and didn't try to do too much at one time.
Step 5: Securing the Arms
To get the arms hooked to the body of the tree I left the last 8 inches or so of the arms unfoamed and drilled holes through the body of the tree so that the pvc will slide in. That alone wasn't enough to keep them straight and solid so I crawled in the bottom of the tree and cut out what was the bottom of the trash can. Then I threw together a quick stand out of 2x4's and an old break rotor. Next I drilled holes through the 2x4 upright for 2 1/2" pvc pipes about 6" long to fit in and secured them with screws. Once that was done I sat the tree down over the stand and slid the arms in over the 1/2" pipes to hold them at the right angles. At this point I realized my failure because although it worked great to hold them right, it didn't stop the arms from spinning and the weight of the hands reaching out just caused it to rotate to the ground. Seemed obvious afterward but totally missed it up to that point. So to fix this issue I took the stand back out and cut notches in the end of the 1/2" pipes then ran screws all the way through the arms at the right length so that the screws would slip into the grooves and prevent the arms from rotating. Once that was done it all worked out well and held securely. Worth noting it actually took several adjustments to the stand to get the "receiving" pipes to line up with the holes I drilled. I forgot to get a picture of the stand I'll try to get one and post it soon.
Step 6: Painting
Now all that is left is the painting. My partners in crime spray painted the whole thing in flat black for a base coat first. After that dried they used some brown and grey paint and a roller and just rolled over the whole thing. All in all we were excited with how it turned out. Later we added a few crows to finish it off.