Saturday, October 25, 2008


Okay, so I don't think President Uchtdorf meant that the women of the church should make a run on JoAnns, but I liked what he said in womens conference about creating. "As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you." I'd always considered myself NOT the creative type, but since womens conference I've tried to have more fun creating things of beauty. And you know what, it is lots of fun. So in that spirit I'm sharing today's creative project with you. SPOOKY TREES!!!! Shiver.....

(In the spirit of the pioneer woman website I took pictures of the process. Those of you that have not wasted hours at don't start. Unless you like delicious recipes that call for pounds of butter and her hilarious love story of how she, a vegetarian from LA married a cattle rancher from Oklahoma. Now back to SPOOKY TREES!!!)

Materials Needed
Yogurt or Cottage cheese containers-- clean
Black Spray paint
Clear gloss spray paint
Black Acrylic paint
Halloween candy
Thin Ribbon

To begin take your 3 year old and a pair of pruning sheers out for a walk in the neighborhood park. Look for piles of dead branches, cut off any small branch that looks spooky. Bring the branches home.
Then lightly sand the bark of the branches (only do if needed. As long as things aren't flaking off you're probably fine without sanding.) the following picture was taken by Henry.

Stick smooth branches in a pot for easy spray painting. Or just hold and rotate while spraying. (All but last picture by Henry. And don't worry, I stayed upwind of the spray paint so little girl won't be a sniffer.)

Make sure to get under the branches and every angle. Oh and buy the little attachment for the spray paint. So worth two dollars. It saves your fingers from getting tired and painted and makes spraying so easy.I just did one coat, but you could do two for a darker color. After the paint has dried to the touch, spray with gloss finishing spray to help protect the paint and make things shine.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Once your branches are painted it's time to make the pots to hold the SPOOKY TREE. Being cheap and deciding it was a good way to recycle we grabbed the clean cottage cheese/yogurt containers from the tupperware cupboard and got to work.
To paint them we used black acrylic paint. Now, for a nicer tree I would use a clay pot. We did that with the one that is sitting in our living room. The clay sticks beautifully to clay, while it chips easily from food grade plastic. So be gentle with your pots once they are painted.

Paint the outside and half of the inside. (It was a beautiful day so we did all of our work outside. And the cool, dry air and bright sunshine had things dry in record time.)Once your pots are painted spray them with the gloss finishing spray you used on the painted branches. This gives everything a nice shiny look and helps the paint wear a little better. Then put the branch in the pot and fill the pot with the rocks you've gathered to hold the tree upright and help weight the base. You could use sand or plaster we just happen to have a lot of rocks around here and they were the easiest and cleanest thing we could find.

I was out of spray paint or I would have painted the tops of the rocks black too. We did that with our fancy spooky tree and it looks more polished. But... oh well. Since we were going to take these trees to some of Henry's friends we wanted them to be more than rocks, old cottage cheese containers and a branch and so we added CANDY. Candy makes ever gift better right? To make the candy ornaments we broke into the Halloween candy stash and picked the cheap little halloween chocolates because they had the best wrappers, though any small wrapped candy would probably work. To hang the candy I cut small pieces of thin orange and black ribbon and used my hot glue gun to attach the ribbons. (which I was just happy I knew where it was since I've used in oh, maybe once in the 6 years I've owned it.) Then we hung the candy on the trees and voila! Spooky trees! Oh and I put some halloween scrapbook paper around the pot to relieve the blackness of the whole thing. Anyway, it was really fun to make spooky trees with Henry and he was so proud of himself when he took them to his friends. We'll probably make these every halloween. After all, lots of fun for the price of a can of spray paint. Happy Halloween ya'll!