View Full Version : Making Trees for a Haunted Forest

Fairbanks Asylum
03-25-2013, 12:49 AM
I am about to start working out some layouts for a haunted forest for this coming season. I wanted to keep the budget as low as I can, but I need some ideas on building some great trees for the haunt. Something that I would be able to move once I break down at the end of the season. I was just curious as to what other haunts are doing.

Fairbanks Asylum

03-25-2013, 05:28 AM
We are working on some ourselves actually. We ended up building them on a pallet which can be moved around and does allow for a good base. You can put bags of sand on the pallents for added weight to hold the tree upright. We started with ripped 2X4's and chicken wire for the trunk. Built a rough frame with the wood and then added bulk with the chicken wire. For the covering believe it or not we used masking tape. We put masking tape around the chickenwire and then using strips of sheets we monster mudded the whole thing. After that we will coat the entire tree in a mixture of glue and cement. This stuff holds very well to the monster mud and makes it weather proof. Most of my stuff is outside. When we get the tree finished I will post pictures. This is a lot of work but it will hold up. We did our cave this way in our pirate scene. Still looks great and has held up through the awful Texas weather. Hope this helps.


Howie Slobber Erlich
03-25-2013, 08:35 AM
Fairbanks Asylum,

Is this to be used indoors or outdoors? We built som indorors that looked pretty realistic with the right lighting.

03-25-2013, 05:29 PM
We built a pretty nice tree on a low dough budget that turned out pretty well and probably water proof too- ours is inside so I'm not certain about that.

2x4 trunk and 1x4 limbs (some of which were stripped off old pallets for free) with a chicken wire body- just like most people do

Then we went to the 2nd hand store and bought the cheapest bed sheets we could find and cut them into 18" squares.

We bought two cans of the cheapest spray foam, a bucket of carpet latex adhesive and a couple pair of yellow dish gloves... then the fun? begins!

When working with carpet adhesive, wear your shittiest clothes- you WILLl get it on you and it doesn't come out- ever. And expect long drying times.

Have one person coating the 18" sheets on both sides (on a table that you don't care too much about) by scooping the glue out with gloved hands and smearing a moderately thin, but not dry, layer. No need for extra thick layers- this stuff sticks!

Your fingers will be stuck together in about 10 seconds, but don't play with them or you'll rip the gloves- who needs fingers anyway! Just keep going and once you start- DON'T stop until you finish or absolutely have to- trust me.

The second guy places the glued sheets on the chicken wire, poking the corners through the wire if necessary to hold them in place. Overlap a little. Just make a smooth first coat that covers everything.

When you're done- take your, now 5lb gloves, off carefully and set them aside for tomorrow or splurge and buy more.

Get the spray foam and start making lines down the tree to simulate the wavy-ness of a real tree and it's bark- be creative. Our foam lines were about 1 - 1 1/2" thick when dry, and looked great when we were done.

We let that set overnight and started a second coat of glue sheets the next day- laying them over and tucking them around spray foam, closing any gaps and encasing everything in a second layer.

It takes DAYS for carpet latex to dry, but don't let that stop you from painting it- just make sure it's only just "sorta tacky but I can't wait any longer" kinda dry.

Now you're going to be looking at this thing thinking- "Geeez, I don't know... it's kinda squishy all over and it's STILL fricking tacky!..." but trust me- the finished product is very durable, almost solid feeling (I've stood on top of mine while attaching leaves) and probably waterproof as well.

Fairbanks Asylum
03-26-2013, 11:36 AM
Thanks that is a great idea I will definitely play with. Ours is also going to be inside. So after this year I will store it outside and see how durable it is to an alaskan winter. Just kidding....

Do you have any pictures on how the trees looked?

Allen H
03-26-2013, 07:46 PM
easiest indoor trees ever aremade of spandex.
Five gallon bucket of concrete as a base (2x4's can be added to the concrete to reinforce the trees trunk)
sew spandex into a tube shape (about 20 ft long, or the height you want the tree to be)
sew one end of the tube shut
put the bucket in it like a bread bag
The bucket goes on the ground where you want the base of the tree to be
the spandex tube gets pulled up and tied to the ceiling with fishing line
cut the tube to make big branches
split each section as much as you like tomake branches
tie them off to the ceiling with fishing line to extend/stretch the branches

you can paint the tree with latex based paint to stiffen the fabric and add to the look, or you can spray it with foam from a froth pack (like tiger foam)
here is a pic that is not of a tree, butone to help you get the idea

03-28-2013, 07:15 AM
Thanks that is a great idea I will definitely play with. Ours is also going to be inside. So after this year I will store it outside and see how durable it is to an alaskan winter. Just kidding....

Do you have any pictures on how the trees looked?


Fairbanks Asylum
03-28-2013, 11:13 PM
Hey some great ideas and great photos. Thanks for all the info. I will be starting our build here as soon as the weather breaks in the next few weeks and I'll post how well our trees come out.

Fairbanks Asylum