Outdoor activities with a healthy dose of curiosity, brought to you by Laure Latham
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I’ve always wanted to make a Halloween Tree that would be respectful of nature in the fall–not one with black plastic tinsel, orange baubles and, basically, more stuff we don’t need. Halloween is so closely related to nature and the change in seasons that it seemed like a great opportunity to get creative and crafty.
The only problem was that I couldn’t any examples of Halloween trees made with natural materials. Don’t Waldorf teachers celebrate Halloween one way or another? Not to worry, a blank slate was actually fun. I decided to create my own Halloween tree, using only natural materials gathered on the trail with my girls and my imagination. This is my Halloween tree, 100% nature and outdoors approved.
It features all the basics of Halloween and I’m going to walk you through it so that your family can make a Halloween Tree too.
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Here are the materials I used and where I found them.
I also picked dead branches from heather bushes to make the tree.
I used the following.
This was my base Halloween tree. I stuck two dead branches in an old flower pot and filled it with dirt from the backyard to hold them steady at the right angle. I tried various combinations and opted for the cross-over you see.
You can use any branches you like as long as they’re short and offer many possibilities to hang stuff from extremities. Therefore, a little complexity doesn’t hurt.
I then started making all the decorations before arranging them on the tree.
Making wool ghosts was terribly fun as raw wool is very stretchy and can be shaped however you want.
The impossibly cute acorns are a breeze to make (and a bit messy if, like me, you are generous on glue.)
Making mini jack’o lanterns is dead easy as it’s only drawing eyes and mouths on natural materials. Autumn berries and nuts are ideal for mini jack’o lanterns and gathering them on a Sunday hike will be a great day out with the kids.
As the drawing area of berries, nuts and crabapples is very small, you will need simple designs that you can draw with the fine tip of the permanent marker. It’s hard to draw the Death Star on a hazelnut! Check out these simple patterns for ideas.
On the image above, you can see a crabapple grinning and mini rowan berries trying to look spooky. My favorite mini jack’o lanterns are most definitely the horse chestnuts who make an amazing impersonation of howling ghouls (picture below) thanks to the rounded beige area at their base. Hello, Mister Munch!
If you want, you can add mini salt dough tombstones. To make salt dough, mix in a bowl the following ingredients:
Knead the dough, roll it flat and cut out tombstone shapes with a knife. You can air-dry the salt dough ornaments or bake them in the oven at low temperature (200F/90C) until they are dry. This should take 30 to 60 minutes depending on the thickness of the shapes. Once they are dry, write the text you want with the fine tip of the black permanent marker.
For inspiration on funny epitaths, this site has you covered.
Have fun being crafty!