In honour of the fairytale theme we are doing this year, Madison and I decided to do a "woodland fairies" theme for our section.  I found some stuff on pinterest for making trees.  I like a couple of the ideas that used concrete tubes.  So with that in mind, i was off to the local hardware store to buy a few concrete tubes

 

These things come in a standard 4 foot tall size.  They vary in diameter from 8 inches up to 16 inches.  They didn't have the 16 inches, so i decided 12 inches would be good enough.  The only catch is that the diameter is not exact on every tube, and can vary up to half an inch bigger or smaller.  So i had to find tubes that were as close to the same diameter as possible so that we could stand them up on top of each other to make an 8 foot tall tree.

We knew we had to make these things solid enough to stand on their own, so I also bought some OSB panels and had them cut down to 2 feet square

 

This gave use a nice solid base to attach the tubes.  For added stability, I put 1 inch X 1/2 inch studs that would get screwed to the base and screwed to some L-brackets 

 

 

The next step involved cutting some holes in the backs of the tops and bottoms for access inside to hang lights, tighten bolts and run wires.  These didnt need to be too large, just a little bit bigger than my fist was perfect.

 

finally we cut out the scary faces for each of them using a dremel.

 

once this was all done, we used joint compound over the entire tree, top to bottom, to make give it more strength and to eventually give it a surface to be able to sand, paint, and spray foam.

once we completed that step, we made some homemade paper mache clay using white glue, water, joint compound and toilet paper. and built up the features of each face to give it more character

 

this concoction took several days to dry, but it was worth.  it came out nice and stiff once it was completely dry and we thought it looked great.

the next step was to build the roots.  we did that by shaping newspaper into roots and then taping and paper macheing it to the trunks.

 

The next steps will be spray it with expanding foam in vertical lines from top to bottom to give it a bark-look.  after that we will spray paint it flat black, then dry brush a light brown over that.  and finally dry brush glow-in-the-dark paint around portions of the face and trunks to give highlight.

 we are doing the branches this weekend using chicken wire and paper mache.  we are hoping it turns out good.