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Okay, I finally – FINALLY – finished one of the creepy trees that will be set dressing at Eerieville (the 21 acres we’re transforming into a haunted attraction). This was my first time working with foam, hot wires, and foam coat. Paint, though, I am obviously familiar with. This is the total opposite way for my brain to create, as it involves whittling away as opposed to building up. I’ve done very little carving since college, and I’ve certainly never done it with hot wires, so it was incredibly challenging (especially since I’m accident prone). I’m also not working with the ideal tools because they’re hella expensive and out of my budget, so it’s taking me way longer than it would otherwise. I’ve been documenting the steps along the way, specifically for you, dear reader. So here is our first creepy tree:


First, we had to unload these 8’x 3′ x 4′ blocks of foam. Yes, I injured myself doing this.


Then I had to carve the block into the basic shape of a round tree. Yes, I injured myself doing this.


Then I drew on the skeleton that I wanted to be emerging from the tree. No, I didn’t injure myself doing this, but I did lose the cap to the pen, which hurt my heart.


Then I got to carve in the skeleton and add texture so that it resembled bark a little more. Yes, I injured myself doing this. 


Next, I coated the tree with a product called Foam Coat that dries to a concrete-like finish. Yes, I injured myself doing this.


Then I painted it dark brown, let that dry, and dry brushed on two lighter shades of brown and some green. Yes, I injured myself doing this.


Then I stood back and was proud of myself. I did not injure myself doing this, but I did trip over a bottle of paint while I was backing up to take this picture.

And there you have it. Several more trees to go, along with a whole bunch of other props, and I’ll try to remember to take pics for you but I don’t have the best memory (too many fumes from the burning foam), so I’m not making any promises.