I live on top of a mountain that is covered in a tree that we call Scrub Oak.
I wiki'd that term and found that it's kind of a blanket name given to several varieties of 'shrubby oak' - not some special tree that is only found here in Utah. Damn.
Anyway, these tree's are twisty and knotty and have very thin trunks. They don't get tall - instead they spread wide. Clumps of them cover everything.
Personally, I'd love to have them in my yard, they are so natural feeling! but they were bulldozed when my house was built. Which makes me feel sort of awful.
Anyway, some of my neighbors have them in their yard, and many of them have removed them. Didn't work with the landscaping, I suppose.
A house around the corner from me had 4 of them laying on their curb, dead and twisty and absolutely perfect for a Halloween Tree.
I mentioned it to the husband.
"I really want to take one of those tree's and make a Halloween thing with it..." I wheedled, nonchalantly.
Must have been too nonchalant. It didn't work. He ignored me. A week passed, then two.
Finally, I stopped on my way home from dropping the girl off at school, lowered my tailgate and threw the dead tree in.
At home I sprayed it off with the "jet" setting on my hose and let it lay on the lawn to dry. Then I sprayed it down with black spray paint.
After it was painted i used a hacksaw to cut the roots at the bottom off.
Oh, and next time I will cut the roots off BEFORE I paint - because I was covered in black spray paint afterwards.
I took all the dead flowers out of one of the large pots on my front steps, and jammed the tree in as far as it would go.
Then I made 4 cute little ghosties out of wooden craft balls and white quilters cotton.
(easiest thing ever - I just put little white hair elastics around their necks.)
I drew faces on with a sharpie.
One is happy, one is sad, two are surprised, or confused or...something.
Lastly, I took the piece of 1x4 I had left from the coat hook mirror and cut it in two - giving them both angled cuts to help them look more Halloween-y and spray painted them with Rustoleum Paprika. Then I made them say "Boo" and "Eek" and added some cutesy to them.
I love the way it turned out!