Deck bare branches with orange lights and a flock of crows for an indoor-outdoor party decoration

Sunset  – August 17, 2005

Orange lights, gnarled bare branches, and a flock of crows ― this tree is both welcoming and ominous and is great for an entry. It can also be used inside as a party decoration.

Time: 20 minutes, plus drying time

Cost: $10 to $15

Tools and materials:

Black latex paint and paintbrush

One large terra-cotta pot (ours is 20 inches in diameter)

Tree pruners

One or two leafless or dead branches (use prunings from the backyard or purchase at a florist shop)


Wire cutters


Black rocks

One or two strands of orange lights

Fake crows (available at craft stores)

1. Paint the pot black and set aside to dry.

2. Form the tree by pruning a large branch to make a nice shape or by wiring smaller branches together. Be sure you have a trunk that’s long enough to go all the way to the bottom of the pot.

3. Fill pot with sand, packing it tightly (the pot will be heavy, so consider doing this where the tree will be located).

4. Stick the tree in the pot, packing sand around the trunk. Cover the top of the sand with black rocks.

5. Decorate the branches with orange lights.

6. Finish by wiring the birds to the tree branches.

Next: Make spooky ghosts to sway in the breeze

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