Trick or Tree?

Trick or Tree?

For a moment, think about Halloween night. You're walking near the woods in your neighborhood. The sky is a deep shade of midnight with ghostly clouds moving just swiftly enough in the breeze to produce goosebumps on your arms. The moon shines bright, casting long, deep shadows in patches on the street, on the sidewalks and around every corner. Only the sound of the wind whistles past you.

But, wait! Are the shadows moving? Was that slow screeching a scared cat or just a branch scraping against a window? Something scurries through the crunchy leaves nearby - a vast contrast to your regularly paced footsteps. A racoon? You stop to listen. You remain so still straining your neck to the side to hear even the tiniest sound that you're practically holding your breath.

It's probably nothing.

You keep walking.

But then you hear the sharp, definite crack of a twig ring out and then echo in the now eerily still night air. You stop again and squint your eyes to look more deeply into the giant shadow the next row of hedges casts over the sidewalk. The dark seems still. You take another step. But then the shadow changes abruptly. You think you see something moving toward you. It's slow at first. But it seems to be picking up pace.

Better Homes & Garden's magical tree costume.

Is it just the wind?

A black cat, maybe?

A tree branch and its autumn leaves begin swaying wildly like arms waving to greet you.

You hold perfectly still, ready to scream and then … Ahhh! You take that deep breath followed by a sigh of relief. It was just your best friend meeting you for trick-or-treating dressed as a tree! Yes, a tree!

This year, tree costumes are showing up on DIY sites, as well as costume sites. What couldn't be more creative than making your own original tree costume? Not one is the same. You can be the happy, leafy green variety from spring and summer or mix up your leaves with any shade fall foliage inspires. You can be a straight and tall tree with lots of branches, a short tree with minimal leaves or a spooky tree with no leaves at all. You can include a chipmunk or a squirrel and even a bird's nest with a few of your favorite feathered friends.

And let's not forget the fun you can have as a tree. With a well-designed tree costume, you can hide in plain sight in your disguise and then surprise your friends with a great jump and classic "Boo!"

Making a tree costume can be fairly simple. You can start with brown sweat pants and a sweat shirt. Then you can use safety pins to pin on the silk leaves or plastic foliage from a craft store or make felt leaves and glue or sew them on. You can even use marker to draw on the sweats and add a bark-like texture and a few real branches for that extra special effect. And don't forget about using a cap with some twigs glued around the edges to create a faux bird nest for that finishing touch.

For more ideas and inspiration, here are a few sites to visit.

  1. This New Jersey mom made her daughter's tree costume using bark-like material and a stuffed squirrel hiding in the leaves.
  2. Melody at "Under the Willow Tree" made this tree costume for her son. We love all of the little details.
  3. This realistic tree from Better Homes & Gardens has a few more magical elements, including birds' nests and butterflies.
  4. Martha Stewart takes the tree costume to another level using fleece material and leaf templates to make a woodsy costume to keep children warm and cozy throughout the night.
  5. palmtree - oriental trading's palm tree costume.
  6. No time to make a costume this year? You can buy one, too, like this palm tree costume.

Whether you're dressing up as your favorite super hero, villain, storybook character, animal or our favorite costume - a tree - remember that all you really need on Halloween to stand apart is your imagination and the willingness to have some fun! Happy haunting!

NOTE: If you're dressing up as a tree, the combinations for creativity are endless. We'd love to see your pictures - we may even get a chance to share them on this blog! Send them our way at

  • landscape-plants October 22, 2011 >My ten year old daughter needs to be a tree for her school play, thankyou for a great idea.
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