Go through the tunnel book to get to the Hanging Tree

Go through the tunnel book to get to the Hanging Tree
Go through the tunnel book to get to the Hanging Tree

The Hanging Tree song by James Newton Howard is a haunting tune that stays in your head long after you hear it. With the Halloween season upon us, I wanted to create my own homage to this song.

While I may sometimes feel murderous intentions–especially when one of my kids doesn’t replace the toilet paper on the roll–my desire to erect a hanging tree took on a more benign approach via this altered art tunnel book.


Hanging Tree Altered Art Tunnel Book Cover

Once you enter through the spooky gates of this book, the song lyrics guide you though a series of hauntingly sad spaces.


Are you, are you coming to the tree? Through the door, you can see a hint of what lies ahead and behind.


My long-deceased twin uncles, Arvid and Harold, seemed perfect for their book. While I am sure they were sweet children, in the right setting they look absolutely haunting.


Eventually you come a place where a lone lantern lights the hanging tree.


Hanging Tree Altered Art Tunnel Book Tutorial

First, trace the Round Roman Pediment Tomb onto three sheets of chipboard and cut out.  Then make templates for each of your doorways, trace onto the Triangular Greek Pediment Tomb and the three chipboard pages. Cut out with a utility blade. The sizes of the doorways are “3 x 4.5″ for the cover and 2.5″ x 4.25″ , 2″ x 4″ and 1.5″ x 3.75” for the inside pages.


Next, made the book binding by cutting three strips of black cardstock that are 6″ x 1.5″ and one that is 6: x 2″. Score each strip 1/2″ from the outside edge.


Adhere the binding to each of the chipboard pages. Use the widest “hinge” between the last page and the back cover.


Cover each of the pages with scrapbook paper and ink the edges with brown ink.


Now prepare all your elements by fussy cutting collage sheets and inking the edges; Inking and painting chipboard gates, fences, windows, columns and tress; and printing out and inking the Hanging Tree lyrics.


Next comes the fun part of adding all the elements to the pages. Here is where you definitely want to use your own imagination.


I added lots of little details, from black ivy to glitter spiders.


So images show from both the back and front, printed many of the digital collage sheets, such as the coffin from the Cadaver & Digger Undertakers Collage Sheet as a mirror image and glued it back to back with the original image.



To make the skull tree, first print out two copies of the skulls, with one printed as a reverse mirror image. Fussy cut the skulls, and glue back-to-back, adding a distressed ribbon between each pair. Then ink the edges of the skulls with brown ink.

Use the same ink to color both sides of the Creepy tree. Hang the skulls from the tree. Then add chipboard strips to one side of the tree and adhere to the hinge. Cover the strips with black ribbon to give it a more finished look.


Here are my twin uncles again. They remind me a little bit of the children from The Shining movie.



We must be getting close to the hanging tree–someone seems to be peeking through the doorway.


Death must be near.


Such a sad ending.



To hang the lantern, cut a small notch in the top of the book and hide the wire behind the moss. Then enclose the battery pack in this coffin.

Run the wire down the back cover of the book and hide it behind the remainder of the hanging tree that you did not use from the previous page.


Alpha Stamps provided an easy way with this link to find the supplies I use.

Great stuff


Collage Sheets

Cemetery Tombstone Silhouettes Collage Sheet

Cadaver & Digger Undertakers Collage Sheet

Skull & Bones Collage Sheet

Vanitas Collage Sheet

Poe Story Elements Collage Sheet 

More Spooky Windows Collage Sheet

Apothecary labels #2 Collage Sheet

Ghostmore Manor Collage Sheet Set

Tiny LIttle Coffin Boxes


Latin Stone Scrapbook Paper

Rust Damask Scrapbook Paper

Halloween Green Texture Scrapbook Paper

Sandstone Scrapbook Paper

Ancient Stucco Scrapbook Paper

Mysterious Plaid Sheet Music Paper

Black cardstock

White cardstock


Chipboard sheets

Round Roman Pediment Tomb

Triangular Greek Pediment Tomb

Chipboard Columns

5″  Creepy tree 

8″ Creepy tree

Spiderweb gate

Skeleton Chipboard Set

Mini Chipboard Wrought Iron Fence

Decorative Window Set 1:24


Mini Lantern with Battery Pack

Twiggy Leaf Garland

Black Dresden Border Sampler Set

Pumpkin Pods

Black Mini Paper Blooms

2″ Black Paper Roses

Stitched Leaf Ribbon-Black

Stitched Leaf Ribbon-Moss Green

Tim Holtz Crypt Cameo

Black Gems

Black ribbon

Brown and black ribbon

2 AA batteries

Inkjet printer

Acrylic paint, assorted colors

Distress Ink in black and vintage photo



Family picture of twins



Skeleton hands

Beacon Fabri-tac

10 Responses »

  1. OMG x 100!! What a project. I actually got chills reading those creepy words and seeing the images here…so well done!! I will have to listen to the song if I get the gumption. There was once a song on The Mentalist that gave me the same haunting feeling…for weeks. Perfect Halloween spooky project. And those Uncles!! {{shiver}} 😀

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