How to Make a Hanging Branch Centerpiece for Halloween

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Themed centerpieces are great for holiday parties, but they take up valuable space on the table, leaving less room for food. A perfect solution to this dilemma is a floating centerpiece, which hangs above the table. For this Halloween floating centerpiece, a gnarled branch with sleeping bats appears to be suspended in midair, adding to the decoration’s spook factor.

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Things You'll Need

  • Branch
  • Black spray paint
  • Fishing line
  • Removable hooks
  • Cheesecloth
  • Plastic spiders
  • Black felt sheets
  • Black faux fur
  • Rubber band
  • Hot glue gun
Halloween hanging branch centerpiece
Halloween hanging branch centerpiece (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 1

Apply black spray paint to a branch. Find a branch that is twisted and gnarled for an eerier effect. You can also use two smaller branches, like the ones in the photo.

Spray paint the branch
Spray paint the branch (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 2

To make the bats that will be hanging from the branch, cut 8 ½” x 11” sheets of black felt in half. At the bottom of these felt pieces, cut out two inverted triangles for the legs, and then cut a scalloped edge from the legs to the top corners.

Cut bat wings and legs out of felt
Cut bat wings and legs out of felt (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 3

For the body of the bat, cut a 3” x 4” piece of black faux fur and roll it up lengthwise, securing it with a rubber band.

Make the bat's body out of faux fur
Make the bat's body out of faux fur (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 4

Place the furry body in the middle of the bat wings and fold the bat wings on top of each other. Glue the wings together with a dab of hot glue. You do not need to glue the body to the wings, as the wings, when rolled up, will hold the body.

Wrap the wings around the body
Wrap the wings around the body (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 5

If you are working with two branches instead of one, tie them together with some string. You can also add some hot glue between the branches to help hold them together.

Tie branches together
Tie branches together (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 6

Hot glue the tips of the bat legs to the branch so the bats hang upside down. Arrange two to three bats in a row.

Glue bats to the branch
Glue bats to the branch (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 7

To make a cobweb, stretch a piece of cheesecloth in all directions. Allow parts of the cheesecloth to tear, so the web looks more authentic. Position it on the branch, snagging it on twigs to hold it in place. Hot glue a few plastic spiders to the cobweb.

Make a cobweb out of cheesecloth
Make a cobweb out of cheesecloth (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 8

You will need two hooks on the ceiling to hang the branch above the table. The best type of hook to use is one with a removable adhesive strip, like 3M Command Strips, so you can remove the hook later without damaging the paint. Position the two hooks directly above where the branch will hang, spacing the two hooks about a foot apart. Tie a piece of fishing line to each of the hooks.

Place two hooks on the ceiling
Place two hooks on the ceiling (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 9

Tie the other end of the fishing line to the branch. It will help to have another person hold the branch in its desired place while you tie the fishing line to it. Do this for both pieces of fishing line.

Tie fishing line to the branch
Tie fishing line to the branch (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 10

After the branch is floating in place, step back to see if you are happy with its height. Ideally, it should not be blocking sight lines if guests will be seated. Adjust the fishing line, if necessary, and cut off any excess.

Position the branch at the right height
Position the branch at the right height (Image: Jonathan Fong)

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