Adding a roof to my Halloween pirate lookout tower

Adding the roof to my Halloween pirate lookout tower is one of the more creative steps in creating this outdoor prop. I want the roof to look somewhat ragged and unkept.

This roof has two layers. On top is matchstick bamboo and underneath is burlap. The bamboo is visible when first viewing the tower from the street. As you walk down my driveway the underside of the roof is visible where the burlap is.


I first measured the burlap and cut it to size. It acually took two pieces to fit over the entire tower.

I then stained the burlap to make it look very worn and old. One end hung very low off a corner. I left it cause I think it adds something to the ragged look.


The top layer of the roof is from an old matchstick bamboo blind. I think this adds to the tropical feel so common in pirate lore.

I found out cutting a matchstick blind is somewhat difficult. Once you cut across the strings that bind the bamboo pieces together the blind falls apart.

I measured the three pieces I needed onto some large pieces of paper. I took these cutouts and laid them on the blind. I ensured to keep the orientation of the bamboo so it runs straight down each of the sides of the tower.

I then heavily glued a piece of backing to the path of the bamboo I was going to cut. This ensured the blind held together once mounted onto the welded tower frame.

Bringing the burlap and bamboo together

I zip tied the burlap and bamboo onto the welded tower frame.

The final look is wonderful.  It is just what I wanted.

Some other steps:

  • Add the metal roof frame and roof edge supports.
  • Install grapevine style lighting.
  • Add a matchstick bamboo roof with a burlap underlayer.
  • Weld leg supports and fabricate the tower legs.

More on the Halloween lookout tower project.

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