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How To Make Wood Anaconda Snakes from a Tree

I was born and raised in a beautiful wilderness area with lush forests and enjoy living here presently.

Welcome to my tutorial!

How To Make A Wood Anaconda Snake From A Tree

How To Make A Wood Anaconda Snake From A Tree

Sculpting A Tree Into a Snake

The Tree in the Woods

The Tree in the Woods

The tree de-barked and taking shape of a snake.

The tree de-barked and taking shape of a snake.

The wood snake being painter.

The wood snake being painter.

The project is taking shape.

The project is taking shape.

Snake's head with tongue sticking out.

Snake's head with tongue sticking out.

The finished project.

The finished project.

A snake in the yard.

A snake in the yard.

How To

My brother in-law, Al, knows how to make wood Anaconda Snakes from a tree. It is a unique one of a kind lawn ornament. I think it's a great looking feature for yard décor, and the handmade folk art from trees will catch peoples' eye from the road as they drive by and see a big wood snake figurine.

Anaconda Plan


First you will need to find a tree that you can see the shape of a snake in, and cut the tree down. If it happens to be your tree, then its free. You will need a draw knife to peel the bark off the tree, a bow saw, wood chisels, mallet, and some smaller wood working knives, sandpaper,and maybe some wood putty for shaping the wooden snake sculpture.

The Anaconda will need a coat of primer paint, and then the best colors of paints for your snake. Al painted the masterpiece design using spray paint over a soft yellow base coat.

Al was cutting Aspen trees on their property for firewood and one that he downed was special, it reminded him of a serpent figure with its twists and he decided that his winter woodcraft project would be to turn a tree into a big wood snake carving. Now, they don't have anacondas in their neck of the woods. Well, I guess they do now! Al used a power saw to cut the tree down, branched it and then peeled away the bark with a draw knife.

Yes, he cut a tree down, saw the snake in it, debarked the tree with a draw knife, after cutting it into the 3 sections he wanted and shaped it with a draw knife, wood chisels and a carving knife, then butted up the pieces, glued and sunk long screws that he puttied over.

* He added a twig for the tongue, and some modified craft store eyes. Then, the painting began after studying colored pictures of Anacondas. That is it in a nutshell.

* I will do my best to explain how the snake was crafted. Al looked at pictures of Anaconda snakes and made a sketch of what he wanted. I asked how long it took him and he came up with 40 or 50 hours all told but he did not really pay attention to the time spent and said, "It was on and off , shaping and fitting and you just do not count the time, because it does not matter."

* Initially, Al was going to use a single section of the tree but then decided to cherry pick the best parts using a bow saw to cut out sections for the head and tail with a longer section for the body

* After cutting the 3 sections of tree, he went to work in shaping them with a draw knife, chisels, a band saw, a knife and sandpaper.

* He matched up the ends, applied wood glue and secured the pieces with long wood screws using an electric cordless drill.

* Then, he continued shaping by sanding and applied wood putty over the drill holes and sanded then smooth.

* The mouth was shaped using a bow saw and wood chisels after marking it off with a pencil.

* A power saw cut the tree down, 3 sections were used of 8 feet for the body, about 2 1/2 feet for the head and about 3 feet for the tail section. A person could also just work with the whole tree without cutting the sections up.

* This is folk art, and the artist goes with what feels right to them.

* A sharp draw knife will easily take the bark off a tree with a little manpower.

* Make the snake's tongue with a twig.


Wood Snake

Wood Snake

Paint the Wooden Anaconda Sculpture

All the paint used is for outdoor use. Al looked at several pictures of anacondas to get a general idea of how to paint the snake. He discovered that they vary in color and patterns, so got a general idea in his mind and went to work. He first used exterior latex semi-gloss to paint the snake soft yellow, which would be the belly color.

The next step was to use a brown spray paint over the whole snake, creating shading as he went along.

Then black spray paint was used to make the finishing oval markings of the snake, similar to those on a green anaconda. Detailing around the mouth was accomplished by making V cuts in a piece of cardboard to use as a stencil and completed quickly with black spray paint.

The tongue is just a forked twig that was cut to size and was sprayed red.

After Al carefully studied the colors of Anacondas, he choose his pallet of colors to paint his wooden snake sculpture that he handcrafted from the parts of an Aspen tree. This is a picture of the painting in progress showing the brown paint sprayed over the snake.

There are different species of Anacondas in varying colors. Here is an article about Anacondas with some pictures of these remarkable snakes, FYI.

Wood Snakes Head & Tongue Folk Art

I can imagine it took some searching to find just the right tree twig.


Not just any twig would do for me If I was handcrafting this snake's tongue. Al drilled a hole and slipped the tongue in place.

Of course, red is the best color for the tongue of the wood snake.

Here you can also see the added detail along the bottom of the snake's mouth. Al made a template out of a piece of cardboard and held it to the mouth area while spraying black paint to accomplish the detail quickly.

Al used Wood Filler to fill the holes and uneven wood of the tree.

Once the wood filler is applied to the sculpture, it has to dry, then it can be sanded down smooth with sand-paper.

I have used Dap and Elmer's wood fillers, and they performed well for my needs and held the test of years.

A wood carving of a Anaconda made from a tree is unique folk art, and sure to be a one of kind. Handmade ornaments for the home and garden are special works of art when they are carved on a large scale like Mr. Snake.

How To Make A Wood Anaconda Snake from a Tree Video

Draw Knife on Amazon

Handmade Yard Ornament

Mr. Anaconda gets lots of attention. People actually stopped by to ask Al about the anaconda in his yard. I am a little bit surprised that the snake never did get stolen being it was first displayed near the end of a long driveway.

Mr. Anaconda gets lots of attention. People actually stopped by to ask Al about the anaconda in his yard. I am a little bit surprised that the snake never did get stolen being it was first displayed near the end of a long driveway.

Soft Yellow Latex Paint

"One of the Largest Snakes in the World"

Anacondas are "one of the largest snakes in the world". The green anaconda is the largest species of them all. They are not venomous snakes, thankfully because of their size. None the less, an anaconda can and will some times squeeze the life out of its victims before the eating them, or even swallowing them whole. I have read that anacondas can swallow a goat whole. There are many stories online about anacondas swallowing critters alive, which are not my cup of tea to read.

Not your ordinary yard ornament.  At a glance if I didn't already know, I would have to take a double take to see if this snake was real or not.

Not your ordinary yard ornament. At a glance if I didn't already know, I would have to take a double take to see if this snake was real or not.

Anaconda Poll

I hope you enjoyed How To Make Wood Anaconda Snakes from a Tree tutorial

Anaconda Garden Art

Anaconda Garden Art

Anaconda Frequently Asked Questions

  • Frequently asked questions
    Find out where Anacondas live, how big do Anacondas get, what they eat, and everything you ever want to know about these large snakes.
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Photo of a real Anaconda snake in the grass.

Anaconda

Anaconda

A Large Anaconda In The Wild Would Terrify Me

Words fall short at saying how terrified I would be if I came upon a huge Anaconda anywhere. If I knew before hand it was there and I wanted to see it, that would be different because I surely would keep my distance in the wild.

However, I did see a very large one when I was a child. The snake handler kept the snake draped over his shoulders with it's head and tail in front of him. To be honest, I did not desire to touch it then and wouldn't now.

Wood Anaconda Paint Makeover

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© 2013 Susie Lehto

Comments in the Guestbook

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on April 17, 2016:

Thank you, ahorseback. I had fin creating a hub about my brother on-law's handy work. - Kudos!

ahorseback on March 31, 2016:

This is so cool , now talk about an awesome hub !......:-}

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on July 11, 2015:

I love this wooden snake sculpture, Suzanne. Al could sale some if he wanted to make more but that soes not seem to be in the cards for him at this time. - Thank you for visiting.

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on July 04, 2015:

This is indeed a unique woodworking project to make and I like the photo of the finished product in the yard! I bet your brother in law would be able to sell a lot of these ;)

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on February 16, 2015:

Oh, I see what you mean there. Sorry to hear about that problem on the yard. Some neighbor's dogs, huh! @poetryman6969, thank you.

poetryman6969 on February 16, 2015:

If it would keep the neighborhood dogs from using my front yard as a toilet, it may be worth it!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on February 06, 2015:

I think it's a very cool wooden snake, @Millionaire Tips.

Good to see you are interested in making one.

Thank you!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on February 06, 2015:

That is a great idea, Joel, if you can find just the right pieces of driftwood for the project. Thanks for sharing that.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on February 06, 2015:

That is a great idea, Joel, if you can find just the right pieces of driftwood for the project. Thanks for sharing that.

Shasta Matova from USA on February 06, 2015:

That is just so cool! I would love to have that in my yard. That is an amazing amount of time it took to make it though, and it is so huge! Maybe I should try to make a much smaller version with a branch.

Joel Diffendarfer from Jonesville on February 05, 2015:

I am a "river rat" and hike along the Susquehanna River a lot picking up driftwood for décor and other projects. Most of what I find is already "de barked" making them perfect for what you have so craftfully shared. Guess what my next project is?? Great job well worth voting up. Thanks!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on February 02, 2015:

I wouldn't mind having one of these in my yard.

Thanks for visiting, LadyFiddler.

Joanna Chandler from On Planet Earth on February 02, 2015:

Hi Colorfulone , I am not a snake lover at all, but this is awesome stuff your brother-in-law is into. Its one of the most beautiful creative art I have ever seen from scratch. I guess it can also keep intruders out of his yard, ha ha ha no one is going in their seeing an anaconda waiting to swallow them. he he he

Thanks, I am sharing this, voting up etc1

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 26, 2015:

It is a funny idea to make a huge wood snake for the yard.

Thank you Romanian.

Nicu from Oradea, Romania on January 25, 2015:

These snakes are funny, it's a brilliant idea.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 16, 2015:

Laurel, yeah, that Al really inspired me to get that snake of his online.

Thank you, and have a great 2015.

Laurel Johnson from Washington KS on January 16, 2015:

I'm not very talented but enjoyed reading about your talented brother-in-law's creativity. Loved the pictures!!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 06, 2015:

I believe you are right about Al, FlourishAnyway. He and my sister and brother came to visit today, good to see them. - Thanks!

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 06, 2015:

Very creative! I could see my recently retired father doing something like this. Your brother-in-law is an artist at heart.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on December 25, 2014:

Let's hope no one is stumbling around in the yard at night.

Thanks for visiting, peachpurple.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 25, 2014:

That wooden snake looks almost like real, if you stumble at night, get a heart attack

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on December 19, 2014:

I am impressed with the craftsmanship of the anaconda.

Thank you for your nice comment, and generosity, pstraubie48.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on December 18, 2014:

Peg, thank you for the shares, I really do appreciate your generosity.

Happy Holidays!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 18, 2014:

Wow..how impressive is that. It obviously was made with great care....

Voted up and pinned

Angesl are on the way ps

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 18, 2014:

Came back to share this and will give it a tweet and G+ as well. Hope you are enjoying your holidays!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on December 13, 2014:

Thank you for checking out the wooden snake, C.V.Rajan.

Disillusioned from Kerala, India on December 11, 2014:

Interesting!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on December 08, 2014:

Wow, nice big pieces of driftwood could work great to carve out a huge snake. Thank you for the creative idea, I like it @Happyboomernurse!

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on December 08, 2014:

I love these whimsical pieces of art! We certainly don't have anacondas in Delaware, but we have driftwood that could be converted to large snakes and would add an unexpected delight to the landscape!

Thanks for sharing this.

RTalloni on December 06, 2014:

While I am fond of only a few (and a few kinds) of lawn ornaments, I agree, your brother's creations are unique, and I do believe that if I had the right wooded area I would have to follow your tutorial to make one! Also, I enjoyed reading through some of the responses to this hub. People are surprised by this project just by the photos! :)

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on December 05, 2014:

Besarien, Al had people stopping by to ask where they could buy a snake just like this one he made. He does not seem to be interested in creating more to sell, but he sure could make some money doing it.

Thank you!

Besarien from South Florida on December 05, 2014:

Unlike many I like snakes. I think this anaconda sculpture is brilliant! What a unique craft idea. He should sell these online or on consignment maybe at a craft and folk art gallery. Great hub!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on November 15, 2014:

Marlene, thank you for coming by. It would be a little startling to see that big snake without knowing that it isn't real.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on November 14, 2014:

Al's snake looks so real I would be afraid to walk onto his lawn for fear of not knowing whether it's a real snake or just one that Al painted. Excellent tutorial.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on November 12, 2014:

Thank you, PinoyMom. Nice to get a compliment now and then.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on November 09, 2014:

Thank you, Richard. From what I hear, the neighborhood kids love this wooden snake. Have a great day!

Richard from Hampshire - England on November 08, 2014:

I really loved this idea, great idea for kids. Can't wait to make one for my nephew! Liked and voted up

Shiela Gerona from Philippines on November 08, 2014:

Colorfultone I'm afraid of snakes and the ornament you have on those pictures looks real. Great and detailed hub.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on November 04, 2014:

Rolly, I do believe you would enjoy the reactions of your neighbors to a large wood Anaconda in your yard. I really hope you make one, if not for any other reason but the enjoyment of wood carving.

Thank you for visiting my hub. I see that you have many interest book titles on Amazon that I would be interested in reading. - Cheer!

Rolly A Chabot from Alberta Canada on November 04, 2014:

Hi colorfulone... what a great idea and excellent hub. I have been a woodcarver for years now and I must try this and see what the reaction would be in the neighbourhood... lol...

Hugs from Canada

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on October 31, 2014:

Shyron, thank you very much for the vote and shares.

Much appreciated.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on October 30, 2014:

Susie, welcome to HP, I hope you will be happy here.

I don't like snakes even one that are not real, but it was very interesting to read and I voted it up, UABI and will share.

Blessings and Hugs.

Shyron

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on October 21, 2014:

Linda, I am inclined to agree with you on that. Thank you for coming by, and I hope you have a great week on and off of HubPages.

LindaSmith1 from USA on October 21, 2014:

I couldn't do it, but what a gag gift, unwrapped of course, for someone who does not like snakes.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on October 16, 2014:

Mary, good to see your comment. I have been busy, sorry it took so long to reply. Much appreciated.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 15, 2014:

Your pictures really show the process well. Creating something like this require such fine skills.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on October 11, 2014:

That would be too big of a snake for me if it was real, Maurice. We just have small none venomous snakes here. Good to see you, thank you.

Maurice Glaude from Mobile, AL on October 11, 2014:

No Way Susie, We have enough real snakes thank though.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on October 08, 2014:

Dolores Monet, one of these wood snakes might attract the neighborhood kids. Aw, but I guess they would get bored soon enough, heehee.

Thank you!

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on October 08, 2014:

What a great idea! I love this wooden snake! Maybe if I made one it would keep the kids off the lawn, haha.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on September 22, 2014:

I do believe Al enjoyed every moment of creating the snake sculpture, and the showing it off for everyone to see, Wednesday-Elf. Thank you for stopping by, Pat, nice to see you.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on September 22, 2014:

Al did a very good job creating a rather large Anaconda. It is something people stop by to ask about. One lady recently inquired where she could buy one just like it. Good to see you, takkhisa.

Takkhis on September 22, 2014:

Your brother in-law is a great artist! I don't know if I could do like this alone. Thank you. :)

Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on September 22, 2014:

What a clever 'yard art'. Your brother did a great job creating his wooden Anaconda Snake. It also sounds as though he really enjoyed working on his project. Great pictures!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on September 16, 2014:

Thank you for coming by to see the wooden snake, all ya'all.

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on September 16, 2014:

I am looking at this and it seems familiar. LOL That is why I commented a few weeks ago in my other account. Still fun to read.

Ann Hinds from So Cal on September 09, 2014:

Somehow this totally appeals to my SciFi obsession. I don't like snake but what a cool idea and amazing artwork.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 07, 2014:

What a wonderful anaconda sculpture! I love it. It's a great piece of art.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on September 07, 2014:

I get startled every time I happen to see a snake in the wild. We do not have venomous snakes around here, so it is just an automatic reaction. Thanks for visiting.

Tolovaj on September 06, 2014:

Looks spectacular. If you want to impress the neighbors and visitors, this is definitely a way to go:)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 05, 2014:

Now that was an interesting title, and then the article lived up to the hype. What a talented guy that brother-in-law is. I wouldn't even attempt it...afraid it would end up looking like a garter snake roadkill. :)

Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on September 05, 2014:

Much better to have a wooden anaconda than a real invasive species.

VioletteRose from Atlanta on September 04, 2014:

Amazing work! I am quite scared of snakes, but this is great work.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 04, 2014:

This looks a little bit too real. I admire the craft and will look at it on someone else's lawn (smile). This is a great art. Thank you for sharing.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on August 30, 2014:

Very cool! My yard isn't big enough for this but I'd like to have one just to scare my neighbors. I know, not nice especially since we are having a rattlesnake epidemic at this time.

Janis from California on August 30, 2014:

What a fascinating idea! This is so creative.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on August 29, 2014:

Thank you for stopping by, it is much appreciated.

I just added a poll question for an update.

mrducksmrnot on August 27, 2014:

Great HubPage. Nice work on those snakes.

Jim from Kansas on August 27, 2014:

Now that is one cool and unique project. I mean, how many people could have one of those.

Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on August 25, 2014:

This is really clever! You could really scare someone with one of these.

CherylsArt on August 24, 2014:

That's an awesome project. I've got a lot of wisteria that has grown quite a bit this summer, and I've been considering cutting it into a shape come fall. Your article has inspired me to start looking at topiary designs to see what I might want to design. Thanks. : )

Kay on August 23, 2014:

This is amazing and beautiful! Wow!

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on August 22, 2014:

Amazing! Thanks for sharing! ;-)

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 22, 2014:

Your brother-in-law is very talented and while I might not wish to have a wooden snake in our yard I can really appreciate the time and work that he puts into these creations. Thanks for sharing it with us. Up votes!

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on August 22, 2014:

That Anaconda must like it at Hubs cause it is looking great!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 22, 2014:

This is such a creative idea and looks so real. Great pictures and a fine description.

Well done and Voted up!

Angela F from Seattle, WA on August 20, 2014:

I definitely don't want one in my yard but he's very talented!

Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on August 20, 2014:

I thought you had a new account but see comments from 13 months ago.

The anaconda looks so real. Very cool.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on August 19, 2014:

This is really creative and realistic looking. What a great idea and your instructions are well done, too. I like the idea of putting one of these in the yard to keep out solicitors.

Krissa Klein from California on August 19, 2014:

I love your sculpture! That's amazing! It'd be an awesome thing to hide in the grass by a front doorstep to scare away salespeople :D

Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on August 19, 2014:

Wow, what a beautiful finished project! Clever to imagine that to begin with too. I have to go look at the photos again now. So nicely done!

Nick Deal from Earth on August 19, 2014:

Whoa -- that is impressive! Nice work

Mary Wickison from Brazil on August 18, 2014:

We have just cut down so many trees to plant 400 coconut trees. We have burned a good portion of it but I am sure we still have some to make this.

What a great idea.

Thanks to Mary615 for sharing it.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on August 18, 2014:

When I was growing up in the country, we had a real problem with rabbits and other wildlife eating our fresh veggies. My daddy made a black snake from a piece of wood, and put it in the garden. It was very realistic! This Anaconda is very artistic, and I'm sure it took a long time to make!

Voted UP, etc. and shared.

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on August 18, 2014:

That is a remarkable job! So cool to have that big snake in your yard!

Anthony Altorenna from Connecticut on August 18, 2014:

The wooden anaconda is amazing! Your brother-in-law is very creative and has a lot of talent!

Scott A McCray on August 17, 2014:

That is amazing and imaginative work! Totally cool!

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on August 17, 2014:

This is really impressive! I love this: "This is folk art, and the artist goes with what feels right." That's certainly the beauty of folk art. Al did an amazing job!

Patricia on August 17, 2014:

Wow! Those are cool!

Melanie Wilcox from Pennsylvania, USA on August 17, 2014:

Oh wow! What a great article and great craftsmanship. There is so much interesting symbolism that surrounds snakes too. Thank you for sharing. I'm sure your brother-in-law, Al, is thrilled you have too.

Karen from U.S. on August 17, 2014:

What a fun project! I would get a chuckle out of seeing one of these in someone's yard (or in our yard, if my husband would want to make one). The neighbor girls next door might be scared though...

Barbara Tremblay Cipak from Toronto, Canada on August 17, 2014:

well my goodness! extremely creative and artistic - my moms phobia too!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on August 17, 2014:

Thank you to all of you for your awesome comments.

Be well!

SAM ELDER from Home on February 20, 2014:

wow,,, this snakes really rocks..

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on December 16, 2013:

Beautiful craft. Thanks for sharing and I love the pictures. Take care!

Rolly A Chabot from Alberta Canada on December 15, 2013:

Hi Susan... love it... portable and be a great one to set on peoples lawns, with a note. "Please pass me along."

Hugs from Alberta

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on December 15, 2013:

This would be a great science project! It's also a fun idea for making something to scare, well, someone! Yeah, I know, I'm thinking like a prankster!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on December 15, 2013:

What an amazing talent! I've always admired anyone that can turn a piece of wood into a thing of beauty. I'm not a big fan of snakes and actually have a huge fear of them. I can't even stand to look at them on TV, but still can appreciate all of the hard work that must go into these snakes.

Voting up +++, sharing, pinning and tweeting. Awesome hub!

Mackenzie Sage Wright on August 13, 2013:

That is beautiful! Absolutely cool.

Dale Hyde from Tropical Paradise on Planet X on August 13, 2013:

Wow! What a very unique concept! Most interesting! I shall have to share this in a few places. :) Thanks for a hub well done and for the wonderful photos. :)

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