Whether fresh or dry, branches and twigs are a thrifty supply to create a variety of things. This guide is about crafts using tree branches.
Last summer, I found a nice branch that I spray painted gold and that I use as a trellis for my live ivy. Usually it sits in a decorative basket in the hallway. This past Christmas, I hung some small red bells from the branches, wrapped the basket with a seasonal tea towel and placed it on a side table in the family room. It garnered compliments from family and friends but sorry to say, I didn't think about taking a picture of it. Anyway, a little imagination at any time costs next to nothing and always gives back a great feeling.
Approximate Time: 5 minutes to paint, 1/2 hour to dry
I've had a lot of oleander bushes in the yard for years. I wanted to re-landscape some parts so the bushes had to go. Other trees/branches can be used as well. The limbs of this bush are very soft and can be milled into useful items to use around the house and studio. I didn't want to throw them all away, so I saved several pieces to use in later projects.
Approximate Time: 1-2 hours
You don't have to spend a fortune at the craft stores to make a great natural wreath. If you have a willow tree that loves to drop its long branches all over the yard (the bane of my husband's existence :), then you have about all you need. If you don't have one, ask around, maybe a friend does. Or investigate other trees, vines, shrubs that might also be suitable.
If you've ever made a grapevine wreath, the process is the same for willow branches. Make your initial circle to the size desired by wrapping the pliable branch around itself. Slightly green branches work best. Then begin wrapping additional branches tucking the ends in between until you get the wreath thickness you desire.
If you have floral wire or any thin gauge wire (twisty ties with the paper coating peeled off), you can secure the finished wreath in a couple places. Hide the wire with whatever you decorate your wreath.
My photo shows a willow wreath in progress. Notice the ends that need to be trimmed or tucked in. But you may like to leave some for a more natural look. There's no right or wrong with this craft.
By gloria from western NY
Approximate Time: 1 hour
Trim branches to same length, lay across side by side. Intertwine ribbon then tie ends around jar. Glue each branch.
With the last 4 branches, make stems. Cut across tips. Measure the length desired then cut floral tips off pine cones, these will be the petals. Glue pine cone tips then with mini acorns, cut in half and placed in the middle of the petals. Arrange flowers in vase. Use twine to wrap around jars. I use wild moss for filling.
By Belen from Jacksoville, FL
I recently cut off a large branch from my tree. The branch is about 3/4ft high. I would like to use it as a decoration for Christmas. What is the best way to support it? A board or pot? Do you have any suggestions please?
We use a large branch of a healthy tree (eucalyptus, fir, pine etc.) as a "holiday tree". We hang the branch on a wall slanting downward as it would be if still on the tree. We love birds so have many types of bird baubles-little nests with babies, small realistic birds, crochet and cross stitch birds, my naturalist husband's photos, etc. Add clear lights only.
This is mainly for our grandkids and guests when visiting.
We celebrate the day mainly as a winter's festival break from the cold and dark season.
This is a branch that is cut and then cracked in two. Where it is cracked in two, I put duct tape on the top. It will hold clothes. They would really be pretty if they were all covered in duct tape rather than just the top.
I have a project this month of recycling all that is left over after getting rid of the extra maple branches on our maple tree. It is too close to the electric line.
We have made a chime out of one of them, and now we have made a clothespin out of some of the smaller ones.
We stuck them in the rooster gate to keep him from jumping out over the fence at mother. :)
I am big on nature. I took one long branch, a shorter branch, scrap wood, and made a welcome sign. I screwed the branches together. I put a screw(or nail) in top of the sign, wrapped copper wire around top screws.
This is a money tree created for a 50th surprise birthday party. It is constructed of a sassafras branch (dogwood works good as well), curling ribbon in various lengths tied onto the branches. I used a vase as tall as the branch and added sand and rocks for stability.
We made a circle of beads with wire and hooked them together.
Make spooky branches covered in cob webs and glittery bats to decorate for Halloween this year!
I have some tree branches I cut down and want to know what I can make with them. I have Cub Scouts and want to make some boy related stuff.
By Tessa from Las Vegas, NV
How about picture frames if the branches are small enough?
If your branches are 1 inch diameter or larger, you can cut rounds or ovals for tie-slides. Cut the rounds/ovals, give the boys sand paper or sanding blocks to sand them smooth. Decorate with whatever your theme of the month is, and hot glue them to 3/4 inch pvc pipe sections.
With many people pruning at this time of year I thought I'd come up with some useful things to do with the pruned twigs and branches. Today a neighbor gave me several large bundles of long supple apple tree branches.
Cut a branch that is dead from one of your trees and cut into 5 of the same length to make a star.
How do you make a money tree?
Get a rubber tree or a small christmas tree that don't cost to much, you can even go to a second hand store and see if they have some kind of tree or plant. Fold your dollars back and forth like a fan and tie it in the middle with thin wired ribbon or just ribbon. Be sure not to tie it tightly so that it will be easy to remove the money. At Christmas I like to get a 1 foot Christmas tree and buy some scratch of lottery ticket which i tape to ribbon and tie it to the tree and to make it more fuller i get very small bows and place them in between. Great gifts! They love them every time. Hope this helps you out. Good Luck! (09/17/2009)
I have made several money trees for our ministers and missionaries. Just get a branch off a tree the size you can use. For a base, my son got a six inch piece of firewood nice and round, drilled a hole in the center of it for a base, and put the branch in. Or you can fill a three pound can with sand and stick the branches in it. We always use one dollar bills and taped on the limbs. I usually used 100 bills, and it is easy to make and a lot of fun.
Source: I have made these for many years.
By Helen P. from Greensburg, IN
I need to make a money tree for our Pastor, for Pastor Appreciation Day. Can someone help me out?
By Terry J from Goshen, OH
I like this idea of making a money tree, because it uses a small, live indoor tree, so besides the money, your pastor would end up with a nice house plant.
Find a small branch between 18 and 36 inches tall depending on how big you want your money tree. The branch should have many smaller limbs to hang dollar bills.
Purchase a metal or ceramic pot. If the pot has a hole at the bottom cover the hole with tape. Mix a thick plaster mixture. Put plaster in the pot with branch sticking straight out. Let the pot sit over night.
Conceal the hardened plaster with silk moss, grass or leaves. Use a hot glue gun to glue the moss to the plaster. Cover all the plaster around the branch so your pot looks like it has a tree growing in the green foliage.
Begin adding money to the tree. Use any denomination of bills to attach to the tree. Attach the bills to the tree using paper clips or mini clothes pins. You can fold the bills decoratively or just let them hang. It's up to you.
Put small items on the tree branches that go with your gift theme. Use holiday decorations, religious charms, small toys or anything you want. Add little notes to the tree on decorative cards. They can be advice, poems, songs or IOU's. Anything you can think of that will enhance the tree.
Tips and Warnings
Overall Things You'll Need
We want to give my 85 year old mother money for her birthday, we want to make a money tree. Any suggestions on how to craft one? I know there are certain ways the dollars need to be folded, etc. Or money roses would be fine if anyone knows how to make them.
Madeline from York, PA
Why not make the tree out of the branches and then get those tiny cute clothespins you can get a craft stores and clip the bills on? Just a suggestion. (02/20/2007)
I think fan folding the bills is cute and easy. I did that for my husband one Valentine's Day and tied little red bows at the bottom of the fan. It also fills out the tree. (02/21/2007)
I am making one for our student helper who is graduating. I am getting a branch, any size that is good for you will do. I am spray painting it silver, using blue ribbon with beads tied on the end to fill in. I am using white ribbon with small clips for the money, spray painting a 16 inch clay pot and painting the school logo on it. Also, it is fun to paint in the college colors that the student is going to.
By Laurie Stahl
Thanks for the ideas. Here's mine: I purchased from the 99 cents store a small lazy Susan (black) for the foundation of the tree (the tree can spin for the guests to add money or just to admire), 4 coiled plastic center pieces that are made up of green leaves meant for placing candles in the middle, and 2 more coils made to look like they have pears and peaches on them.
I am going to strategically place the coils around a Styrofoam cone shaped piece, after I have painted the Styrofoam green. Then place little branches with clothes pins around the tree to hold the gold coins and paper two dollar bills for my granddaughter's birthday. (10/01/2008)
By MS. "K" ldyer
We had to get half of our 60 foot hackberry tree cut off and now we have mounds of branches and "logs". Any ideas on what to use these logs for, besides saving it for firewood to sell.