Making Useful Items From Tree Limbs

April 13, 2010

I've had a lot of 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. Limb pen holder.


Approximate Time: 1-2 hours




  1. Select the largest branches to be used as pencil and salt and pepper holders.
  2. I have let them dry for a few months and would recommend that step to prevent severe cracking.
  3. Tree limbs.

  4. When dry, the branch or limb can be trimmed with power tools. I used a table saw and band saw to flatten one or two sides of the limb, and to then cut it off to the size I wanted.
  5. Cutting limbs.

  6. Drill holes in one of the flat sides with a forstner bit, and or round drill bits of the size desired.
  7. Drilling holes in limbs.


  8. Articles made can be stained, if wanted, and painted. It's up to you.
  9. Finished limbs.

  10. Place in use as salt and pepper shaker holder and pen and pencil holder.

    Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 104 Posts
    April 14, 20101 found this helpful
    Top Comment

    Just thought I'd pass this on. You probably know that oleander is very poisonous. The flowers, leaves, stems, twigs, etc., eaten or the smoke from burning. I would not use oleander for craft projects or suggest to others to do so. Safety first. Yikes!! I sound like my father. :) I do like your project though. I've done something similar and really like your idea for salt and pepper holder.

    April 14, 20101 found this helpful
    Top Comment

    One small branch of oleander burnt in a lounge room fireplace, killed a whole family here in Australia, I wouldn't be breathing the dust from drilling or sawing or putting pens in poisonous timber that someone might stick in their mouth, and as for kitchen ware? If a sheep chews on any part of oleander leaf or bark its tongue swells up and chokes it. The toxin doesn't leave it when it drys.


    Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 180 Feedbacks
    April 24, 20100 found this helpful
    Top Comment

    I don't have oleaner, I certainly thank those who warn of its poisonous qualities...horrors. I have rhododendron (mountain laurel) bushes now trees, that I want to drastically prune.


    Is there any harm in them?

    May 7, 20131 found this helpful
    Top Comment

    Yes oleander is poisonous, so use different wood. I once used a very long straight limb from a large overgrown ligustrum as a rod to hang tab topped curtains in my livingroom. I since moved on from that look, but everyone loved the idea and some copied it.

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