Willow branch centrepieces are decorative elements for banquet tables, wedding receptions and occasional tables. Mold straight willow branches into spirals to make standing centrepieces that add a whimsical touch to your decor Paint the branches to coordinate with seasonal themes, or cover them with glittering crystals to enhance your designs. Floral supply stores sell dried willow branches that you can manipulate into spirals, or cut fresh branches from the tree in your backyard to make the standing centrepieces.
Cut fresh willow branches from a weeping willow tree using pruning shears, or purchase straight, dry willow branches from a craft store. If you are cutting fresh willow branches, prune the branches about 1/4 of an inch above a bud.
Fill a shallow container enough to fit the length of the willow branches in water. Soak dry willow branches in the water for four to five hours, until they become flexible. Remove the branches. Omit this step if you are working with fresh willow branches; fresh branches are naturally flexible.
Measure the height of the tall cylindrical vase that you plan to use for the centrepiece. Measure and mark a distance equal to the height of the vase from one end of each of the straight willow branches.
Tape the marked spot of a straight willow branch to one end of a broom handle with duct tape. The section of the branch from the mark to the end will remain straight so you can stand it in the vase. A broom handle or dowel will create an even spiral for the remaining length of the branch, use a baseball bat or something similar if you prefer to make spirals that widen towards the end.
Wrap the willow branch from the tape around the broom handle in a spiral formation. Tape the branch along the spiral to hold it in place. Repeat this step with each willow branch; you can wrap more than one branch around one broom handle. Leave them to dry around the broom handle for up to a week.
Remove the tape and slide the broom handle from inside the spiral willow branches. Stand the branches inside the vase.
Add decorative stones inside the base of the vase while arranging the willow branches as you like. The stones will help hold the branches in place.
Cover the branches with tiny crystal stones or seed beads to add colour and sparkle to your centrepiece. Cover the branch with clear-drying craft glue and sprinkle the crystals onto the branch. After the glue dries, roll the branch and glue the material to each side.