How to Make a Wish Tree

Written by megan shoop
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How to Make a Wish Tree
Make a wish tree. (mountain ash tree, ashberry, rowa-tree image by Canoneer from

Wishing trees have been a part of many cultures for hundreds of years. The Chinese toss oranges knotted with red and gold paper into trees and Turkish natives tie white strips of paper with wishes on them to branches. Author Mary Redman even wrote a book called “The Wishing Tree” about a girl who creates a wishing tree to keep her military-bound father safe. Wishing trees may serve many purposes. You can make one with your children during the holidays to teach the importance of caring for others or use it as a guestbook at a wedding. Guests sign their names to wishes made for the newlyweds and tie them to a tree. Whatever the reason, making a wishing tree is simple and rewarding.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tall narrow vase
  • Sturdy branches
  • Raffia twine
  • Sand
  • 3 inch wide ribbon, several colours
  • Laundry pen
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Tie three or four sturdy branches together with raffia twine. Make sure they are dry and have lots of twigs still attached. The more twigs on your branches the more wishes you can put on it.

  2. 2

    Place the branches in a tall, narrow vase. Something made of heavy material like terra cotta or stone works best. Hold the branches upright and pour sand into the vase until the branches feel steady.

  3. 3

    Snip 6 inch long sections of ribbon. Write wishes on them with laundry pen; make sure they are selfless wishes like wishing for a family members’ safety or wishing for sick people to get well. Keep the wording short and make sure to use an even amount of each ribbon colour.

  4. 4

    Tie the ribbons around the branch twigs, positioning them as if they were leaves. You can either make all of your wishes at once or make a few each day as part of your daily routine. When the tree is full, add another branch.

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