How to use a dead tree branch as decor

Written by katherine kally
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With a little creativity and a few craft supplies, you can turn a dead tree branch into a piece of home decor. Try making a branch into a lovely table centrepiece, an intriguing piece of lawn art, or give it new life with bits of moss and some floral birds.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Light grade sandpaper
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Spray paint
  • Polyurethane spray
  • Tall, clear cylindrical vase
  • Decorative marbles
  • 4mm crystal bicone beads
  • Soft monofilament line
  • Scissors
  • Coloured craft wire
  • Crystal prisms
  • Outdoor rated twinkle light strand
  • Glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Craft moss
  • Floral birds

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    Crystal Tree Centerpiece

  1. 1

    Remove any loose material from the tree branch and then sand it lightly with light grade sandpaper. Wipe the branch with a damp cleaning cloth to remove the sanding debris. Wait one hour for the wood to dry.

  2. 2

    Spray paint the tree branch with a colour that suits your room's decor Let the paint dry for at least two hours and then spray a second coat. Repeat this process until the branch is covered with paint. If you prefer to leave the branch natural, skip this step.

  3. 3

    Spray the painted or natural branch with polyurethane. Let the finish dry completely, up to two hours. Apply a second coat and let it dry overnight.

  4. 4

    Stand the base of the tree branch inside a tall, cylindrical vase. Remove any twigs along the bottom of the branch that prevent the branch from fitting inside the vase. Fill the vase with decorative marbles to hold the branch upright in the centre.

  5. 5

    Cut a 5-foot long strand of soft monofilament line. Tie a loop in one end. Thread 4mm crystal bicone beads in a variety of colours over the open end, to the loop.

  6. 6

    Fill the line with beads up to 3 inches of the open end. Tie a loop in the open end. Hook one loop over a twig on the base of the tree branch, near the top of the vase.

  7. 7

    Drape the beaded strand over and around the twigs on the tree branch. Hook the second end loop over a twig near the top of the branch. Follow the process to make another length of beads to decorate the branch as needed.

  8. 8

    Cut a length of 2-inch craft wire in a colour to match the paint on the tree branch. Slide the top drilled hole of a crystal prism to the middle of the wire. Fold the wire up and twist the ends together to make a loop.

  9. 9

    Hang the crystal prism from a twig on the tree branch. Follow the process to hang crystal prisms randomly onto the branch.

    Lawn Art

  1. 1

    Arrange a large dead branch on its side as a focal point in a flower bed.

  2. 2

    Drape miniature twinkle lights around and over the branch.

  3. 3

    Extend the power cord for the lights to an outlet rated for outdoor use. Plug in the lights.

    Natural Decor

  1. 1

    Stand the dead branch inside of a tall, cylindrical vase. Remove the bottom twigs as necessary to fit inside the vase.

  2. 2

    Glue craft moss to random sections of the dead branch with hot glue.

  3. 3

    Glue floral bird ornaments to random sections of the dead branch with hot glue. Floral bird ornaments are available in the floral aisle of most craft stores.

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