Tree branches are inspiring to create crafts with because they form lovely shapes and make everyone think of nature, growth and life. You can make table decorations, holiday trees, family trees or wall art with tree branches you have on hand, bringing a touch of the natural world into your home or classroom.
This can be a holiday craft or an anytime craft with different approaches. Take a tree branch and clean off any loose dirt, insects or dead leaves. Remove sharp ends, if necessary. Let healthy leaves stay on the branch or take them all off. Cut out paper leaves from different colours of construction paper or patterned cardstock, depending on the season and the event, and punch holes in the ends of the leaves for string. Tie them on the twigs and branches with plain or glittery string, depending on how fancy you want your centrepiece to be. For Thanksgiving, write things you and your family are thankful for on the leaves. For a wedding, write inspirational words on the leaves instead. Add other accents, like berries, crystals, stones or garlands, to the tree branch if desired.
For a small, individual family tree craft, choose a small, many-forked branch and set it in a lump of play dough or clay in a cup or small flowerpot. For a big family tree, get a larger full tree branch and stand it up in clay or sand in a bucket or large flowerpot. Next, add leaves. These can be silk artificial leaves, construction paper leaves or fabric leaves. Write the names of each member of your family on a leaf, and tie or wire the leaves to the branches. Put the oldest members at the top, descending to the youngest generation, or go the other direction. Add small photos of each person to his leaf, or add artificial or real flowers around the leaves for more decoration. This idea can be adapted to an Easter egg tree, an Advent calendar tree or a tree full of fairies and butterflies for a special bedroom decoration.
Make interesting and original wall art for your home with tree branches. Take the branch outdoors and spraypaint it in glossy black, silver or gold, light purple or green--whichever colour matches your decor. Shellac the branch to seal in the colour and preserve the branch from decaying. Once the branch is dry, let your creativity go wild. If you're handy with power tools, drill holes and set hangers from the branch to string dangling crystals, beads, stones or beach glass from. If you're better at sewing, make little fabric flowers and birds and hot-glue them to the branch. Or simply paint the branch a dramatic colour and applique a lace pattern over it in a contrasting colour, such as black over red. Install D-rings on the back of the branch if it will lay flat against the wall. If the branch is thin and the nails are big enough, nail the branch directly to the wall.