Trying Something New: Tree Branch Decor

I’d like to start this off by telling you about a cute little 6-foot red bud tree that we had growing in our front yard.  The ground was too wet and it died.  It was a great size and nicely symmetrical – a perfect decor project that would fit so perfectly in our house.  When I chopped down the tree I forgot to tell my husband about my plans.  Oops.  Being the responsible person that he is, he saw a job that needed to be done, chopped that tree up into little pieces and put it in the yard waste bin.  I almost cried.  Lesson learned:  communication, people!  My husband has no clue about what crazy things I might want to craft with.  Fast forward a few weeks and I noticed that we had some dead bushes.  I’ll admit that given I had lost my tree, I felt a little bit of joy.  I communicated.  Husband looked puzzled.  I let a branch sit in the garage for a few days so the burrowing insects could move out.

Tree Decor

I wrapped the branches in 180 gm Italian crepe paper from Carte Fini.  This paper is so much fun.  It stretched and shaped well to the contours of the branch.  I like how I can see every little nub and bend.  Looking at it now I realize that it looks kind of funny.  But it’s been so handy.  In November my Children’s Church kids hung tags on it with notes of what they were thankful for.  It was our Thanksgiving Tree and without fail, for 5 weeks in a row one of the kids would ask, “Miss Linda, why is the tree blue?”  The following month, it decorated the food table at a baby shower.

This isn’t a tutorial, but here’s a basic step-by-step of what I did, mistakes and all.

1. Cut off itty bitty branches
2. Wrap the whole thing with 1/2″ strips of 180 gm crepe paper
3. Brush on a layer of Mod Podge matte finish to seal it
4. Anchor the base into a piece of floral foam and place in a pot
5. Fill the pot with Elmer’s glue.  Now I did this because I felt like the pot had to be heavy so it would be stable and not fall over easily.  Elmer’s was a BAD idea.  It dried clear, but it took THREE weeks!  Also, floral foam likes to float so whatever liquid you decide to use, you’ll need to hang weights on the branches to keep it immersed while drying.
6. Fill to top with decorative rocksTree Decor 2

Here’s a little close up of the branches.  My hobby of choice is sewing, but crafting with crepe paper and a dead bush was oddly satisfying.  Now go.  Go try something new!

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Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It's what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 12, 13, and 14), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and a pattern designer.
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