Crafts to Make With Tree Branches

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Kim Hoyum

    About the Author

    Kim Hoyum is a Michigan-based freelance writer. She has been a proofreader, writer, reporter and editor at monthly, weekly and daily publications for five years. She has a Bachelor of Science in writing and minor in journalism from Northern Michigan University.

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    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.

    Branch Centerpiece

    This can be a holiday craft or an anytime craft depending on your approach. 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 colors 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 centerpiece 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.

    Family Tree

    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 in 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.

    Wall Branches

    Make interesting and original wall art for your home with tree branches. Take the branch outdoors and spray paint it in glossy black, silver or gold, light purple or green -- whichever color matches your decor. Shellac the branch to seal in the color 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 color and applique a lace pattern over it in a contrasting color, 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.