Twig & Branch Snowflake….a nice and earthy piece of winter decor
Okay, I promise, this is the last little piece of Christmas decor for me this year. (Okay, I can’t promise that I won’t hide out in my closet and make a thing or two…..but you’ll never know!) I’ve just had fun though, since we’re in a new place and a good portion of my old stuff had to be sold or given away in order to move from GA to CO a year and a half ago. And last Christmas, we were in my parents basement, remember? So, I just adopted my mom’s stuff as my own! :)
Anyway, here’s a simple little piece of decor that I made similar to an ornament I saw at the store. The construction is a little different but it turned out perfectly. Just think……..you could hang this on your door, prop it up on a shelf, or hang it on your wall. OR, you could make it in mini size and hang it as an ornament on your tree. I know you were just thinking, “hmmmmm, I need a little gift to give to my kids teacher, the neighbor, or friend“. If you make it into an ornament, tie it to the top of some cellophane wrapped pumpkin bread or something. Cute. Hey, maybe I’ll have to do that. I do have lots of leftover twigs.
**Oh, you recognize that burlap table runner? Ha…..you’re good! ;)
What’s my snowflake’s location of choice? Our front door.
Many hang full and fluffy wreaths……..I hang old twigs and branch parts. ;)
This snowflake is pretty substantial……and is a double layered little monster.
Oh, and just so you know, this is an EXTREMELY cheap project to make. As in, all you’ll need to purchase is enough gas to drive somewhere to gather old branches and twigs. (Oh, and if you don’t have glue, you’ll have to buy some of that. And if you want it to sparkle, maybe a little glitter. But I had those things on hand, so I’m going to pretend you do too…..so just go with it!)
After finishing it, I thought, oooh, this would be really cute spray painted any color. Could you see it in a nice icy aqua/blue with glitter? Or how about a beautiful Christmas red. And then hung on your pale grey door? (Assuming you have a rockin’ pale grey door?) Mine is just sparkly silver. It goes perfect with that ol’ red (not pale grey) door. Anyway……so many options.
Whatever size and whatever color you make, you’ll love turning dead twigs into treasure!
And it will surely bring you a bit of…
Would you like to piece together your own snowflake??
To get started, head outdoors. And look for some old branches and twigs that have fallen or broken off. You’ll need a variety of widths, so be sure to grab all sorts of branch sizes.
**Mine weren’t very dead. They still seemed kind of alive and green inside, so cutting through them took more time with my little hand saw. But maybe you have an electric saw? Because that would make this project even faster for you. Or even hedge trimmers or something that can cut through thick branches.
Then, decide how big you want your snowflake to be. I wanted mine to hang on my door, so I measured across my door and figured 15 inches across would work great.
So here are the sizes of branches that I cut, which you can use as a guide, but keep in mind that depending on how thick your branches are, you may need to adjust your shorter stick lengths.
- two 15 inch branches (largest in width)
- eight 6.5 inch branches (largest in width)
- two 5 inch branches (medium in width)
- thirty 2.5-3 inch branches (smallest in width)
***I say large, medium and small for the width, but that’s all in comparison to itself.
***Also, I recommend cutting as you go, so that you can kinda see what size branch is going to fit best for your snowflake.
***One more thing, you’ll need a hot glue gun to piece everything together. Don’t use a low temp gun. In fact, if you have 2 settings, use the hottest setting. It will help your pieces to stay together a little better. (If your glue gun isn’t working very well, try using an epoxy glue.)
If you look closely, you’ll see that this snowflake is 2 snowflake layers glued together, with some little sticks in between, creating the little details on each snowflake tip. There is one long branch on each “side” of the snowflake and the rest are about half that size.
So, I cut my 2 long 15 inch branches first. Then I layed them down, crossing them a bit, then started cutting my 6.5 inch branches that would intersect and create the other points of the snowflake. (If you’re trying to make a snowflake the same as mine, keep in mind that you may need to cut these more or less than 6.5 inches long. It depends on the thickness of your two long 15 inch branches.) Each point needs two layers and there are 6 points total. But the long sticks count as one of the layers of 4 of the points. So that’s why you will need eight of these 6.5 inch branches to have the 2 layers for each point. (And just as a side note, you don’t have to have branches all the same width. They should be bigger than the shorter little pieces you’ll put on each of the tips in future steps, but they don’t all have to match the width of the 2 long 15 inch pieces.)
Next, remove all of the other branches, except the 2 long ones and 2 of the shorter ones. Then place them together, to create your evenly spaced 6 point snowflake base. Then cut 2 smaller branches (mine are about 5 inches) that will intersect 3 of the branches each, shown below with the arrows. (But they will actually be sandwiched between the two snowflake layers.)
Now, glue these 2 pieces down to the large branch that was laying across the top in the pic above.
Then put it back on top of the other branches but this time, place it face down (meaning, those 2 shorter pieces that you just glued on, are facing down). Arrange the points again if needed, so that they are all evenly spaced. **Imagine cutting a pie into 6 equal pieces.
Then, remove the 2 shorter pieces for a moment and hot glue the bottom branch to the top one, right where it touches those 2 little pieces you just glued on in the last step. (It may help to turn it back over. Whichever way works best for you.)
Then turn it over again (or if you turned it over in the last step, just leave it here) and glue those 2 shorter pieces on, keeping them lined up straight, as if they were one continuous piece.
Okay, so that’s your main snowflake shape that we will now build upon.
So start cutting your smaller pieces (mine are 2.5-3 inches in length) to place at each snowflake point.
And then be sure that you have the snowflake laying down on the side with the 4 points touching the table. Then start hot gluing 5 little pieces down to the ends of each point, in a sort of chevron pattern. (I know, there are only 4 little pieces glued to the points here…..but I decided later on that it looked better with 5.) And be sure that you are gluing them down to the “wrong side” of the points…..that’s why I mentioned to lay it on the side where the 4 points will be touching the table. (The little pieces glued to each snowflake point will be sandwiched between the 2 layers of the snowflake, so be sure you’re gluing them to the right side of each branch point.) Do the same with all of these 4 points.
Then turn the snowflake over and glue 5 little pieces to the “wrong” side of the other 2 points.
Now all 6 points should have their 5 little chevron arranged pieces, glued in place. Then, decide where each of your remaining pieces (mine are 6.5 inches long) should go. I only say this because more than likely, your branch pieces will all be different widths like mine. So I put them in place and arranged them so that there was a balance in size. Then push them out of the way.
Now, grab one branch at a time, add healthy blobs of hot glue on the “wrong” side of the branch…
…then place the glue side down onto those 5 little points and line it up with the branch on the bottom side.
Then repeat with the remaining 5 points.
After I had everything in place, I added blobs of glue in between the layers, making sure that all pieces were securely in place. I put glue everywhere I could, without it being too noticeable. (Remember, if you use paint, it will disguise some of the glue as well.)
Now, you can either stop here or add some color. I mentioned icy blue and bright red above…..but you could green or solid white or whatever color your little heart wants to. :)
I decided to give mine a washed out watery white color…..and then to add glitter.
So I poured some acrylic paint into a bowl and added a bit of water to really lighten it up.
Then, I chose which side would be the prettier front side and then brushed my paint onto the back side of the snowflake first. I also kept a little cup of water handy, to add more water as needed. How this ends up looking is totally up to you and your preference. I just wanted some of the wood to actually show up. That’s why I watered down the white.
Then I flipped it over and did the same thing to the front side. It really didn’t take very much…..I way over estimated when mixing up my paint.
After it dried (I used a hairdryer to speed it up), I sprayed a couple layers of this spray glitter on the front side only. It just gave my snowflake a nice little shimmer. You could also spread some mod podge or spray glue on your snowflake and then sprinkle glitter on top of that.
Then hang your snowflake or prop it up on a shelf……and ENJOY!
Enjoy your weekend!
And shop online. The stores are getting crazy! ;)
(I take that back…….I actually love the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping. My husband HATES it though. Bah Humbug, that’s what I say! ;) )