A selection of simple makes brings the natural beauty of trees into the home.
The movement of a waterfall is replicated by stringing small lengths of twig from a lichen-covered branch. Drilling through the centre of each twig piece enables string to be threaded through and knotted in place. Varying the length of the string gives the effect of movement.
THE WOODLAND FLOOR and autumn garden are rich in fallen branches, which can be used to make decorative items for the home in a variety of easy to follow projects. Different shapes and sizes can all be transformed, and choosing various barks or lichen-covered sticks will add interest. It is important to make sure all wood is fully dried out before it is worked on, and care should always be taken when handling sharp tools and drills.
TREE RING COASTERS
Simple rustic coasters are perfect for protecting furniture from damage from hot or cold drinks. They are made by cutting slices of log, sanding them, then oiling the surface for an attractive warm finish. Using oil also protects them from water damage, but should they become marked, they can be re-sanded and oiled. Adding felt to the bottom of each one helps to protect tabletops from scratches and also makes the coasters more stable. A set can be made from one log or different effects achieved by choosing different types of wood.
Hollowed-out small branches make attractive rustic candle holders with their natural colours and textures, elevating a simple, plain candle. A straight branch or log that is at least two times the diameter of the candle base is selected. It is cut to the desired height, ensuring the base is level and stands firmly. A flat wood drill is used to make a recess in the centre of the branch. It should be at least 1in (2.5cm) deep, and the candle should fit snugly inside. The candle wax can be shaved slightly with a sharp knife if necessary. Always remember that burning candles should never be left unattended, especially when next to wood.
The shades and grains of different types of wood are enhanced when thin slices are cut and sanded to make buttons. Two or four holes are drilled into the discs, using a small wood drill bit. They are then sanded until smooth. Adding some varnish gives the buttons a rich sheen. Attaching them to a card with contrasting thread makes a unique gift.
A mug tree comprising a multi-stemmed branch brings nature straight into the kitchen and is simple to make. Care is taken when trimming the secondary branches to be sure there is enough length to hang the mugs from so they do not fall off. A section of log is cut thick enough to provide a well-weighted base for the tree, to stop it from toppling over. A hole is drilled all the way through the base, and a second hole into the bottom of the branch. A long screw is then passed through the base and into the end of the branch to hold the two firmly together.
FOREST POT COVER
A tactile cover can be used to give an ordinary plant pot a woodland feel. A pot is selected and its circumference measured. Sticks are cut slightly taller than the pot and placed in a line equal to the circumference measurement. Two pieces of string, four times the length of the row of sticks, are then cut. The string is doubled over and, starting from the middle of the string, it is tied around the first stick 1in (2.5cm) from one end. The string is then knotted around each subsequent stick, with one half of the string sitting under the stick and the other over the top. This process is repeated across the other end of the sticks. Once complete, the excess ends of string are tied around the first stick to form a tube, which is placed over the pot.
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