Monday, November 3, 2014

diy: branch wall hanging

when you're working on a very tight budget, you have to get extra creative when it comes to your accessories. for some reason (probably because i'm stalking woven wall hangings lately), this idea for a branch wall hanging popped into my head. i knew it would be a free and easy way to bring a woodsy feel to this rustic office redesign i recently finished. (well..."woodsy" might be putting it lightly. the client literally said, "i want it to feel like quetico when i walk in the door.") i think this project helped fulfill his request.

here's the short version if you want to make one of these: use twine to hang sticks from another stick.

here's the long version:

total time: 3 hours
patience level: george clooney looking for a wife
total cost: free (about $3 if you need to buy twine)

materials needed:

foraged branches- one large & several small, with leaves and small twigs removed
hot glue gun & glue sticks (optional)


1. go foraging for sticks. fall is a great time to prune the trees and shrubs that have gotten wooly in your yard. you'll need one larger branch to hang horizontally at the top, and several smaller ones, depending on how big you want your final piece to be. cut off all the leaves and twiggy branches.

2. lay out your sticks on the ground, and start by laying your fattest one in the middle. add sticks on either side in equal numbers and girths, working your way out from the middle.

3. drill a hole through the top of each stick, about an inch down from the top. we propped them on a 2 x 4 to drill them. (test your first hole to make sure the twine you're planning to use will fit through it before you drill the rest of them. if not, use a bigger drill bit).

4. thread a piece of twine through the hole in each branch.

(for me, this was still pretty tricky to push through even though we made sure the twine would fit when we drilled. i ended up scotch-taping a needle to the end of the twine to force it through. grrr.)

5. wrap the twine around the top of the branch so it hangs vertically without tilting. i have terrible spacial reasoning skills so i don't really even know how i did this, let alone how to explain it. so in case you're like me, i made a video for you. (ignore the shrieking...i'm sure the kids were fine while i was doing this).

it should look like this:

6. hang the branches on the large branch in the order you laid out in step 2. start in the center and work your way out. i spaced mine about 1" apart. at this point i didn't knot them very tightly so that i could slide them and ensure even spacing once they were all hung.

7. once they're all tied on, make sure they are spaced as you want, then tighten the knots. as i tightened each one, i used a hot glue gun to hold it in place and trimmed the loose ends. i did this to prevent them from slipping later, as i knew i wanted the ends to form a specific pattern. it also made everything nice and neat, and prevented frayed ends or loose knots.

8. now you'll need to hang it up so you can trim the ends. i used blue tape as a guide to make the "v" pattern at the ends (i just eyeballed it), and i used garden shears (loppers on the super thick ones) to trim them. as you go along, you can match the pairs of equal-length sticks up to make sure they're the same just like a hairstylist grabs the ends of your hair and matches them up.

9. to mount this on the wall, i used two extra long nails and just propped the horizontal branch on top of them. you can place the nails at a spot where the twine will hide them a bit. keep in mind you will want to use a level on the branch itself (not the nails) because it might not be perfectly straight.

i'm kinda sad this one isn't still at my house...i really love it!

{sharing this project at thirty handmade days}


  1. Laura, I love this wallhanging. What a great idea and so inexpensive to boot! I wonder if you could simply tie and wrap the thread around the branch many times without having to drill into it (kind of like I did with attaching the feather to the cord for my dreamcatcher?) It might save a little headache of having to pull the cord through the holes. In any event, I am totally going to try this. I love it!

  2. This turned out great! I did the same as Grace did for my feathers. Just tied them. Maybe secure the knot with the hot glue gun? I love it though! Awesome!

  3. So you guys are saying the use of power tools wasn't necessary!? Bahahahaha #marriedtoryanirion #powertoolsarealwaysnecessary


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