How To Use a Tree Branch as Decor

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Bring a little sense of the outdoors inside by repurposing a tree branch as decor. Let the shape and size of the branch dictate its ideal new purpose. For instance, a large branch with some remaining narrower branches could be a coat rack, while other branches painted and cemented into a pot turn into an area to hang seasonal decor or origami creations.

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Preparing the Perfect Tree Branch

No matter what project you plan to tackle using a tree branch, the wood must be dried out, sanded a bit, and then sealed before you use it as decor. Select a branch that's long dead; ideally, it came off the tree at least six months ago. A twig or branch of dried-out wood snaps easily, while fresh green wood that still has some life in it bends rather than snaps. Once you're sure it's dried out, trim the wood to the size you'd like using a tree saw or use a miter saw for straight, simple cuts. Wear eye protection while working with any saw.

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Chunk the bark off the piece using a sturdy putty knife; removing the bark helps ensure no bugs are hiding between the bark and the wood. Sand the wood smooth and then wipe it off with a clean rag. Depending on the project, either paint the wood in a favorite latex or spray paint color or seal it with polyurethane or a spray-on clear coat. Spray finishes almost always require several coats, while one coat might be enough for brush-on latex paint, which could still be sealed with a clear finish for added durability afterward.

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Vertical Tree Branch Projects

A large branch with its own smaller branches looks quite treelike on its own when positioned vertically. Secure that branch so it stays put by placing it in a well-balanced resin planter without drainage holes and then filling the planter with concrete. Keep the branch balanced against a wall or another object to ensure it stays straight as the concrete dries. Another option is to build a wood base for the branch and secure the branch from the bottom using large wood screws.

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Once you've steadied your branch, put it in a corner and cover it with white fairy lights. A painted branch that suits the room's decor adds an eclectic touch to the space. If the branch has several narrower branches cut off at about 5 inches apiece, use it for a clever coat and hat rack. Hang holiday ornaments on the branch for each event you celebrate or make a series of origami swans and hang them for a playful look.

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Other Branch Decor Options

Virtually any branch that looks interesting may be turned into decor, including smaller branches. Use narrow branches at least 2 feet long as an alternative to a flower arrangement in a tall, clear vase. Paint all the branches the same vivid color or paint them each a different color that pairs well. Make your own faux flower arrangement using interesting narrow twigs and your favorite silk flowers; simply use floral wire to secure the flowers to the twigs and then set the finished twigs in a vase.

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Make a boho-style wall hanging by tying several strands of wooden rings from the branch using jute or raffia. Use a long piece of jute tied to each end of the branch to make the hanger for your homemade wall art. Modify the idea by stringing colored glass beads from the branch instead, subbing fishing line for the jute.

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