Thursday, January 8, 2009

Give prunings a new life

We are now settling into that time of year Christian Rosetti calls the bleak midwinter, when the joy and excitement of Christmas wanes into frigidly cold days when all you want to do is spend time outdoors, but the cold makes that impossible. At least in Arkansas, this weather doesn't persist continually until spring. Here, we have random 70 degree days, interpersed with the days down in the low 20's. On those warmer days of winter, Gabriel and I always end up in the yard, looking for something to do. Often, we end up pruning our trees.

One of my favorite crafty things to do has been to make the pruned branches from our yard into home decorations. Not only does it give the branches a new life, but they are natural decorations that don't have a shelf life - they look good indefinitely.

Here are a few of our past creations. Some are easier than others, but none of them were particularly difficult to make.

This is Barnaby, the porch reindeer and watch dog. For Christmas, he sported a jingle bell. In the spring and summer, he'll be moved to the backyard to keep an eye on the garden.
Gabriel made him in an afternoon and had a ridiculously good time. Barnaby is made from hickory and wild cherry.

Perhaps the easiest decoration, but also one of my favorites, is my bucket of branches. Gabriel really doesn't like them since he tends to get caught on them. I have never had that problem. And they look so nice. However, once Liam finally learns to crawl, they'll have to go elsewhere.
These branches are all mulberry clippings. Simply clip, gather, and put them in the bucket. Easy.
This wreath goes on the door every winter when I take down the evergreen one I make for Christmas each year. It is made of mulberry branches (when they are fresh cut and still pliable) with raffia ties.

This coat rack is Gabriel's latest creation, which also only took only an afternoon. It is made from wild cherry.
I hope our ideas inspire you to try your own. For more Thrifty Green Thursday ideas, visit the Green Baby Guide by clicking here.


  1. Your creations are absolutely gorgeous! You should sell them, especially those wreaths. I wish we lived out in the country, like where I grew up, since I loved harvesting wild grape vines for wreaths.

  2. Your designs are great!! I have done similar stuff before but not as nice or useful. Thanks for the comments about the baby wipes. I know about the coth wipes but just haven't yet because I use a diaper service to wash my diapers. I may have to make the wipes my next project. What do you use for cleaning product?

  3. You could start your own furniture company! I love the simple, rustic appearance of your creations. What a great way to spend the afternoon! Thanks for joining us this week for Thrifty Green Thursday!

  4. Those are great! I love the wreath and the reindeer. We live in a relatively new subdivision, so we don't have a lot of trees--I really miss that.

  5. I LOVE the coat rack! He (and you) definitely have an aesthetic eye.

  6. Wow--you have quite a talent for transforming branches into works of art. I am going to have to try this myself. Thanks for the inspiration!