Monday, January 2, 2012

DIY decorative branches

I had been looking for decorative branches for my apartment for a long time, and struggled to find the perfect ones. I had an idea in my head for what I wanted them to look like- basically bleached manzanita, and had no success finding them for a reasonable price. I could only find them online, for $24.50 per branch plus shipping- not an option! Instead I got my hands on some manzanita and sanded them myself. Here's the process:
The manzanita in its natural state.
Some serious garden shears! Necessary due to the strength of the branches!
 I clipped off all the leaves, and any "extra" branches I didn't like.
 The branch after its "haircut."
Then I went to town with the sanding. I found the sanding tool as seen in this photo to be the best for the job. There are some tight spaces to get into, and the precision tips were necessary. However, a variety of sandpaper pieces could be used. (and no, those are not my hands! I had a little help!)
Now that's my hand! (photo taken with Instagram)
The finished product! I love the organic shape and feel they create in my space. 
Here's a detail picture of the texture that is left after the sanding. Gorgeous!

Another option is to simply spray paint the branches white. I sprayed these branches and used them as an unconventional Christmas tree for a holiday party.


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