I like all things Christmas and all things crafted by hand in natural materials you might find in your garden. I have three, easy to make twig projects in this post that might just get you on the hunt for an arm full of twigs.
That is a prop tree in the image though, not my actual Christmas tree which will not be cut down quite yet. Also, my twig card holder has yet to receive Christmas cards, but will be filled in time. Just thought to get the project posted if anyone is so inclined to make their own twig card holder.
This project was not designed for Christmas, but Halloween. You can see it in the post, Halloween is Watching. I am sorry I did not take a better image of it in that post. The post is filled with crafts I made for the holiday.
It was a window display which determined its overall dimensions that you see here. It is made of simple materials of twine, twigs and holding it together securely, a staple gun. The twine also helps in keeping the twig project square.
Additionally, the way you weave the twigs helps keep them in place and add further support so less staples are needed.
The image above is just to show the form and how the twigs are placed. You can see that the thicker twigs were positioned first to structure the project, and they are the ones that were stapled. The smaller twigs are added after and are mostly free-floating. They are held in by tension and the weaving process.
The last step was spray painting the card holder black. You will need at least three coats to get into all the crevices. You can leave the twig card holder natural, but the paint hides the staples. If you used brads, that would be less of an issue, but I am not sure brads would hold the project intact.
I have had the twig card holder in the attic for three years now for storage, so you can see it held up over time.
Another fun project with twigs is making Christmas tree ornaments out of natural materials. Above, the tree is made from twigs, cut and glued with wood glue. You can also drill a small hole in each piece to run fishing line through as a holder, but that takes a lot of time and careful drilling to do each branch and trunk piece.
Plus a negative, or positive depending on how you use it, the parts move. It looks a lot less like a tree when the pieces are at differing angles and mobile. I only ran fishing line through the top pieces. It is not seen as it is attached to and hidden by the twine. Twine is too thick to feed through a small hole.
The tree ornaments are aquarium gravel. They too are glued to the twigs. The only thing you may not have that I used on this project is a Dremel tool to shape the pieces to have more gluing surface. Each piece has a convex and concave partner. I am not sure if this is really necessary, but I do know they hold together pretty well once the glue is completely dry.
Our last stick is actually a stick figure, none other than Santa. I got the idea from another blog that swiped the image from Pinterest, yet no credit was given with a workable link. Mine is a bit different as it is a hanging ornament and a bit more refined.
You start out with a twig ½ inch in diameter or larger. The height is up to you, but 7-8 inches works pretty well. Slice off both ends so they are 90° and allow Santa to stand tall.
Next, you get out your Swiss Army knife and start whittling the hat. Make sure the knife is sharp. You can start with a softer wood, like Poplar also. I used the Norway Maple cast offs in my neighborhood because I do like the bark on maple. I would have used my Dremel, but this project can be made with little more than a knife, twig, twine, paint, and a nail.
After Santa’s hat is close to pointed, stop. See in the images, the flat point? This is for driving in a small, flat-headed nail, which you can see embedded in the twine knot. The flat head grips the twine, but more importantly, the flat part of the hat can not be too thin or you will split your Santa. I would drill the hole first, but made Santa without a power tool. A spot of glue keeps the nail secure and the knot tight.
The knot forms the pom-pom on his hat, and if you want to, you can paint it white. I chose not. You will add the hanger last.
Next you make a few passes with a sharp knife to fashion the face. I cut a slice at the forehead first so as not to go past that point. He looks pretty good unpainted, but to really look like Santa…
He gets painted with acrylics – tempera is fine too. You only need your choice of red and white. My red was Cadmium Red Medium and the white, Titanium White. I used them straight from the tube, no watering down. You want to apply the paint thickly to give some dimension to the fur and beard.
If you want, paint in his eyes, nose, rosy cheeks (red and white paint mixed), and mustache, then you might add black paint to the supplies. I kept it simple like the example from Pinterest. It is up to you how you design Santa. I added Santa’s uni-brow, then decided not to paint the face features actually.
After he is all painted like above and below, pop in the nail and hang the little guy on the tree. I used a push-pin to make the hole to receive the nail.
You can also make a slew of Santas and string them together as a garland. You could just drill a hole through and perpendicular to his hat to run your ribbon, fishing line or colored string. It would be a lot of work, but so cute.
And Santa can have a face with a bit more carving.
Make colorfully painted fish ornaments from sand dollars with my next re-blogged post.