The inspiration for this project came from a book by Katie Brown called ‘Weekends’. It was one of the first projects I did at our cabin back in 2006 and I was pleased with how easy and inexpensive it was, not to mention it has great impact. I’ve changed it up a bit, but overall it’s the same project as indicated in the book.
The reasons I love this project:
- It’s super versatile! You can make it any size you want to fit any size wall. It can be TOTALLY customized. You can install it on a ceiling, up a post or around a door.
- It will work with virtually any decor. Go ahead and spray paint the twigs white and use silver sheeting for a more contemporary look.
- No special skills are necessary and you don’t need to use any scary power tools.
- It takes less than a couple of hours (depending on size and whether or not you choose to emboss).
- You get a big bang for your buck. For most projects, you will spend less than $30-$40, maybe more if you need more copper.
- Lastly, I promise you everyone who sees it will inquire about it and you’ll be super proud of your handiwork!
For this project you will need the following:
- A grapevine wreath (available at any craft store)
- Copper Foil (roofing copper)
- Horseshoe nails and copper brads (Katie recommends only brads, but I found they don’t really hold the larger branches in place).
- Copper Wire (I used 18 gauge) and wire cutter
- Rubber mallet
- Enough artistic ability to draw a basic leaf shape OR an actual leaf or leaves to use as a guide
- A thin nail
Edited to Add: In January of 2014, I deleted some of the photos in my media library, not realizing they would also be deleted here. I no longer have them so you will have to rely solely on the written instructions.
Start by unwrapping the grapevine wreath and cut the long piece of vine that holds it together. The pieces will then come apart easily. Cut or break the pieces and vary the lengths based on the size of your project (typically 5′-9′). Get a sense of where your tree will begin and end and then get to work securing the branches with the horseshoe nails. You may need your mallet right about now for that. You can use the copper brads for the smaller/lighter branches to insure they stay where you want.
Once the tree is finished, start tracing out your copper leaves. I recommend at least two different sized leaves for interest. If you want to add a little more pizazz, emboss the leaves using a wooden stick or pencil eraser. The original instructions in Katie’s book didn’t say anything about embossing the leaves, and frankly, it takes A LOT longer to do this step, but if your project will be seen up close and personal, it might be something to consider.
Once the leaves are traced it’s time to cut them with your scissors and make a small hole at the short end for the copper wire.
Not too big or the wire will be flippin’ and flopin’ and that’s not a good thing.
Cut the wire about 4-5 inches long, thread thru the hole and place it on the branch, twisting it around tightly.
Voila! When you’re finished it will look something like this.
Think about how nice this would look outside in a covered porch! I think it looks much nicer when it’s on a white wall, which provides more contrast. That’s the way it was shown in Katie’s book and it’s very pretty. This is in our master bedroom at our cabin and I’m happy with it anyway. It’s not too too rustic, but definitely is appropriate for the space and the house.
I hope you give this project a try! After all, how many trees do you have that need no watering and will never die? Hummmm???