Upcycle old furniture with branches and twigs

Having previously cut some large branches off a Silver Birch, I am always looking for ways to use these in and around the home. It seems such a pity to let the wood go to waste when it could be used for something else.


If you own a mitre saw, cutting branches into thin strips is fairly easy, although you do have to be careful and clamp the branches securely to the fence. However, it's also easy if you buy yourself a new Dremel Saw Max.

Camilla Styles transformed a plain cube into a wonderful side table for living space or bedroom simply by adding legs and branches from her garden. Having seen quite a few similar designs for sale online at outrageous prices, why not collect any trimmings from your garden and put them to use.

Over at  Dutch magazine 101 Woonideen they have created an easy DIY project that uses a basic cube design that is covered with thin strips of cut branches. The cut branches are glued onto the cube to create the completed design.

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What a way to make a statement piece. Fallen branches are mounted to create a unique room divider and incorporate art at the same time.

The team at Melonwoods have thought up a pretty good way to make use of smaller branches from the garden, or collected on hikes. You could use this idea to create small or large frames for mirrors and pictures.

Brent Comber initially made his pieces from wood salvaged from demolition sites; wood that is unprocessed with cracks, knots and swirling and uneven patterns - wood that is not available from commercial suppliers.

All the above ideas incorporate branches and twigs that can be found in your own garden after pruning and trimming. Plus, you will find many more ideas for using branches and twigs in our recycle crafts. Try making your own cup holders, buttons or coasters.

Need hangers or hooks? Branches are perfect for this purpose - both indoors and outdoors.


Once you have selected a nice pair of branches, use a handsaw to cut these to the desired length. Make sure the branches are even at the top and that you have two nice verticals supports that can be mounted against the wall with nylon wall plugs and screws. To mount your shelf on top of the twigs, use a suitable sized spade, MAD or Forstner bit to drill 5mm deep holes for the top of the branches.

Design Lush use branches as art in a contemporary bathroom. I love the idea of being able to repurpose a dead branch or tree as textural art. When viewed against the stark whiteness and crisp lines of this bathroom it adds natural organic lines.

Smaller branches can be cut to medium-thick sections to make the perfect napkin rings. If you own a Dremel MultiTool you can use this to carve out the centre section. As a final note for all readers living in Gauteng - you can never have enough candle holders. As we head towards winter and the inevitable power outages, keep aside some pruned branches for making votive candle holders. You will find instructions here.