Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Crafty! The twisted Walking Stick becomes a Love Tree....ah!

Little Lola is getting into the Valentine spirit and asked if we could make a "Love Tree" for her Dad.  Not sure where she came up with the idea of calling it a "Love Tree" but we've been having fun wrapping winter branches lately and why not wrap one in pink and put hearts on it?  Sounds positively "Lovie" to me!

A branch, stripped of its leaves can be a thing of real beauty.  In fact, really examining the lines of a branch (and in that vein, a shrub or a tree) can give you great insight into your four-season interest.  A case in point, Harry Lauder's Walking Stick.  The Walking Stick is the most gnarly, disgruntled looking plant you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting.  It grows quite happily in zones 4 through 8 and though it is a grumpy dwarf, once you gain an appreciation for its branches you will wonder how you ever lived without it.  Take a look at how Little Lola and I transformed this Walking Stick branch for her Dad's Love Tree.....(skip to bottom for list of supplies and Saffie's pictures of the Harry Lauder Walking Stick...he's a big plant nerd).
To start, you will need a branch with an interesting shape (I've also used kousa dogwood with great success)  and yarn, the color of your choice (for Lola and the Love Tree only pink, HOT pink would do).  
Tie a knot where you want to begin and just wrap around and over the tail of the knot.  Little bumps here and there will not show in the overall look.
When you reach a turning point start a new piece of yarn, again wrapping the tail in.  

Wrapping the branch can be a bit difficult at first, especially when assisting a five year old,  but it really just takes patience.  Understandably, Lola tired of the wrapping after awhile and went to work on some drawings.  
A hot glue gun is a real asset in this craft.  You can just wrap your ends under and trim but if you have access to a glue gun, place a glob of hot glue at the end of your branch and wrap the yarn directly into the "still hot" glue.  It will leave a slightly shiny end which looks lovely overall.  The tip of the glue gun can be used to twirl around the end, spreading out the glue.  Remember not to touch, this is called hot glue for a reason!
Once you have completely wrapped the branch you will want to have these supplies on hand: green sheet moss (I get mine from my floral supplier but you can just as easily gather some from a rock or from under a tree...), dry floral foam (you can find this at any craft store), and a container of approximately a 5 x 5 size....if you want it bigger just make sure the branch you chose is proportionally suited to your choice).
 Cut the foam to fit square in your container.  If you have a little extra room, stuff a smaller piece in so it stays tight.  If you chose a round container, make sure the foam is not wobbling around.  This part will be covered up with moss so don't get overly concerned with appearance here!
Place your branch directly into the foam.
Spread out your sheet moss (this part is a little messy, but easy to clean).
 Add moss around the base of your tree taking care to cover all edges (never let them see your mechanics!)
 For the final details you will need thin jewelry wire and charms or beads (all available in a variety of colors and styles at most craft stores.  We found ours at Joann Fabrics).  The charms will need a hole to thread through.
Wrap the charms with the may notice a slight difference in technique between mine and Lola's...this is ok.  In my book, a craft with a kid just doesn't look right if it is overly perfect.  

Hang charms from the branches and voila!  It's love on a tree!

   Won't you be our Valentine? 
Thanks for stopping by!
Cammie & Lola

Supply list: 
yarn (hot pink is our favorite!)
small branch with interesting shape
hot glue gun (optional but a real help)
small container (approximately 5 x 5)
small piece of sheet moss (one square foot should be plenty)
dry floral foam
thin jewelry wire (we used pale pink)
small charms or beads (we used glimmery hearts)

Saffie's pictures of the Harry Lauder Walking Stick:
Corylus avellana

Corylus avellana
This ornamental cultivar of common Hazel is widely known as  Harry Lauder's Walking Stick.  The name comes from the great Scottich comedien and singer, Harry Lauder who regularly appeared with a crooked walking stick in hand.


  1. Love this--straight out of a Dr. Seuss book!

  2. It is a truffula tree indeed! Hadn't thought of it but perhaps we should pull that story out tonight. Thanks for writing!


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