Autumn Home Decor - How To Make Your Own Hanging Autumn Branch Display
Step By Step Instructions To Make Your Own Hanging Autumn Branch Display
Lots of you've been coming into the Autumn shop this past fortnight and talking about displays you want to do. Many of you have exclaimed that you’re not creative enough to do displays like ours in the shop. That's so not true! So we’ve set about giving you ideas on how to do your own displays with no fuss, talent or expensive props necessary! Here we'll give you step by step instructions to make your own hanging autumn branch display. Help your Autumn home decor sparkle this month. And the great thing about this is you can switch it up depending on the time of year!
So, are you ready to get going?
STEP 1: The Branch Itself
This step is about finding the right branch for your hanging autumn branch display. Before you do anything, you’ll need to decide where to put your autumn branch display. You don’t want it where you’ll knock your head on it! In a window, alcove or above a dining able are all good places for this type of autumn branch display. Make a note of the maximum size branch you need.
Next, you’ll need to get your coat on, and scour woodlands, or hedgerows. Don't forget to take your tape measure with you. Find a branch that's the right size, and keep swapping it along the walk til you find 'the one'! It'll need quite a thick trunk, so look for something the same thickness as your thumb. And for this type of autumn branch display, you don't want more than one or two branches coming off it.
If it’s wet, allow the branch to dry out for a couple of days somewhere dry, but not too warm (you don't want it going brittle).
STEP 2: Putting Up The Branch For Your Autumn Branch Display
Cut yourself two pieces of string (or fishing wire) about a metre long. Getting the end of one piece of string, knot it around the branch about 15cm in from the end. Then wind the string round the branch a few times, and double knot it again. (If you were a boy scout or girl guide, I'm sure you'll know a more suitable knot to use-please let me know if you do!) Do the same to the other piece of string You should be able to pick the 2 ends of string up and have the branch dangling beneath.
To attach the branch to the ceiling, you’ve got 2 options here: you can either put this up properly with holes in the ceiling and eye hooks; or you can use extra strength command-type hooks that peel off and stick to the surface. But whatever you do, make sure that whatever you’re standing on (ideally a stepladder!) is safe and WON'T fall over!
IF USING THE DRILL: The equipment you may need will depend on what surface you are drilling in to. But do make sure that there are no electrical cables underneath the plasterwork. Hold your branch up by the string to the ceiling, and roughly mark where the hooks need to go. It doesn't matter if its not perfect, as stretching the string/fishing line won’t affect the display. If you're drilling into wood, use a drill bit approximately 2/3 the size of the screw you're putting into the ceiling. Drill the hole and twist the hook in. If you're drilling into plaster, get 2 plasterboard plugs, drill the small hole, push in the plug, then twist the hook into the plug. Tighten by hand.
IF USING COMMAND HOOKS: If using a drill is way out of your comfort zone, ask in a hardware store for their recommendations for sticky hooks. Ones like Command, or Gorilla work really well. Being extra strength, they won’t fall down when the decorations are in place! Hold your branch up by the string to the ceiling, and roughly mark where the hooks need to go. Follow the instructions to put them up when you've marked out where they need to go (usually peel and stick). It doesn't matter if its not perfect, as stretching the string/fishing line won’t affect the display.
Hang your branch on the hooks that you’ve put up. Check the length. Does it work? If you want to make it higher, shorten the length of string by making a second knot.
STEP 3: Wrapping The Garland Around The Autumn Branch Display
For this display, I’ve used the copper ivy leaf garland because of it's autumnal colour and it reflects a little bit of light. However, use what you have that might be suitable - fir cones, foliage, or treat yourself to a new garland!
Hook the loop over one end of the branch, and push it in a small way (about 10cm). Don't worry that the end of the branch is visible - there’s lots more to do yet! Wrap the garland round the branch like you’d wrap fairy lights around a tree, but be careful! You may choose to add some fairy lights here too, but I haven’t. Firstly because I knew I’d got LED light up baubles, and secondly, I couldn’t get that high very easily to turn them on and off!
Tuck the loose end of the garland back in on itself.
STEP 4: Add S-Hooks To Your Autumn Branch Display
S-Hooks are a great tool for hanging things easier - we use them everywhere, both in the shop and home! Put an odd number of S Hooks onto your branch equally spaced apart. Don't worry about being able to see them, or them shining out - they’ll get covered over by the foliage in the next step. If you don't have any S-Hooks all good hardware and cook shops will sell them.
STEP 5: Adding Foliage To Your Autumn Branch Display
For this step I used 4 of my Japanese maple leaf foliage stems (for a length of branch that is 140cm long). Starting off at one end of the branch, all you need to do is slide the foliage stem into the windings of the garland. Don't worry about the stems sticking out, because once the foliage is layered, you won’t notice it. Once the first foliage stem is in place, move further along the garland to where the foliage stops, and add the next foliage stem with the leaves covering the stem of the first branch.
When you get to the opposite end of the branch, turn the foliage stem around, so that both ends of the branch are covered with leaves.
STEP 6: Place Your Decorations On Your Autumn Branch Display
For this Autumn branch display, I chose 3 styles of decorations. Two of the spiked star, 2 of the LED baubles, and 1 gold LED heart. Have a look at what you've got already (take a look in your Christmas box for decorations with no Christmas motifs). Ideally the decorations want to be different sizes, or have 3 roughly the same size, and 2 of a different size. Hang the biggest decorations up first.
Space out similar lengths, or similar sizes so that the eye feels comfortable when looking at the collection. Fill in the gaps with the remaining decorations.
STEP 7: Admire Your Handiwork - You've Now Finished!
One beautiful autumn branch display that is good to go from now until you decorate for Christmas! And the hard work is done for you then too! All you'll need to do then is choose some Christmas theme decorations and change them over!
- Annabelle Summerfield