Today I thought I would share how I created this decoration.
I made this ‘Trillow Tree’ last weekend and seeing as I have now made a few of these, I have refined my process to be much more efficient and cost effective than my first ‘prototype’.
This is a great idea to spruce up a part of the house, a gift for a friend, or even wedding table centres.
Step 1: Prepare your materials
For this arrangement, I needed a thick wooden slice for the base. The wooden slice I used is a 2-inch thick slice of tree trunk around 30cm in diameter.
I used Contorted Hazel to make the branches of the arrangement. You can purchase this from most florists or wholesalers. You may be lucky enough to have some of this growing in your garden!
You will need some right angled brackets and screws to secure the branches to the wood slice base.
You will also need some paper covered wire. You could use any wire but I find natural coloured paper covered wire to be easy and comfortable to use. It also looks more subtle than other types of wire.
A pair of strong scissors to trim the Hazel and cut the wire, alternatively, you could use a pair of secateurs and wire cutters.
You will need something to cover the brackets at the base. I have used various types of moss in the past, such as Spanish Moss and Reindeer Moss as used in this one.
(Optional extra: Music on a Bose speaker system to jam to whilst working away)
Step 2: Place the first branch
To get to this point in the image above, you will need to create a small indent in the centre of the wooden base. Cut the bottom of your main branch at an angle so that it fits snug into the indent.
Once you have found a suitable position for the branch, secure it with three brackets. I recommend three brackets for an arrangement this size. For a smaller arrangement, I would potentially use 2 brackets or if it is very small, you may not need brackets at all and a dab of wood glue may suffice.
Either way, it needs to stand securely. Once the screws are in, you should be able to lift it up by the main branch and it not wobble around.
Step 3: Add more branches
From the first branch, you will probably want to make your tree to look a bit more prolific than a single branch poking out from a wood slice. So you will need to add more branches bound to the central branch.
The first few branches you add from the central branch, are your ‘core branches’. These, as well as the central branch, will act as the support for the finer details later on.
It’s important at this point to start to ascertain your size and shape. Get the general idea of how large you want to go with it at this point.
These ‘core branches’ will need to be bound on with 2-3 binding points.
Below you can see what I mean:
Once you have bound them tight and securely, you can trim the lower, thicker parts of the branches to get rid of those unsightly legs sticking out of shape. The idea here is to make the bound branches appear as if they have all stemmed from the central branch.
Once you have added your Core Branches and you are happy with them, you can now start to fill out your design with more branches until you get the desired shape.
*My personal secret piece of advice… if you feel you have finished, add a bit more and then look at it again.*
Step 4: Cover your mechanics
This is something that has been engrained in me since college. I strongly believe in it and hate to see other people’s work that leaves this integral part out!
No one really wants to see those unsightly brackets and screws. If you are rushed for time, then I guess it’s easy to forget this and leave it out.
But, how hard is it really to cover those brackets with something a little more decorative? You have made the effort so far to create something visually pleasing, so keep up the work by adding a little moss or something else of your choosing to keep visual looking attractive all over.
For this, I used Reindeer Moss and bound it round the base of the Central Branch. I quick dab of glue to ensure it stays in place and viola!
There you have it, one ‘Trillow Tree’.
Hang photos from it, decorate it for Christmas, place it on an empty coffee table, whatever you do with it, I am sure it will make a huge impact and people will comment on it.