A few weeks ago as I was searching for some acrylic garlands I kept coming across something called “wedding trees” I had never heard of such a thing, probably because I haven’t gotten married in over 30 years so I am not very up to date on nouveau wedding decorations. The more pictures I looked at of these beauties the more I drooled and the more I realized that I could make one of these sparkly little Weeping Willows and it probably wouldn’t be too difficult. And I wouldn’t even have to get married again! Luckily I had all that left over acrylic garland from my beaded curtain project…..
For a few brief moments I considered purchasing the tree branches online. They’re called Manzanita tree branches and they come in natural wood color or painted white and ready to decorate. But when I saw the price tags I almost fainted. They wanted one hundred dollars for a bunch of dead stiff tree branches? Cold day in hell. I remembered seeing alot of dry branches laying around on the side of the road up at the new house and I set out to find the perfect one for my tree. I picked up more than I needed because I wanted to bring them all home and choose the best shaped ones.
Then I got to work pruning. I removed all the leaves and then began shaping the branches. I snipped all the unruly and rebellious twigs off, there were quite a few of them. I was beggining to feel like Edward Scissorhands. I decided to use three separate branches because when they were placed together they formed a nice little “tree”.
The next step was to paint them. I loved the look of a white tree base with the irridescent acrylic crystals hanging from it but I didn’t want it to be chalk white either, so I chose a pearlescent white spray paint that actually gave the branches a silvery shimmer when it dried. It was perfect.
Next I had to find a vase or container for the tree. I wanted a neutral colored one so that it would not draw attention away from the tree itself. I also realized that it had to be tall so that the branches wouldn’t fall out of it with the weight of the “crystals”. I found a really cool tall glass vase with a silver stem that for some reason reminded me of the mercury in a thermometer. I bought some beige polished river rocks at the Chinese store. That’s where I found the vase too. (Sometimes I wish I lived in China, they have such cool stuff there) I arranged the branches in the vase and added the rocks all the way to the top so that the branches were fixed into place and completely immobile. I didn’t want them to move around after the acrylics were attached.
Now it was time to begin adding the acrylic crystals. I had some left over on a spool from another project. I started by cutting the garland into smaller pieces of varying lengths and began to attach them randomly to the tree with hot glue.
After several burned fingers (I can never use the hot glue gun without burning myself) I was finallly finished. I had a Weeping Willow Wedding Tree. My joy was shortlived however when someone suggested to me that if there was an earthquake (yeah right. What are the odds?) the vase would likely tip over and crash to the floor and break into a millions pieces along with my tree. I solved that problem by glueing the base to a thick glass plate which acted as a “foot” and gave the whole thing a bit more stability. I used silicone to fix the vase to the plate. Then I filled the plate with clear glass pebbles. It’s not likely to tip over now unless we have a 9 pointer on the Richter scale.
I had the perfect spot for my tree, tucked into a corner underneath the stairs. I placed it on a sturdy concrete pillar that I rescued from my back yard and restored. It faces the front door so it’s the first thing guests will see when they enter and look towards the living room.